RIP Time Machine


The time machine finally left someone stranded… Me and my two coworkers!

Thankfully we were going downhill, and there was a pull off alley feet ahead.

It all started as I was prepping the Time Machine for the 1300 mile journey back to Texas. I was recently very annoyed by the belt squealing around, so I replaced the faulty component, which turned out to be the water pump (turns out you shouldn’t put rainwater in your cooling system… another story for another time…). I replaced the water pump by the book, torqued it back to spec perfectly. I fixed a couple of various air leaks, vacuum leaks, and PCV issues while I had the cowl off.

It was perfect, besides the fuel check valve the thing drove great. Heater worked well, A/C was beautiful, oodles of power…

And then the Oil Pressure light came on…

I ignored it. The oil pressure sensor is a common issue on these, and I could see oil being splashed around inside the valve cover. I limped it home to make sure nothing was seriously broken.

I assumed it was just time for an oil change or something, so I switched to cheapo walmart oil (thin stuff too), and it ran great for another 300 miles.

I decided it was time to give the van it’s last journey before Texas, so I drive it to work, and offer to take my coworkers out to lunch in the beast. We eat delicious Chinese noodles and start heading back…

DING DING DING DING… Oil pressure light is back… Nah, not a problem, keep driving Luke.

Two minutes later, the engine shuts off at a red light. I give it a crank… seems weird… almost like the engine isn’t wanting to turn. I pop it in neutral and head to an alley out of the way.

Open the engine back, and watch as a coworker starts it. The starter tries really hard but can’t get the engine to turn over…

It’s seized…

Anyways, fast forward to now. Finally had the time to start investigating.

Here’s what I know:

Fresh battery, perfect voltage.
The harmonic balancer bolt spins when I try and turn the engine over manually…
No noticable metal bits in oil.
No noticable metal bits in oil pan.
Oil pickup is clogged like a dam

I’m thinking I can pour some Marvel’s Mystery Oil in the cylinders, let it soak for a week. Replace the oil pickup, put some thin oil in it, and start the beast back up!

What do you think?


Everything is still connected here:

Honestly I can’t tell what’s glitter and what’s sludge… I’ll find a magnet…


That’s a nice acrylic pour! What dye did you use with the Art Resin? I’d probably pick another color than that brown, but the flecks are perfect.


Don’t pay too much attention to the color, I’m a crap photographer and I think I had some green reflective nearby…


Meaning you can turn the crankshaft using the front pulley bolt, or JUST the bolt spins? (I’m betting there is a running joke here…)


Just the bolt spins, the crankshaft does not move.



This killed it. No turning back. :cry:


Any chance of a shot including #4 rod journal? It should be near BDC based on this picture, where #1 is near BDC, and is the one I expect most likely to be FUBARd. I’d love to dissect this thing, because I’m curious if it’s actually a seized piston(s) or rod/crank…

I think it’s time for a turbo transplant. I hear the SRT-4 is a bolt in and easily doubles the horses



This guy?


If some son-of-a-butch can put belt leather in the engine to make it run, I can damn sure get a slightly seized engine back to life:

Besides there are six cylinders, they’re not all seized, and you don’t need all of them… right?


I had it in my head this was a 4-banger (despite the nagging voice telling me it was a 6).
Disregard my blathering…

Check this episode of Roadkill for the other side of the leather rod bearing coin…
(ff to ~ 6:45 for the leather stuff, but then you miss “every Jeep day is a good day” and other fun quips)


Watched it last night funnily enough, to see how they solved the pickup screen being clogged :smiley:

I have it soaking in some purple stuff now, I could buy a new one but that seems like cheating…

Also Rick Pewe is my favorite person


I once took a digital logic course at Collin County over the summer taught by a retired petroleum engineer. Interspersed with the lectures on how logic gates work we heard stories about his time out of college working in a refinery and its attached plastics factory.

At the time the professor had an old decidedly secondhand pickup truck - an International Harvester. It had a significant oil leak due to a bad seal. Parts simply couldn’t be found so he had to improvise a series of fixes as the problem got worse since it no longer retained enough oil to make a full commute leg.

Finally he settled on an oil recapture system that collected almost the entirety of the oil leak in a vessel underneath the engine. There happened to be a convenient location to pull off roughly halfway where he could stop the vehicle, remove the collection vessel, refill the oil, and continue. It simply became part of his daily driving routine both ways. Said had he not gotten so practiced at the method he would have taken the next logical step and introduced a pump to continuously reintroduce captured oil back into the block.

But this did come to a halt one day when he was tasked with driving a visiting bigwig from the refinery to their hotel. Apparently there was some … consternation … when he casually and without explanation stopped at the usual spot to perform the oil recovery operation. Whatever conversation was going on at the time did not smoothly resume afterwards and instead his sanity was openly questioned. He hadn’t considered this before - the series of fixes, the cleverness required, and the eccentric little rehearsed routine had become normal and even enjoyable.

So he decided to properly fix it - possibly as an implied condition of continued employment. It was apparently quite the challenge to simply identify the engine in it since the chassis could accept - and was sold with - a huge variety of engines from numerous manufacturers. This occurring in the ~1970s, it wasn’t the trivial matter to identify that it would be today since there was apparently no prominent cylinder head cover casting, no identification plate. Said it took an almost-retired clerk at an auto parts store to identify it by some of the telltales on the block casting itself, at which point he was able to track down and install a seal, decommissioning his beloved oil recapture system in the process.


Lol, the things we will do to NOT properly fix something.


“Properly fix” is a matter of perspective. If you expect vehicles to be more like appliances then that retired engineer’s perspective was clearly wrong; if you see them as … useful hobbies … then having to tinker with and operate them is a benefit.


This looks like a challenge for Allen to see how far wood bearing can go.


I subscribe to the N+1 theory of automotive ownership, where N is the number of drivers.


I generally agree, as, even with newer cars, things go wrong and they can be out of commission for a period of time. I have found myself with a new calculus as of recent that includes a 'utility factor". I’m finding that I need want 4 cars.

Electric Only Daily Driver / runabout (meets my needs) (Practicality score 2)
Gas Daily driver (electric only won’t meet driver 2’s needs) (Practicality score 3)
Pickup truck (utility + backup for longer trips that electric won’t make) (Practicality score 2)
Street legal track car (Because race car) (Practicality score 1)

Currently, my track car is the backup for the Electric car, but it’s utility score is so low that my final number calculates out higher. Not sure how to properly represent that in an equation tho :nerd_face:

This calculation is now also affected by things like Uber, as well as other factors such as distance to work, the willingness of friends to loan a truck, etc. It gets a bit complex then though…


I subscribed to the N+2 theory for a while there. But N+1 is a great idea if you can obtain a cheap medium-high reliability vehicle that also serves alternate utility that your daily driver doesn’t or you don’t find yourself needing to trade in/sell an old daily driver.

Justifies itself with no further rhetoric.

I can’t quite get my head around routinely using Uber in my home region. I get it for travel, a night on the town when you plan to get inebriated, or oddball situations. Buy the math is decidedly disadvantageous vs owning even a beater for commuting in most of the country.