Saturday, May 30, 2020

Mercedes E350 4matic 150k miles

I wrote a review of this car when it hit 100k miles back in December of 2017.  It now has 150k miles and there is not much new to report.  I did upgrade the headlight bulbs to LED.

Here is the things I did to the car in the last 50k miles.

12/27/2017 105k mi drivers seat cover. This is a known issue on these cars. I bought the part and replaced it myself.
1/20/2018 107k mi drivers front tire road hazard warranty replacement
2/25/2018 109109mi blower motor. This had a very minor intermittent squeak. Very simple to replace.
3/13/2018 new windshield
6/17/2019 117,715mi front brake pads. This was the first pair of front pads!
7/8/2018 119,869mi spark plugs.
8/5/2018 121,555mi belt. Although it was still fine. It just seemed like a long time to go on a belt.
11/18/2018 129,401mi Thermostat and PCV cover. Both a simple job.

The car was hit in the back by an inattentive driver in December.

But Banishek and Will fixed it back up again.  Good as new.

This car drives pretty much the same as when we got it.  Runs and drives great, never uses oil, no issues really.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Kohler Engine Noise

I have a 2001 GT3000 Craftsman mower with a Kohler 23HP 2 cylinder engine.  I bought it used back in May 2009.  It has many hard long hours on it.  I had a 5 acre place I used it on for many years, and my lot now is over half an acre. 

I went to mow the lawn and heard a knocking sound.  I heard it while cranking as well as running.  Engine load made no difference so I figured it was not a main or rod bearing, or a piston issue.  It was an odd sound actually.  I listened with a stethoscope and narrowed it to the crankcase area, not the top end.

I removed the engine and as a drained the oil I could see the metal in it.

Once I took the engine apart, I checked the rotating assembly to find the source of the knock but it all looked good.  Everything was nice and tight still.  Piston skirts looked good too.  This was expected since the knock did not change with engine load.  I had to look deeper.  Finally I found where the crank had worn into the lower case (oil pan) which also serves at the lower thrust bearing.  Strange they have the crank go right against the end case aluminum to serve as the thrust bearing.  I could feel the crank end play was excessive too.  The knock was from the fact that the crank had worn so deeply into the end case that the crank throw was actually grinding into the oil pump gear and bolt.  

I measured the crank end play and found it to be 0.080".  That is ridiculous!  

You can see in the photo below how worn down the oil pan is on the thrust surface. This is supposed to be flat.

Notice the wear on the oil pump gear.

Here is what it should look like.

When I think back to the way it sounded it was not a pure knock.  It also had a grinding sound element to it.  Now it makes sense.  By the way, the photo above is a used part listed on eBay at the time I wrote this.  It had a buy it now for $45.  There were several others around the same price.  Far less than the over $200 for a new one.