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2002 Monte Carlo Blue CVT
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, first of all, Happy Fourth!

I am deep into a water outlet reseal and it could be going better.

First, I am trying to do this without removing the intake manifold. I have removed the EGR valve and have good access to one water pipe bolt (the one up top for the larger diameter line) and I managed to remove the bolt, but I can't budge the line.

I think I can get at the small line with a swivel and extension but to no avail if I can't budge the pipes.

Another big impediment for me is the wiring harness that runs over the water outlet. I have it unbolted, but can't really seem to find a good way to get it out of the way.

I am also at a loss to see how removing the intake manifold is going to help with access to anything. But helpful IC members have enlightened me as usual.

Any suggestions?
 

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After that, you must also undo the wiring harness. Be careful with the knock sensor. I recommend the bracing the knock sensor with a screw driver or a pair of needle nose pliers with one hand while unplugging it with the other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Yeah, Scott K already gave me the low down on the knock sensor. He said they crumble when looked at wrong. Pulling the manifold, but hit a snag. Can't get the lower manifold nuts off. Too much play in my socket swivel joint and the nuts are rusted. I fear rounding them off. I'll repeat my Kroil/PB Blaster spraying and give it another shot in the a.m. If unsuccessful, I'll button up and ship to local mechanic. Would be a shame. I feel like I've got 80% of the disassembly work done.

On the bright side, removed fasteners are getting the Evaporust treatment. Miracle stuff Scott K. recommended. Works a treat.
 

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I have found in the past that the lower two bolts on the manifold are easier with a short wrench than with sockets. Just my experience:)
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got the driver's side nut off. Still can't get the passenger's side one off. Sprayed more Kroil. Will try again in the a.m.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Kroil -1, Intake manifold nut - 0.

Overnight Kroil soak proved successful and the nut went right in to the Evaporust. Notwithstanding Jim's tip above, I managed to get on it with two 3" extensions and a swivel. Cheater bar on the ratchet handle and voila! Interference from the PCV hose makes getting squarely on the nut critical.

Back in business for the water outlet reseal once I get the intake manifold and other ancillaries off.

As to preferences between Kroil and PB blaster, the Kroil is more expensive, but smells better (it's the wintergreen oil) than the PB. Both seem equally effective.

Halfway through it I can already tell it is not a job I would want to pay a mechanic to do (although he/she would more than earn his/her hourly rate). Nor is it a job I wish to do myself. Bonus -- I get to clean my EGR plate if it needs it and judging by the rusted IM fasteners, the intake manifold has likely never been off, so I'm expecting to see some carbon build up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Turning into nightmare project from hell. Hire this job out if you can. Rusted fasteners are the bulk of the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Oh, no chance I am quitting now. Especially since I have a nice shiny EGR plate to put back. I am one electrical clip away from being able to move the wiring harness atop the water outlet out of the way. Unfortunately, I can't seem to release the temperature sensor clip (gray). I understand from the Insight Whisperer that two screw drivers are essential to success.

Looks like a circus act because I have to be on a step ladder to reach the back side of the engine.

My biggest weakness as a shade tree mechanic is electrical connectors. They frequently defeat me.

And, of course, I destroyed the green knock sensor. Fortunately, due to the wise counsel of Scott K, I had one on hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Clip released by hand. No screw drivers involved. Still can't seem to move the harness as much as I'd like to. I have the water pipe bolts out but couldn't move the water pipes themselves. I noticed a bolt in the block by the EGR valve base that appears to anchor at least one water pipe. I have concerns that once I get the coolant lines off at the back of the outlet, I won't be able to reattach them. The clearances are very tight back there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
So, I hit a bit of a snag in the water outlet reseal. I am going to reseal the water outlet anyway, since I am already in there, but I suspect I discovered the real cause of my coolant leak. The image below is of the smaller diameter water inlet pipe. It appears that half of the flange where the pipe mates to the water outlet has rusted away. I see some coolant deposits at 7:30 on the pipe junction to the water outlet.

In any event, I would not have located this but for plans to reseal the water outlet, which may be leaking as well but that has not yet been established.

New (used) pipes are on their way to me.

And I will reiterate -- hire this job out. It is no fun.

I understand there is a guy on the west coast who can do this in a few hours with his eyes closed and one hand tied behind his back.

Good thing I don't attempt to make a living as a mechanic. I'd starve.

91279
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I am a little curious about the rust. I thought the water outlet and pipe were both aluminum. Perhaps not.

I'm guessing the paint on the inlet pipe is the tip off that it is steel. I would have thought there would have been concerns about galvanic corrosion of dissimilar metals. I guess the theory is the paint is a sufficient barrier. I have empirical evidence suggesting that theory was misguided.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Back at it after being away for a week. The inlet water pipes have been removed as have the four bolts securing the water outlet. The forward most (toward the radiator, as opposed to firewall) of the lower water outlet bolts is blind. If the engine is in the car, you will not see that bolt (maybe with an inspection mirror). Count on removing and reinserting it by feel only.

Once the bolts were out, the water outlet still had a decent seal on it.

Scott K's advice proved key here, recommending some gentle taps with a mallet (rubber) on the inlet port for the upper radiator hose to free the outlet, which they did.

So, clean up of the outlet and block mating surfaces and resealing with Hondabond remain - plus all the reassembly, refilling, burping the cooling system, etc.

If you live within 500 miles of Scott K., leave this one to the trained professional. It is a bear of a DIY. Not difficult per se, but quite tedious with the amount of stuff you have to remove to accomplish the task. It does provide an excellent opportunity for an EGR plate cleaning on a "while you're in there" basis. I will be reusing my metal EGR plate gasket.

Except for the weepy coolant inlet pipe, I have not yet seen any obvious signs of a coolant leak from the water outlet area. I am betting the weeping pipe may have been the culprit.

Count on having to replace the engine block mounted knock sensor. It crumbled on removal as Scott suggested it would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Last night after work I got the outlet mating surface and mating surface on the block cleaned up and sealed with Hondabond. I also got three of the four water outlet bolts in and torqued.

Needless to say the "blind" bolt was the one I couldn't get in last night despite the old chewing-gum-in-the-socket trick to hold the bolt in. So much for minty fresh bolts. Scott again suggested some masking tape in the socket. Worked a treat.

But, the real key was getting a cage light down in the engine bay and actually sticking my head down in there so as not to be threading the bolt blind. Got it on first shot. Now torqued. On to the reassembly.

So, bottom line here is the bolt does not need to be done blind (I got it off by feel), but if you have some contortionist skills, it doesn't have to be done blind.

The shiny circle between and above the two rear most main power cables in the photo below is your destination. The other water outlet bolt has a blue blaze of factory paint on it. The empty hole is further recessed than the one you can see with the blue blaze.

The empty bolt hole is slightly offset to the rear of the coolant standpipe used to do a proper coolant burp by way of orientation.
91438
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, just by way of further orientation the base of the coolant standpipe is just barely visible in the upper left quadrant of the above photo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Project on hold. Had to step away to attend some family business.

The used coolant pipes I obtained had some interior rust which I didn't really notice until I had cleaned up the exterior surface and sprayed with Rust-Oleum engine enamel. They will go into the Evaporust once I get back to the project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Back in town last evening. The freshly painted (last Saturday) water pipes soaked in Evaporust last night, and are still showing signs of internal corrosion, so I am going to let them soak a while longer. Thus far, the new paint appears unaffected. Because of the irregular shape of the lines, and the fact I have them soaking horizontally, I think there may have been an air bubble trapped in the larger diameter line overnight which kept the Evaporust from making contact with a portion of the line's interior.
 
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