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  1. #1
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    Default V6 Engine Design Flaw??

    This is disturbing. I have a neighbor with 2000 model with a V6 who has never had a problem with it and he told me the other day a piece of his engine block broke off the starter mounts in. He took it to dealer who told him it was a problem with the V6 and he would have to get another engine for it. He paid a guy 225.00 to weld it and it held three days and broke. I thought maybe the truck had been wrecked and he said he got it new and never a dent in it.

    I just got my Silverado with same engine and this is disturbing that I may get hit with the same thing.

    Can anyone put any light on this? This is the first Chevy I have ever owned and I find this out.

  2. #2

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    I had a 94 S10 which I sold with 365,000Km (230,000 miles) and it never missed a beat. The person I sold it to still drives it and has put another 50,000 Km on it. Sometimes you just get unlucky.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I have developed some more info on this. First off I talked with my best buddy who just retired as a mechanic (and he is good) and he said he never heard of this on V6 Chevy.

    Talked to another guy who is a manager of a parts store and was mechanic for many years before retiring to go into parts business. He said he had seen this three or four times and that it comes from the starter bolts getting loose and backing out allowing the starter to wobble setting up a bind condition.

    This makes more sense than a casting/design flaw to me. From now on I am going to snug starter bolts when I am under changing the Mobil 1 out.

    Then again someone else may read this thread and have more info/history to relate.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Wow,
    I have no particular interest in the V-6, but I suppose this-loose starter mounting nuts/bolts could be universal.
    I wonder if overtightening them can cause the mounting boss to eventually break?
    Thanks,
    Charlie
    1998 suburban-
    1/2 ton

    199500 miles
    River
    Ridge,LA

  5. #5
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    Default

    If I had to make a guess I would surmise it to be a case of employee incompetence. I was in the Ordnance field and I know that the firearms manufacturers don't hire gunsmiths or even gun lovers to make their parts and even worse assemble their guns and thusly things happen that are not called for on the process drawings.

    For instance I was at Colt right before they had their big strike back in 80s and I had the run of the plant so to speak so I walked around and this one guy was making a part (I forget what it was now but I knew what every part looked like in a M16) and I struck up a conversation with him and finally asked him what he was making.

    I have seen several barrels on guns with no rifling. I have seen a slide for a M1911 pistol certified proof fired and targeted that never had the firing pin hole drilled in it.

    His reply? "I don't know." My question is how could someone work at something for years (this guy was mid 30s) and not know or care about what he was making in the big scheme of what the plant was making. His qualifications for getting the job? He was a Union Member.

    I have a friend who is a black guy who worked in a Chrysler plant and he told me about the sorry quality of folks that get hired and I am sure this is common through out the industry.

    If you think that is bad it gets much worse. The gov't is queer for hiring engineers as the perception is an engineer can do no wrong and it is absolutely a necessity to have them or the program will crash. I was sitting at my desk one day in a gov't arsenal and there was a engineer looking at a weapon cut away. Cut aways are done so that people can see exactly what happens inside a gun as it cycles and as the name implies sections of the firearm are cut away to reveal the workings of the inner parts just like those plastic engines that are seen on commercials etc. with the parts going around and around and up and down.

    I watched him cycle this weapon for thirty minutes and he asked the ENGINEER IN CHARGE of the system how it worked so I got up and eased over to listen to the explanation. The new guy started explaining his understanding of watching the parts move but he could not figure out what made it fire the next round (it was a full auto weapon) and it was clearly evident how the full auto sear was tripped at the moment the bolt locked and I could see it from five feet away. The ENGINEER IN CHARGE was told him something was wrong with the cut away in that this other part was supposed to be moving freely at all times to achieve the full auto sequence.

    I almost had a hernia right there. I wanted to bust out laughing and wanted to ROFLMAO but didn't and I got with the rest of the guys in engineering outside and they all had a good laugh. We suspected the guy didn't know what he was doing and I just saw him admit.

    This same guy was a section chief and he told me that when one of the senior types retired they would most likely move me to his weapon system to be Engineer in Charge.

    I told him:

    I had never even seen that weapon system fire. (I had no idea how to go about disassembly but I had been told it was one of those things that if done wrong could kill the dissasembler.) I didn't even know how to load or unload it! ! ! ! ! so I told him in effect:

    You send me to the plant that makes them for 90 days and let me work the line that makes them, then you send me to a rebuild depot for 90 days and let me work the line that repairs/rebuilds them, then you send me to the field for 90/120 days and let me "soldier" with the kids that break them and then we will talk because at that point in time I wasn't about to take over a system being used daily by people putting their lives on the line for this country to make decisions on changes that needed to be made without knowing all I could about the weapon.

    His response was and I will never forget this statement, "You don't have to know anything about it to be the ENGINEER IN CHARGE."

    When I walked into Engineering I was placed with a crusty old guy who was a walking 1000 Gig memory system. This guy was utterly amazing. He loved guns and for him coming to work was a joy and I will never forget his opening lecture on the first day.

    He pointed up the walkway with his cane and said, "The coffee pot is up in the bosses office, the head is at the other end of the building and (pointing his finger dead in my face) said " We don't sign off on nothing around here to make a vendor happy. We are here to get the best we can get for the troops and nothing less, IS THAT CLEAR?" Me being a gun lover since age 3 , I had absolutely no problem with that work ethic.

    That is the ethic that has followed me my entire career and I can tell all that having such a ethic is not popular. I even had a vendor try to get me fired for wanting them to make the gun to their own drawings ! ! ! ! I caught a vendor in procurement fraud and no one wanted to prosecute them for it.

    I am aware of several design flaws that I KNOW FOR A FACT HAS GOTTON KIDS KILLED (reports on file Army Safety Center) and that I wrote up the design flaw in the report and laid out the EXACT changes that needed to be made BEFORE it went into production and it was years later I got a copy of the report and realized the report had been changed after it was signed off on and I can prove it with what they missed removing in the report ! ! ! !

    Just as soon as I realized that I called the Inspector General of the Marine Corps and made the disclosure. I was directed to the Army Inspector General who directed me to the Army Criminal Investigation Division and I wrote up a complete disclosure and sent it to them. CID confirmed they were also of the opinion there was 1. Witness tampering, 2. Conspiracy to defraud the gov't. and 3. multiple cases of accessory after the fact.

    I also made a disclosure to the ARMY SAFETY CENTER with no response ! ! ! !

    RESULTS? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING HAPPENED. NO DESIGN CHANGE, NO INVESTIGATION etc.

    Bottom line here is industry is saturated with incompetence from the person that put the part on all the way through top management who are only interested in their benefits to politicians who are only interested in Union votes.

    The assembly drawing I am willing to bet has a callout for torque specs on the starter bolts and that torque was not applied by the assembler and bolts may have been run in with fingers and tightened by same. You can bet every time I change oil in the Silverado I am going to check the torque on those bolts.

    Then I am aware of a weapon system (Pattern 14 Enfield) that was/is notorius for action screws getting loose from firing the rifle and this is the only such I know of. They haven't been made in about 90 years and the fix was the Brits took a center punch and staked the trigger guard adjacent to the screw slot splaying metal into same so it wouldn't shoot loose. It could be a similar thing here (but if that were the case I would think the incident rate would be much higher) BUT now I know what to look for to maintain integrity I will check them every time I am under.

  6. #6

    Default

    This was a problem on GM and Ford high performance engines years ago, particularly when running high compression, using a high torque starter, or like what this case sounds like allowing the starter bolts to loosen up.
    I dont think I ever saw a fix other than a new engine block, cast engine blocks dont take a weld real good.
    I saw a guy use a custom flex plate once to repair this problem, dont know how well the results were or if the custom machining and spacers were cheaper than a new block.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Welding cast iron.... Sounds fun. <sarcasm>
    I have to agree that it sounds more like a high torque starter issue, and loose bolts. I wouldn't lose too much sleep over it. Just check on the bolts when you're down there. I wouldn't expect them to loosen up much if at all.
    Patrick
    Rhode Island


  8. #8

    Default

    my friend has an 04 sierra with 255000 miles on it, and it hasn't had one problem with the starter

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