Blueprint 102 - Measuring 4g63 Crankshaft Endplay. 4g63's are famous for hosing crankshaft thrust bearings. This video illustrates the process of how to check the thrust bearing clearance whether the motor's in the car or not. Of course in my case the motor's on a stand for this video. Lucky for me!
In cases where the engine is still in the car, the same procedures can be used so long as the indicator is attached to the engine block. The plunger can be set up touching either the inside of the crank pulley or by removing the clutch cover plate and contacting the flywheel.
What the thrust bearing does, is prevent the crankshaft from having lateral movement in the main bearings. If a crankshaft develops excessive movement here, clutch engagement and hydraulic problems will begin showing up, followed shortly thereafter by catastrophic failure of main bearings, rod bearings, connecting rod failures, oil pressure problems, or even broken blocks, crankshafts and rods in extreme cases. It's important that every 4g63 turbo engine is within spec on this measurement.
When the crankshaft aggressively wears through the thrust bearing developing lateral play, this is called "crankwalk". On some block castings, replacing the bearings will NOT fix the problem. An engine block that is prone to crankwalking can not be fixed. The only option in these cases is to replace the shortblock and rotating assembly with new or used parts that are stronger than the one you've unfortunately encountered. For the 2g guys, the best option for repairing this problem is to remove the 7-bolt turbo shortblock your car came with and replace it with a 6-bolt from a 89-92.5 production date turbo DSM. Non-turbo blocks CAN be used; however, the block will not have oil squirters that aim towards the back of the pistons. That stream of oil aides lubrication to the wrist pins, cylinder bores, and somewhat cools the pistons. All good things on a turbo setup. Aside from that difference, there are no other differences between the non-turbo and turbo blocks. The pistons and thus the compression ratios are different, but that's it. Oil squirters can be machined into the main galleries of a non-turbo block, but it's more trouble than it's worth unless you can't find a turbo block.
There are tons of differing theories about what causes crankwalk. Nearly all of them are plausible and logical arguments. I will not get into those debates in this video in order to focus on procedures for testing and replacement. Please feel free to google "crankwalk 4g63" and read the volumes of information available already. The arguments and gathered data are older than the Eclipse itself and in abundant supply on the internets. Magnus, RRE, VFAQ, and many other parts vendors have lengthy write-ups on their own research and development. The bottom line is that the 6-bolt shortblocks are LESS likely to suffer from this.
Next time you see someone with a video that looks like it was shot with a potato asking "does this sound like crankwalk", you can send them this video. There's a reason for every noise, rather than focus on the sound, focus on eliminating the real problem. KNOW if it's out of spec.
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