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This was for my oil return line for the BB turbo parts I am installing in a few months. And oh how smoothly it went. The only "bad" thing that happened was the old "grandpa's drill" that my dad uses and has always trusted got fried trying to drill with the final largest size drill. My grandma showed up right at that time and since she works at Walmart she gets 10% off there so they went and got a new Black and Decker one. Worked great.

So anyways, here's start to finish. My fiancee helped me with the whole thing which was GREAT. She doesn't like car stuff at all but was a HUGE help and couldn't have done it with sanity intact without her.

Got the car HIGH on jackstands. Drained the oil. Then disconnected the negative battery terminal. Took off two splash shields. Disconnected the exhaust secondary from the manifold (and wow were those 3 nuts on the manifold super easy to get off! thought I was going to struggle with them). Unscrewed the hanger bolts near the cat and unattached the hanger near the first bend in the exhaust going to the back. Moved the exhaust aside. Supported the tranny with a floorjack with a small phonebook on top of it (didn't have any blocks of wood :) ). Removed the crossmember disconnecting the front-of-car motor mount but leaving the rear one attached to it. Looked at the pans. The Haynes manual didn't say you had to drop the lower pan even though I was pretty sure I did have to. Looked at it more and realized the other bolts for the upper pan had to be inside the lower pan area. Removed the lower pan. Used a crappy putty knife with a plastic handle and a hammer. Took a little bit (the handle kept pulling off the metal part and had to use pliers to retrieve it a few times). Finally got it off. Took a break, ate dinner. Removed the lower pan baffle(?) thingy. Removed the upper pan. Dad got home just in time to help. He works at Caterpillar making huge 350hp per cylinder engines. He has a monster machine that drills and taps those truck-sized and bigger blocks and has been doing this job for around 15 years so he knew what was going on with the angle and all that. Lew Shadoff got a 90 degree thingy for his drill which was useful for him, but removing the fans and disconnecting the radiator at the top gave us just enough clearance with the drill wedged in there. Centerpunched the boss. Drilled the first small hole. Angle's good. Drilled second hole. No problem. Started with the biggest drill bit. Tried and tried, but the good old drill started smoking big time. Took it out of the car, "free-revved" it twice, saw a big spark. It was dead. Got a new drill. Went through great- perfect angle. Got the tap and stuck it in a socket with a socket wrench. Slowly tapped the hole. The stock DET fitting slid in perfectly. Success! Dad had also picked up an extra fitting in case the DET one was too boogered to screw it (it was a BITCH to get out of Mike's DET block) and a plug to plug up the hole until I was ready to install the turbo, but the plug he got was the wrong size. So the car is still in the garage at home today.

No biggie about not getting it done. I was planning on possibly having it down more than one day so that's fine. He will get a proper plug today at work. After we got it tapped we cleaned up the shavings on the ground (comment from dad "Not used to working with this aluminum stuff" :) )we spent an hour or so cleaning up the mating surfaces. Pearlene Lum, an NX2000 owner in town and her boyfriend came over about the time I was dropping the lower pan and had been watching and helping all they could until this time where her boyfriend (Brian? Sorry I'm terrible with names) got all the gasket material off the lower pan while I started on the upper pan. Thanks! My fiancee was taking a break since the garage was crowded enough, but I got her back in it and had her work on the upper pan and I went to the underside of the block. Worked and worked and got the surfaces clean. Pearlene and Brian(?) left. Got fiancee to do the RTV sealant bead around the upper pan since I thought she would be better at it than me. Let it sit for 10 minutes like the instructions said. Applied the upper pan to the clean block mating surface. Put in all the bolts and torqued them to spec in the proper sequencewith my shiny new $70 Sears inch-lb wrench. Had a problem with one of the small studs near the flywheel under that cover coming out. Screwed that baby stud back in by hand as much as we could and tightened the nut on it just a little since apparently overtightening made it come out in the first place. Applied RTV to the lower pan. Let it set 10 minutes. During that time we started putting the crossmember back. Noticed that the jack and the block had about 2 inches between them. Guess it had slipped down over those hours. Engine was still in though. Hope I didn't damage the other two engine mounts by letting it rest on them only. I doubt it though. Jacked the engine/tranny back up, put the lower pan on since 10 minutes was up, torqued to spec in the proper sequence. Finished the crossmember.

We had stared at about 1:00PM and it was now 11PM. We could have put the exhaust and splash shields back on, but we were tired and have plenty of time to do it today.

It went AMAZINGLY smoothly. The only stressful things were the drill frying, the lower pan removal as it should be, and the small stud coming out, all of which were very minor. I just hope that smoothness translates into no leaks and a running car today. :)

Any recommendations of extra precautions to take when getting it ready to startup again? Besides putting oil back in :). Like an STP flush? Running it with cheap oil and Mobil 1 filter for a few minutes and then putting the Mobil 1 oil and new filter in? Or maybe just go maybe 500-1000 more miles on the oil I took out of the car? (that old oil I have had like 500 miles on it is all btw)

My dad was really impressed. He's never done anything that intense on a car before and said he was really proud (sniff) and was also great to see my fiancee and I working together (sniff). :)

If anybody wants to tap their block for the oil return line for their turbo, just ask me about it. Think I'm an expert now. :)

Ben Davis
98 Sentra SE with one extra unused hole
"My car works fine- why oh why did I disassemble it to where I can see the bottom of my pistons?" :)
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