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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, a few months ago before I gave up for a bit, since nobody seems to know the answer (and my uncle who may, he is super,super busy and when I messaged him, he only replied to a later message and I don't want to seem impatient or pressing so I'm not sure ill msg again.) He had got me a claw for this, but I realized a bigger issue.

The rock, originally since I listened to my dads stupid advice (always stupid, idk why I did), now has play-dough on it and the chunk I got out (and thought was it) did not contain the rock, and I remembered I think that that section of playdough fell deeper into the engine beyond a claw and probally a camera, given the channels. So theres playdough around the rock, though I'm less worried about something that will dissolve in hot water, and/or otherwise I can flush out.

I was told it was in the coolant channels, but the red is the section where it fell in (i cant remember which, it moved around on both sides trying to remove it before it fell) [picture down below], it fell in 2 layers down. The blue mark on the bottom image portrays the second layer, which it fell from. I cannot see it anywhere at all.

I have a spare waterpump, no problem getting a new thermostat either, and any other minor things like that, so my biggest thing is I want to know WHERE this rock may end up being stopped, and if its really all that big of a deal. I do not know/dont think you can really dismantle in any way other than to take the block off and turn the block upside down, which wont likely work with the playdough if it was even a shot in the first place.

ANY possible solutions are welcome, even dumb remote ones, if it wont/cant do further damage, I will try it.

Ignore the carbon deposits :cry: definitely drove too long by the previous owner with a bad head gasket (it did not overheat or otherwise lack much performance, and me being a dumbass, not checking the coolant(100% meant to) lead me to be stuck fixing this, [which I figured I could, since ive done a lot of other work on these cars], but the previous owner likely didnt care enough NOT to drive it.)

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Please explain how a rock and play doh got in there in the first place. Did you try a grab-tool like this? Or maybe a coat hanger with a loop at the end, then a blob of thick epoxy on the loop, stuck to the rock? Then when cured you maybe can pull it out?
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Please explain how a rock and play doh got in there in the first place. Did you try a grab-tool like this? Or maybe a coat hanger with a loop at the end, then a blob of thick epoxy on the loop, stuck to the rock? Then when cured you maybe can pull it out?
I don't know with the rock, I think it may have fell off something I brushed up on, or my hand I cant remember for sure that was months ago now. The play dough was because I tried that epoxy trick with playdough following my dads advice, and it fell off.

Yes, I have tried the grabbing tools, I got out 1 piece of playdough, but it appears there is a missing piece (no rock in that piece), so the playdough with the rock is still in there.
I think when I first was trying to get it out I ended up shoving it in further.
I'm guessing I'm totally fucked given all that?
 

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How about a bent 1/4" steel rod, like a "J" that can get under it and yank it out? Or can it be pushed all the way in so it drops into the oil pan? Is that an oil or coolant drain spot?
 

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Hmm...well, the last place you want the rock to go is in the water pump and jamming that all up. If you think fishing it out is a headache; if you let that go and you break something, you'll have real problems. If the water pump goes and it needs replacement (because you broke off one or more of the impellers), you're going to have to do MORE work. You'll wind up having to replace the pump, which requires you to pull the side cover off TO replace it. That means you have to take off the serpentine belt to get to the harmonic balancer. ...and since you're there, you might as well do the timing chains too. If anything broke, you're going to have bits and pieces of aluminum floating in the coolant system...so yanking the radiator AND heater core to flush those out would NOT be absurd. Then before reassembly, I'd recommend doing a manual flush to get any sort of debris out of the system.

If you knew the rock fell in there, then you should fish it out right away. If you didn't . . UGH! ( - what a headache - )

👉👉👉 Hopefully, it just goes into the radiator and sits on the bottom of that somewhere. 👈👈👈


EPOXY TRICK?!?

I've heard of a few "tricks" when it comes to engines. Not once have I had one work.
Word tot he wise, if you're doing work on your engine and you want it to last, don't use Play Dough. You only want to fix things one time....not 2 or 3.


...and a LOT of people may think otherwise, but YOUTBE is a wonderful tool. There is SO much info on there on how to fix your car-especially the Delta platform (Cobalt, Ion and G5). Before tackling any project, search there first. You'd be surprised how many people and how much info. you'll get by watching someone else to it first!
 
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EPOXY TRICK?!?
Yes, it worked for me once. I was doing a timing chain on a Pontiac 400. The block was drained and the timing cover was off the front of the block. There are two large openings for the water pump flow into the block. I still don't remember how but a critical bolt bounced right into one of the openings and fell down inside. It was 304 stainless steel so no magnet would work. The claw-reacher tool could not get a purchase on it. You could just barely see it. I could not ignore it because it was for a custom alternator mounting. It took me forever to get one that exact length and stainless so it would not corrode. It HAD to come out. So I made up a ball of thick sticky epoxy and wrapped it around a loop at the end of a coat hanger. I carefully snaked it down inside and got the epoxy all over the bolt. I just let it sit there overnight. The next day it had cured and all I had to do was carefully withdraw it from down in side the block and I got my bolt back. Never say never!
 

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Dang! That doesn't sound like much fun AT ALL!!!

Did you manage to get the rock out?

Also, I'm (sort of) a Pontiac Guy. What did that 400 go into??? :unsure:
(full size....Firebird....T/A.....GTO....maybe even a '63 Tempest)
 

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It was a 1980 Trans Am Firebird. Someone had yanked the 301 and put a 1978 400 in there. The original owner was a total idiot and we have spent years un-doing the damage. The bolt was for a custom serpentine belt conversion and had to be an exact length to go into a blind hole in the aluminum modern alternator upgrade. Stainless won't act galvanicly with the aluminum and I often upgrade to stainless on anything coolant or exhaust related. I learned that working on boats that operate in salt water. But I still don't understand how the rock got into the Cobalt although as I said, never say never!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hmm...well, the last place you want the rock to go is in the water pump and jamming that all up. If you think fishing it out is a headache; if you let that go and you break something, you'll have real problems. If the water pump goes and it needs replacement (because you broke off one or more of the impellers), you're going to have to do MORE work. You'll wind up having to replace the pump, which requires you to pull the side cover off TO replace it. That means you have to take off the serpentine belt to get to the harmonic balancer. ...and since you're there, you might as well do the timing chains too. If anything broke, you're going to have bits and pieces of aluminum floating in the coolant system...so yanking the radiator AND heater core to flush those out would NOT be absurd. Then before reassembly, I'd recommend doing a manual flush to get any sort of debris out of the system.

If you knew the rock fell in there, then you should fish it out right away. If you didn't . . UGH! ( - what a headache - )

👉👉👉 Hopefully, it just goes into the radiator and sits on the bottom of that somewhere. 👈👈👈
To everyone: I cannot see the rock at all. It has pushed deeper into the engine.

To you: I dont care if it jams the water pump. I have a spare and the side cover is really no big deal, I am replacing the timing too, although I know it would need cracked open again.
But if it just will float around ******* with everything until days end then ill have a problem. I can disconnect the heater core before running it(or can i?), if it gets out of the block and lands in any area that it could potentially be removed from, that is my biggest concern, is that I cant seem to be able to remove it from the block, period. I will pretty much do any other work to figure this out, I just dont think its possible to remove it from the block manually.
 

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Ugh...I'm so sorry man. The only other thing I can think of is POSSIBLY using a flexible plumbing snake. If you fish that in from the bottom (downstream) and use that to try to dislodge it, maybe that will work? If you can't even see the darn thing, I don't know how you're going to get it out. I don't know...maybe this idea will make it worse...

Good luck with that!


That's the only thing I can come up with apart from completely dismantling the motor.


It was a 1980 Trans Am Firebird. Someone had yanked the 301 and put a 1978 400 in there. The original owner was a total idiot and we have spent years un-doing the damage. The bolt was for a custom serpentine belt conversion and had to be an exact length to go into a blind hole in the aluminum modern alternator upgrade. Stainless won't act galvanicly with the aluminum and I often upgrade to stainless on anything coolant or exhaust related. I learned that working on boats that operate in salt water. But I still don't understand how the rock got into the Cobalt although as I said, never say never!

...😲...was that a Turbo car?!?


If only Pontiac had another year or two to develop that engine properly, that could have been a completely different motor and a much better car!
 

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No, not a turbo 301. But in '80 the 301 used in the TA did have a more agressive cam and the detonation sensor that the turbo engine used. I agree, if idiot GM had put development into the turbo 301 the third gen F bodies would have been killer. I still don't understand where this rock is wedged. Oil or coolant area? If coolant jacket you could probably jam it all the way in it will stay put. If crankcase then I would worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No, not a turbo 301. But in '80 the 301 used in the TA did have a more agressive cam and the detonation sensor that the turbo engine used. I agree, if idiot GM had put development into the turbo 301 the third gen F bodies would have been killer. I still don't understand where this rock is wedged. Oil or coolant area? If coolant jacket you could probably jam it all the way in it will stay put. If crankcase then I would worry.
In the area circled in red on the image I posted. Others have told me it is the coolant area. I am fairly certain that is correct.
 

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You know I just can't find a coolant flow diagram. I have two FSMs and they have oil flow but not coolant. I ask because that spot is dark like an oil drain and open to crankcase fumes. Most coolant passages I have encountered have been round holes or slots and more clean. I will continue to search......
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You know I just can't find a coolant flow diagram. I have two FSMs and they have oil flow but not coolant. I ask because that spot is dark like an oil drain and open to crankcase fumes. Most coolant passages I have encountered have been round holes or slots and more clean. I will continue to search......
Alright, thanks.
And the head gasket was the original problem, and I cant feel any standing oil in there.
Maybe ill ask the chevy dealership, if theyll give up any information.
 

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Here ya go. See the slots surrounding the bores? The triangle shaped holes between the bores? Coolant passages are located where they can do the most good- surrounding the cylinder bores and combustion chambers. See the other openings? Those are oil drainbacks and open to the crankcase.
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