How it Happened
I was so close to completing the job without much of a problem, but through a
string of bad decisions, bad luck and a lot of never-been-there never-done-that
mistakes, I ended up bending a few valves.
It all started with trying to remove the stupid crankshaft pulley bolt, which is cranked on to 180 lb-ft and after 9 years on the car it was stuck on pretty well. First I tried to back it off by putting the car in gear and applying the parking brake, but I would just spin the rear wheels. Then I tried putting pins in the cam rails (through the rails and into the holes in the cam, as they are lined up at #1 TDC) and try to carefully remove the bolt, but that didn't work as it would just skip a tooth on the timing belt. Next I tried a 1/2" impact wrench at 90 psi, then at 135 psi. Then I borrowed a friend's 1" impact wrench and gave that a shot. This is where I screwed things up--you see, I forgot to remove the cam rail pins (duh!) so my cams were fixed at #1 TDC and the HUGE LOUD 40lb. 1" impact wrench just spun the crankshaft around and drove the pistons into the valves.
I didn't know for for sure what kind of damage was done (but I had a pretty good idea) so I went ahead with the t-belt change and did a compression test after I was done. The compression test confirmed my gut feeling that there was something wrong with cylinder #2 and #3. By looking at an engine diagram, one can visualize that if the cams were fixed at #1 TDC and the crankshaft was rotated enough, the intake valves on #2 and the exhaust valves on #3 would come in contact with the pistons. The engine shop indeed confirmed this also and they replaced these valves.
So how did I get the stupid crankshaft bolt off?
Mark Basch had a little advice that made all the difference--I'll quote:
"Dan, You may have to use the back up trick on that, (that would be Mark's Secret Back Up Trick) to get the pulley bolt off. Raise car- right wheel removed. Remove flywheel cover- the half moon shaped piece of stamped steel at the bottom of the tranny. Use a number 3 or 4 straight screwdriver to lock the ring gear teeth against the tranny housing and have person number 2 loosen the crank bolt with a pry bar and long pipe slipped over the handle"
So, with a 3/4" drive breaker bar and 5ft of 1" pipe I was able to finally break the bolt free--Thanks Mark.
Once I got the heads back in, I did a quick compression test and found that #3 cylinder still didn't have any compression. A leakdown test quickly reveled that the intake valves were not even close to sealing, which was strange because these valves were not bent when I first took them to the engine shop, but the shop replaced all the seals so all the valves did come out of the heads...hmmm. So I took the rear head back off and took it back to the shop with two new intake valves and they made everything right.