Late last season, I noticed some weird, gray, fuzzy material showing up in the engine compartment from time to time. I looked high and low and couldn't find a source, but noticed that it looked a lot like the fluffy stuff that mice carried off from my wife's Subaru (it used to be her firewall noise blanket), most of which showed up in the heater blower of my Nissan.
Anyway, I could see it pushing out around the edges of the tin over the heads and thought, "Oh, oh..... That ain't good!" and decided to pull just the fan shroud and see what's going on. Let me tell you, after a couple of hours of fighting with it I decided it is a LOT easier to just pull the engine (something I know I've told others in the past, but I tried to do a "quick and dirty" fix and failed - I should-a known better.
So it's out on the floor, I pulled the shroud and tins off and #3 cylinder was maybe 40% covered in fluff while #4 was about 10% covered. The passenger side was clear. I'll get it onto an engine stand later today and give it a once-over and clean things up before returning it. Besides, it's a LOT easier to replace the fan shroud with the engine up around 3 feet to get at the underside tins. I think it is over ten years since I last pulled the engine, so I'm not feeling bad about this, but it was a LOT easier to do this ten years ago. Getting old sucks.
I'm glad I went to all this trouble though, and, of course, found a bunch of other things to fix along the way making this a 3-day process, but Whalla-Hey? It needed to get done and now I can figure out how to put a screen over the fan opening.
DAMN YOU, MICE!
Driver's side photo: