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Discussion Starter #61 (Edited)
The car is back home. It's completely fixed. Here is the official story (again, in my own words).

Mechanic #3 found the following: The problem was caused by two issues. The first one he noticed and addressed was two plug wires having been swapped on bank 2. Putting them back to their respective plugs resulted in much improved performance. Yet, some lingering rough idle and strange behaviors persisted. So, he put the original opti back in, to see if it would have any effect (and he preferred the build of the original one anyway). This had no effect. Then he tested the car's idle with the O2 sensors removed, one at a time. Long story short, the O2 sensors on bank 2 had been swapped as well. So, here is what I think happened.

The crankshaft seal replacement kicked off this fiasco. The tech had removed the O2 sensors in the process and replaced them in the wrong Front/Rear positions. Then when the car didn't run properly, it was noticed that the water pump was leaking onto the opti. So, the opti was replaced ...with the wires swapped. The harness for bank 1 was/is very tidy and well-structured, with what I can only describe as a metal "bracket" that looked like fingers connecting to the opti. The bank 2 side was all just a mishmash of wires without this "bracket" connecting to the opti. And, it is this mishmash of wires wherein the swapping of the plug wires took place.

The EGR was open, the catalytic converter was TOAST, and the PCV elbow was pinched. Both bank 2 O2 sensors have been replaced. The bank 2 side of the opti has a proper bracket for the wires. The car runs like new. And I have a new mechanic.
 

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Glad you got your issue sorted out.


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Discussion Starter #63
My gratitude to those who chimed in on this thread. Some of you put forth a lot of energy and have taught me a bit in the process. This forum is an invaluable resource. Thank you all.
 
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