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Bloody Head Gasket!


Artie

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Well boys! It's time to start disassembling the top end of the new engine already! I have blown the head gasket at cylinder 4 somehow and now will learn how to take off the head and reinstall it in situ! I will document the process and also plan on doing some sort of upgrading of the block head studs hopefully, I will also look into O-ringing the head to hopefully pinch the head gasket around the liners and seal them better. I am somewhat frustrated after a long year last year and almost $11K invested into the motor build I did, but there's not much I can do except learn from my mistakes and make the thing better. If ANYONE has any advice, experiences, tips and ideas to make the job easier and what has been tried and not tried, I'd love your feedback! I am in no hurry so I will be meticulous and document every bolt and stud and possibly get the bigger turbo built that I want in the mean time! Watch for pictures and disassembly soon!

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Okay, anyone other than Andy( :) ) got any tips or advice, that'd be great! Just kidding Andy! I agree with you on the haste and waste. I spoke at great length with Travis Andrews (Vulcan Grey) and it is relatively uncomplicated to do in situ. I have some extra hands to help, but will definitely take my time and be very careful so I get it done right. I will assess the situation as I disassmeble the stuff, I plan to take out the boot floor for better access and will take the hatch off as well. Jeez, what a pain!

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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If you're insistent on doing it in situ, then you may find at times it's best to be able to move the motor and transaxle rearwards, so you will need to remove the bolts that go through the engine mounts and transaxle mounts. at times (undoing head nuts etc) you'll want it fixed, so just pop the bolts back in for that.

Consider doing the water pump (don't know how long since yours was last done), replace the belt tensioner at the same time as the belt. Consider crank seal etc. basically, make sure that any other job that's a PITA to do with the motor in normal resting place is done at this point.

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Thanks Andy for the tips on the mounts, sounds like a good idea to have some mobility. The water pump was replaced less than 2500 miles ago when I had the entire engine rebuilt. Everything down to the oil pump was replaced or refurbished so all of those components should be sound. Also, I replaced the timing belt and tensioner at the same time, so I believe I shouldn't need to replace them. All seals are brand new as well as hoses and belts so the head gasket and studs should be the things I need to replace at this point!

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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  • Gold FFM

Just done it on Trevsked's. I was going to dismount the engine and take the head out with manifold and turbo, but on the day decided to do it insitu since the manifold hadn't been on there long. Removed entire inlet side at the manifold, removed cam towers, removed exhaust manifold nuts. Had to remove one heatshield bolt to give clearance to slip the manifold off the studs. Removed head. The manifold needed to come off to check the mating face - simple to access the turbo bolts, as I could now move the assembly around a lot.

Put it all back together yesterday, and it's a nice feeling not having to remount the engine today! Just have to do cambelt and bits & pieces.

It's very much possible insitu, but depends on the state of the manifold/nuts/studs. Also, as Andy says, it's often a great opportunity to pull the unit and do all kinds of other stuff.

British Fart to Florida, Nude to New York, Dunce to Denmark, Numpty to Newfoundland.  And Shitfaced Silly Sod to Sweden.

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Sparky,

Thanks for the encouragement! The engine was just out if you recall for my rebuild, less than a year ago, so everything else is in top shape. I have been talking with Vulcan Grey and he has done it in situ also, my thoughts exactly on putting the head and everything back on and knowing I won't have to reinstall the entire assembly is a nice feeling!

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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John, would this not have been set when the engine was rebuilt last December? I had a shop rebuild this engine less than a year ago. They are a very reputable shop that does a lot of unique exotic engine work, I would assume they did all of that. The engine ran for about 2500 miles before the failure.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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The main question that needs to be answered is why did the head gasket fail? Did the engine overheat, running too much boost or overboost due to boost management component failure, poor quality control on engine build?

Make sure of the cause of the failure before throwing more money at it or you could be doing it again in another few hundred miles...:blush:

1995 S4s

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I would second the above thoughts. My "G" car had service records from a reputable Lotus repair shop but when it came time to do an engine rebuild I noticed the head gasket had been replaced and someone had used a scotch brite wheel remove excess gasket material off the aluminum block thus eating into the metal and causing an uneven surface. This required decking the and resetting the proper "nip".

Give it a really good inspection of both block and gasket to see where it failed and why. A ground flat bar and feeler gauges will help with checking to see if the NIP is correct. Also, only use a LOTUS factory gasket.

Best,

Jeff

Edited by trackmagic

www.espritturbo.com

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My suspicion is that it was pinging from bad fuel and a lean chip! I had some pretty bad pinging and didn't realize that I still had the stock S4s chip in instead of the custom HEAVY fuel chip that John Welch had made for me. My mistake, but I know the work done by the shop was nothing but top notch, I was there for much of the work and everything was done exactly to Lotus specs! The engine was not overheated and the gasket was brand new upon rebuild so once I unbutton it, I will inspect everything to ensure this isn't going to happen in the near future! Thanks for all the advice!

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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  • 2 months later...

Okay gentlemen! I seem to have a time/warp continuum problem! I hadn't realized it's been nearly three months since I updated everyone on my cars' status! I finally had some time a few weeks ago to pull the engine. I decided there were things I wanted to replace and bolts that were rusty and hoses that needed refreshing that I neglected last year simply to get the car back on the road after the overhaul. I pulled the engine and box and went far smoother this time than last. I ended up just returning the engine to the builder to do the headgasket for me. I'm having him check the valve clearance and reseal the water pump that I had to install after the engine was in the car since it's leaking a little bit. The gasket failed at cylinder 4, a very small fracture in the gasket just outside of the liner, we traced the problem back to a base S4s code chip and WAY too much boost. My peak/hold boost gauge shows 1.85 bar! Hmmm, she sure was fast!!! Lol! I've installed a new electronic boost controller with a fail/safe max boost feature and am using fuel hose that's reinforced for the wastegate lines to prevent them from coming off this time! I am replacing the intercooler hoses with a reinforced hose and also relocating the intercooler pump for easier access to the lines for flushing, as well as hard wiring several of the add on items with nice GM weatherpack connectors so everything looks nice and well thought out, not just thrown together. I'll take some pictures later today when it warms up above 0 kelvin in my garage! Hope everyone had fantastic holidays, and I'll be posting some progress pictures later! Cheers.

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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I do remember a significant thrust to it at that level! I was quite markedly paying attention to the rapidly approaching truck that was in my lane and not so much to the boost level. It was quite fast! Not sure it was worth the expense and hassle of pulling the engine and redoing the head gasket for though! :thumbsup:

Here's the engine coming back out! Hope to have her going back in this coming weekend!

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dscn0290xkr.jpg

Edited by Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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Artie, one thing I learned the hard way is that the seating of the liners in most of the engines, they are actually glued in, is not what you would call within the tolerances. After plaining the head and two gasket sets, even R&B was to admit that this is a major concern with these engines. Anyone doing headwork, gaskets or studs, have a look at the seating of the liners for tolerances. Saves money..... Now all this plays a role @ 1,3 bar plus.... ;-)

cheers...

Olaf S400 project www.esprits4.de

__________________________________

shapeimage_1.jpg

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Well, either way, I assure you I don't intend on running over 1.4 or 1.45 bar of boost. I am in the process of working with Precision engineering to make a perfectly sized turbo for these engines, including the proper oil and water lines to be a direct bolt in turbo. It will probably be a GT32 turbo with full ball bearings and a very healthy boost map to work the efficiency range more effectively at 1.2-1.4 bar! The projected flow rage should net around 375 to 400 hp at the wheels at 1.4bar! Fueling and timing will be addressed with a stand alone system at a later date, right now the object is to fit the engine back in the car, and then get the turbo sometime this spring/summer. I'll do much datalogging with freescan to get lots' of data for my transfer over to a megasquirt ecu next winter hopefully when the car goes in for a respray!

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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No Tony, I haven't! I wonder if that's the same opening as the original! Unfortunately, I want a full 3" opening out the exhaust side! Are you familiar with this application?

Artie

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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that's the only down side 2.5'' exit

not familiar with it but it has great blower options for some one staying stock bolt on

I forgat u have a bigger down pipe this should work for u if u wana stay internal wastegate

its simillar what I have been using

http://www.atpturbo.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=tp&Product_Code=ATP-WGT-023&Category_Code=BCS

gt3071r should get u to 375whp and its a fun street turbo very good responce on a small engine

also just saw they have a great exhaust housing option for internal wastegate

if u whant to get in the 400s more efficient is gt3076r

http://www.atpturbo.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=tp&Product_Code=GRT-TBO-020&Category_Code=GRT

if u shop around can find the blowers couple hundred cheaper then atp

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Well, I got the exhaust manifold on, the intake manifold, turbo and A/C compressor on last night. Alternator today and hopefully plop the lunk back in tomorrow AM! Gonna post some pics of the engine assembled. I replaced all the old black hoses with high pressure/temp push lock blue hoses! Looks pretty ace!

89 White Esprit SE

...a few little upgrades....

93 RX7.....Silverstone

....slightly modded...Muahaha...

New Addition:

1990 300ZX TT......Hmmm

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