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Thread: Popped Cylinder head Gasket?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Serpentine WA
    Posts
    112

    Popped Cylinder head Gasket?

    Morning All,

    Looking for a bit of confirmation or otherwise on my amateur diagnosis. The S3 has been running well since an engine rebuild about 18 months ago and a Christmas Electric Dizzy rebuild and a setup of the Carby. Over the last 2 days things have gone a bit downhill.

    I'm running an original 2.25 petrol and its an early S3 88

    Fortunately Id just got back on the tarmac and the engine started to stumble, hunting a bit and no power. Came to a halt with the engine dead. Started ok, ran a bit rough, tried to get going, couldn't cope under load and i ended up back on the shoulder. Though maybe I'd ran out of fuel in the second tank before time (no gauge), so swapped tanks and after a bit more spluttering we got going. No more issues that day. So thought I'd screwed up on my trusted odometer method of measuring fuel.

    Today headed off and within a few kms same deal, stumbling engine, wouldn't rev and just dies.On starting it ran well at idle but not under load. Managed to limp home suffering a number of unplanned stops. Seemed like the classic symptoms of fuel starvation or spark...

    So, diagnosis. Running static is fine, starts and revs high, sometimes stops after quick deceleration. On stopping slight drift of smoke coming from the area of the inlet manifold to block area. New (britpart) fuel pump seems to be working. On high revs a few small bubbles in the fuel bowl but nothing major. Timing is good, likewise the mixture, which hasn't been touched since Christmas. Didn't check the fuel tanks for water and other nasties but the fuel bowl shows no contamination. Some spots of coolant sitting on the HT leads.

    Cleaned out the air filter, which was a bit dusty, but the oil was clean. Took it for a drive without the air filter, to see if it was air starvation. On startup got a bit of exhaust smoke, didn't seem to be classic white or black but something in the middle, this persisted as i drove but improved.

    Ran fine for a km or so and then the gremlins returned. This time on re starting i got a bit of white smoke breeze up through the gear leaver hole into the cab. Got home and inspected the motor I spotted a show of oil and coolant on the block/sump flange below the carby. Poor photo attached.

    So fuel seems ok, air seems fine, mix and timing were perfect and haven't been adjusted, timing looks ok and dizzy secure. No sign of contamination of fuel, no trace of oil/water visible in the radiator or rocker cover...

    Due to smoke, oil and coolant I'm Thinking the gasket has popped. When I had the head skimmed 18 months ago the engineer did say there was a slight crack in the cylinder head about 3/4 inch long coming from one of the valve ports, can't remember which direction it went off on but towards the inlet side i think...

    Would appreciate anyones thoughts before I go ordering gaskets and pulling heads off only to discover I was way off the mark!

    Cheers

    Ian

    IMG_4345.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bacchus Marsh Vic.
    Posts
    3,238
    Copper head gasket?
    They are known to ďblowĒ between the cylinders, a compression test will confirm.
    Cheers, Kyle



    The Good Oil.
    When did you last visit?
    http://www.aulro.com/afvb/good-oil/



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Serpentine WA
    Posts
    112
    A cheap compisite, but thanks for the thought, Iíll get the carby and inlet manifold off this weekend so I can get a look at whatís causing the mess and run a test at the same time. On the subject what is the best gasket to use, I understand copper are probably the best for a perfect finish but composite is better for a head that may be slightly less than perfect, not sure if I can skim the head once itís off as itís been done at least once and Iíve no idea about what previous owners may have done...
    let you know how I go.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Northern NSW.Australia
    Posts
    1,587
    I had similar issues a week or two ago.
    My problem turned out to be rubber tipped Fuel needle.
    put on a as new brass one, problem gone.

    whitehillbilly

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Serpentine WA
    Posts
    112
    I hope it's as simple as that! Worth checking, how were you able to identify that fault? I'm going to do the compression test as the slight show of cool and has me concerned about the gasket but the symptoms do seem to be very fuel starvation...

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