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post #1 of (permalink) Old 18-05-2017, 18:20 Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2017
Car: Lotus Elise series 1 - Rover K engine.
Posts: 1
How to diagnose a cracked liner


I got an Rover K engine in my Elise, it was running ok until I put it away for winter (2016) oil and coolant ok. Now in December I saw all the coolant was gone, and there was a LOT of "oil" in the engine. The engine was never started in this condition.

I assumed HGF.

When draining the "oil", the first lot was nice clear coolant -> so coolant did get into the oil (no coolant on the garage floor either).

When the head was removed, I checked the coolant in the area around the liners, there were the same amount around all 4liners, and it was "flush" with the engine top - the engine is tilted a bit forward when sitting in the car -> I assumed that the liners & liner sealing was ok

So I replaced the engine head, gaskets, oil etc. - a new head was actually cheaper than having the old head skimmed.

Everything put back together again with new gaskets. I also upgraded the oil rail in the sump to the improved stronger type, new head bolts and the SAIC type of head gasket.

The engine was not turned while the head was off, it was locked by the special tool that go into the starter gear ring.

I removed as much air as possible in the cooling system, by applying pressure to the cooling system via a special expansion tank cap I made, and loosing the bleed screw on the engine and on the radiator hose in the front.
While heating up the engine in order to get out the last air of the cooling system, I saw signs of water in the (new) oil (on the dip-stick).
Also, I saw that when the engine was rev'ed up to 2000rpm, the exhaust had lot of white smoke.
It had been running for apx. 10minuts. So I STOPPED!

Now, I suspect one or more of 3 faults:
- Inlet gasket - unlikely as it was replaced with a new Viton type (
-> I'll try to removed the inlet manifold, bolt on some small blanking plates over the water way holes in the head, put on (air) pressure to the cooling system, and see if coolant is still lost/get into oil -> If it is, the leak is inside the engine. Otherwise it might be the inlet/inlet gasket.

- Liners -> I'll try compression test to see if they are equal on all cylinders - Is there a better way? Can this tell me if the liners are cracked?

- Liner sealings -> How do it test if they are ok, without disassembling the lot again?

Now, if it is liner sealing failure, is it possible to re-seal the liners, without taking them completely out of the engine?
I was thinking about turning the engine until the piston (two of them) is in the bottom position, then keep turning until the piston+liner is in top position, then add sealing and turn the engine to seat the liner again. Then fix the liner to the head by some wood block, and do the other two same way.

Don't know if there is room for applying sealant/cleaning away the old sealing?
Could I reuse the SAIC head gasket? should I go for the MLS or elastomer type instead?

nwc is offline  
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