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Strange piston failure - led to oil scraper failure
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kreissig
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:19 pm    Post subject: Strange piston failure - led to oil scraper failure Reply with quote

I came home and noticed some leakage from my Stainless Steel line connection (mid-van, to radiator, as I have the aftermarket two piece ones). Loose clamp was taken care of.

Coolant backs up into the overflow tank, and when cooled it does not return to the expansion tank....and I have placed a brand new cap on it. The line is not clogged either.

1986 Syncro -

2.2 Vanistan engine
RMW stainless steel cooling lines.
1.5 year old Radiator (New with engine).
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Last edited by kreissig on Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:18 pm; edited 4 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get your new cap tested.......

A known poor quality new part.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sleep at night with a an HC (hydro-carbon) test of your coolant- a leaking headgasket can blow all the coolant right out of the block.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the cap. Where did you get it?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you didn't get all the air out of the system. It's taken me a couple of tries before I got the system bled.

BUT, in my case it was a head gasket. Combustions gasses were leaking into the cooling system, over pressurizing it, causing small leaks, and the overflowing overflow tank. The leak was small and hard to detect, and it would run fine for hundreds of miles ... until it wouldn't.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vegpedlr, I had the same condition a year ago. Couldn't diagnose it for love or money. HC test negative every time. Several caps, all good.

In desperation, I hooked a 100 psi compressor to a spark plug adapter - got it off an old compression tester. I quickly learned (the hard way) not to introduce 100 psi of air into a cylinder with the piston ANYWHERE but BottomDeadCenter! I cracked open the air valve to let air in slowly and listened for air hissing and watched for bubbles or a rise in the coolant lever of the reservoir (cap off, of course). SUCCESS!!! Bubbles and coolant rise when I hit the #4 cylinder.

Although it's one of the last Boston Bob engines, whoever did the build must have been rushed that day. When I tore the lefthand head off, I saw the inner head gasket had gotten trapped between the cylinder and valve head and put a score in the steel ring - perhaps .002" or .003" deep. (Once the builder realized the problem, the ring should have been scrapped, but wasn't.) The initial cylinder head tightening had sealed it, but hot combustion gases eventually found their way through to the water jacket, causing the coolant level to rise in the overflow bottle. When the engine cooled down, it then pulled in air - just a little bit at a time - rather than sucking the coolant back in from the overflow.
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kreissig
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:29 pm    Post subject: Some answers scare me... Reply with quote

I bought the cap from Van Cafe (German, by markings). But something said above makes me fear that I may have a more serious problem.

My engine is a Vanistan 2.2 that is about 1 1/2 years old. about 9 months into the new motor, I had some backfiring...mostly on deceleration. I pulled all four plugs to find that #4 was heavy with gunk/oil and fouling. I replaced all the plugs, cap and rotor and found that it ran perfect once more. Fast forward another 9 months and it just recently happened again. #4 once more. This time I rotated the plugs, and it runs like a top once more.

Addendum: I have replaced the new pressure cap with the old....and now it is not backing up. Hmmm? It was before, with the same old cap! The new one I guess is bad for sure, but I fear - based on the head-gasket comments that it may return...I'll keep you guys posted.

Thanks for the replys!!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Coolant backing up in Overflow tank - no return Reply with quote

kreissig wrote:
Coolant backs up into the overflow tank, and when cooled it does not return to the expansion tank....


A head gasket leak will do that, is your coolant turning black from combustion gasses contamination?

A hydrocarbon might confirm if there are combustion gasses in the coolant, but not always..

Contact TenCent, follow his advice...
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I limped home from the Keys last March with a blown head gasket. Turned a 9 hour drive into a 13 hour adventure. Had to stop every 20-30 miles to replace all the water that puked out of the overflow tank....But, the old girl got me home Applause
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah the Vanagon, usually capable of limping home. When I was travelling with a HG failure I kept a close eye on my temp gauge. Once you see the temperature start rising you know that very soon or already underway is coolant spewing from the overflow tank. All of us know where our van's temp sensor likes to live and when mine started to rise I would pull to the side of the road, 13mm wrench in hand, and crack the radiator bleed valve (bolt) in all one fell swoop. Initially coolant would stream out similar to like it does when bleeding but as the exhaust gasses dissipate and relieve the coolant system of the excess pressure the system becomes normal.
In my situation the HG failure was very gradual. First only needing the above procedure every 200 miles or so. Then it became 150, 100, 75 eventually down to 10-15 miles traveled before I would have to bleed off the system.
And to think I had AAA Platinum the entire time and "wanted to save it for an emergency".
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kreissig
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:00 pm    Post subject: My 2.2 lasted 30,000 miles before a tear down Reply with quote

Well, cooling system checks out in all areas: Good pressure cap, no leaks. 30,000 miles into a new 2.2, radiator, hoses, SS cooling lines, thermostat, fan switch, resistor....ect...ect...I'm getting pressure from combustion into my cooling system.

For the possible benefit of others, these were my symptoms:

1. Coolant backing up in overflow tank with no return upon cooling.

2. Coolant was the normal color throughout - and still is.

3. Air in radiator built up after every drive - even after proper bleeding.

4. Hot...then cool...then hot air coming from front heater.

5. NO smell of coolant in car, no outside leaks.

I'm best off to pull the motor I've leaned, because there is no way of knowing if its a crack in the heads, or a cylinder that has an non-properly seated crush ring....or just a bad assembly.

I certainly hope its not the latter, since this IS a Vanistan motor with 30,000 miles - but 1 1/2 years...thus out of warranty - on it.
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The pressure cap should be tested, the thermostat should be tested, a leak down test and cooling system pressure test will verify the internal head gasket condition.
Chris does great work.
Have you contacted him?
Did he also say to have my list tested?

Running and driving this van as is will most certainly have a rebuilder run for the hills when it comes to warranty.

If you lack the proper tools to do these tests, take the van to the closest shop or have it sent on a flatbed.
Get the thing tested and you will know precisely what the issue is.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly looking like your worst fears confirmed. These types of leaks can occur under specific conditions -- making them seem intermittent and difficult to diagnose. In some cases only a lengthy hot drive bring sit on.

Vinzanto wrote:
...as the exhaust gasses dissipate and relieve the coolant system of the excess pressure the system becomes normal...


Sort of a Vanagon fart?
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kreissig
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:21 pm    Post subject: Yes....and yes... Reply with quote

I have tested not one, but three of my four new pressure caps. They all check out fine. It is clearly combustion pressure coming into the cooling system. The longer its driven; the worse it becomes.

I was informed about a problem that Peter at Van Cafe' has seen a number of times with poor cylinder alignment - thus...improperly seated crush ring. Maybe its a head crack, but when I tear it down, I'll be certain to inform all you guys what it was.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Yes....and yes... Reply with quote

kreissig wrote:
...when I tear it down, I'll be certain to inform all you guys what it was.

I'm sure Chris also can't wait to hear your results... Rolling Eyes

Did you buy this engine? Have you contacted Chris about this?
Are you willing to risk ALL potential warranty privileges on a round of "DIY mechanical investigation"?

VANISTAN website sez:

Quote:
WARRANTY: On rebuilt engine purchases, I will guarantee against component or workmanship defects for 1 year from date of delivery or 12000 miles, whichever comes first.

Purchase and verified installation of a Vanistan oil cooler kit at the time of motor installation will increase the warranty period to 2 years or 24000 miles.

Warranties have express limitations. Warranty does not cover damage due to overheating, overrevving, lack of lubrication, use of incorrect fuel type or incorrect oil or antifreeze, or improper fuel or ignition tune.

No repair work will be compensated unless approved in advance.

More detailed warranty language will be included with your job quote and becomes binding, along with all terms of the quote, when you pay the deposit to reserve the engine job.

You mention that the radiator is 1.5 years old (new with engine). Did you install the oil cooler with the engine?
If so, you should have more time on warranty (see above). I happen to believe Chris would do all he can for you.

Explain, please...???


Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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kreissig
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:11 pm    Post subject: Engine tear down Reply with quote

I do not have the extra oil cooler set up, thus my warranty is over. There are very few people here that have a direct phone number for Chris, and I am not one of them. Peter (Van Cafe) is, and he was nice enough to contact Chris for me. There is no way for him to know what this issue is without seeing it for himself. So...

I am fortunate enough to know Gary Berg - who is a pretty knowledgeable engine builder himself, and when he has some time...we'll get into it. So, I am confident that I will know - in a few weeks - what has gone on here.

I'll make sure to update...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Yes....and yes... Reply with quote

dhaavers wrote:
... Did you install the oil cooler with the engine?
If so, you should have more time on warranty (see above).


I think that's probably a 'whichever comes first' -- OP put 30,000 miles on the engine in 1 years. He's a driver.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of my 5,3 came with combustion leaks. Easiest way to pin it down is get on as long & hard apull in 4th gear as u can, soon temp will start up pretty fast , worked every time, never could find one with an air compressor 150 psi wouldn't do it. Last one i just re torqued the hesds, about 4yrs ago, next time will try the same, nothing to loose but my time. But since I'm up to .45cts an hour may need to rethink that.
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kreissig
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 5:31 pm    Post subject: Sad day... Reply with quote

So, my motor is being pulled apart at Maxed Performance in Huntington Beach today and some pieces of the rings are in the oil. That's besides the pressure getting into the coolant issue.

Oh....I was also mistaken about the mileage on this Vanistan motor. It has only a bit over 17,000 miles on it.
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kreissig
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2015 4:26 pm    Post subject: Found failure Reply with quote

My piston failed in an area near the oil scraper...take a look:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



This caused the oil scraper to break, but there was no noise, nothing diferent but higher than normal oil burn. But it was like that from almost new. Too bad I didn't pull it apart sooner.
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