Finally found some time to getr down to RDR HQ in deepest Kent & start investigating the various issues that we found this year. First to do was a leakdown test on the engine to see if we could find what was causing the excessive oil venting into the catch can. After taking out the plugs I found one possible clue as you may tell from this pic? Left to right is cylinders 1 to 4.
Next we did the leakdown tests & disovered a probable blown head gasket between cylinders 2 & 3 , confirmed by the above pic, I think! There was also seemed to be more air leaking past the rings & creating excessive crankcase pressure, so the decision was made to pull the engine for a teardown as it would be easier to do out & also make getting the trans out a lot easier, if not essential!!
After a lot of trial & error we finally removed enough peripheral stuff to enable the engine/trans to be pulled out in one go.
Now it was out, we could set about splitting the two & after a bit of faffing about removing even more bits of throttle linkage, we managed to get the trans & clutch can off. Taking the clutch apart it all seems good in there & was interesting to examine. After finally getting the starter motor off (it seems to be the first & last thing), we got the motor plate off & got the motor settled down on the ground. As the day was rapidly going by we tried to get the engine mounted on an engine stand but because it's such a tiny one (the engine!) it wouldn't fit any combination of arms & the protruding cover for the end of the camshaft also got in the way rather. So we decided to store it away until Dave can find time to make up some sort of adaptors to mount it. One interesting thing we discovered was the motor plate had a gasket seal on the back around the cam area.
As I wanted to see inside the trans, we mounted it on the engine stand & drained the oil out into a humungeous drain tray Dave had (thanks Bob!) & turned the trans over & removed the sump, revealing what we believe to be the cause of the gear selection issues!! See if you can spot it?
Maybe this one is clearer?
As was suggested by Mike Tomlin, a copper pipe was loose from it's proper home & therefore not supplying fluid to the servo when selecting 3rd gear & it had obviously happened before as there are signs of solder on the end where it fits into the valve body, presumably an attempt to make it a tighter push fit. Also, there is a flat worn on what is the underside of this pipe where it has obviously been rubbing on the sump, so we will be refitting this pipe & making up a pair of retaining brackets to hold it & the other pipe in their rightful places to ensure this doesn't happen again! Aside from this, there seemed very little else out of place or untoward, so hopefully this will solve the trans problem, fingers crossed.
Going back to the engine, one other issue that appeared whilst doing all this work was that when I removed the rocker cover, after a while a river of oil was spotted running down the block. Incidentally the oil was extremely thick & gooey yet clear & I put that down to the fact that when I'd changed the oil & filter earlier this year, I'd put in some oil additive, so that seems to work well!!
A quick check revealed that due to the "lean" of the engine, ie tllted over to the offside, any oil in the rocker gear was draining down to the lowest point which was over 1 & 2 plugs & around their respective valve springs, finally flowing over the edge of the cylinder head & down the block. So once the leakdown test was completed, the rocker cover had to be refitted to prevent any further mess. This leads us to wonder if some sort of drain system needs to be engineered to prevent this & also to aid oil recovery in the sump. This may also be contributing to the excess oil being blown out into the catch can, as there are two vent pipes, one from the conventional oil breather in the block & one from the rocker cover. This earlier pic shows the engine lean, dictated by the placement of the blower & its closeness to the upper chassis rail on the nearside.
So, whilst these components are out of the chassis, it gives me a chance to do some spring cleaning & also figure out a more direct & easy route for the throttle linkage. As it is, after running under the forward section of floor & through the motor plate(!), it goes through a complicated series of bellcranks & under the starter motor before connecting to a long cable that goes up & over the engine to the injector! This last bit was the start of my mission to improve the situation, as it's impossible to remove the rocker cover without first removing the throttle cable which seems to me to be a design fault that needs attending to whilst we're here (the above pic also illustrates this point as well!).
So that's it for now, the trans gasket was ordered that night & should be with Dave now, so once the trans is buttoned up again, he can get it off the stand & make some adaptors to mount the engine ready to strip that down to see what horrors we will find. Whilst we're at it, I think we'll be doing a check over everything just to be satisfied that we've utilised the opportunity to ensure it's all in tip top condition, ready for the coming season.
Oh, & I'm still looking at ways of getting a tacho fitted or maybe even a shift light, to make launches & gear changes easier to gauge. Dave has a very trick little one fitted to Scott's JD, but it could be hard to see as it's got a very small unlit digital display, but we will investigate further.