300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone





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  1. #1
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    Cool 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    I thought I'd share this with you guys in case some other poor sucker may find themselves in the predicament I was in a few months back wondering what the best direction is. I've learned the hard way that there are only two!

    I overheated my 300TDi last May and blew a head gasket. I repaired that properly over a week with a friend but the engine did start to emit a few new (knocking) noises that weren't there previously. It wasn't terribly obvious but to a keen ear it was noticeable when revving. I didn't have much choice but to ignore them and hope it wouldn't get much worse. It did.

    The motor had been well serviced during it's life and had done about 296,000Km's. After the Head gasket blew, the motor lasted about 6 months before I blew a big end in January.

    The issue I faced was that my 98 Disco is probably only worth $2000 (when going) and a complete and proper reconditioned job on the motor (if I did it myself) was gonna cost in the vicinity of $4000. It wasn't worth it.
    But to buy a 2nd hand car was gonna cost me something like $6-8000 and I still wouldn't know what I was buying so, I decided to fix the engine and convinced myself about "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know."

    My bores weren't very badly worn however 1 was showing signs of the piston grabbing on the bore with tell-tale scratches. But not too deep. I figured I might get away with it as it wasn't too bad I told myself.

    But the Crank was stuffed and I needed a replacement. Because I live in a regional part of Oz it was easier to buy a 2nd hand engine if one was available rather than sourcing a crank that it turned out I couldn't locate locally anyway.

    I bought a going 300tdi (220,000Ks) with all the ancillary stuff on it for $750 which was really cheap. A friend talked me into putting in new big end and main bearings (which I did) and then convinced me to also replace the rings.
    I pulled off the Head and the Bores and pistons looked great so, I replaced the rings. The Manual specifically states in bold letters
    Do not deglaze the cylinder bores
    So, I didn't. (I think I should of)

    I reassembled the motor and installed it in the car. It started and ran pretty well. It did have a vibration that was noticeable around 2000 rpm but nothing really bad. (I never did work out what caused that??)

    Anyway I figured that the gearbox mounts were pretty old and that I should replace them while I had the tools out and still covered in grease and muck. It would help the vibration I assumed. I drove the car down the highway for about 30 mins when there was a rumble and a bad knock knock emanating from the engine. All of a sudden too. Before that everything seemed to be going fine.

    I got the car towed home (again) and pulled the motor out of the car (again) and pulled it apart (again) to find that 3 of the 4 pistons had very bad wear (like a rat had been chewing into them) around the top crown of each piston. I was gobsmacked! and what caused it??

    Brains better than I suggested that it was a lubrication problem and that either the oil squirters at the bottom of each bore wasn't squirting and the pistons over heated or, the new rings hadn't bedded into the old bores properly and was allowing the compression past the rings and washing the oil away from the top of the cylinders.
    Whatever caused it? I was devastated. All the work I had already done not to mention the money I'd already spent. I'm just too old for this #### and for a bloke who broke his back 18 months ago this was becoming a nightmare! Physically, emotionally and financially.

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    The long story cut short is, that I hadn't made any mistake assembling the engine (other than honing the cylinders which I think may have made a difference??)
    I ended up doing the job thoroughly and correctly. I bought new main bearings (again) got the Cam bearings pressed out and renewed, new big ends bearings (again), cylinders rebored and honed, new pistons and rings, new oil pump (even though the measurements were within spec) new water pump, all new water hoses, new radiator, new thermostat, Head machined, Block decked, Injection pump timed, injectors tested, Crank polished, and all new seals and gaskets.

    I eventually got a working, going, reliable engine but boy, I went the long way by trying to save money along the way. I've learned that with Diesel engines you can't get away with things you might get away with with petrol engines. ]
    With a Turbo Diesel engine there are no shortcuts. They operate under extreme pressures and tolerances and one overlooked problem will eventually lead to the engine failing.

    I'm sorry for the LONG STORY, but I told it as succinctly as I could. Believe me, there was a LOT more I could of added especially the emotional outbursts along the way. I just thought that this story may help someone not make the same mistakes that I did all because I tried to save a buck.
    I said at the beginning that there are only 2 choices if you find yourself in this predicament.
    There are, either do the job correctly or flog the car off. They are the only 2 choices you have.
    Thanks for reading.


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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Did you measure the ring end gaps?

    Did you check the piston crown to deck height?
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Hi peppercorn

    those piston tops look like there has been severe detonation (incorrect injection timing and/or volume) in the combustion process. How did the head look like?

    On another note I have learnt from bitter experience (how not to do it) to NEVER re-use an overheated alu diesel cyl head, as invariably they will develop cracks over time.

    Good luck with your rig and thanks for sharing your experience with us.
    Last edited by hgbosch; 2019/03/11 at 12:57 PM.
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    Did you measure the ring end gaps?

    Did you check the piston crown to deck height?

    Hi Jelo
    Yea I did get the dial gauge out and check the piston height and bought the correct Head gasket.

    There was pre-detonation though initially for sure as I had the timing wrong. However, I don't believe the motor ran long enough (while the timing was wrong) to do that damage?
    Maybe I am wrong but the knock started 20 mins or so after the timing was corrected. I initially had the timing advanced but it was so obvious that I only idled it for 10 mins or so all up before I got it corrected.

    However, in that build I did not measure the ring end gaps. Maybe that was a contributing cause?? I did in the next build though!!!

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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by hgbosch View Post
    Hi peppercorn

    those piston tops look like there has been severe detonation (incorrect injection timing and/or volume) in the combustion process. How did the head look like?

    On another note I have learnt from bitter experience (how not to do it) to NEVER re-use an overheated alu diesel cyl head, as invariably they will develop cracks over time.
    -
    Good luck with your rig and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    Yea in the previous post I mentioned the timing. You're right there was pre-detonation before the timing was corrected. I've since had it checked by a Diesel Injection Service and they said the timing was fine.
    The Head was fine as it had just been machined and there was no damage. I have used it again and I'm hoping it will survive.
    Time will tell I suppose!!

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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    I have rebuild and build my fair share of engines. My take on this is oil starvation.The piston were subjected to a seize. Either heat seize or oil starvation. If I have a look at the excessive wear on the rings in a 30 minute run my money is on oil starvation.

    Have yet to find an oil pump that is up to spec at 300k km. Have you hand prime the engine before start up? I usually do this with the tappet covers of. Do not stop priming till the oil reaches the cam bearings and start return flow to the sump.

    Every time I open an engine the first thing I replace is the oil pump does not matter the hours or km done.
    Over the years you learn a lot of things about engines like using cam lube and assemble lube on bearings. Also measure and remeasure. The machine shops in our area know that I will measure bores and everything else before the engine leave their shop.

    Rather save up money and do a proper rebuild than skimp on any component. If done right and to QEM spesc a rebuild engine should last as long as a new one.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by Peppercorn View Post
    Yea in the previous post I mentioned the timing. You're right there was pre-detonation before the timing was corrected. I've since had it checked by a Diesel Injection Service and they said the timing was fine.
    The Head was fine as it had just been machined and there was no damage. I have used it again and I'm hoping it will survive.
    Time will tell I suppose!!
    Hi Peppercorn

    here is a picture of piston #4 of my old Mercedes Racing Car (1955 vintage) where the injector (direct injection - same system as the ME109 engine) malfunctioned. Damage was done within a few minutes and the smoke was spectacular
    Attached Images Attached Images  
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    I have rebuild and build my fair share of engines. My take on this is oil starvation.The piston were subjected to a seize. Either heat seize or oil starvation. If I have a look at the excessive wear on the rings in a 30 minute run my money is on oil starvation.

    Have yet to find an oil pump that is up to spec at 300k km. Have you hand prime the engine before start up? I usually do this with the tappet covers of. Do not stop priming till the oil reaches the cam bearings and start return flow to the sump.

    Every time I open an engine the first thing I replace is the oil pump does not matter the hours or km done.
    Over the years you learn a lot of things about engines like using cam lube and assemble lube on bearings. Also measure and remeasure. The machine shops in our area know that I will measure bores and everything else before the engine leave their shop.

    Rather save up money and do a proper rebuild than skimp on any component. If done right and to QEM spesc a rebuild engine should last as long as a new one.
    Yea, I think you're right! Whether it was the oil pump, the oil squirters (as an old Mechanic suggested) or the combustion passing by the rings the bottom line is, that oil was missing from where it should've been.
    Seriously though you'd never know driving it. There was no loss of power or noise or anything. It all seemed normal until knock knock knock.
    I'm sure you know that horrible noise!? The temperature was fine too.

    I have built a few petrol motors over the years but I don't consider myself an expert. This was my 1st Diesel. I filled the oil pump with vaseline before putting the back plate on. I also used Loctite on the screws that hold that plate on because they weren't even hand tight when I disassembled it. (on both engines)
    I turned the engine over a few times by hand but once it was built, I turned it over by the starter minus the injectors until I got oil pressure up.
    I didn't use cam lube but copious amounts of thick oil on all the moving parts while assembling.

    I replaced everything in the end and so far the motor is going well but I haven't taken it on a real trip yet. I'm still taking it on short trips around my neighbourhood until I gain some more confidence. Deep down though, I think it's fine. It sounds nice and responds well.

    Tell me if you can? (I will do a search) but what are normal Exhaust Gas Temperatures for a TDi?? I've read a maximum of 720c but that sounds way too hot for me.
    Upon acceleration mine is reading somewhere around 480-500 but once I set on a speed in top gear it quickly settles back to about 350-400.
    Thanks for the input.

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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by hgbosch View Post
    Hi Peppercorn

    here is a picture of piston #4 of my old Mercedes Racing Car (1955 vintage) where the injector (direct injection - same system as the ME109 engine) malfunctioned. Damage was done within a few minutes and the smoke was spectacular
    Wow! that is spectacular!
    Tell me how did the injector malfunction?? In other words what caused that??

    The ME109. I know little of the motor in that plane to be honest. But I always liked the look of the FW190. I thought that was a mean looking aeroplane. Turns out it was the fastest piston fighter of the war (I think)

    With a name like George Bosch you should know something about injector pumps??

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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by Peppercorn View Post
    Wow! that is spectacular!
    Tell me how did the injector malfunction?? In other words what caused that??

    The ME109. I know little of the motor in that plane to be honest. But I always liked the look of the FW190. I thought that was a mean looking aeroplane. Turns out it was the fastest piston fighter of the war (I think)

    With a name like George Bosch you should know something about injector pumps??
    Mr. Bosch knows a lot about a lot of things. He has shared plenty of valuable info on the forum. The battery charger I bought from him is the piece of equipment that I use most often of all my tools.
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by hgbosch View Post
    (direct injection - same system as the ME109 engine) malfunctioned.
    Kugelfischer?
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnoK View Post
    Kugelfischer?
    No Bosch PES6KL direct injection Pump. Ours is the competition setup with 225HP and 265km/h top speed (but I don't drive that fast anymore because of drum brakes...........................)

    Fuel delivery is controlled via a vacuum actuated diaphragm made from Goat skin. Even today they have not found a synthetic material superior to the original one.

    You can read it up all here:

    http://yankeedieselinc.com/2018/07/2...00sl-gullwing/
    Last edited by hgbosch; 2019/03/12 at 04:05 PM.
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by Peppercorn View Post
    Wow! that is spectacular!
    Tell me how did the injector malfunction?? In other words what caused that??

    The ME109. I know little of the motor in that plane to be honest. But I always liked the look of the FW190. I thought that was a mean looking aeroplane. Turns out it was the fastest piston fighter of the war (I think)

    With a name like George Bosch you should know something about injector pumps??
    Hi Peppercorn

    spray pattern was disturbed, i.e. a straight stream of fuel injected, which destroyed the piston in next to no time. When I had the engine rebuilt by HK Engineering in Germany, we had the pistons ceramically coated by Sartor Bros in Selby (brought them to SA in my luggage and then back again to Europe )

    The ME109 had the DB601 and later the DB603 inverted V12 motor (see attached pics from the Dornier Museum in Friedrichshafen)
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    Last edited by hgbosch; 2019/03/12 at 04:11 PM.
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by hgbosch View Post
    Hi Peppercorn

    spray pattern was disturbed, i.e. a straight stream of fuel injected, which destroyed the piston in next to no time. When I had the engine rebuilt by HK Engineering in Germany, we had the pistons ceramically coated by Sartor Bros in Selby (brought them to SA in my luggage and then back again to Europe )

    The ME109 had the DB601 and later the DB603 inverted V12 motor (see attached pics from the Dornier Museum in Friedrichshafen)
    That is just beautiful!!
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by Peppercorn View Post
    Yea, I think you're right! Whether it was the oil pump, the oil squirters (as an old Mechanic suggested) or the combustion passing by the rings the bottom line is, that oil was missing from where it should've been.
    Seriously though you'd never know driving it. There was no loss of power or noise or anything. It all seemed normal until knock knock knock.
    I'm sure you know that horrible noise!? The temperature was fine too.

    I have built a few petrol motors over the years but I don't consider myself an expert. This was my 1st Diesel. I filled the oil pump with vaseline before putting the back plate on. I also used Loctite on the screws that hold that plate on because they weren't even hand tight when I disassembled it. (on both engines)
    I turned the engine over a few times by hand but once it was built, I turned it over by the starter minus the injectors until I got oil pressure up.
    I didn't use cam lube but copious amounts of thick oil on all the moving parts while assembling.

    I replaced everything in the end and so far the motor is going well but I haven't taken it on a real trip yet. I'm still taking it on short trips around my neighbourhood until I gain some more confidence. Deep down though, I think it's fine. It sounds nice and responds well.

    Tell me if you can? (I will do a search) but what are normal Exhaust Gas Temperatures for a TDi?? I've read a maximum of 720c but that sounds way too hot for me.
    Upon acceleration mine is reading somewhere around 480-500 but once I set on a speed in top gear it quickly settles back to about 350-400.
    Thanks for the input.
    Sounds about right for a standard tuned engine. Here's mine straight and level at 90Km/h.

    Sorry that the photo is upsidedown.
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Thanks jfh.

    I just took it for a spin up a local mountain and the hottest it reached was 600. I would've thought that was high until I did a search last night and was reading everyone's figures. Including yours today.

    The only issue I seem to have is a slow drip from either the P gasket or the Welch Plug that goes into the block just next to it. It's not a bad leak and will probably seal eventually but, I think I will attack it once it cools down and try and reseal it properly.

    I used the steel P Gasket and both surfaces were clean. The Alloy was flat and without any pitting. I think it may be the Welch Plug because I had 2 of the 3 on the side of the block leaking until I resealed them the other day with Stag. I'd like to just throw some Bars Leaks into it but I won't.

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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Ja, please don't.
    '07 Land Rover Defender 110 TDI 300 Kalahari (Meisiekind²)
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    if you have to change the Welch plug get some of this in the pic very good sealant, clean plug and block with Benzine and smear sealant then knock in plug

    Wurth also do a sealant that you can use on P gasket think it called flange sealant
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Quote Originally Posted by clivemd View Post
    if you have to change the Welch plug get some of this in the pic very good sealant, clean plug and block with Benzine and smear sealant then knock in plug

    Wurth also do a sealant that you can use on P gasket think it called flange sealant
    Hi Clive

    I would not use sealant on the p-gasket. Important there is that both surfaces are absolutely clean and true. Any type of sealant will lead to a leak over time.

    When refitting the water pump housing, smear thread lock on the tensioner pulley stud and tighten it to the block with 14Nm exactly. Will never come loose like that if you have to undo the tensioner pulley nut.

    I once nearly had a ruined holiday because of a water leak from the p-gasket. It was a weekend and fortunately I had such a gasket in stock. Took about 3 hours, the most part of which was cleaning the two surfaces and the water pump housing.

    Fitted it together without sealant (it says so in the RAVE manual) and 160'000km later I sold the car with a perfectly dry motor there.
    Last edited by hgbosch; 2019/03/13 at 09:02 AM.
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    Default Re: 300TDi rebuild mistakes. I hope this may help someone

    Did you use the all metal gasket or the paper one??

    There seems to be 2 trains of thought on this one. Some refuse the metal gasket and will only use the paper one whereas the metal one makes more sense to me in the long run.

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