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  1. #1
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    Default Signs of a damaged engine

    My logic tells me that there must be some clear signs of what went wrong on an engine that overheated.

    For example, if there is water in your oil or oil in your water, the top gasket or oil cooler most probable went etc.

    What will be to most obvious other signs? Currently my Wrangler has very little power and struggle to start since the oil pressure suddenly dropped on the highway and then the engine just cut out. But when it starts there is no smoke, no water in the oil, no oil in the water, no misfiring or inconsistent idling, no noises coming from the engine, just extremely lazy.

    The Wrangler is currently at a mechanic so I'm waiting for feedback from him (most probably only next year he can give me a full feedback) but what he told me was that a water pipe bursted at the back of the engine and the engine over heated (with no water flow over the sensors, the Jeep didn't show on the dashboard that it was overheating, to such an extend that the oil become very thin and that is why the oil pressure dropped so drastically).
    Last edited by JCMostert; 2020/12/21 at 10:07 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    A blown cylinder head gasket will not always exhibit oil in water, or water in oil.

    It can also exhibit loss of compression.

    It really depends on where the gasket blew.

    However:

    Loss of oil pressure and loss of performance after a total loss of coolant says you will in all probability require an engine rebuild as it normally indicates that the piston rings, cylinder bores, main and/or big-end bearings and the crank journal surfaces might all have been compromised.
    As far as I recall it is a turbo diesel, then your turbo charger will also require checking.

    Sadly I would expect the worst, so start budgeting now for the strip-down and diagnosis.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    I call BS on the diagnosis.

    Ask for
    • Compression test
    • Exhaust gasses in coolant


    My guess would electical / electronic glitch.
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    Quote Originally Posted by 4eTouareg View Post
    I call BS on the diagnosis.

    Ask for
    • Compression test
    • Exhaust gasses in coolant


    My guess would electical / electronic glitch.
    Not so fast. Read here:

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...r-2-8-CRD-dead

    Eben is a very competently trained Jeep indie.
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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    If you loose water the sensor will not pic it up and tell you it over heating as no water around sensors, also how long was it driven like that, and with low oil pressure, was there any pressure at all did oil pressure light come on, a engine does not have to go long with out oil before bearing stuff out,
    could also be rings and pistons over heated and have now damage resulting in low compression,
    IMO it head off to check cylinder bores to see it anything has picked up on bores
    also drop a big end cap and main to see condition of bearings and maybe a piston or all
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    Quote Originally Posted by 4eTouareg View Post
    I call BS on the diagnosis.

    Ask for
    • Compression test
    • Exhaust gasses in coolant


    My guess would electical / electronic glitch.

    The OP specifically stated that a water pipe burst! What has that to do with electrical issues?
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    Not so fast. Read here:

    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...r-2-8-CRD-dead

    Eben is a very competently trained Jeep indie.
    Jip, Eben do have a very good reputation, but I just don't want to wait until somewhere next year before I know what the damages are (there are like 13 Jeeps on his premises that he is currently working on, so he won't get to mine any time soon), the stress is driving me nuts. I must try to find a way to know what the damages are and start getting the moola.

    I'm currently driving the Uno, it is just not the same.
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    If it cut out completely while driving with a burst waterpipe it heatseized. When it cooled of it can start sometimes. But wil run bad. You can be lucky also and its just a sensor keeping it in limp mode. But make yourself ready for the worst. Do compression test and take it from there
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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    Overheating can change the shape of the bores in some engines creating drag on the pistons.

    This will only be determined when opened or using a borescope.

    If its a bore issue, the increased friction will place strain on other components leading to excessive wear and potential failures. If a piston seizes in a bore it can cause fsilure to con rod and crank.

    My experience has been that not all of the bores will exhibit the same damage with the bore furthest from the entry of coolant being the most likely to have suffered the most damage. (Dependent on how quickly the engine was shut off)

    I am with Jelo here. I dont think there is a quick fix external to the engine but I really hope I am wrong.
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    You could do a compression test and bore scope,and see what the results are if good carry on driving and hope for the best, but the loos of oil pressure is the main concern bearings could of taken strain but crank and journals could be ok, but you don’t know and if carry on driving with damaged bearings or rings it could end up costing way more in parts and machining crank bores and so on
    Last edited by clivemd; 2020/12/21 at 11:22 AM.
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  16. #11
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    If there is still oil in the crankcase, send a sample to Wearcheck.

    They will analise and give you a detailed breakdown of particulate found in the oil.

    Any out of spec levels of bearing, bore and other component materials will be imdicative of potential issues.

    I think a test is about R500.00 but check with them. It could be money well spent
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  18. #12
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    Quote Originally Posted by NewLandy View Post
    The OP specifically stated that a water pipe burst! What has that to do with electrical issues?
    The Wrangler is currently at a mechanic so I'm waiting for feedback from him (most probably only next year he can give me a full feedback) but what he told me was that a water pipe bursted at the back of the engine and the engine over heated (with no water flow over the sensors, the Jeep didn't show on the dashboard that it was overheating, to such an extend that the oil become very thin and that is why the oil pressure dropped so drastically).
    I read it that that was what the mech said, not the OP.
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  20. #13
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    Depending on the engine and the amount of damage you could find a number of symptoms.

    1. Loss of cylinder compression thus 2.Underpowered/rough idle
    3.Sump compression due to ring and cylinder/bore damage
    4.Exhaust gas in coolant- headgasket.
    5.Oil in coolant-mayonaise
    6.Unburnt fuel in oil

    In my case (4jb1t diesel) there were no overheating signs either. Out of spec or faulty injectors (after testing and given all clear) caused 'washdown', removing lubrication and thus caused scoring of the bores, damage to rings and pistons. All due to a pos 'mech'.

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  22. #14
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    I have been watching this for a while, I am in a similar boat. My Corsa made a bit of nonsense, nothing huge and no specific symptoms. It overheated a while ago and since then had regular heat fits usually due to a water leak that no matter what I could not trace. I have a uv light that is supposed to show the traces of anti freeze where it leak, zilch nada.


    I did the usual checks and at the speed tht the starter could spin the engine the compression was a bit low with one cylinder having a higher pressure than the other 3 but after 400k I was not too concerned. There was no cross contamination of oil and water at all yet it used water and oil. There was no smoke or visible oil leaks other than a gearbox that was overfilled and leaked from a breather..........


    The engine did not perform as I was used to and would hickup every so often, sitting in traffic it would get hot under the collar and running on the highway it would lose speed where previously I would have to reign it in. There was no specific reason but I just knew things were not up to scratch.
    Next step and the final straw was when the rubber pipe from the tank yo the solid one going to the front burst, a quarter tank of fuel lost in a block......dis nou genoeg.


    I pulled the head and planned to only replace what must be a blown head gasket, it could not be a bad blow as all the signs pointed against it, ya right. What I found was disturbing to say the least, the pistons were covered in carbon so thick you could scrape it off with a paint scraper, the gasket had blown between 3 cylinders but had not gone between water and oil passages hence no milk in the radiator or sump.
    This was after I cleaned enough to find the size


    Click image for larger version. 

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    This was not what I had expected and I ripped the engine out only to find the worst smelling burnt oil that I had seen for a long time. This engine had overheated so much and so badly that the oil pick up iside had crusty carbom on and the whole internal looked like a badly splattered oven after an open roast. The compression rings were loose and surprisingly in good condition but the oil scrapers were carboned up and started showing signs of folding in the bore. The engine looked a bad and even worse than the piston below.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I thought the bearings were toast and would need at least a crank grind but I wa wrong they were almost pristine with no signs of any damage at all and best of all when I put pastigauge and checked they were well within spec. They were changed in any case.
    Worst problem was on the head, my head engineering friends did me a huge favor and reconditioned the head for me, it needed to be skimmed by 1.2mm to get it back to straight which is much more than I would have liked. As a perfomance upgrade the compression is upped from the std 9.5 to 10.5 by skimming 1.5 -1.8mm off and then the engine would still be able to run pump petrol so I am optimistic. This is an overhaul not a power increase build.
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  24. #15
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    Perhaps somewhat off topic, but what is the acceptable oil temperature range before one need to get worried?

    my previous vehicles never had a oil temp gauge, only water, and I always found it slightly odd that water temperature stays 100% stable, perhaps due to efficient radiator and fan system. But on the VW Caravelle it shows oil temp, and it is all over the place, predictably with towing, up hills, etc, but surprised by the enormous variability in the oil temp, from like 90deg to 128 the other day, working hard.

    I just dont know when I should get worried, if at all, can't find much to read about it.

  25. #16
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    i have 3x ford bantams.

    the last one on 340k had a water loss issue.
    it was very small quantities in the water bottle.

    i did not get mayonnaise, but i did get some white scum on top of the water.
    oil looked good.
    eventually we pulled the head, had it skimmed.
    sommer fitted new rings after honing the sleeves.

    still running today without further problems

  26. #17
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikehe View Post
    Perhaps somewhat off topic, but what is the acceptable oil temperature range before one need to get worried?

    my previous vehicles never had a oil temp gauge, only water, and I always found it slightly odd that water temperature stays 100% stable, perhaps due to efficient radiator and fan system. But on the VW Caravelle it shows oil temp, and it is all over the place, predictably with towing, up hills, etc, but surprised by the enormous variability in the oil temp, from like 90deg to 128 the other day, working hard.

    I just dont know when I should get worried, if at all, can't find much to read about it.
    quality synthetic oil will survive 150+ temps, cheaper mineral oil Id start to get worried at 120-130deg.

    128deg on the caravelle while the engine is working hard is not something to worry about, but I would not keep the engine under that strain for extended periods.
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    My daughter phoned me telling that her Fiat Strada lost power and then overheated. The gauge apparently did not show it was running hot. They let it cool down and tried filling with water, which just poured out at the waterpump. I kicked myself for not changing the waterpump when I did the head about 3k km ago.
    Jumped on the plane and flew down to Hermanus to quickly go and change the pump, belts,tensioner and because the video she send me on whatsapp sounded like no compression, I expected to do the headgasket aswell.
    Got there, took the covers off and found the culprit (so I thought)
    Welsh Plug came out. It did not leak through a small hole,....It was about to fall out.??
    Took the head off. Headgasket gone between 1&2 and 3&4.
    turned the head over to have a look at the valves. Noticed no.1 sparkplug badly burned. Combustion chamber and both valves also a light grey colour.
    Checked the engine again. No.1 piston's top compresion ring visible from outside. Sleeve cracked. Aluminium deposit on the sleeve.
    NOW.
    How do I determine the sequense of events.
    It is clear that the welsh plug had some force behind it, causing immediate coolant loss and resultant overheating.
    OR.
    Did something make no.1 run very lean,(maybe injector, sparkplug?).
    melt the piston, crack the sleeve, blow the gasket resulting in a pressurised watersystem which blew the welshplug out.(new watercap, not sure about pressure).
    On the last photo off the welshplug MIA, you can see the damage to the sleeve as well as the alu stuck to the sleeve
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    Last edited by Obelixs; 2021/01/04 at 06:56 PM.

  28. #19
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    My daughter phoned me telling that her Fiat Strada lost power and then overheated. The gauge apparently did not show it was running hot. They let it cool down and tried filling with water, which just poured out at the waterpump. I kicked myself for not changing the waterpump when I did the head about 3k km ago.
    Jumped on the plane and flew down to Hermanus to quickly go and change the pump, belts,tensioner and because the video she send me on whatsapp sounded like no compression, I expected to do the headgasket aswell.
    Got there, took the covers off and found the culprit (so I thought)
    Welsh Plug came out. It did not leak through a small hole,....It was about to fall out.??
    Took the head off. Headgasket gone between 1&2 and 3&4.
    turned the head over to have a look at the valves. Noticed no.1 sparkplug badly burned. Combustion chamber and both valves also a light grey colour.
    Checked the engine again. No.1 piston's top compresion ring visible from outside. Sleeve cracked. Aluminium deposit on the sleeve.
    NOW.
    How do I determine the sequense of events.
    It is clear that the welsh plug had some force behind it, causing immediate coolant loss and resultant overheating.
    OR.
    Did something make no.1 run very lean,(maybe injector, sparkplug?).
    melt the piston, crack the sleeve, blow the gasket resulting in a pressurised watersystem which blew the welshplug out.(new watercap, not sure about pressure)

  29. #20
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    Default Re: Signs of a damaged engine

    Detonation on no1 cylinder is the root cause leading to the piston damage and ultimate loss of water. You can see the pitmarks of detonation on the piston crown and the ali deposits on the sleeve is from the melted piston. That cylinder got seriously hot.

    Question is what lead to detonation, most likely dodgy injector causing it to run very lean, get hot and then the detonation started.

    Running very lean will destroy an engine in minutes.
    Last edited by mullerza; 2021/01/05 at 09:14 PM.
    Anton Muller

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