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  1. #1
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    Default 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    This little scratch has begun to manifest.

    When I did the engine last year, I knew the head was a weak point since it's still the original, but elected to do an extremely light skim and buy a new head later, since it tested 100% fine.

    To my dismay, when I unpackaged the head after getting it back, there was a scratch on the surface. My friend who had kindly offered to fetch it, had not taken enough care, there was a lot of other stuff in the boot and he packed the head and block touching each other.

    At that stage there was no more time or money to do anything about this, so I sort of evaluated the risk and put it on anyway.

    When doing the turbo, I found condensed ethylene glycol vapour in the breather line from crankcase to intake. This corresponds with a sudden water loss without any pressurizing of the cooling system.

    As you can see from the photo, it would be weeping from the water port into one of those holes for the push rods. No milky oil or anything since most of the coolant evaporates, but there's vapour when you open the oil filler cap.

    I'll be buying a new head ASAP to finish off this engine before this leads to trouble.



  2. #2
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    Unfortunately this happens, you knew better but you can't do anything about it.

    There is a lot of corrosion damage and according to the manual you are not supposed to skim it, so this is a good opportunity to fix it before it causes more trouble.

    BTW the encircled line looks weird. Is it just a optical illusion or is it really there?

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    '07 Land Rover Defender 110 TDI 300 Kalahari (Meisiekind˛)
    '84 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 4-speed Hardtop (Meisiekind) Sold after 12 years of fun and hard work.
    The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for a good man to do nothing.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    @jfh, yes, I knew it was small enough not to cause an immediate failure, and I would have at the very least been able to evacuate the place I had to leave without incurring long-distance towing costs. In fact, as an amateur, I budgeted 10-20k km, so I got my money's worth out of this anyway. With Christmas looming and everything shutting down, I knew I couldn't afford to delay any longer unless absolutely necessary.

    Yes, the manual says no skimming of the head. It doesn't say why, but I've heard that maybe there was a hardening process or something. Everything I've heard is speculation, and I've also heard of people getting some mileage out of a skimmed head (remember, this one hasn't overheated or been warped at all, so nothing else is out of alignment). The warning against skimming could be as simple as the fact that the rocker shaft would still be out of alignment if the head warped - I don't know, and those who claim to know are only speculating as far as I can see.

    I'm hoping to buy a new head - I didn't pay much for the engineering on the current one anyway, just a pressure test etc., but I did have brand new valves fitted so I'll simply transfer those over.

    If I can't get the AMC head cheaply right now, I'll probably go for another skim and try to buy another year's time. I'm really a "do it once, do it right" kind of guy, but I also like to eat every day so I have to prioritise what needs to be done right at this very moment!

    That "line" you see is not an optical illusion at all! - and I remember that it didn't feel scratchy or anything. I also can't remember if it was there before the engineering work at all. It could simply have been a slight abrasion during the ill-fated transport of this head, or perhaps a defect or even something that was previously welded? I have no info about the car previously, only that the owners in general were willing to fix stuff reasonably well - and some Tipp-ex on the head indicating that it was "pressure-tested, OK" in 2016.



  4. #4
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    AMC is the ideal head.

    When skimming you must keep the following in mind:

    1. The valves must be recessed to compensate for the loss of material.

    2. Piston protrusion.

    I think the reason for not skimming is a hardening proses and this will lead to cracking between the valves or from the valves to the glow plug.

    If you want to play a bit, spray some Q20 or equivalent on that line. Leave it for a while, wipe of and dust it with some baby powder.
    Maybe it will show you some bleedout.

    Primitive crack detection.

    Good luck and I hope you can get it sorted out.
    '07 Land Rover Defender 110 TDI 300 Kalahari (Meisiekind˛)
    '84 Land Rover Defender 110 V8 4-speed Hardtop (Meisiekind) Sold after 12 years of fun and hard work.
    The only thing needed for evil to triumph is for a good man to do nothing.

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  6. #5
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    Good point about the valve recession. As far as I can see, if this is in spec, the valve will still travel the same distance down when opening, hence no adjustment to piston protrusion would be necessary.

    Nice tip about the baby powder.



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    jfh

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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    When I redid my 300tdi I got a new head from Components for Africa. As i basically just kept the block,crank,conrods,rockers and camshaft from the old engine, the budget was getting tight and the AMC head would mean reusing some old parts.

    That engine has now done over 100 000km trouble free. So might be something you could look at.

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    Quote Originally Posted by _FC View Post
    When I redid my 300tdi I got a new head from Components for Africa. As i basically just kept the block,crank,conrods,rockers and camshaft from the old engine, the budget was getting tight and the AMC head would mean reusing some old parts.

    That engine has now done over 100 000km trouble free. So might be something you could look at.
    Thanks _FC for the info. Will look into that. Did you buy the head bare or complete, and how long ago was this?



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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    Quote Originally Posted by antvz View Post
    Thanks _FC for the info. Will look into that. Did you buy the head bare or complete, and how long ago was this?
    Hi. Was a bare head around 2018.

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  13. #9
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    Well, I took the head off last Saturday. To my surprise, there was no evidence of a blown or leaking gasket at all. What's more, those scratches that I worried about so much, would have caused a compression leak to the exterior (now I remember why I wasn't too concerned at the time, knowing I would need to replace the head soon anyway).

    I decided to take the head to engineering for a pressure test and straightness check before proceeding. No point in buying a new head and always wondering what the problem with the old one was.

    They reported yesterday that there's a crack at the bolt hole by no.2 cylinder.

    That explains the sudden and quite drastic loss of water with no other side-effects.

    Components for Africa supplied a new cylinder head and it's with the engineers now to have everything transferred over from the old one. Valves were replaced 20 000 km ago already. They will fit new manifold studs.



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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    Best of luck
    Henk
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  17. #11
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    Today was the day for installation of the head.



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  19. #12
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    Quite pretty!

    Running yet?
    Justus Immelman

    2001 Range Rover P38

  20. #13
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    Quote Originally Posted by Oom_Paul View Post
    Quite pretty!

    Running yet?
    Startup will be later today. Just need to finish with the manifolds and stuff. Then I need to plumb in my new gearbox oil cooler pipes.



  21. #14
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    I hope you got new bolts to go with that head. I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me but those head bolts are pretty much a one time use item.

    I tested the clamping force between new and used/heat cycled(Still within length limit) bolts. And the difference made that I wouldn't reuse them...

  22. #15
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    Quote Originally Posted by antvz View Post
    Startup will be later today. Just need to finish with the manifolds and stuff. Then I need to plumb in my new gearbox oil cooler pipes.
    Great, goodluck! Always quite a bit more work than expected to do all the little bolt on bits and bobs.

    Please post pics and feedback in the gearbox cooler pipe thread when you're done. I'm looking to do the same on my P38 and you might just inspire me to place the component orders 😆
    Justus Immelman

    2001 Range Rover P38

  23. #16
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    Default Re: 300 Tdi scratched cylinder head busy failing

    All done, and seems to be running fine. Did a 40 km round trip now. Will watch it for a while...



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