September 14th, 2008

Working on it

A warped sense of humour

I'm part way through stripping Lintilla's engine again, and I think I've discovered the reason for the blown head gasket on the way to Ireland. The top surface of the block appears to be slightly warped; it is lower in the middle than at the sides, so the gasket wouldn't have been clamped well in the middle. From the sooty marks on the gasket I think it had been blowing slightly between all the cylinders for a while, and that long high-speed run down the A55 racing to catch the ferry was the last straw that caused the thin bit of gasket between 3 and 4 to blow out entirely.

I can probably guess why the block is warped too. When I got the car, the water pump and the radiator were both leaking slightly, and the cooling system was half empty. I made sure I kept the water topped up on the way home, but if the previous owner had at any point allowed the engine to boil dry, that could easily have caused the problem.

I didn't buy the rebored block that was on eBay - it went for too much money, considering it was a bit of an unknown quantity and it probably would have cost another £50 or so to transport it up to me. So this week I need to look into quotes for having Lintilla's block rebored and the top surface skimmed.

Fenchurch is going in for her MOT tomorrow. Fingers crossed that she will pass first time, because with Lintilla off the road again I'm back to commuting on the bus if Fenchurch is out of action too.