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Default Buying a smokey VXR (suspected piston/ring failure)

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  • [Corsa D 2006-2014] Default Buying a smokey VXR (suspected piston/ring failure)

    Hi Guys,

    I've been after a Corsa VXR for a while and a friends wife has taken hers off the road due to it starting to smoke and slightly misfire coming onto boost. I viewed it today and took it for a drive. The faults are:

    ○Sat for a month and on start up it was heavily smoking and smelt of burning oil.
    ○Cold start didn't seem lumpy though (started without hesitation) and idled as normal.
    ○Coming onto boost there was a slight misfire but once passed it would pull well (Plugs are recent)
    ○Once full up to temperature the car mainly smoked lightly on boost but slight smoking at idle and when you rev it on idle it smokes again with a thicker cloud (still with a oil burning smell).
    ○Boost pipes have been inspected and no oil present.

    Do these faults indicate a piston/ring failure? If so my plan is to rebuild the bottom end with Wossner pistons and PEC rods with ARP 2000 bolts so the failure will hopefully not return.

    Am I along the right lines here? Any advice will be appreciated

    Thanks

  • #2
    I'd be checking the valve stem seals before rebuilding the bottom end. They're a bit prone to that.
    1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

    Comment


    • #3
      would want to do a compression test before committing to buy

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Taurus View Post
        I'd be checking the valve stem seals before rebuilding the bottom end. They're a bit prone to that.
        Will do, obvious signs would be oil in the exhaust ports?
        Originally posted by craig55 View Post
        would want to do a compression test before committing to buy
        Ones been done by my friend and he said it was around 160psi across all four but I'm going to pop round on the weekend to test it myself.

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        • #5
          Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Bottom line is if it needs a replacement engine will it still be a bargain.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Sam_Sri View Post
            Will do, obvious signs would be oil in the exhaust ports?

            Ones been done by my friend and he said it was around 160psi across all four but I'm going to pop round on the weekend to test it myself.
            The obvious signs are what you are describing, heavy smoke on starting and after idling, boost pipes clear, good starting, pulls OK (hesitation on boost could be oiled plugs clearing). You won't really see oil in the exhaust ports because what's happening is that it's getting into the combustion and burning off.

            If the smoke on starting and after idle is clearing pretty quickly, with no massive signs of smoke under load, then it's almost certain to be the valve stem seals.

            Get it warm, let it idle for a couple of minutes, then give it some throttle. If it smokes then but clears quickly that's usually valve seals. You can do them without removing the head if you want to try it that way. So long as the guides are OK it's a cheap fix.
            1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Taurus View Post
              The obvious signs are what you are describing, heavy smoke on starting and after idling, boost pipes clear, good starting, pulls OK (hesitation on boost could be oiled plugs clearing). You won't really see oil in the exhaust ports because what's happening is that it's getting into the combustion and burning off.

              If the smoke on starting and after idle is clearing pretty quickly, with no massive signs of smoke under load, then it's almost certain to be the valve stem seals.

              Get it warm, let it idle for a couple of minutes, then give it some throttle. If it smokes then but clears quickly that's usually valve seals. You can do them without removing the head if you want to try it that way. So long as the guides are OK it's a cheap fix.
              Thanks Taurus!

              I'll be picking it up Tuesday, for the price I can get it I still wouldn't loose out evening needing a full engine rebuild. The bodywork and interior are very tidy.

              I'll start with checking other bits like play in turbo, comp test, what the plugs are looking like etc.

              May even pop tye GoPro on the rear and take it for a drive so you can see how it's smoking etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sounds like a nice project. Let us see the video of the smoke if you can.
                1972 Viva restoration thread - http://www.thecorsa.co.uk/projects-b....html#post1534

                Comment


                • #9
                  IIRC it's a common engine for one of the pistons cracking.

                  How many miles are on it?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Taurus View Post
                    Sounds like a nice project. Let us see the video of the smoke if you can.
                    Will do!
                    Originally posted by Hardcore View Post
                    IIRC it's a common engine for one of the pistons cracking.

                    How many miles are on it?
                    Yeah they are, 83k so it's a little expected as well

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                    • #11
                      As Taurus says, if it smokes after it has been idling for a few minutes, it is almost certainly letting oil past the valve stem seals/worn valve guides.
                      If it smokes when pulling hard, it could then be worn cylinder bores/pistons/piston rings that are allowing oil to pass.

                      Regards

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                      • #12
                        Update time!

                        Picked the car up, smoked from start up and idle until down the road. Drove a few miles home and a friend behind said it didn't really smoke the rest of the way just smelt a bit rich/oily. Drove fine with no issues, came on boost a few times gently but haven't floored it yet.

                        First off we did a compression test:
                        P1: 150psi
                        P2: 172psi
                        P3: 168psi
                        P4: 175psi

                        A leak down test of all cylinders was also carrier out and seemed okay. Although when removing the dipstick when running the engine note changes and it breaths out of the dipstick, same with the oil cap.

                        Cylinders 1,3 and 4 all definitely had oil in with 1 and 4 being very wet.

                        Plug 1:

                        /DSC_5469_zpsk0mijmab.jpg.html]"]Error | Photobucket

                        Plug 2:

                        /DSC_5471_zpslgmxrcy9.jpg.html]"]Error | Photobucket

                        Plug 3:

                        /DSC_5474_zpswr7fyksa.jpg.html]"]Error | Photobucket

                        Plug 4:

                        /DSC_5475_zpsdrfkz28b.jpg.html]"]Error | Photobucket

                        Cylinder 1:

                        /DSC_5467_zps96l8qcrx.jpg.html]"]Error | Photobucket

                        Cylinder 2:

                        /DSC_5477_zpscpumpyc7.jpg.html]"]Error | Photobucket

                        Cylinder 3:

                        /DSC_5478_zpsmgyculhr.jpg.html]"]Error | Photobucket

                        Cylinder 4:

                        /DSC_5476_zpsiwodlcpa.jpg.html]"]Error | Photobucket

                        There is also a rattle related to engine RPM. When gently revving the engine around 2-3k there is a rattle which appears to be bottom end but isn't throughout the whole rev range. When revving the engine harder it doesn't make the noise at all until coming down the revs.

                        The video does make the sound louder then it is:



                        I also noticed deposits on the plug of piston 2 which look like melted alloy which could be the start of a breakup of piston/ring all though the leak test and compression test say otherwise.

                        As for the oil consumption its looking like stem seals and the 20psi down on P1 could be the carbon build up causing the valve to not fully seat?

                        Tomorrow I'll be checking the cambelt in case it could be a dodgy tensioner and also remove the rocker cover to check the cam lobes for unusual wear in case the noise is lifter related.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          some engines rely on pressure when running which would explain the change in engine note also any metallic specs in oil when checking level as sound like bottom end from video

                          has it got good service history as could be from a blocked gallery causing to run dry and cause high pressure in system which may be causing the smoking

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by craig55 View Post
                            some engines rely on pressure when running which would explain the change in engine note also any metallic specs in oil when checking level as sound like bottom end from video

                            has it got good service history as could be from a blocked gallery causing to run dry and cause high pressure in system which may be causing the smoking
                            Oil looks quite clean from the dipstick, didn't notice and bits.

                            Full service history from 2000 miles to 73000 (now on 83000) but oil change and filter were changed last year.

                            I was thinking about doing another oil and filter change with a lifter flush too just to see if the noise changes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I also noticed deposits on the plug of piston 2 which look like melted alloy which could be the start of a breakup of piston/ring all though the leak test and compression test say otherwise.
                              Plug no 2 may have spent most of its life in no 1 plug 'ole'

                              Comment

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