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Thread: slow cranking...tight engine..?

  1. #11
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    I would change the starter and see what happens first.

    Dirk

  2. #12
    Senior Member bushboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    I would change the starter and see what happens first.

    Dirk
    Me too, do the simple stuff first.

    Bushboy
    "Always do what you are afraid to do"
    "I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying"

  3. #13
    Senior Member wizrod's Avatar
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    hmmm...odd. I replied to Dirk's comment the other day.. doesn't seem to have made it onto the thread...?

    Anyway, I have already tried a different starter.. no change.

    Basically I've had this general problem since I bought the car about 20 years ago. I always mitigated it by making sure the battery was always fully charged and by using 2 batteries, 1 dedicated to the starter & 1 for the roof pump/everything else.

    It has got to the stage now that it won't turn over enough now, even with a fresh battery: I have to use 2 in parallel! Additionally, it is also getting hard to tun the motor over by hand to check the valve clearances, when servicing it (ie with the starter out of the loop).

    I know it is down on compression on #3 & #4, so it could use a set of new piston rings, at least. I think I will just do a complete strip & rebuild and see what I see...I may use this as an excuse to add a few more CCs....
    cheers

    Paul

  4. #14
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Hmm. You might expect this on a freshly rebuilt engine, as the bearings are usually tight, but this is perplexing; your engine is clearly not in the first flush of youth, so the bearings should all be bedded-in. Something else is causing significant resistance to turning and it appears to be getting worse. Most odd.

    I guess like the other guys I am wondering about coking up of the cylinders, particularly the two with low compression. It may be that they are building up a sooty oily gunge that is making it difficult to turn over the engine. Hence the suggestion of taking out the plugs and maybe putting some diesel oil (or just engine oil) in the cylinders, to see if it can free up some movement. Just try turning the engine over by hand to start with, see if it makes a difference.

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  5. #15
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    Hmm, okay, Lauren and your last post reminded me of something similarish, but happened to the gearbox on one of my past vans.
    It started with getting harder to drive and needing more power to get it to do anything.
    Only by a little at first, but on its last day, ANYTHING was a serious struggle! From what I managed to figure out, something inside it failed badly enough to cause a major increase in friction, maybe it lost the oil, I don't know, but as the "friction" got worse, the more damage it did! In the end, the differential shattered. That wasn't all of it, I got the impression something in the bell housing also sustained damage, because even with the clutch fully depressed, something clattered around noisily...

    Back to your car;
    Sadly, I don't have a clue as to what would cause your engine to start seizing up... But, if memory serves, you use a VW boxer engine, so you don't have a sump plate you can remove, to see if there's anything notable...

    Whatever the cause, I would NOT drive the thing until you have found and fixed the problem, be it lack of oil in some area causing friction or something potentially worse, it needs addressing before "ignorance" kills it...
    Last edited by Gaisa; 04-08-2017 at 09:24 PM.

  6. #16
    Senior Member wizrod's Avatar
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    Well.. I've just spent an entertaining couple of hours removing the motor and stripping it down to a short-block.

    TBH, I haven't found any smoking gun to indicate why it was so hard to crank, but I can say this strip-down isn't a moment too soon! Barrels 3 & 4 are in a credible state...pitted and warn so much they have a distinct step where the rings have been. There was also distinct evidence of blow-by on piston 4. The other side was much better. No pitting and much less ring worn...I couldn't feel a step, even running a fingernail over ware.

    So much for the Bs & Ps. The heads look ok, but I have yet to strip & clean them. Tomorrow's job.

    The short block seems to be in good nick. With the top end off, the crank turns as freely as I'd expect. The end play is 3thou (I have a DTI in thou on a magnetic base and articulated arm, so this was a simple check) and I can see no evidence of any oil behind the flywheel that might suggest a problem with the flywheel oil seal.

    I think I will simply clean the short block & heads and buy a new set of standard Bs & Ps and the motor all buttoned back up asap.
    cheers

    Paul

  7. #17
    ***Euro-Nova Supporter*** Spacenut's Avatar
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    Was the engine any easier to turn by hand with the engine out of the car? I was just wondering if the gearbox input shaft might be bent?

    Lauren
    only Pythagoras can save me now!

  8. #18
    On my 1641cc T2 engine it is quite slow to turn over an needs a good battery to spin over and I know the engine is 110% as it has been blue print built by me using the best parts I could afford and all shims, bearings etc are spot on spec'. and it runs sweet as a nut. There are hi-torque starters, I have one on the wife's 14SE Corsa sport and it really wangs it over,
    The opinions expressed in my posts may not be made in a sound mind and should be taken in the spirit intended, Jack Daniels is fine.
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  9. #19
    Senior Member wizrod's Avatar
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    Interesting thought, Lauren...unfortunately I didn't try after the motor came out. I'll investigate the input shaft, though.

    I have often thought about a high-torque starter, but I think they are aimed at the big CC, high compression gang...TBH a stock starter should be up to the job or turning over a stock motor. We'll see once it's all back together

    Anyway, all this faff is turning into a blessing in disguise. I have discovered that the motor was missing the deflector tinware pieces that clip to the lower head studs. I have a pair in stock, so they will be going on in due course. Also, the thermostat and fan-shroud flaps were missing. I have a set of flaps, so I just need to source a thermostat, bracket and actuator rod.... Thinking about it ..I may have a set. Not sure where, though.

    I spent the afternoon cleaning all the under the motor tinware, the heads & the block. I don't think the motor will have been cleaner since '84, when the kit was 1st built!
    cheers

    Paul

  10. #20
    Senior Member wizrod's Avatar
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    Question

    So now that the engine is out, I have the opportunity to spruce up the engine bay.

    Does anyone have any advice on removing 30+ years of oil, & road dirt from GRP...? I'm think repeated doses of Gunk/Jizer, elbow grease & and stiff brush & a high pressure jet wash...?

    Ideally, I'd like get to the stage where I can paint the engine bay. Oil & dirt on top of GRP on black gel-coat makes for a dark & murky place, so I was thinking of a coat of silver to brighten things up a bit and to give it a bit more of a serviceable appearance. I know it's going to get mucky again... but its the thought that counts!

    I think I may even bite the bullet & relocate the roof pump to the front & relocate the external oil cooler to take advantage of one of the air scoops in the front under-tray.

    P.
    cheers

    Paul

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