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> Oil Consumption
Fred Oldham
post 7 Apr 2015, 09:47
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When I drove 'Christine' down to the NEC last week I naturally checked the oil level before setting off. The day after returning home I moved her from one garage to another there was a slushing / gurgling noise and I noticed that the oil pressure was a bit lower than usual, although not dangerously so. I later checked the level and it was very low. The reading on the dip-stick was two times lower than the distant from Max to Min. If that makes sense. I have never been aware of oil smoke whilst driving, so I don't really think it has burnt a gallon of oil in less than 150 miles. So, where did it go? I had a drip-tray under the car whilst at the NEC ( they insist on it ) and it collected not a drop. Which pleased me, but should have worried me, because it usually does drip a little.
Your thoughts please people.
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enigmas
post 8 Apr 2015, 11:34
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I'm taking a punt here that 'Christine' is a vehicle under the Austin BMC range and may be fitted with a B Series 4 cyl engine. (Unfortunately there's nothing in your profile to identify the vehicle type?)

If it is this type of engine and it has the reverse scroll on the crankshaft, rather than a rear main oil seal, the engine may be building up internal pressure either from blowby, a blocked breather, a non functioning draft tube or unknown individual modifications to the engine's breathing system.

If the engine was run at speed for considerable period of time and there was too much internal crankcase pressure, oil will be forced past the scroll and leak out through the bell housing. (There's a small 3/8" hole at the base of the bellhousing if I recall correctly.) The clutch may even have started to play up!
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Llansadwrn
post 8 Apr 2015, 12:00
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I agree with Vince....... and that small hole can easily get bunged up, hence no oil drip. Have a poke in the hole.
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Fred Oldham
post 8 Apr 2015, 21:20
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Apologies for the lack of info. 'Christine' is a 1955 Austin A90 fitted with the 2.6 litre 6 cyl. C series engine. I also thought excessive crankcase pressure blowing it out somewhere. Incidentally, the clutch seems ok.
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fussyoldfart
post 9 Apr 2015, 01:43
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QUOTE (Fred Oldham @ 8 Apr 2015, 17:20 ) *
Apologies for the lack of info. 'Christine' is a 1955 Austin A90 fitted with the 2.6 litre 6 cyl. C series engine. I also thought excessive crankcase pressure blowing it out somewhere. Incidentally, the clutch seems ok.


It has often been said of BMC engines "If it ain't drippin' oil it's time to add some." Seriously though, to lose that much oil in 150 miles must surely leave some evidence at the exit point. Is this the first time in many miles that Christine has been out on the motorway? Smoke at the tailpipe can well go unnoticed by the driver whose car has never had such a problem. I would suggest a compression test (dry and wet) to check the condition of the piston rings. The other possible problem could be inlet valve seals.
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matthew.h
post 9 Apr 2015, 09:38
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Seeing it's c series check the water as they are knowing to get oil in the water
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Fred Oldham
post 11 Apr 2015, 16:44
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They might well be, but not a gallon!
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Llansadwrn
post 11 Apr 2015, 17:19
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I had a Ford pickup that got through an incredible amount of oil.... a quart every 100 miles, and yet it didn't drip oil and the exhaust was nice and smoke-free. Then one day as I was driving along I happened to look in the mirror at the instant when a great cloud of smoke erupted, for a couple of seconds only, then disappeared. Oil was getting past the valve stem seals and accumulating in the silencer box, then would reach some critical level when it would all be blown out the tailpipe, but you had to be looking at the right moment to see it.
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Fred Oldham
post 11 Apr 2015, 22:13
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It's being so flaming cheerful that keeps you going!
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webmonster
post 20 May 2015, 10:07
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If you fill it up to the mark now it will be interesting to see if the oil level goes down again as rapidly.

A mechanic I've spoken to told me how much water vapour is created during combustion. Lots!
Water vapour in the oil is not driven off unless you give your car a long drive - the oil does not get hot enough for long enough with just town driving.

So... mechanic said it is common for people to tell him they had to top the oil up on a trip out of town, but the oil was fine when they checked it back at home.
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Llansadwrn
post 20 May 2015, 11:32
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QUOTE (webmonster @ 20 May 2015, 04:07 ) *
If you fill it up to the mark now it will be interesting to see if the oil level goes down again as rapidly.

A mechanic I've spoken to told me how much water vapour is created during combustion. Lots!
Water vapour in the oil is not driven off unless you give your car a long drive - the oil does not get hot enough for long enough with just town driving.

So... mechanic said it is common for people to tell him they had to top the oil up on a trip out of town, but the oil was fine when they checked it back at home.


But your combustion water vapour had best not be getting into your engine oil! That sounds like a pretty whacky theory. If water vapour did get into your oil, it would manifest itself as the nasty mocha-colour emulsion that many will have seen as a result of the coolant system leaking into the engine lubrication system. Water vapour could not swell the volume of your oil without forming an emulsion. And this fellow is doing a lot of work on your car................?
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Fred Oldham
post 20 May 2015, 16:46
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Since my last post I have removed the engine and 'box from the car. I would have just removed the engine, but you can't. Anyway, there is no evidence of oil leaking into the bellhousing, but the sump gasket at the back where it meets the rear engine plate looks very suspect. The timing chain cover also looks 'leaky'. So, i have decided on a full rebuild and have sripped the whole thing down. Certain parts refused to co-operate and ruthless measures have had to be taken. i.e. The timing chain wheels wouldn't budge, so I cut the duplex chain with an angle grinder. Not ideal, but at least I can now remove the crank and cam-shaft. With these on the bench I WILL get the wheels off. I am sending the head away for valve seat and guide replacement; plus a skim. Subject to checking, the crank will get a re-grind or just new mains and big-end bearings. Likewise the cylinder bores. I hope just new rings, but who knows? That picture of the modified head with the 'log' sliced down the middle and triple S.U's is tantalising me, but I suspect I can't afford it. My usually tidy garage looks like bomb has gone off, or Penquin has been here. Once I've washed off sixty years of oily crud I will paint the parts ready for re-assembly. I will also post up some pictures soon.
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webmonster
post 21 May 2015, 06:07
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QUOTE (Fred Oldham @ 21 May 2015, 04:46 ) *
Since my last post I have removed the engine and 'box from the car.

Wow! No messing around for you (IMG:style_emoticons/default/ohmy.gif)


QUOTE
but the sump gasket at the back where it meets the rear engine plate looks very suspect. The timing chain cover also looks 'leaky'. So, i have decided on a full rebuild and have sripped the whole thing down.

If you can do it and are happy to do it, then why not!

On my Isis the tappet inspection plates and their bolts along the side were a bit leaky and the cover plate for where a mechanical fuel pump would be was so warped that no gasket would seal it!
I got a new cover made out of steel plate and everything is still oil tight thanks to the wonders of RTV sealant.

If you've got the whole lot out would you consider fitting a modern rear-main seal? The Austin Healey outfits supply them. It requires some machining of the backplate.
I tend to use www.ahspares.co.uk as I have had good service from them.

QUOTE
That picture of the modified head with the 'log' sliced down the middle and triple S.U's is tantalising me, but I suspect I can't afford it.

(IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif) Go on. You know you want to...
It would be a good idea to get your cylinder head crack tested before embarking on any work on it...
...but finding a 6/110 'big-log' head and twin SUs may not be as difficult as you think. Probably more numerous than A90 heads and manifold for single Zenith.

I am hoping to see my engine shop tomorrow to view the 6/110 'big log' head I've had sectioned (it was cracked). I want to see how far I can get the cylinder head nuts on shortened studs recessed out of the way.

On the other hand, what if you showed your engine shop the photo of the modified head?

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Fred Oldham
post 21 May 2015, 17:57
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I am planning to email that 'sliced log' picture to them and ask for a ball-park price. I would only need to learn how to be a pattern-maker and how to sand-cast an ally manifold. How hard can it be? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
I have the pistons on the bench and all the mains caps are undone, but I can't persuade them to seperate from the block. There is a threaded hole in the centre of each one. If I could find a long bolt with the same thread I could make a small slide hammer to tease them off maybe.
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Danny
post 22 May 2015, 00:55
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Fred, that thread is a pretty common unified thread IIRC, what I can't recall off hand is which one!

Danny
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Fred Oldham
post 22 May 2015, 15:29
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Thanks for that Danny, it came close to being useful. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) I have found a bolt that sort of fits, but I am sure it is a metric size, so it may work or it may not. What's the accepted way to remove these caps?
I also thought that the hole in the engine front plate would allow the crank to come out with the timing chain wheel still on it, now I see that the hole isn't circular and it probably won't allow same......mutter, mutter. Like to meet the pillock who designed this engine!
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Llansadwrn
post 22 May 2015, 16:03
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QUOTE (Fred Oldham @ 21 May 2015, 11:57 ) *
I am planning to email that 'sliced log' picture to them and ask for a ball-park price. I would only need to learn how to be a pattern-maker and how to sand-cast an ally manifold. How hard can it be? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
I have the pistons on the bench and all the mains caps are undone, but I can't persuade them to seperate from the block. There is a threaded hole in the centre of each one. If I could find a long bolt with the same thread I could make a small slide hammer to tease them off maybe.


I copied this from the workshop manual:

Small block of wood and a heavy hammer, start gently whacking towards frontabit then towards backabit. Do it for 1 minute per cap, then go and have lunch. Repeat same procedure after lunch settles, and off 3 of the 4 will come. Watch TV, go to bed, repeat next morning, and the 4th will come off.

This post has been edited by Llansadwrn: 22 May 2015, 16:23
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Danny
post 22 May 2015, 16:15
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QUOTE
What's the accepted way to remove these caps?


As you said, with a slide hammer (impulse extractor in BMC speak) There was an adaptor for a universal such extractor to remove the caps using that threaded hole. If you find a bolt with the correct thread you should be able to improvise something. It will be UN probably Fine

Danny
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Fred Oldham
post 23 May 2015, 09:33
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Good to know that my intuition is on form. I just need to confirm that the bolt I have fits well, or it will knacker the thread and then I am really in the brown stuff.
Interesting turn of phrase in your Workshop Manual ! Not a genuine BMC publication then?

Cheers. Fred.

This post has been edited by Fred Oldham: 23 May 2015, 09:33
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Danny
post 23 May 2015, 09:56
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Does that threaded hole look about the same size as the cap studs? If so then it is 'arf inch UNF. I haven't got any of that kind of stuff at hand to look at, at the moment, but I know the bolt I use is hanging on a hook...somewhere.

Danny
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