Post Number: 897
|Posted on Saturday, 12 May, 2007 - 19:34: |
I rather like the title - quite exotic! Guy, to summarise, water is being blown out of your engine after a gentle 8 minute drive as I understand you. There is only one way water can be expelled like that, either by boiling the water in the block or blowing gases into the block.
With a full cooling system I don't believe any engine could throw up enough heat in 8 minutes when gently run to boil 18 litres of water. By the way for the moment stop using coolant and subsidising the manufacturers. For the moment simply use clean water.
That leaves gasses being blown into the block. The only source of gases under pressure is from the cylinders. They are normally contained by the pistons, rings, the cylinders themselves, the cylinder head and of course the gasket between the head and the block. It is most usual for a leak to occur through the gasket. If you want a Hari Kari topic, it is possible for the head to crack and let water in and gases out but letís not go there yet!.
The gasket on these cars hangs on for grim death in a number of places given the gyrating cylinder liners and the head and block all contracting and expanding as the engine fires along. So a break in the gasket is no great suprise. It is totally unpredictable, ocurs in almost all cars, some more prone to the problem than others, some never blow a gasket.
If it is a cracked head the effect will be the same, gases will blow out through the break and pressurise the system.
It is most probable you only have one leak in one cylinder.
I must confess I read W.I. in your address as Wisconsin but now realise that you must be a genuine resident of the Archepelagic State! I also imagine there are not too many RR dealers in the place! So getting the rather specialised chemicals to detect exhaust gases in the coolant may not be easy!
Think about how the engine works. The only time pressure is created is when the piston comes up to top dead centre just before firing. If the leak is a big one and your decriptions favour that, I would first remove the distributor cap. Label all the wires and mark the cap with tape so that you get them back the same way. Take off the thermostat housing cap and pull out the thermostat. Make sure the system is full of fluid up to the top of the thermostat housing.
Note where the rotor in the distributor is pointing (draw yourself a little map with eight points in a circle and lable each point. The distributor rotates anti-clockwise. Get someone to quickly switch the starter. You will be trying to get each piston in turn to hit the compression stroke and if there is a leak when that piston hits top dead centre on compression there should be lots of bubbles coming out of your thermostat housing. You then look to see where the rotor is pointing and that cylinder firing point will be the culprit.
Perhaps the leak only occurs when the cylinder actually fires which is when the real pressure level occurs. Unfortunately you canít organise to fire one cylinder at a time. But you may like to try removing all the belts, on the front leave off the thermostat housing. Put the cap back on the distributor with the wires etc and start the engine. As the water pump will not be driven the coolant/water should just sit there. In theory it should run and just get hot fairly quickly. If as I suspect, there is a head gasket leak you will have a geyser coming out of the thermostat housing.
Finally you will have to get a compression gauge. One that has a flexible pipe and reads to about 200 psi.. You remove the plugs, screw the adapter on the end of the flexible pipe into each spark plug hole and connect it to the gauge. Get someone to turn the engine over with the starter while holding the accelerator to the floor (this allows a maximum charge to be drawn into the cylinder). The gauge will bounce up with each compression stroke until it reaches a maximum and that is the compression figure in pounds per square inch for that cylinder. If you have a leaking head gasket you will have one noticeably lower reading for that cylinder.
For the moment, forget radiators thermostats coolant fans or the Seasons. Concentrate on proving the integrity of each cylinder.
Consider joining Skype and email me your address if you would like to talk to me. It costs nothing!
I will now go and have a large glass of red wine and await your report!
Post Number: 898
|Posted on Saturday, 12 May, 2007 - 19:47: |
Further thoughts.If there is a coolant leak in one cylinder the spark plug for that cylinder will often be much cleaner than the others.
To get the plugs out you will need a short plug socket the one with a rubber insert to grip the plug when you lift it out, a universal joint an extension about 15 inches long and a ratchet spanner - all of which you probably have. Be very careful replacing the plugs and don't cross the threads. Clean the threads thoroughly and put some anti-seize grease on them. You should be able to at least partly screw the plugs in with your fingers. Do not overtighten them.
Back to my wine
Post Number: 47
|Posted on Saturday, 12 May, 2007 - 20:27: |
Bill , I like the title to!
I would like to add a couple of things.
Perhaps a cylinder leakage test would show up the leak , although getting to some of the cylinders is very tricky?
Guy , you pump compressed air into each cylinder in turn and see where it comes out.
Watch out for the engine turning suddenly if the cylinder being tested is not at BDC. ( bottom dead center )
An engine gas analyser should be readily available somewhere nearby though and are often transportable to the car.
I wouldn't drive the car too far or at all until you have found out and cured the problem.
Quote: " You should be able to at least partly screw the plugs in with your fingers. Do not overtighten them. "
I would stress that you MUST be able to screw them in MOST of the way by hand. Try a new plug if you have any trouble. The last thing you need is a damaged plug thread which is , oh, so easy on these engines!
Post Number: 726
|Posted on Sunday, 13 May, 2007 - 04:24: |
Yep thats a great heading Bill.
If the head gasket or a cracked head was bad enough to cause the loss of coolant in eight mins, I would of thought the exhaust would be chucking out some water also a uneven cranking sound on starting from cold.
Still worth doing a flow check on the rad maybe.
Bill or Paul would the weep holes also show signs!
Tip for fitting some of the difficult plugs:
Use some flexable heater hose and insert the plug, this will help the plug find the threads if not the plug will just turn in the hose rather than cause crossthreading.
Then try again !
(Message edited by pat lockyer on 13 May 2007)
Post Number: 14
|Posted on Sunday, 13 May, 2007 - 07:31: |
VERY, VERY informative and professional postings. Many thanks to you all.
I think Bill will have several glasses of red wine before I get through with this but I am heartened ( what's left of it) by the multiplicity of diagnoses and practical solutions which have been proffered.
But, does anyone know a good mechanic ..LOL several times.
I have had one offer from someone abroad to come in and do the repair job. I am awaiting further information.
I will attempt all the suggested procedures and will post my findings. Any further info will be greatly appreciated, of course.
Again, thanks to all. Will inform further.
Trevor P Hodgkinson
Post Number: 2
|Posted on Monday, 14 May, 2007 - 20:08: |
Replacing a blown head gasket is not a particularly difficult job and if I may say so myself I found it rather satisifing.
It will be a long job so you should allow at least a whole weekend if you have never done one before.
I think that the only tool I needed to buy was the brake pump socket ? but I do have a reasonable kit.
If you do not own a digital camera it is a good excuse to buy one.
Every time you take something off photograph it & then the spot that it came from.
Get a couple of good sized tarps ( or old blankets) to lay every thing on in the order that it came out so when you replace them you just start from what is farthest away and work your way back to the car.
Get some large old cartons and trace the shapes of the various covers on them so that you can push the bolts through the carton in the correct place for replacement.
Take the battery off first and mark the positions of timing belts , pullies & distributor with white out to aid replacement & bobs your uncle.
I have found very little on the Shadow that with the aid of this forum a novice can not do.
The main problem is that you always have to remove a lot of things that get in the way so any little job becomes a major task.
Not really difficult more just time consumming and as most RR mechanics think nothing of charging $ 70-00 to $ 100-00 per hour quite expensive.
Needless to say small persons and things with 4 legs need to be kept totally away for the duration of the whole exercise.
Enjoy & appreciate the hours in the garage as much as you do the hours on the road.
The more I pull mine appart the more I appreciate the attention to detail that makes a Rolls a Rolls.
Post Number: 899
|Posted on Monday, 14 May, 2007 - 22:21: |
Hmmmm. Lest the rose tinted glasses give the wrong illusion, the biggest problem with the older cars is getting the rotten things off. I have suspended cars by their heads, pulled garage walls down with them although I not as yet actually cut one off which has reportedly occured. It is apparently caused by corrosion around the studs and there are special tubular saws which can be purchased to spin around the stud, slightly enlarging the head holes. But a professional friend tells me he has devised a puller which will get any head off. The problem is what to push on. If you push on the studs you may push them through the block. The solution apparently is to push on all the studs at once by screwing down on them incrementally thus spreading the load as much as possible.If the head skews you will never get it off.
Post Number: 900
|Posted on Monday, 14 May, 2007 - 22:28: |
Paul and Patrick glad you have experienced the plug thread problem. I thought it was me. Years ago I had an early Shadow that had the B4 plug cross threaded and forced into the head. When I went to change them there was obviously something amiss. Turns out the dealer's men did the dirty deed and it was to them I delivered the car on behalf of the owner and suggested they fix the thing at their expense. The only solution was to remove the head and fit an insert. Turned out an apprentice had been the perpetrator. He was on notice and apparently looking for a job shortly afterwards. Since then I will always run a chaser down the hole if there is the slightest resistance!
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Tuesday, 15 May, 2007 - 01:25: |
I've never taken a head off a rolls v8 but quite a few off the Jaguar xk engine The early motors could be quite a handful through stud corrosion.Very often it was heat brake fluid and patience even sometimes a hacksaw when the head had lifted about a 1/2".Does the rolls v8 have this problem?
Post Number: 4
|Posted on Tuesday, 15 May, 2007 - 01:49: |
More appropriate to the Trinidad shadow there was an antifreeze at one time which used to change colour if combustion gases were present. With all the recent antifreeze discussion perhaps somebody will know if is still available
Posted From: client-81-108-182-25.brig.adsl.tesco.net
|Posted on Tuesday, 15 May, 2007 - 18:55: |
Warning adults only the diy shy must watch the Simpsons on telly or you will get bad dreams
Explicit and extreme engineeering.
If a head is differcult to remove.
Been there,done this,broken that and wounded myself.
What happens is that the studs rot into the head.
So best way is to remove the studs one by one.
Studs usually end up buggered.
Remove engine from car.
Strip off as much as possible.
Place in tank of kerosene
Using a roof tar propane burner heat tank to around 100 celius.
Have a hinged steel flap that can easily be shut so that should fire occur the fire can be starved of oxygen.
Simmer for 4 hours then suck and see.
This way is very time consuming and expensive but it does no damage.
If this does not work and the studs will not come out.
Take engine to machine shop and drill he studs out
This is even more expensive.
(Message approved by david_gore)
Post Number: 14
|Posted on Wednesday, 16 May, 2007 - 21:27: |
Some years ago there was a most ineresting article on "Removing a Stuck Aluminium Head" by Herbert Tobin in "The Flying Lady", the magazine of the RROC of America. This article describes a method by which the corrosion between the cylinder head and the studs is broken by slightly turning each stud with a special tool by Snap-On that grips the threads of the stud without damaging them, even if the threaded part stands proud of the head surface only by a fraction of an inch.
I will try to upload this article in pdf form, but I am not sure if I will succed.
Trevor P Hodgkinson
Post Number: 3
|Posted on Wednesday, 16 May, 2007 - 23:55: |
I must just be lucky because mine came off relatively easily.
We were going to replace a pair of pistons & linners as well but that definately was not going to move so we ended up finding a second hand piston and getting it machined to fit the linner the other just got new rings.
Thanks for the article I am off to the local Snap-On merchant.
Post Number: 722
|Posted on Thursday, 17 May, 2007 - 12:59: |
Thank you Jonas for this reference.
For the convenience of other forum users, I have combined the three pages into one PDF file. The file is only compatible with Acrobat/Adobe reader version 7 and later. The latest Adobe Reader can be downloaded from the following link:
The composite article may be downloaded from the following:
Posted From: client-86-29-90-64.brig.adsl.tesco.net
|Posted on Sunday, 20 May, 2007 - 05:34: |
I have a stud remover that has knurled wheels inside a tube. It grips either way.
To make the type described in Ally head removal pdf.
Drill and tap a bit of mild steel about a 25mm dia and 150mm long at the other end cut an external thread of say 3/4 UNF ( the finer the better cause fine threads clamp better because the angle of the helix is like a wedge wrapped around a cylinder )
Turn the outside so that the hole end has a taper of about 5 degrees. and the bit before the 3/4 thread is parrallel.
Cut a slot with a hack saw down the threaded hole to make a collet. ( if two blade are fitted to the hacksaw the slot will be wide enough for a screw driver but one blade should wide enough for a collet two blades is for making screws etc.)
Bore a bit of mild steel parrallel to fit the parrallel bit of the collet ( 0.001 clearance )
then bore a taper to match the collet.---- when the collet was turned leave the compound slide locked at the same angle then when the tube is bored the tapers must match.If the tapers don't match the tool will not work. the wall of the tube needs to be thick but not so thick that it fouls the heads.
Also polish the tapers so they run together smooth this way they lock so tight that the taper will transmit lots of torque.
file flats ( if a mill is available then much better ) on the tube to fit a big ring spanner.
I made one of these to fit a Hillman Imp engine I got most of the studs out. 2 of them sheared level with the head face but a least the head came off and the studs drilled out and helicoiled.
Without using wedges that would have wreaked the block they only repair then is to weld the damage or skim the block and make a thicker head gasket, either way the engine will never be right.( note on overhead cam engines if the distance between the crank and the cam are altered as in skimimg then the timing will be out and this makes more work correcting it.
Worse one was a XJ6 engine which rotted the head to the studs big time. Instead of knocking the core plugs out and cutting the head studs with a dremel grinder the mechanic forced the head off with cold chisels as wedges.
To repair the damage he skimmed the head and the block when he assembled the engine the pistons head the head so he skimed the top of the pistons .
The engine ran fine for a while and then one cylinder went out. When I got the engine the timing was out and one piston was holed when I tapped the other pistons with my little 'ammer the crowns dented because they were wafer thin.
Never ever force joints apart with wedges I have seen so much damage done this way over the years.
Sillest one was a themostat housing on a Morris Minor the owner managed to break the end of the head off complete with themostat housing attached. Fortunately heads for Minors are cheap and pentifull. But not so with some cars.
(Message approved by david_gore)
Post Number: 901
|Posted on Monday, 21 May, 2007 - 09:44: |
Ah yes Jaguars and religion. I saw the 'LIGHT' over an XJ6. At the time I could not even spell Jagwaar let alone work on them. Had a call from the wife of a friend 'would I have a look at their XJ6 which had blown a head gasket'. A challenge which I met at great personal effort. Discovered a Jaguar special where the very long head studs went through the block which was like a box rather than a block and screwed into the integral crankcase. The stud from the head to the crankcase was immersed in the coolant. Here one would think it was quite vital to maintain the latter in perfect chemical balance. The head came off easily but for reasons I can't remember the studs seemed a bit wobbly some more than others. Took side plates off the block and lo there were the studs some of which had corroded to about 60 percent of their original diameter. Clearly the studs had stretched let the head come loose and the gasket then blew. The solution according to Jaguar nuts was to fit stainless steel studs. Getting the old ones out required great concentration lots of WD40 and prayer since I was not quite sure what I would do if an old stud snapped! None did which renewed my faith in angels mystics and some of the more specific incantations.
Then disaster struck. Before fitting the new studs I decided to run a tap down the receiving holes. A suitable cutter was welded to the end of a tee bar and the tapping commenced. All went well until the tap snapped. I couldn't even bear to look and rushed out for a cup of tea a Bex and lie down!
Recovering some hours later I inspected the scene of the disaster and found that the tap had broken about 1/4" above the surface of the casting. I got some dry ice and packed it around the broken tap then using dental picks managed to unscrew the broken bit by gently gripping the flutes in the tap. I became deeply religious for some time after that!
Post Number: 723
|Posted on Monday, 21 May, 2007 - 14:05: |
I think your invocations and experience has been something that is common to most contributors to this forum!!
Post Number: 15
|Posted on Tuesday, 06 November, 2007 - 15:30: |
The Trinidad Shadow is back. Changed the core in the radiator. All is well. Very, very well! No cylinder head gasket broken or anything of the sort. The guy came in from London and sorted things out.
We had the shop replace the rad core. They installed a 4 core. It is configured with a series of semi- perpendicular angulations which, it is claimed, allows more efficient cooling. Works fine so far but I have not yet brought in the AC.
There is quite a racket in the compressor having just come from a complete overhaul of the seals etc.
Could someone recommend a replacement? Brand name etc??