Author Topic: She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.  (Read 5880 times)

GSouthee

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« on: May 01, 2016, 18:06:11 »
Damn just nearly at home after a nice ling drive and the head gasket has gone and blown again.
   
   So decision made, not going to waste anymore time money on the engine, It looks like my old Triumph engine will be put into service after all. Just going to rebuild it and fit with OD box.
   
   So anyone out there want a good head, (It is the block face that shot), a set of fully rebuilt Carbs, a rebuilt only a fortnight ago starter, a rebuilt approx 3 months ago dynamo, a gearbox in excellent condition, or even an engine for rebuild with excellent bottom end, of even the lot then get in touch.
   
   I will be pulling it all out soon and will document the progress of the triumph conversion in due course.
   
   Cheers  G
Nothing is impossible, but sometimes it takes a different approach. Now anyone got a big hammer?

GSouthee

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2016, 18:56:14 »
Hi Had an email from a helpful member and had a subsequent tele cons and he has been very helpful re my AC engine.  He has suggested I speak to Robin Woolmer to see if one of his head gaskets would be a better bet than swapping the engine. I have now spoken to Robin and am impressed with his knowledge and his gasket. I am going to speak to him again now I have head of and no real sign of any corrosion, damage to head or liner lands etc etc. The copper gasket I fitted last year seems to have just not been man enough at the point between the liners. Robins gaskets have a reinforcing brass dogbone bit between the liners and would seem to me to be a good ides to try this. After all will put me back on the road and may just solve my problem.
   
   I will be doing the Triumph engine up over time ie new gaskets/seals etc, just in case head goes again.
   
   Still at least I am getting to know this old engine.
   
   Cheers  G
Nothing is impossible, but sometimes it takes a different approach. Now anyone got a big hammer?

BE774

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2016, 21:31:35 »
Sorry to hear of your problems after so much work, Gary.
   
   Hope the different gasket proves to be the solution; it is good to keep the original engine if you can as it is so much part of its character. Do keep us posted on your progress.
Barbara

GSouthee

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2016, 19:14:42 »
Hi  here are some pics of the head gasket as blown, and some of the gasket with the copper stripped off one side to show the very small amount of material in gasket and that of the blown part.
   
   I am pretty sure that the gasket material is not up to the job, but since asbestos is a no go nowadays, maybe this is the best that can be done.
   
   However as I have stated I am going to try the gasket from Robin Woolmer this time, and lets see how it goes.
   
   Cheers  Gary
   
   
   https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rt8fm8bcbybotwo/AADDEMr_gRVH6ZTrryog3ocNa?dl=0
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GSouthee

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2016, 10:38:24 »
Well after some discussion with Robin, I have decided to get head skimmed 5 thou just to make sure head face all good, checked gap between liners are all uniform and corrosion free. So now it down to waiting for head gasket to arrive and picking up head on Friday  to rebuild it (machine shop going to put valves back in for me after checking seats and guides).
   
   Possibly back on road next week.
   
   Cheers  G
Nothing is impossible, but sometimes it takes a different approach. Now anyone got a big hammer?

PPJ834

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2016, 16:26:26 »
Good luck Gary. I hope all goes well. The car is much better with it's original engine. Look forward to seeing the results.  Tony.

GSouthee

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2016, 20:03:08 »
Cheers Tony.
   
   Anyhow, New gasket fitted, head torqued down fluids added, then, shock horror, water dripping out around top edge of block in several places. Quick drain of radiator and head back off. Spoke to Robin who was as flummoxed as I. He suggested I re check the block face to ensure it was flat and to re check the height of the liners. So, straight edge out and checked down both sides all seemed good, then checked liner heights all around 7thou or tight 8thou. I know Robin prefers 5thou but he did say these should be ok. He did suggest a thin bead of liquid gasket on the water jacket face.
   
   So thin bead it was, gasket back on, head back on, torqued up to 35 lb ft, then to 38 lb ft. Water added and hey presto no leaks. Cautiously stared her up and left to tick over for 45 mins, left to cool re torqued all good so far. Now had 2 runs out only 10 or so miles and all appears ok. Will do longer run on tuesday say 40-50 miles, then re-torque head. Then it will be fingers crossed etc etc. I must say that Robin has been mighty helpful and the sealing around the liners/head does appear to be superior to the copper gasket. Time will tell.
   
   I am still going to rebuild the Triumph engine anyway just in case and after all 116bhp is tempting.
   
   Cheers  Gary
Nothing is impossible, but sometimes it takes a different approach. Now anyone got a big hammer?

GSouthee

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2016, 10:18:11 »
Progress so far so good, went out Tuesday in the old girl and done a 60 mile run, had a great lunch, and she was admired by those at the pub.  Got back and when cooled down (that's both the car and me, as anyone with a 2 Litre will confirm on a hot day its warm inside) re torqued the head. Very little torque adjustment needed, unlike the copper one that needed quite a bit).
   
   Then yesterday went for another trip into East London (Bl**dy traffic) and all was well. Parked up at a little Bistro I know near the Excel centre, right by the wharf and enjoyed another lunch (courtesy of a mate of mine this time) and both his Armstrong Siddely Hurricane (at least he stays cool in the heat) and the Old Girl caused quite a lot of attention.
   
   So hopefully onward and upward and all will be good for a 2 week trip to France at the end of June.
   
   Cheers  G
Nothing is impossible, but sometimes it takes a different approach. Now anyone got a big hammer?

rod briggs

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2016, 18:15:36 »
Hi Gary,
   
   I’ve just noticed your posts on the AC forum and reading through them I believe that the trouble you experienced was caused by inadequate liner protrusion.  7 to 8 thou is totally inadequate to maintain a seal and blowing of the gasket is only a matter of time.  20 thou is required with a conventional gasket such as the one that we supplied to you.
   
   There are two probable reasons for your low liner protrusion.  The first is that the protrusion was set incorrectly in the first place and the second is that if your engine has the original AC short liners with a thick sandwich of figure-of-eight gaskets beneath them, the gaskets and the sealant between them have compressed, thus allowing the liners to drop.  This is a very common fault that probably caused the demise of countless AC engines and is still bringing others to a halt today.
   
   The bottom line is that the material of the copper/pretend asbestos gaskets that we supply is perfectly adequate and is well up to the job.  For the record, I have used the same gaskets for many years including on my racing engine, which is now in its third competition season since its last rebuild, has a compression ratio of around 9.0:1as opposed to your car’s likely 6.5:1 and is frequently revved to nearly 6,000rpm when the red mist comes down.  I have never experienced the trouble that you record.
   
   Still, if you have solved the problem with one of Robin’s gaskets, all well and good and I hope that your troubles are over and that your trip to France will go well.
   
   Best regards,
   
   Rod Briggs

GSouthee

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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2016, 10:19:46 »
Dear Rod,
   
   I did  keep your name from my posts so as not to cause any concern by my comments.
   
   However, whilst I am not an AC engine expert I have worked on many, many engines in the past. and 20 thou seems extreme especially when the AC handbook states 10 thou.  Further, when I purchased this gasket and we spoke you asked me if the head and face were flat and what was the land protusion I stated that they were all level and around 8 thou, you did not at that time tell me that would be a problem.
   
   Still I do not want to sling mud etc etc. You were most helpful on many matters and maybe this time either the gasket was a rogue one or it was not up to the job with what AC states as being the protusion.
   
   Also my engine has 7.5 pistons fitted when rebuilt.
   
   I am sure we shall deal again in the future, all the best.
Nothing is impossible, but sometimes it takes a different approach. Now anyone got a big hammer?

rod briggs

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2016, 14:02:46 »
Hello Gary,
   
   I appreciate your not wishing to embarrass me in public - that was very thoughtful.  As I cannot recall the 8thou bit - perhaps I missed that or just wasn't listening - I won't argue although I feel certain that I would have expressed concern because we build all our engines (over sixty to date) to 20thou for a lot of very good reasons.  One of these was because in around 2003 I quite deliberately built an engine for my own car with 9thou protrusion just to see what would happen.  And what did happen was that all was well for a short while and then the engine started misfiring after ticking over and eventually went down to five and then four cylinders and the sump began filling with water, so I reset the liners at 20thou and cured the problem.  By the way and in case anyone wants to try this trick, I did this with the engine in the car with the head off and by pulling the liners off the pistons and then refitting them on top of thicker fig-of-eight gaskets.  Good fun if you've nothing better to do and don't mind wrecking your finger nails whilst feeding the rings into the bottoms of the liners!
   
   I would definitely contest the matter of AC's stated correct liner protrusion because, although this figure is given in some of their literature (I've just looked), over the years they issued several different and gradually increasing figures, eventually arriving at an astounding 30thou.  And no, just in case anybody asks me to prove that, I am not going to because I can't remember where I saw it.
   
   However, all this is likely to prove fairly academic ere long as, after much protracted experimentation, we hope to have our new, low cost, re-usable head gaskets in production soon.  Hopefully Robin's gasket will have done the trick and you won't need one.
   
   Best regards,
   
   Rod

GSouthee

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2016, 19:06:47 »
Hi Rod
   
   I appreciate your knowledge and experience of the AC engine.
   
   Indeed there does seem to be many vagaries re the AC engine, many by AC themselves.
   
   I also hope my problem is solved, but never say never.
   
   Still looking forward to your engine book when done.
   
   Cheers  Gary
Nothing is impossible, but sometimes it takes a different approach. Now anyone got a big hammer?

GSouthee

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2016, 18:05:30 »
Well, still going well over 400 miles on. She appears to running much better and a bit more sprightly, poss down to the head skim marginally increasing comp ratio.
   
   Just been getting the Ol' Girl ready for a 2 week trip to France. (Better check the breakdown cover).
   
   Cheers  G
Nothing is impossible, but sometimes it takes a different approach. Now anyone got a big hammer?

GSouthee

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2016, 19:00:35 »
C'est Magnifique
   
   All went well in France over 600 miles and did not miss a beat. Definitely running better. Did not need the breakdown cover.
   
   Some of the hills in northern France tested her a bit but all good.
   
   Cheers  G
Nothing is impossible, but sometimes it takes a different approach. Now anyone got a big hammer?

aceaceca

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She'd gone and blown again. but hope was at hand.
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2017, 00:49:04 »
I read your post with interest and was planning to put my two cents in when I came to Rod's post. I learned what he stated by trial and error and by measuring liner protrusion on a number of factory untouched engines. I might say I have only done 4 AC Weller engines but learned my lesson on the first one that came in boxes. As you have done, head on, leaks, head off, and so on. Initially I used the 6 thou noted in the AC Owners Manual. Disaster. Once I learned my lesson and found other engines with 16 to 20 thou liner protrusions, I had no further trouble. I am sure Rod has built way more engines than I and I am glad to see him sharing this information with others. If I might ask a question related to this subject, Is it safe to use a pristine block and liners without disturbing everything to replace the figure 8 gaskets and upset the liner height??? ie. This is an original factory engine.