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Engine strip in pics, discuss, comment, advice 1 year 6 months ago #40527

Righto fellow X19ers, see attached pics, please comment and add advice as I go along, handy on the tools but I am not an engine builder!!!

Fault - engine suffered stuck Wide Open Throttle, on re-start, rough idle and engine tick, so engine & box out and started to strip (1988 1500 SE approx. 76k miles)

compression test revealed a couple of weak cylinders, wet test improved one, once head was off (and breaking a manifold stud in head) then could see valves did kiss piston pockets...damn it (see photo valve touch), also feared broken piston ring/s as WOT errors could result in tired engine stretching out to hit wear ridge in bore to top piston ring

engine dropped out, engine onto stand (ebay special at £57), pistons out, no broken rings, #1 piston shell bearing showing dirt pickup, groove in soft top layer (photo pickup), some slight scuffing on piston skirts... guess that is normal as not too deep. As con rods, crank have a faint 'A' paint stencil, then figure this engine is sized 'A', also A930 on piston inner??. All bearings show an element of a shiny exposure coming through, figure this is the top soft layer worn though, however #3 main crank bearing is the worst as there is slight scoring on crankpin journal (photo #3 scoring). Not excessive but can feel it on fingernail, would 2000 grit wet&dry treatment improve this not ideal crankpin?

Have started to measure up but haven't completed or compared to manufacturers specs, anyways...I not into blueprinting or even adding horsepower, figure as a standard road car engine with 76k on the clock, sure some stock new parts is ample, don't want to re-bore, oversize pistons & rings or fancy cams, just plan to put new rings in, cylinder hone.. which i'm not sure to do myself or out source to engine build company as I don't want to mess that up, lap in all new valves, new seals and gaskets, and maybe later, fit a set of DCNF's and manifold which I bought 6 months ago which need a rebuild anyways.

So that's were I am up to,

But I do need advice along the way, keep me right if you see something to mention, also need to knowwhat type of engine oil to use during break-in? Do I use an engine build paste on bearings and cylinder bores? Engine may sit around for a bit once built...the gearbox also needs done for a syncro issue on 3rd... might as well tackle that while the whole lot is out!

Kinda figure if I do it all myself then if anything goes wrong, then at least I will have an idea what went wrong, you know.. if you give it too someone else to do and it then develops a fault, then its a hassle to get it fixed again, especially if they didn't do it right in the first place and its a fight to put right.

Must push on now, its late and still haven't cleaned up the tools

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Engine strip in pics, discuss, comment, advice 1 year 6 months ago #40528

more pics

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Engine strip in pics, discuss, comment, advice 1 year 6 months ago #40531

Hi Stuart, I am also removing engine in mine atm however it’s still in the car. I wanted to take it apart but thinking its maybe a good idea for me to take it to an engine builder. What would your opinion be on this??

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Engine strip in pics, discuss, comment, advice 1 year 6 months ago #40533

Hi Paddy,

Well that is a question, I guess it really boils down to your confidence in using the tools, time you can donate, knowledge for the task at hand, garage space and your tool inventory. The only way you can gain experience on the tools is actually doing it, and hey, we all make mistakes, but at least they our own mistakes and we can build and learn from it. If your happy to read a book on the subject.. then this will do wonders for your own knowledge to complete a task, minimum requirement is a Haynes workshop manual - this is a must! Getting clued up with a level 2 automotive vehicle repair text book will fast track you on the mechanics route. Hilliers Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology is ideal, all mechanics study this during an apprenticeship (or should do, but think ego means they don't need too, and that shows).

An X19 is not governed by the microchip, requiring a scanner as a first step diagnosis tool, therefore, any fault diagnosis can be undertaken by a methodical approach to pin point, understanding the fundamentals of any car system is key to fault finding, understanding, rectification, stripping, & rebuilding. It is exactly the same approach to take if your changing brake pads for the first time, tuning a carb and even stripping an engine. If you want to strip an engine, then read the section on ENGINES and get properly equipped on the fundamentals of how an engine works. Then you can quite confidently pick up the tools and start to strip. And its bloody interesting when you see the bits you have read about, then you see something you haven't, and that fires up the seek knowledge bug.

But here are a few issues...

having the tools to do the job. Ok, I'm fortunate to have quite an extensive tool box, but I still had to go out and buy an engine stand, engine hoist (actually block and tackle that I was able to hang from a very secure beam in my garage which I also had to strengthen) . I have borrowed some micrometre's for measuring the crank and pistons, currently debating if I need to buy an internal bore micrometre and cylinder ridge reamer. So even I don't have all the tools to complete properly.

I have had my head back in the books, yes, even the fundamentals too, I think twice before undertaking a job if I don't at least understand the basics and have some tech specs. So for instance, while stripping the engine, I just didn't rip into it, I took my time, I aligned all timing marks just so I know what to look for during rebuild, made sure I understood how it all worked, as putting back together can be a different story 6 months later. I photograph everything, positions of bits, before strip and during. I also take the time to bag up bits & pieces while I strip, and also use quite a few organiser boxes to keep nuts and bolts together, all manifold fasteners here, water pump there, ohh that's a strange long bolt, I'll just take a note of that, actually photo too. I once stripped a rare workshop manual, only to find during re-build I had a shim left over... I could not risk it, so studied my photos, and behold in one picture.. just barely you could see the very shim sandwiches between a gear and bearing. If I continued on without putting that back in... yes the box would run, but a few hundred miles later, and bearings will start to fail. The crux of it all... yes you can have a go yourself, but be honest if you really want too! It will be a challenge, I have started projects which end up with me wishing I never started! I have a friend, totally knows nothing about cars... however the want of learning and just cracking on has worked wonders on some of the tasks he has done on his old banger.

The screw-up factor,
I have broke a manifold stud in the head from the manifold, so, very carefully center dabbed broken stud right bang in the middle, super careful drilling it out, upping one size at a time, then another £30 quid on a heli-coil set, follow instructions, and its done, but it took me 4 hours to do which my wife wasn't happy at. Then whilst stripping engine, 2 small bolts from back water jacket blanking plate ...felt very stiff, sooooo £30 quid spent on a large hand held blow touch, gentle heat, plenty of WD40, and bolts released, without a doubt, being rash and just wanting to get on with it would have sheared them bolts off, so this leads onto...

I'm currently on 38hrs doing this engine project, I haven't bought any engine parts yet, but plenty of tools, I wanted to drive the car this summer... honestly I can forget that, but I'm happy to put the time in over the summer as it will keep me out of the pub.

Finally, I get carried away with over scrutiny of bits and over think things, get mislead on the internet searches and you tube vids, I know the faults of my engine, it might even not be in spec, but I not going racing, nor was the motor smoking, running bad or even hi on emissions, so I will stick to doing a engine re-fresh, not cams, lightening flywheel etc, I'm keeping it simple and not getting carried away with this and that.

Soooo with all that said... give it to an engine builder.. kidding, if you have the time to build the confidence and read a book, then get stuck in and post photos as you go


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Engine strip in pics, discuss, comment, advice 1 year 6 months ago #40537

Good luck with you project. As you say it's not that difficult if you have the tools and time. However, what is difficult to get is knowledge on how worn is worn and 'while you at it you might as well do x & y as well' . FYI I've just had my gearbox rebuilt for the same problem and the parts cost around £100 and the labour £200.
Cleanliness is possibly the most difficult thing to achieve is most none specialist woekshops

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Engine strip in pics, discuss, comment, advice 1 year 5 months ago #40557

Hi Stuart,
A man after my own heart...this is exactly what I've done to my engine. I think it's good that you are keeping it all standard this saves on complications further down the line. My wife bought me a Fiat and Bertone X1/9 owners work shop manual from America for shows 2 methods of how to replace the cylinder head, if you would like a copy of these pages let me know and I'll copy them for you if this helps. Have a look at some of these pictures.

When I removed the engine it looked a mess. As a young boy I had my first car (mini) at the age of 14 my dad rented a local garage from the council for me, l broke myself in with this car. Rebuilt the engine and changed my first clutch, it took a while but I got there in the end. I guess this helped me for future projects.

I didn't have any special tools other than a torque wrench a must for this job. I completely stripped this engine down replaced the piston rings, sorted the bores replaced the big end bearings and replaced all seals. The head was taken to a specialist re-skimmed all new valves new springs...well the lot was replaced.

The gear box had issues kept slipping out of 3rd gear. So I completely stripped it down. I replaced 1st and 3rd and the reverse gear and gave it a complete overhaul. I wasn't as hard as i thought.

The engine and gear box are now in the car after 6 years of restoration and purrs like a cat.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Andy Rowley

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Last edit: by David Fisher.

Engine strip in pics, discuss, comment, advice 1 year 5 months ago #40572

Hi David,

Well your story is super...only a torque wrench and a workshop manual to have a go yourself, I duff my hat to you!!! Well yes, your Mini adventure has helped to get a feel and your efforts prove that having a go can be done. That's the spirit for all classic car owners without a hefty 'in the black' bank balance need. Thanks for the offer on head replacement text material, I should be ok on that job... however, how does the Haynes manual stand up for the gearbox strip? Your photos are BRILL, they are good for me to see, to compare wear, see what you did and generally as there are many ways to skin at cat. Liking your black painted block but with the casting script highlighted, discrete and neat. Out of interest.. did you have the means to measure crank/bore wear and if so, how did that fair? did you have much of a ridge on the bore?

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Engine strip in pics, discuss, comment, advice 1 year 5 months ago #40573

Engine Hone...….. Well after much googling, you tube watching and even reading up on engine blueprinting books.... weak confidence to have a go myself, not happy and really want to avoid sourcing out work and I want to see how its done etc.

However, I mentioned to my work colleague about my rebuild efforts knowing he has done a right few rally engine rebuilds, and my concerns of honing.... well this is how the conversion went..

me- yeah, just not sure exactly how to hone, what stone hone type off ebay or flex-hone, what speed to run or should I just give it to ABC engineering for them to do

mate- well is your blocked stripped

me- ya man, not a gasket or bolt left in it

mate- and your just putting rings in?

me- yeah just rings,

mate- can you pick at the ridge on the bore top with your fingernail

me- hmmmm, well I can feel wear difference at the top, but very slight

mate- yeah, but can you pick at the ridge with your fingernail and hear it pick

me- no, but there is wear there

mate- bring her in tomorrow, I'm honing a Formula Ford engine so we can measure bore wear and flex hone at the same time, if the ridge is like you say, then it will take a hone well and only take 1/2 hour to do

me- RESULT (note to self.... its good not to piss every work colleague off, they come in handy)

Soooo after much mucking around trying to work out whats what and how to do, the job itself is super easy, but only made easy, as I was shown, imperative to have the absolute correct tools, a good quality bore dial gauge and a flex hone of suitable diameter for my 86.4mm bores. The measuring up took 30 mins (well a lot longer actually as I then had a go), and the hone part.... honestly.... seconds for each bore, The tricks to observe

1, oil flex hone well, spin in bucket to get rid of excess
2. oil bores, no fancy oil mix, engine oil is perfectly suitable
3. then its straight into bore, already fast spinning and 5 quick in & out's, this is important to get that 45deg crosshatch which is required for this standard engine refurb, ok, as I have been told, re-building for race will differ, but that's not my goal here
4. repeat in other bores, then clean and inspect your work
5. Ok, hone is working well, but some vertical score lines are visible on the thrust sides of all bores,
6. repeat hone, this time 12 in & outs
7. clean & inspect, much better, most scores have gone, only a couple faintly remain
8. quick measure, and my bores are #1 86.42 #2 86.42 #3 86.43 #4 86.44 , both taper and ovality are also within specs

and that's that, all that worry and really it was all very straightforward. I certainly feel that most of the stuff I read and watched online just complicated the matter. Granted I was shown how it was done which in itself takes away the doubt factor, but now I pass on with pics below so at least you can gauge for yourself whats what, and yes, I have bought my mate a book I know he will enjoy, Into The Red... the one with the enclosed CD with engine notes:)

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