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Thread: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

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    RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    So looking for any suggestions before stripping my engine down again.....

    I have an standard spec RS1800 Zetec in a kit car running weber's and I made the decision to give it a fresh set of big ends and rings before this season of track days. The engine was purchased a few years ago with unknown miles or history.

    The engine has always been a bit huffy out the oil filler cap but compression was good. Prior to making the decision it was showing signs of burning oil but nothing major and I suspected it to be more from the valves stem seals than the rings.

    Pulled the engine apart, bores are fine and measured up round and bang on size. Big ends in good shape to. Head was skimmed and valves were lapped.

    Put it all back together and started it up and its been chuffing huge plumes of smoke, more than I have ever seen almost as if I had forgotten the rings entirely! Pulled the plugs out and looking down the bores the tops of all the pistons are wet with a thick covering of oil that you can move with a screwdriver.

    Then I realised I had overfilled it will oil as the modified sump is a bit smaller than the original in volume, drained out enough oil to get the right level and ran the car again hoping that was the issue and it needed to burn off the excess. No luck.

    Pulled the head off and the cylinders had a lot of oil in them, there also seemed to be quite a lot of oil under the head gasket when I removed it. Cleaned the bores and head up put the head back on temporary and turned it over for a long time on the starter to see if the oil returned to the cylinders. It didnt so thought that it most have been just a lot of oil from overfilling and the engine wasn't run for long enough to clear it....

    New head gasket and bolts and all back together, started it back up and its the same, big plumes of smoke and the pistons are wet with oil.

    Spoke to my father who is a retired engine machinist and mechanic and when he saw how much oil was in the bores he didnt think that much could get past the rings even if there were the wrong size.

    But I guess that's what I have to do is check the rings haven't broken on install or an assembly error.

    Any thoughts?

    Photos after taking the head after about 10mins of running.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/tGn2JyeoCjb8dE3dA

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/oTaH2Cg6FGaDMfKE6
    Last edited by heymoa; 15-05-2023 at 21:00.

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    You didn't say whether you put new valve stem oil seals in it or not?

    It almost looks like there are no valve stem oil seals in it at all.

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    All new stem seals fitted. I assume there is only one size, they seemed to grip the valves well.

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    Crankcase breather gone bad or blocked due to excess oil? . . . . . if the case can't breathe, oil will get forced out of any available orifice!

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    Can't see photos.

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    Quote Originally Posted by katana View Post
    Crankcase breather gone bad or blocked due to excess oil? . . . . . if the case can't breathe, oil will get forced out of any available orifice!
    Catch tank was emptied, there is no connection to the manifold, and I believe the one way valve has been removed. What would be the test to check that theory? Take the breather off the side of the engine and inspect? Wouldn't have been worse with worn stem seals and rings?

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Miniliteman View Post
    Can't see photos.
    OK will find another way of posting them, I couldn't get the attachment to work at a resolution that was worth looking at.

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    What about the oil, should I have used break in oil and the new oil is doing too good of a job and letting oil past the rings?

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    Click image for larger version Name:	PXL_20230505_181718956.gif Views:	86 Size:	460.7 KB ID:	88477
    Click image for larger version Name:	PXL_20230505_181340627.gif Views:	86 Size:	448.2 KB ID:	88478

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    Maybe compression was good because there was so much oil? I've never seen any engine with that much oil in a cylinder after 10 minutes - that looks terminal!
    Further to earlier remark - if the crankcase breather rattles it still has its ball bearing valve intact so won't function as designed if just connected to a catch can - they
    work by using engine vacuum to open the valve and thus the c/case and vent it to the airbox.

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    I think it is terminal! I have never seen anything like it either, as I said its like I forgot to put the rings in

    These were the rings which I imagine are fine being from Burton.
    https://www.burtonpower.com/piston-r...46070-std.html

    One set had a slightly different oil control spring design than the other three and that might explain why number one piston is slightly better than the other three. Or its a coincidence.

    The instructions were very clear on what was up and down and to make sure the oil springs butted up to each other so I am at a loss as to what has happened.

    I recently rebuilt a 3.2 V6 Alfa GTA engine which was a way bigger job than this little four banger!

    Its not a massive job to strip it down its just a pain to have to replace the head and con-rod bolts again

    Regarding the breather, I think that is why the valve was removed as it is set up to run from the crank breather to the catch tank and the cam cover is also connected to tank. I purchased the car as an unfinished project so most of this was set up by the prior owner.
    Last edited by heymoa; 16-05-2023 at 18:50.

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue UPDATED

    Update.

    Pulled the engine apart tonight and have noticed a couple of things that are most likely the cause.

    The cylinder that was not as wet with oil as the other three was the ring set that had a different oil control ring. Also noticed that the oil piston jet is missing from that piston so that would be helping with less oil being sprayed in the cylinder.

    The oil control rings on the three pistons that are very wet with oil and all have the same style of oil control ring, and they dont seem to fit as well as the other style.

    What would the reason be for different types of oil control rings? They all came from Burton on the same order and all had the same part number.

    I have re checked the gaps are they are fine, all the rings are installed correctly and the compression rings all have a good even sign of wear so they were bedding in ok. Just seems to be these oil control rings which is frustrating as they are also installed correctly.

    http://www.turbosport.co.uk/attachme...7&d=1684958695

    http://www.turbosport.co.uk/attachme...6&d=1684958695

    http://www.turbosport.co.uk/attachme...1&d=1684958913

    http://www.turbosport.co.uk/attachme...9&d=1684958913

    http://www.turbosport.co.uk/attachme...0&d=1684958913

    http://www.turbosport.co.uk/attachme...8&d=1684958913

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    piston 1 its clear to see the oil control rings are too narrow for the ring grove. you wont have ANY oil control like that.

    it also doent look like the bores have had any form of glaze bust or hone?

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    piston 1 its clear to see the oil control rings are too narrow for the ring grove. you wont have ANY oil control like that.

    it also doent look like the bores have had any form of glaze bust or hone?
    Piston 1 is the one that isn't burning oil, its the other three that are letting oil past. With the amount of oil in the bores the new compression rings wont be doing much to the cylinder walls IMO.

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    Re: RS1800 Zetec rebuild issue

    Hi There

    Did you resolve the issue? I am curious as to what the cause was......


    All the best

    Berni

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