Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

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Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:34 pm

Hi everyone,

I have a little hijet that I have been working with for the past few months. Now I am no expert mechanic but my partner is mechanically minded and between the two of us we have been working through the issues to save on garage costs (which I cannot afford at present). She's been on the road with me for the last 3 months, we've done about 1.5k and her current mileage is 92k.

The problem is recent overheating, coupled with copious amounts of oil loss. I drove her 220+ miles on Thursday in one stint, and she made the whole journey save the last mile, at which point she overheated. I stayed overnight, bled the cooling system and returned home with no problems but I did stop off on the way for an hour to let her cool. Today I went into town and we overheated within a couple of miles. I waited, topped her up again and returned home. I should note that each time I've topped up, I a) fill the two radiator caps 2) connect a hose to the little bleed nib thing under the driver side and fill it at height whilst 3) squeezing the tubes under the driver side to remove air.

My main things to solve are 1) why is she losing so much oil, and 2) why has she recently started overheating?

Some important info:
- I bought her with a blown valve (exhaust). I took the engine out, replaced the valve and reseated the others. At the same time I had the cylinder head skimmed and a new head gasket.
- I also replaced the valve stem seals, but as a novice didn't do this as carefully as I perhaps should have
- I inspected the pistons, they looked fine so I didn't bother replacing the rings
- The water pump was recently replaced before I got it
- The head gasket had been done a few thousand k before I got it
- The rocker head cover gasket was recently replaced

Symptoms:
- The overheating obviously. When it overheated today it created a vacuum and so I'm guessing the radiator cap under the seat isn't allowing coolant back into the system, causing the second overheating. I don't know if this is the case with the first time because it was dark and I was in a field and pissed off.
- Substantial oil loss - we're talking about a litre every 300 miles. It's done this from day 1 when we got on the road.
- Some mayo under the oil cap but not further down the pipes joining the cylinder head, nor on the dipper
- Some jittering/bouncing on starting on occasions (after a long journey)
- No oil in the coolant or any frothing
- When driving, the temp gauge is usually just shy of 1/2 way
- No blue smoke but there's a cat converter
- No oil leak
- No coolant leak

SO.
1. Has my head gasket gone again?? Suggested from the oil loss, mayo overheating and rumbling? I really don't want to believe that this has gone again so soon!
2. Why is she losing so much oil? Possibly because I fluffed on the valve stem seals? Could that account for the volume being lost?
3. Could the oil loss be the piston/oil control rings as I didn't replace these (and see nothing in the history)?
4. If it's not the head gasket, why the mayo under the oil cap and is this something to be really worried about?
5. Should I investigate thermostats and fans? I am unaware of any additional fan noise... what should I hear? Should it be obvious?

I am considering doing the innertube valve pressure test shortly and may be able to do a compression test if I can get a reasonable price/borrow equipment. I also have to try and get her welded at the rear sills before the MOT so I may drag the engine out again... sigh...

I must note here, I simply cannot afford garage repairs. I am prepared to get my hands dirty and put in the time to fix it, and learn at the same time.

Thanks everyone in advance Smile As you can see from the picture, I had expert advice on valve grinding.


Last edited by maralions on Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:29 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Logi on Sat Feb 13, 2016 11:57 pm

First and most important question, is the bottom hose hot?
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:33 am

When you say the bottom hose you mean the lower of the two large hoses that are under the passenger seat? Yes, running hot. Orrrr is there another hose under the radiator? Where should I look for that to make sure I don't miss it? What I'll do is start the car in a bit and check it all for this once it's up to temp. Reporting back shortly.

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Woodie on Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:02 pm

The two to which Logi refers are the two on the bottom of the radiator. The ones under the seat would be technically called the top hose(s), but Hi-Jets don't have a top hose. Both hoses are at the bottom.
With the engine at normal temperature, you will need to lay on your back (wait for it) and get your head and hands under the bumper to see the hoses and feel the hoses for temperature. One should be hot and the other cool or cooler. If both are cold then the thermostat is the first port of call.
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by elfin girl on Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:44 pm

Ahhh, this help me too, I'd always used the temp of the two hoses you can reach under the passenger seat, the one on top with the rad cap on and the one underneath coming from the thermostat housing. Which on my last check after fixing hole my "bottom pipe" is not getting warm at all... Or this a difference between the 1 and 1.3 engines?
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Raggy on Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:45 pm

No its the same check, its the flow into the rad. If thermostat is working once up to temp, hot water from engine will then pass through thermostat and go to radiator. If pipe cold means no flow so thermo stuck or big enough air lock to stop flow.
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Sun Feb 14, 2016 4:09 pm

OK reporting back... I felt both pipes under the car (bonnet) and also under the passenger seat. The bottom one under the seat and the one to the right (coming out of the radiator) is getting hot, not as hot as the other pipe. Basically drove it round for 5 mins and at first it was cold (but the other pipe hot) but after leaving it to idle for a few mins it started to heat up. I should note that it's freezing outside. The temp went up to 1/2 way and stayed.

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:18 pm

So... that would suggest that the thermostat is working. But then again, an intermittent thermostat could explain the recent overheating when it's been running OK (apart from using loads of oil).

A couple more points to mention:
1. The mayo is also within the tube under the cap
2. The vacuum created last night was coupled with a very full overflow tank that overflowed itself
3. We've suspected the oil control rings for the oil loss but haven't looked at these
4. The heating works but isn't massively hot, I can put my fingers over it

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by HighlyJetted on Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:53 pm

When you had the head off to do the valve you did skim the head yes?

And I guess you replaced the thermostat too?
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:54 pm

Yep, I had it skimmed. I didn't change the thermostat no...

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by HighlyJetted on Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:56 pm

Does it leak oil or burn oil?
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:00 pm

I can't find any evidence of leaking oil - I've put cardboard under it overnight and there's been no oil on there. That said there also isn't any smoke, but I'm guessing the catalytic converter is hiding it. So I'd say it's burning it unless I'm really missing something or it's only leaking when it's driving.

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by HighlyJetted on Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:37 pm

See if you have a black plug in one cylinder.
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Sun Feb 14, 2016 9:29 pm

Will do! Reporting back tomorrow.

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:59 pm

OK reporting back - none of the plugs are black - they're all pretty light cream. Some crusty plugs, not sure if that's a problem.

I'm taking the thermostat out now to test it.

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Logi on Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:00 pm

Do NOT break the housing...
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:58 pm

OK the thermostat is fine, I checked it in a pan of boiling water and it opened. And I didn't break the housing!

Not sure where to go next...

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:59 pm

OK I've changed the radiator caps. Both were sprung and I replaced both with the recommended Firstline one... the first seal (smaller one inside) is smaller than the original ones. Hope that's right!


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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:35 pm

Update... Fran drove fine from Northwich to Warrington and then Warrington to Preston, no signs of overheating. Still the oil issue and mayo under the cap (and all down the pipe).

Any further ideas anyone or do you think it's fixed??!!!!?

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Raggy on Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:38 pm

Call it a sucess! Sorting an overheating hijet is worth a pat on tha back....the oil...thats just another little project to pass the time with.
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:47 pm

A success until the next time Smile

So does anyone think the head gasket is gone?

I got an engine hoist today (second hand, hopefully working) to take the engine out to tackle the oil problem. Last time we (boyfriend and I) did it manually and it was a massive pain getting it back in. So I've been ordered to get a hoist.

I think the process is going to be checking the oil control rings and the valve stem seals first and going from there. Anyone got any recommendations for parts? And also head gasket just in case?

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Tue Feb 23, 2016 3:11 pm

Got some pictures of the oil.



How serious does it look?

Stupid question... how can I check the head gasket without taking the head off? I know you can get these kits but I've heard they don't always work. Basically don't want to take the head off, find itthe gasket's not bust and then have to replace it anyway simply because I've taken it off!!!

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Woodie on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:13 pm

I think that your problem COULD be simply that the little pipe on the filler cap, is blocked. The pipe goes to the inlet manifold and relieves the gasses that get past the pistons, back into the manifold and re-burns the gasses. If the pipe is blocked or the little union on the manifold is blocked the gasses build up pressure in the crankcase and will push oil out through any convenient gap.

If you pull the pipe off of the filler cap, you should be able to blow down the pipe. If you can't then it's blocked and you just need to blow the pipe through or the little 90 bend on the manifold.
If it is blocked then I reckon that is all that is wrong with your engine. I hope that I am right.
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Raggy on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:26 pm

Funny you should mention that as I only just watched a programme where a car oil smoking was fixed by exactly same issue, a blocked breather for exacly same reason/description you gave. Hope it solves their problem.
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:29 pm

Raggy was that Wheeler Dealers yesterday/day before on the Jag??

I've blown down some pipes and they're clear but I'll double check this one again as I have a terrible memory.

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Woodie on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:53 pm

It was regular problem I used to find on CVH engined Escorts, Fiestas, Orions and Sierras. The alloy union on the inlet manifold used to block up with carbon and in extreme cases the gunge you have in the oil filler cap, would be forced into the air filter and trickle out of the air filter casing.
I was reading through your posts again this afternoon and I remembered what used to happen with the Fords. It was so simple to rectify what SEEMED to be such a major problem. In extreme cases I have seen the Dipstick pushed out of the tube and spew oil mist all over the engine.
Try running your van a distance with the pipe off the cap. Also check that the pipe stub on the Filler Cap is also clear and you can blow through that too.
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by maralions on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:58 pm

It would be so great if that's the problem... will look at it tomorrow. So I need to check out that pipe (which I may have done already), the cap itself and what else?

Remember I'm a novice!!

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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Woodie on Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:59 pm

Looking at the picture of the Filler Cap it could be blocked right up. Soak it in petrol over night and give it a wash out in the morning. I reckon that is your problem. The crankcase is a sealed unit and is pressurising with gasses that get past the piston rings in worn engines.
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Woodie on Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:04 pm

If the cap pipe stub is blocked run a suitable sized drill through it to clear any carbon or gunge. I have caps in stock if you need to get another one.
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Re: Figuring out the problem...overheating and oil

Post by Raggy on Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:28 pm

maralions wrote:Raggy was that Wheeler Dealers yesterday/day before on the Jag??
Yes thats the one, know Woodie 'likes' that programme Laughing
There are a good laugh, easy watching, so long as you dont take it to seriously. Waiting till they do Hijet! We should suggest it
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