Piston three issue, what to do now...

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frlrubett
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Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by frlrubett » Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:40 pm

So as you can see from the title, I won't be at the Scirocco meet... this thread was started previously as a tappets noise thread but today after diagnosis at my local garage it could be more serious. Here is some background..

Car.

Scirocco Scala 1.8 1988 - I think its an DX engine.
156k miles on clock but clock is faulty, previous owner had it sorn for years.
Owned for couple of years but only driven about 500 miles in it.
No other real mechanical issues have posted a few things on forum and sorted.
Body work in 95% great condition and interior is great except dashboard.
Full MOT.

Symptoms.

-Tapping sound, was intermittent now constant. Increases with acceleration.
-Sometimes takes a few turns to start, does one turn and then nothing but on next try will fire immediately.
-Black smoke from exhaust on occasion more regular now.
-Lumpy idle.

Garage have said. "It is piston three, it is loose in the valve and needs replacing." They are a local garage to me, have been there a number of times because they have been helpful and seem honest but they are not native English speakers. They have said to repair would cost £700.00 but they were not keen to take the job on because they could not guarantee it would be successful. They said if I had a spare engine they would drop it in for £400.00

I have a few questions...

- Do these symptoms sound like the problem the garage have reported?
- What would you advise me to do, rebuild the top of the engine doing all four pistons ?
- I am not a mechanic at all so would not even think about doing it myself - what sort of money should I expect to pay for the above work?
- Drop a new engine in?
- Sell with full disclosure.


Thanks in advance, I had put a set of new tyres on the car and done a full clean up to come to the meet and looks like I am home alone - at least there is Formula 1 tomorrow!



mark1gls
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by mark1gls » Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:31 pm

I would get another garage or someone who knows about these engines to have a look at your car.
155,000 miles is a no problems for the DX lump.

As this could cost you a few £££s some basic stuff need to be ruled out 1st as I think the advice from the garage is not normal, what have you done since the car was back on the road after being stored up?

You can get the tappets out without pulling the head off and hydraulic tappets not moving for years with old oil in them is a good reason to check them or replace them, you will need to remove the cam belt so can check the timing marks as it’s easy to be a tooth out and the engine will “sort of run” but not at 100%.
Should take no more than a couple of hours at a garage and a new rocker cover gasket....

Black smoke from the exhaust is fuel, the smoke would be blue if your engine is burning oil, white is coolant/water.

Are you using much oil?

My engine got to 270,000 miles before the engine block/piston started tapping and I was using 1/2 L of oil every 500 miles....


Mk1 78 Scirocco GLS 1.6 FR, weekend toy.
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frlrubett
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by frlrubett » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:32 am

mark1gls wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:31 pm
I would get another garage or someone who knows about these engines to have a look at your car.
155,000 miles is a no problems for the DX lump.
Yes have already called the VW guy in Camberwell who has said to bring it down - car is still driving would I risk further damage worst case scenario? Seems to be more smoke coming out of back since the garage had a look at it.
mark1gls wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:31 pm
As this could cost you a few £££s some basic stuff need to be ruled out 1st as I think the advice from the garage is not normal, what have you done since the car was back on the road after being stored up?
Cam belt, water leak from header tank (documented on another thread which you helped with), full service, water pump.
mark1gls wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:31 pm
Black smoke from the exhaust is fuel, the smoke would be blue if your engine is burning oil, white is coolant/water.
Yes sorry to correct, its smoking black out the back.
mark1gls wrote:
Fri Aug 02, 2019 11:31 pm
Are you using much oil?
Have been topping it up, but difficult to say as previous loss was from a leak and I have driven about 100 miles since then.

Am keen to keep the car as its solid and with a recon engine it will be even stronger. Just want to find someone who is keen to take it on, and will do a great job. Recommendations will be very welcome!



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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by mark1gls » Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:39 am

Good to hear you are getting a second opinion.

They should do a compression test to check the valves are seating etc, to check what’s happening inside the engine before the need to pull it apart as that’s when things start to get expensive.


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frlrubett
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by frlrubett » Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:11 am

mark1gls wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:39 am
Good to hear you are getting a second opinion.

They should do a compression test to check the valves are seating etc, to check what’s happening inside the engine before the need to pull it apart as that’s when things start to get expensive.
Had a few phone calls this morning from VW and engine specialists, most people are quoting 2k+ to do a full engine rebuild and around 1k+ for a bottom end. Is it worth doing the whole engine or just deal with the bits which are broken?

VW Enterprises guy has been most helpful so far and really knows the engines - he needs of course to see it and diagnose.



mark1gls
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by mark1gls » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:34 pm

You could bring the cost down a lot by doing some of the work yourself as most time is spend removing stuff to get the engine out, the difficult bit is testing the head etc...

You will need some specialist tools to remove the head etc.

The engine blocks are bomb proof so I’m surprised if that does need a rebuild after 156,000 miles, it’s usually the head which needs new rubber seals as they go hard over time and when left standing for some time dry out.

Last time I pulled an engine apart with 120,000 miles on the clock, left outside in the garden for 4 years under some tarp the engine block was ok, all I did was the head, new valve steam seals, new valve guides, skim the head, re-ground valve seats and valves and a good clean was approx £150 at an engine specialist as I took the head in to them.
New gaskets and bolts approx £40
Coolant, oil, etc...etc... I had the tools to do it so the cost does start to add up...

Other option is fit another engine but you will need to know the history etc as after buying it you still might need to spend £££s rebuilding that one as well...

The advantage of using a good garage to do the work is you drive in....wait a few days/weeks... pay then drive out and go home with some sort of warranty... :-D


Mk1 78 Scirocco GLS 1.6 FR, weekend toy.
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frlrubett
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by frlrubett » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:57 am

Ha I hear what you are saying. Firstly the mileage is dubious, the clock sort of works previous owner said it was garaged for years but I do not know for sure. It could be on 200k actual miles!

This is my current plan...I am busy, have a garage on a public road, no tools and no clue really at what to do.

Drop the car down to VW Enterprises, have had a long chat with them about the engine. They seem to really know their stuff and they have said they will diagnose it properly then we can make decisions. If it needs bottom end work then will just have the whole engine rebuilt so its solid for the future. He has also mentioned some other things like a 16v conversion...

Hopefully I can make it to the Scirocco meet in 2020. Thanks for your advice on the matter!



mark1gls
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by mark1gls » Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:42 pm

Sound like you have a plan.

There’s lots of options with engine conversions a Mk3 2.0l bottom end and use your head etc is probably the cheapest option as there’s loads of Mk3 Golfs in scrap yards.
16v is another option but they like to rev as that’s where the power is and you don’t gain much “low end grunt” unlike the 2.0l.

Bit of info here....

https://vwgolfmk1.org.uk/index.php?page ... misc&id=26

I recon the car will be worth more in the future if you keep the original engine than converting it, the DX engine is a cracking engine and when set up right with a nice 4,2,1 manifold to help it breath will keep up with most modern stuff and won’t disgrace it self, I’ve surprised a few BMW/Audi drivers when I drive my Gti like I stole it..... :-D

As you wish to keep the car then any money spent on a rebuild should be worth it in long run.

Keep us updated on how it goes at the garage.


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frlrubett
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by frlrubett » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:41 am

Webp.net-resizeimage.jpg
Just a quick shot before going down to VW Enterprises. Had a call this morning with the diagnosis,

"Great bodywork and interior, hardly any rust on it at all but the engine....wow it sounds baaaaaaaaaad"

Engine rebuild should be complete in 10 days if all goes well!

Thanks for those who recommended these guys.
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mr.brown
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by mr.brown » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:31 pm

I have a 1.9 engine sitting at VW Enterprises - it came out of one of their customers cars who was upgrading - I haven't picked it up yet. If you're interested let Darren know.



frlrubett
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by frlrubett » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:41 pm

mr.brown wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:31 pm
I have a 1.9 engine sitting at VW Enterprises - it came out of one of their customers cars who was upgrading - I haven't picked it up yet. If you're interested let Darren know.
which 1.9 engine is that?



mr.brown
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by mr.brown » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:54 pm

It's a 1.8 that's been bored out to 1.9 - it was a popular conversion by a company called TSR (who are still around now).I'm only really after the cylinder head as I have a 2.0 block here.



frlrubett
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by frlrubett » Tue Sep 17, 2019 12:23 pm

Ok... what sort of money are you after? Mine engine is not even out yet because he has a Golf 1.6 to deal with first!



frlrubett
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by frlrubett » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:26 pm

So update....

The cylinders are in bad nick and to put new pistons in them would mean a potential rattle issue again. So option one is to re-bore and rebuilt. The other option is to drop another block in and rebuild from that upwards. Thoughts?



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james butler
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Re: Piston three issue, what to do now...

Post by james butler » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:43 am

another engine is by far the cheapest way to go.
find a running mk3 golf and pull the motor.


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