There comes a time...

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Philip Chidlow
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There comes a time...

Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Feb 14, 2006 1:57 pm

...when, with over 150K on the clock one of my GTIs is giving off a bit of a 'fumey' smell* and when reastarted after a bit of a run, smokes a bit. It soon goes but the car is really quite smelly compared with my other one. There doesn't appear to be a big problem as it passed emissions last MOT 6 months ago, but I know it's only a matter of time before I have to address the issue of worn components (valve seals most obviously I guess). It doesn't burn much oil, doesn't drop anything other than the odd small drip and doesn't make any odd sounds. The problem is worse since its last service/oil change - I guess because the oil's thinner than the stuff that came out...

What would be your collective advice? Should I leave it alone for a bit? I've heard the seals can be done by a skilled mechanic without taking the head off - but maybe I should have the top rebuilt anyway? Would it be cheaper and better to do an engine swap?

Ill-advised it might be to do this - but I have no intention of getting rid of the car and because I'm fond of it I will spend money on it.

Shame I can't put a Turbo diesel in there, mated to the auto box! (Only joking)...

In the short term are there any additives that I could use? And where would the 'fumey' smell be coming from? Cracked breather pipe?
• COMING SOON... 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
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Post by jeremy » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:14 pm

I'd have thought that if it was valve seals the fumes would only be noticeable in the exhaust and the engine would not smell.

I don't know how clean your engine is - and so how easy it is to notice leaks. Your biggest concern is that its ring wear as not only will this inevietably get worse but will probably do consequential damage on the way. What happens is that while the rings seal nicely the engine runs at its designed temperature, but when the rings start to leak - so does the blowby - which of course is hot. In turn this causes the rings to overheat - and they become brittle - and break - and leak more - and the bits flap around and wear the piston - and the bore and so on.

Bore wear is usually accompanied by blowby - which means crankcase pressurisation and oil leaks from everywhere. In its early stages you will see increased fuming from the oil filler when you remove the cap.

You may be lucky and its something like a blocked breather (has yours got the pan scourer gauze in the filler cap - as this will block terminally and needs replacing.

jeremy

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:26 pm

The engine bay's nice and clean and there's no evidence od significant oil leaks. I have no overheating problem and there's no appreciable smoke from the filler. I have a 'pan scourer' in there. Although it's not all old and rusty, should I remove it completely as it does seem prone to mayonaising up...
• COMING SOON... 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• COMING SOON... 1998 Citroen Xantia 2.0 16v auto Exclusive
• Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v
and some Ford tat lol

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Post by jeremy » Tue Feb 14, 2006 2:36 pm

Worth making sure the pot scourer is clean - I have seen them so totally clogged that cleaning was impossible. Mesh seems identical to a copper coloured scourer sold in cheap hardware shops! - and I suppose its a case of better out than blocked - in the short term.

To be honest when I looked I couldn't see why it was there at all but I suppose it could prevent dirt from the pipes getting back into the sump. I may be wrong on the circuit as I'm not very familiar with citroen petrol engines.

jeremy

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cavmad
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Post by cavmad » Tue Feb 14, 2006 3:04 pm

Philip chidlow wrote:The engine bay's nice and clean and there's no evidence od significant oil leaks. I have no overheating problem and there's no appreciable smoke from the filler. I have a 'pan scourer' in there. Although it's not all old and rusty, should I remove it completely as it does seem prone to mayonaising up...
What sort of journeys are you making in it? I`ve had a couple of 405`s in the past which displayed symptons like yours and had excessive `mayonaising` in and around the filler cap.
A Peugot dealer (and quite a few other garages too) suggested it was because of the short journeys I made in it and said they need regular long journeys/thrashing.
Vauxhall apologist.

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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Feb 14, 2006 3:19 pm

Well, it is used daily for short journeys, but I recently did a 'blast' in it to meet Ian and Tim, and if I'm honest it didn't seem to help the problem of fumes/smoke, but I'll have to check my 'scourer!'... It's not that bad and maybe I'm making too much of it. It was just a bit noticeable after that long trip, let the car stand for about 10 mins before starting off again for the shops - and there was a smelly puff of smoke from the back.

I do notice that the mayonaise problem seems worse in cold weather and am confident it's nothing more serious than condensation/poor design. I will check it though.

Funny, but my other BX doesn't exhibit any of these problems. The only engine related 'quirk' is after a full throttle blast :twisted: down an A road to a set of traffic lights the other day, the engine 'choked' a bit as I came to rest, but soon cleared itself. I thought that might be old plugs getting a bit hot...
• COMING SOON... 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• COMING SOON... 1998 Citroen Xantia 2.0 16v auto Exclusive
• Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v
and some Ford tat lol

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Post by Ian_Fearn » Tue Feb 14, 2006 6:43 pm

Phil, as a temporary solution i'd really recommend getting some 'stop smoke'

Admittedly its a short term solution but it worked wonders on my old Hurricane when the new owner put it in. It had previously seemed to be on its last legs and then all of a sudden it was perfect. Still working well now.

All you do is bung it in with your oil.
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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:01 pm

OK. I'll do that. I seem to remember this being a probelm after the last oil change, and after a couple of months - as the oil gets used it thickens I guess - the problem diminishes... And bear in mind I'd only had the service the day before that run.

Wouldn't hurt to give the oil a thickening hand!
• COMING SOON... 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• COMING SOON... 1998 Citroen Xantia 2.0 16v auto Exclusive
• Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v
and some Ford tat lol

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Post by Barnsley BXer » Tue Feb 14, 2006 8:31 pm

Does the engine run OK?A few years ago I had a problem with a poor running engine.Not only was the pan scourer full of mayo,but all the breather pipes were solid too.
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Philip Chidlow
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Post by Philip Chidlow » Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:34 pm

The engine runs and starts up fine (always has) but it is down on power a smidge compared with my other BX - I put that down to 50k more on the clock.
• COMING SOON... 1992 Citroen BX TZD Turbo Hurricane
• COMING SOON... 1998 Citroen Xantia 2.0 16v auto Exclusive
• Xsara Picasso 1.6 16v
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Post by Mike E (uk) » Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:58 pm

The 8V GTI engines seem to eat valve guide oil seals every 80,000 miles or so. Do a compression test to check the piston rings, but I would expect them to be OK.

If it produces no exhaust smoke on start up, but there is blue smoke after it has warmed up, it is probably is the oil seals. This can get worse very quickly, and using thicker engine oil will only deley tye inevitable, plus it may not be good for the rest of the engine in this cold weather.

As you are planning on keeping the car, it is well worth changing these seals, and giving it a decoke too if the head is removed.

I overhauled my GTI top end,(I re-ground the valves, fitted new valve springs,oil seals etc,) and it was like having a new engine afterwards.

Mike