The end of me driving!

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The end of me driving!

Post by Vanny »

Here is a little story, i'll try to keep it concise!

Summer 2002 - Bought a 1.9TD Xantia engine directly out of the car, from a dodgy geezer in Anglesey! My god how i was ripped off, £600 for the engine with 60k on it, then the guy wanted to charge me for the box!

November 2003 - Bought Jaz! BX 16v J-reg off Ebay for £360. As half the engine was int he boot and the other half in the bay i could see it was rather buggered and having not had an engine apart myself before i flogged the engine and loom for £200. Leaving me with a BX16v in pretty good condition, with leather and HUGE alloy wheels! Oh and a big hole!

March 2004 - Swapped the 1.9td engine out of the 19rd and stuck it in the BX16v. At that time the timing belt was done, but my 'assistant' right royally fucked it up, timing wasnt close, and a valve hit a piston and that was that! Eventually managed to get it fixed though was told i only need replace the valve. Total conversion time was around 8 weeks as same said assistant sent a CV all over the garage floor, and corrosion around the hub seriously slowed the project down!

June 2004 - went to the states and laid the car up while i was gone. The trip also clocked up some serious bills!

December 2004 - seriously ran out of money to keep the car one the road, couldn't afford the insurance nor tax so pulled her off the road!

February 2005 - got the car back on the road and took the to Southhampton, came back on a trailer! Alternator had failed, but the engine was not healthy! Laid up until after exams!

April 2005 - Oh how the tradgedy continues. Decided the engine needed serious help and was offered many offers of help, and an engine was kindly brought up for fitting!

I was told this engine was near perfect, and while having a large number of miles was very healthy and well looked after! The engine was fitted and paid for and i eventually got it through an MOT.

Then within the first few weeks of June a water pipe blew off, pipe was fixed but the engine was past best and the head gasket had blown! Getting the car through it's MOT had cost me EVERY penny i had, very literally! Fortunately a very good friend bailed me out, gave me the money needed and even helped me carry out a very good engine job!

When we got the head off we found the engine had a brand new head and had at sometime in the fairly recent past, snapped a cambelt. Lots of valve marks on the piston heads and corosion all over the bottom of the block! Basically i had once again been screwed over with and engine that was not in good condition and had not been looked after, with major corrosion on and in the bottom end!

Basically for the last few weeks i've had serious problems with coolant loss and some difficulty keep thw engine temp under 100degrees! My suspicion was that the rad was leaking water through the rad cap. Went to the scrappy yesterday and got a replacement rad along with some very clever electronics to control the fans! However having fitted them and refilled the system, bubbles where continously forming in the water! Once i put the cap on the header tank the pressure has built up to such an extent that the lower block has totally failed. Water is coming through the gasket and more alarmingly through a very porous block!

This means the engine is basically a write off. With no money to replace it, and having spent in excess of £250 on this fucked up engine i am no longer able to continue driving!

I am not happy!

I't looks like i wont be able to help people fixing there cars, and showing the generousity that others have shown me! I'm totally gutted!

Now let me make a few things clear, i simply CAN NOT afford to fix the car, i dont have a penny! Offers of engines and parts, while im greatful for the care and consideration, wont resolve the problem as i can't even afford the oil to go in, let alone head bolts, gaskets etc!

I am simply stopping driving for the forseeable future and will do my damndest not to go near a car for as long as i can manage!

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Post by DavidRutherford »

I am fairly astounded.

For those who don't know, I was the vendor of the second dodgey engine. (a 1769TD). I'd like to think that it's fairly obvious that I didn't know it was dodgey, or I woudn't have even contemplated selling it, or making the effort to fit it to a car.

The reason I'm astounded is that engine. It had come from a 1991 405. It belonged to a friend of mine (actually one of my university lecturers), and I had driven it on numerous occasions. It ran well, and gave good power/economy. After the car was rear-ended, I yanked the engine out to keep as a spare for my old 405TD that I no longer have, and kept it nice and dry in my garage. I knew it had had a head gasket not long ago, but knew nothing of the cambelt snap/new head saga.

Evedently it has suffered while being stored. Anyone any ideas as to what on earth could have turned a good-running engine into the pile-o-shite that is being described above? I am particularly worried, as I have another 1905cc atmo diesel engine in my garage that I hope to use again soon. It also was in fine fettle when stored. I am now very worried about what condition it is going to be in.

I'd like to think there was a plus-side to this saga, but I really can't find one at the moment. All I can say (to mr. Vanny) is that I am REALLY sorry for selling you a duff engine, but as I'm sure you know, I didn't do it on purpose!
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Post by M »

Vanny - will contact you re the wheels and will come & pick them up from yours. Once the BX is taxed if you want a loan of an AX let me know.
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Post by Vanny »

Cheers Marty, i might speak to my mum and steel her AX for the Wednesday evening! As for the offer of the car, we will have to see! I'm very greatful for the offer (it's the second entire car i've been offered already!), at the moment im happy with the bus, though until i get a job who knows if i even need a car!

As for the engine, well i really can't see how it could have been healthy! THe gasket that came off was past best and mostly through heat, not just corrosion, it certainly wasn't put on within the last 5000 miles and it looks like it was put on with the new head. I suspect that the bottom end wasn't properly checked over when the new head was put on as the corrosion is so ingrained it must have been like that for a long time. What probably didn't help is the engine having fresh coolant in it (came out during the rebuild), i suspect this is what finished off the cooling ports within the engine but not the head. Added to my suspicions of the engines actual road worth is the amount it smoked on first start up once fitted, after promises of the engine being perfect i was pretty much horrified to find it smoking pure white the second the engine was run (ie water), but again was promised the engine had always done this! The bores of the cylinders are very badly rifled, suggesting poor oil quality and bad maintenance. Then of course there is the amount of oil and general crap plastered on the engine sugests less than perfect care of the engine, i know i dont let mine get that plastered. And to top all of this the turbo is pretty much screwed, and with me only doing 500 miles on it. Oh the engine mount that came on the engine is pretty much fubar as well.

My personal view is that the engine was very poorly looked after, inconsistent oil changes leaving the cylinders and turbo to fail, failure to change the timing belt resulting in cam belt failure and resultant failure of the head through timing. Poor maintenance has also lead to failure to check and change the water in the cooling system and resulting in the corrosion in the bottom end.

I had suspected that perhaps the engines had got mixed up in storage, but then again perhaps not. This engine has very clearly NOT been well maintained and looked after in its recent history, and i've lost out a huge amount of time and money with this engine.

In retrospect i really should have had the 1.9td head off and fixed the valve guide or simply bought a new head, and i could have saved a fortune!
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Post by AlanS »

I'm not buying into this one way or the other, but I would say from many years of experience with cars of all makes, models and conditions, that I am always of the belief that to replace a component instead of first covering all aspects of rebuilding the original one is frought with many traps and pitfalls unless you were actually there when the part was in service and there when it was removed so you are in personal possession of everything and the opinion on condition is yours and not someone elses. No two people hold the identical opinions on the condition of things.
An example years ago when I owned a Ford Consul :oops: that was from a deceased estate and had only 15,000 miles on the clock after about 12 years; genuine, all service records etc.
It suddenly started burning oil badly. Diagnosis by all who saw it was that due to age, a lot of short runs on a cold motor, possible wear due to this and acid from old oils it wasn't worth spending money on. Buy another motor; it'll be cheaper.
Bought an engine with stellar miles (only one available, but guaranteed it to be in top shape) redid the top end whilst I was on the job only to find it burnt it worse. Eventually discovered the bellows to the vacuum wipers at the back of the fuel pump had perished and was sucking oil straight from the crankcase. Ended up with a rattly motor that burnt some oil and stunk like an old engine and in between times, I dumped the other motor so I was stuck with it. Never been caught like that again, so moral of the story; if it can be fixed, fix it as it usually ends up being the best in the long run.
Same goes for people with the mentality of selling/scrapping a car that need more spending on it than it's worth; then buys another of unknown condition for as much or more than it would cost to have redone their own followed by a few expenses far beyond what the original car job would have cost.
Strange things motor cars and you have to look at repairs from many angles.
May be worth keeping an eye open for Mike from Wales buying another 16V and grabbing that the following week; that is of course unless he's bought and scrapped them all by now. He was usually good for the odd bargain. :twisted: :roll:

Alan S :wink:
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Post by Stewart (oily!) »

Its summertime Vanny, some money will turn up as it has a habit of doing, usually when you dont need it :) meanwhile sit back and polish the BX it may be more economical when its not running :D
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Re: The end of me driving!

Post by cavmad »

[quote="Vanny"]Here is a little story, i'll try to keep it concise!

Summer 2002 - Bought a 1.9TD Xantia engine directly out of the car, from a dodgy geezer in Anglesey! My god how i was ripped off, £600 for the engine with 60k on it, then the guy wanted to charge me for the box!

Jesus Effing Christ! £600! With great respect, and fully appreciating your monetary situation, you`d be better off buying one with no tax or test or slight accident damage where you could test it for a while first. Failing that a cheapo from the auctions (they go very cheap round the block) and try your luck.
Meantime if I can help in anyway at all just say so. I`m off on holiday soon (back first week of August) but when I`m back if I`ve taxed my Cavalier you are more than welcome to borrow the BX for a while. Taxed and tested and dead reliable, let me know. You could willingly borrow the Cavalier (see if I can convert you to them-marvellous cars) but it`s not taxed at the moment. If anything comes up with tax and test I`ll give you a shout and you can borrow it. Picking up cars about once/twice a week at the moment so you never know.
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Post by DLM »

Sorry to hear you're off the road, Vanny. I am too, in a that cash-enforced way as the BX needs welding, MOT and Tax and I should have handled my pre-mot checks and planning a good deal better.

However, it's not as bad as the time I bought an entire 240k-mile but MOT-ed BX as I thought my TGD wasn't going to pass the next MOT around the frantic Christmas period without a bit of work. The "replacement" was nowhere near as good as the original, and when I did submit the untouched TGD a couple of months later it passed first time. But it was my decision to buy the replacement.

Even the TGD had a previous dark side, as though it had all the history I could ever have wanted, from the garage whose receipts I wanted to see, the previous owner's son had run it for a short time and bodged his way through a new head gasket when a rad flush and cooling system check would have done more good.

Anyway, at the moment both my fitness and knowledge of local cycle routes is improving......
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Post by Kitch »

Don't worry Vanny, it always pans out.

I'm at the other end of my scale. I'm starting to get bored as my RD Estate won't go wrong! I had a sudden surge of excitment the other day when the oil needed topping up though.