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300TDi Intimate Knowledge?

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I did a rather silly thing today....

I traced an oil leak in the timing case on my 300TDi to a failed crank seal a week ago but today the puddle was back....

Turns out the camshaft seal is also leaking. 

I started using my normal method of driving a self tapper into the seal but backed off when I saw flakes of aluminium coming out. Frightened i'd somehow damaged the engine casing I started poking about with a thin bladed screwdriver to try and understand the seal a little better.

Basically, I levered too hard and sheared a VERY tiny section of the screwdriver head off. The issue is that I have no idea where it went. I reckon it was probably inside the seal by approx 1-2mm, no more.

Having checked what these seals looked like, I carried on with the self tapper and removed the seal without any drama or damage. The little piece of screwdriver didn't come out with the seal and I couldn't find it sat anywhere on the camshaft end.

I've poked all around inside the casing around the end of the camshaft with a telescopic magnet and found nothing. I think it most likely the tiny piece has shot off outside the engine BUT if it has dropped down inside that area, would it fall into the sump OR would it fall somewhere much more nasty (like say, the oil pump?)

I don't have the intimate knowledge of the insides of the 300tdi.

What would you do? I'm sure i'm worrying unnecessarily.

I'm thinking as a precaution, drain the oil and remove and clean the sump out. Whilst its off, send the telescopic magnet into the area (if its accessible???)

Thanks in advance!


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I'd do as you have, and see if there exists a magnetic sump-drain-plug option for your engine, which - *if* the fragment has gone inside the crankcase - would hopefully catch it.

Having seen the lumps-of-stuff from the bottom of crankcases of engines that have been running-normally-for-ages: bits of timing-chain/segments-of-timing-gears [Ford Essex V4/6es were prone to shedding these like confetti], washers, valve-collets, sheared-off ends-of-valve-springs - my instinct is that your fragment will probably settle into the sludge in the bottom of the sump, where it could live for decades without troubling you.

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Magnetic sump plug talk to HFH. 

It cannot get in oil pump from that location, as oil pump pick up in sump has a mesh guard to prevent bits being lifted by the pump.


these photo's on Turners 300tdi engine parts pages might help




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Thanks for the reassurance gentlemen!

Who is HFH?

I've seen the Megasquirt website has the magnetic sump plugs so i'll get one fitted as good practice anyway.

Knowing it won't get into the oil pump is probably my biggest concern but i'm 90% sure i'm going way over the top. 

This engine only has 40k miles on it and it just runs like no other 300TDi i've experienced so I want to look after it!



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