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monkie

Piston broke

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Was driving along a few weeks ago after along run and my engine started to make an intermittent loud knocking noise and smelt hot and of burning oil. I got it home by driving very very gently. First thing I looked at was the intake system. No oil pre turbo. The turbo had loads of play in it. So I took the head off to see what had gone on inside. 

Had a shock to see all of the pistons showing signs of burning away on the ceown, number 4 was particularly bad. 

Fortunately the head is in order and I have a spare turbo with a new CHRA fitted. So new pistons for me then :wacko:

 

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Gosh. Thats pretty bad!! Whats the cause do you think? Where did those pistons come from Phil?

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I think I have been very lucky in avoiding a runaway engine here. The massive amount of slop in the turbo combined with the dry airfilter makes me think the turbo oil seals failed and it started to run off it's own oil causing the temperature to shoot up on the piston surface. There was a lot of oil in the blue pipe from the turbo to the engine and the pistons look like they have a lot of burnt oil residue stuck to them. It isn't the soft diesely soot.

Those pistons came from (ahem) a blue box, but I'm afraid I have missed the 2 year warranty as it was the summer of 2017 when I fitted them. I doubt they would cough up anyway as its likely the turbo failed. I have got some AE branded ones on the way.

Lessons learned here - no blue box items on a rebuild and don't trust an old turbo!

The good news is bores are fine and look just like they did after I had honed them on the rebuild and amazingly those pistons aren't cracked!

 

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I case anyone is wondering the order of the pistons from top to bottom in my pictures are 1, 3, 2, 4. The surface rust on the rings is becuase I took the head a few days ago and only had time to get the pistons out today. the bores have been wiped with an oily rag to protect them from rusting.

I also found a leak on the exhause manifold as a bolt had fallen out!

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With the melted sections being the same shape and in the same place it suggests injector problems and/or FIP timing/function issues ?

If it was self fuelling damage it would be all over the piston and I think you would have felt the impact of it driving - it's like NO2 on full chat , there are rarely small self fuelling events...

cheers

Steve b

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This had gone through my mind but I can't work it out. The injectors a reconditioned ones. The timing is spot on (I checked with timing pins while the engine is stripped down). What sort of fault with the FIP could cause this? 

The oil getting in was obviously not enough for a full run away but enough to cause it to start knocking. The day after it started up and ran fine (I took a risk doing that I know). 

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Are you running pump diesel ? I was wondering if contaminants in the fuel are to blame ?

Where did the re-con injectors come from ? and how old are they ? - Getting them checked by a known good re-con company would not be expensive and rule them out one way or another . As for the FIP if timing is correct then I suppose the only other aspect is delivery pressure , so again getting it checked in the same way would seem logical .

......on the other hand , just re-reading one of your posts , they did come out of a blue box so could just be cheesy low grade aluminium alloy.

cheers

Steve b

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The intake oil may be a red herring and nothing to do with the piston damage. Very difficult to say with Britpart piston in the equation. 

There's something else to look at, though: the turbo. A seriously worn turbo won't have the same efficiency as a newly minted unit. With turbo machinery, this equates to more heat produced for a given pressure rise. This is a 19J, right? It's marginal thermally for several reasons: firstly, it has high compression for a turbo engine. Land Rover being the lazy, feckless swines they were, just bolted a turbo to the 12J NA. The 200tdi is a couple of points lower, bringing it into line with turbo diesels of that era, to give some frame of reference. Secondly, it's not intercooled. Any heat the turbo makes goes straight to the engine. Another penny pinching face-palm.Thirdly, I think I recall correctly that it lacks oil squirters for the pistons. Add all of this up, and you'll see where I'm going... Throw in some marginal pistons in, and I'm not at all surprised they melted. 

Once you've rebuilt it, you'll really do it a favour by adding an intercooler. I'll be following the rebuild :)

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Keyway on the pulley could be worn, knocking would suggest a timing fault, did you use a new pump during the rebuild? Old pump can wear and run out of spec. The thing is, its happened under the pre ignition chambers which clues towards an injector/fuel problem. Usually the hottest part of a piston is under the exhaust valve, the isnt that. 

 

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They do have oil squirters below the pistons, in fact they changed them for modified (bigger) ones in the later engines. 

 

Was this engine being run on any kind of synthetic oil?

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Not my old turbo was it?!

I agree with the others in that the similar pattern of the melting on all four does suggest something else is going on as well. 

Edited by reb78

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I would check the boost diaphragm in the pump. If its pinholed, fuel can feed into the boost pressure tube which runs from the turbo housing to boost diaphragm cover.

This will add extra fuel, which will cause knocking, and also add heat.

When this gets bad, it will go runaway, with LOTS of white smoke.

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Thank you for all of the comments and ideas so far. 

Richard, don't worry. Your turbo is the one I've fitted a CHRA to, not this turkey that has got all the slop in it. 

I only use branded diesel from Shell, Esso, BP or Texaco. Mostly off the A303 so it won't have sat there long. 

Everything else has been fine when inspected. No damage to the head gasket, not damage on the keyway and as I said above the timing is spot on. 

The injectors had new nozels and were tested in 2017. The pump I have done nothing with. I think for peace of mind I will send them off for testing as that is a good suggestion.

I think a good point has been made about the pattern of damage on all 4 pistons. I'm sure there must only be 1 or 2 factories manufacturing these right? But the damage does make me think the pistons just might have not been to spec. They were for the 19J and not 12J as they have the Teflon coating. 

Please keep the ideas coming... I'm at a bit of a loss. 

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I have had a split diaphragm in the past and I haven't got any of the signs this time like a pressurised tank or the white smoke. But I shall check to be sure. 

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There are a few people making these pistons, King for one, cheap and I think supplied by Britpart, Turners do pistons, described as ''AE rebranded Nural by Federal Mogul'' but go on to say ''AE/ Nural  discontinued. The replacement pistons are as used in our own production'' , this sounds like bad news to me, are they saying AE have stopped supplying pistons for this engine so they are using/selling unbranded pistons? Or are they Britpart and they just dont want to say?

It might be worth contacting them and asking about why your pistons melted.

 

https://www.turnerengineering.co.uk/etc-8676-piston-assembly-25td-c2x21071197

Edited by blowmeover

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If only you knew where there was a defender 200tdi that would go straight in.....hat.....coat....out of here. :hysterical:

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36 minutes ago, miketomcat said:

If only you knew where there was a defender 200tdi that would go straight in.....hat.....coat....out of here. :hysterical:

Hehe, that thought goes through my head each time I look at my poorly 19J in bits and then messaged you the other day! I don't think I have defender spec 200Tdi money at the moment, particularly now I've posted pics of my pistons, I think your engine has just gone up in price Mike :rolleyes:

I think at the moment my plan is to get my 19J running again as cheaply as I can then save up for a defender 200tdi. Maybe have a garage sale to build the funds up. 

Edited by monkie

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40 minutes ago, blowmeover said:

There are a few people making these pistons, King for one, cheap and I think supplied by Britpart, Turners do pistons, described as ''AE rebranded Nural by Federal Mogul'' but go on to say ''AE/ Nural  discontinued. The replacement pistons are as used in our own production'' , this sounds like bad news to me, are they saying AE have stopped supplying pistons for this engine so they are using/selling unbranded pistons? Or are they Britpart and they just dont want to say?

It might be worth contacting them and asking about why your pistons melted.

 

https://www.turnerengineering.co.uk/etc-8676-piston-assembly-25td-c2x21071197

I saw that too. As my plan is to get it running again as cheap as I can I have sourced some old stock "AE" pistons. 

Makes me wonder if AE did make them in the first place and just rebrand them, something they have stopped doing? Who knows. 

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I thought you went back to 19J for originality Phil? The engines a nice drive - when its working!

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19 minutes ago, monkie said:

I saw that too. As my plan is to get it running again as cheap as I can I have sourced some old stock "AE" pistons. 

Makes me wonder if AE did make them in the first place and just rebrand them, something they have stopped doing? Who knows. 

''ETC 8676 std Nural original equipment. (AE rebranded Nural by Federal Mogul )'' The drop down box will bring you to the OE pistons, they are Federal Mogul AE pistons still, gone up in price by a huge margin from the last time I looked. 

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43 minutes ago, reb78 said:

I thought you went back to 19J for originality Phil? The engines a nice drive - when its working!

That's the thing, you are right Richard. It does drive nice when the pistons are not melted and doesn't have that tdi clatter. You are right, I love the originality. When I look at my engine in bits and melted pistons, it is disheartening but then again its just for fun and not my daily driver. 

The 300tdi I used to have just didn't look at home at all and looked thrown in (albeit by me!), that's why I took it out and sold it to fund my 19J rebuild. The 19j has the look I like in my late 80s 110.

Edited by monkie
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I liked my old TD engine too, but when it failed & haed 3 cracked piston, cracked head, hot stops dropping out, I thought about a rebuild, but to do a full engine would of cost as much as the new 200tdi kit I had fitted instead, a much better engine & made my 110 far nicer to drive everyday, which it still does 26 years later. 

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3 minutes ago, western said:

I liked my old TD engine too, but when it failed & haed 3 cracked piston, cracked head, hot stops dropping out, I thought about a rebuild, but to do a full engine would of cost as much as the new 200tdi kit I had fitted instead, a much better engine & made my 110 far nicer to drive everyday, which it still does 26 years later. 

I must say Ralph I very much enjoyed reading your 200tdi rebuild thread and it made me want to do the same. I think a defender 200tdi would look much more home in my 110 than the 300 tdi did.

As my 19J has only done 2 and half years of driving before ruining the pistons following the rebuild I really must consider my options. I know Mike has a defender 200tdi.... All I need is some money. I have two lottery tickets for tomorrow 🤞

And oh yes I have a rear diff eating itself and my LT77 has quite a lot of play in the input shaft. What a good job I don't need my 110 as a daily driver! 

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It does seem strange that all four would do that, even for Britpart pistons! If you look at the rest of the crowns they all look fine, what do the hot spots look like? anything odd?

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