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Oily exhaust manifold


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Hello peeps. Forgive me for little activity on here recently but I am still spending excessive time on the Honda CR-V, about which I posted some time ago.

I'd like to ask some advice on this forum as I trust the feedback.

I won't talk too much about the work I've had to do since doing the timing chain and cleaning the VN turbo, except to say this:

Pinholes appeared in a power steering pipe that needed to be replaced - easy.

This led to a co-incidental fail of the starter motor solenoid as I was bleeding the new fluid. On this car (Mk3 2008 2.2 i-CTDi with 262K miles), removing the starter is not easy. The EGR pipework, EGR cooler valve and main EGR valve, are all in the way.

However I replaced the solenoid and checked and cleaned the motor. Re-fitted it (but hadn't pushed the solenoid connector fully home - cough).

The EGR pipework was blocked. I had to dig it out with a knife, a vacuum cleaner and copious carb spray.






Got it all back together and then the starter wouldn't start still. So removed EGR again, pushed the connector home on the solenoid and then assembled and started only to have the EM light come on. An EGR related valve, (intake manifold runner control valve) was open. I have no idea why this suddenly happened but the cause was a blocked air filter in the vacuum pipework where it is controlled.



Then I ran the engine and saw fumes from the rear of the exhaust manifold. I had seen this after the original reassembly (after chains and turbo clean). Eventually I decided to remove the turbo so that I could look at the exhaust manifold. This was today's job and whilst I haven't got a cracked manifold, I can see a lot of oil (I think) in it. That's what I'd like to ask about.

Oil in exhaust manifold - how much is too much? It can't come back into the manifold from the turbo can it? I assume the positive pressure would keep it out.

Where else could be a source - I have no 'operating' knowledge of this engine. Should I look for a leakdown test maybe to verify valves and rings?

How much is excessive? Should I just put it back with a new manifold gasket? I honestly can't face head and sump off. It is an engine-out job to do both ends - I know that from the experience I've already had.

Any advice will be appreciated, as always. Thanks






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I have taken the turbo to a local rebuilder and they are going to check the balance and see what they can do without replacing the cartridge, which they say probably won't be necessary. Hopefully they will confirm the seals or replace those and then I can be confident that it is OK.

I wouldn't have done this if I'd not had to remove the turbo a second time. I was happy with the vane cleaning that I did, to get the whole thing to move properly once again. Now though I just think that a second opinion after 262K miles, has been a wise thing to seek. It will cost about £150 and that is on top of a fairly hefty parts bill for the cam and oil chain kits, injectors, intercooler, power steering pipe, starter solenoid and all the service parts. A cheap car purchased with risk is no longer quite so cheap!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to close this off. The fumes were from a leaky ring seal onto the catalytic convertor, which I replaced. The turbo people showed me that the cartridge was out of balance and shaved it a little to get it back to spec. That was £100 cheaper than replacing it. They said that the bearings were ok therefore the oil seals would be too.

Put turbo back in a second time without undoing any engine mounts, which isn't easy. Test drive and then handed back to daughter and family. Phew.

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I can feel your relief from finishing that nightmare job, good on you for sticking with, reckon your daughter owes you big time, would of cost her a small fortune in garage labour cost alone. 

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Well done, sounds like a bit of a pig of a job.  It just goes to prove it’s not just Land Rovers that have problems, but even the mythically (and only in myth) reliable Japanese stuff., though Toyota owners always deny their failings...

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Thanks guys. Yes she (and her husband) are very grateful. When they asked the garage about what to do when the turbo over-boost triggered limp mode they said £1,000 for a new turbo. At the same time they asked about "the noise" (which was slack cam chain), the garage said £1,000. That's when I volunteered. OK so I spent £1,500 on carefully sourced parts but that included other new parts that were needed and most would have ended up as extra on the garage's bill too (intercooler, injectors, starter solenoid, etc etc).

I don't think that the car has done too badly for 262K miles really, although it must have been ignored for the last few years for the cam chain to stretch in the six years or so since it last appears to have been done (dates on die stamps on some of the parts).

Just for completeness, here's the other thread on this subject.


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Hi, Peaklander,

I feel that questions not directly related to Land Rovers are perfectly acceptable providing the question relates to a problem that could affect a Land Rover.  This has been a great learning experience for me, and I'm sure for many others, both to the cause and the detective process of finding the guilty party.  Congratulations and well done for persevering and not succumbing to "professionals" temptations to empty your wallet.


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