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Tdi upset


GBMUD
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For years now I have been having trouble with the injector spill pipes on my early Defender Tdi coming loose and weeping/dribbling diesel onto the engine. They are attached by means of a banjo/bolt and two copper washers but differ from other Tdi spill rails in that rather than going from one injector to the next (daisy chain style) and then returning to the tank, each injector has it's own spill pipe with hard plastic (nylon?) pipe joined about 6" away from the injectors with T-pieces and then returning to tank - same idea, different iplimentation.

I usually smell the diesel vapourising on the head and can stop and tighten them up immediatly. Last night though, in the dark, in the middle of nowhere I became aware of a leak and, upon investigation discovered that the banjo bolt had come right out and that there was fuel absolutely everywhere. Luckily I had a good torch as well as my LED head torch and I was able to investigate properly, finding the banjo bolt laying on the block behind the vacuum pump with one copper washer. The other copper washer was still adhering to the banjo which was lucky! I was able to make a repair and continue after only about 15 minutes getting oily. :)

So what I need to know is this: How can I stop this happening again? I tighten the banjo bolts as tight as I dare, they are quite small and I do not want to strip the thread out of an injector. Fitting them with thread lock is pretty much a non starter as there is almost no chance of getting the threads in both the injector and the banjo bolt clean enough without a major epic. I also do not want to risk getting threadlock into some important part of the injector where it may do damage/block the nozzle.

One thing that I did wonder about was the copper washers. I have heard about the process of annealing. Do I understand correctly that this is a heat treatment process which can restore the washers by making them soft again? What would have made them go hard in the first place, not just age surely? Do they "work harden" just by being vibrated by the injectors? Could this be the solution to my problem - it is not that the copper washers allow leakage but the banjo bolts come undone - might this help keep them tight? How would one go about annealing them?

Any other suggestions for a solution? "Get a V8" is not a viable solution...but a nice joke. :) It rained on the way home see, and I did not have any WD40 with me. :lol:

So many questions... :)

Thanks in advance

Chris

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You could try new washers. These will be soft. You may be able to get similar aluminium ones which may grip better.

Yes, copper work hardens from being tightened up(or hammered). To anneal them, you need to heat them in an open flame until they are uniformly cherry red. Immediately quench them in cold water. They will now be nice and soft. They may have a blue black scale on them which you need to carefully rub off with wire wool or fine wet and dry.

I have had to do this a few times when stuck in the bush with various leaks from copper washers and no spares. Works well, but new ones won't be expensive.

Regards,

Diff

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Chris,

Can you drill small holes through the heads of the bolts and wire lock them ? Obviously, if they are hollow bolts you'll need to check depth etc to make sure you don't convert them to sprinklers... :ph34r: you may also need to investigate what you can wire them too as they are a bit far apart to wire to each other...

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I had this on my 300tdi (I think it was that one). Fixed by replaceing copper washers. The washers deform to make a good seal and in the process hold the bolts quite well.

Once they have been undone, there is little compression left in them and they get progressively less good at sealing or holding.

Si

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I had this on my 300tdi (I think it was that one). Fixed by replaceing copper washers. The washers deform to make a good seal and in the process hold the bolts quite well.

Once they have been undone, there is little compression left in them and they get progressively less good at sealing or holding.

Si

New ones it is then, thanks. Can anyone reccomend an online copper washer supplier as I would not know where to begin looking for one in the real world - apart from the main stealer.

Chris

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Chris,

I also have a defender-spec Tdi with the same arrangement as yours on the leak-off pipes - and mine also does the same thing now and again.

I've changed the washers/bolts once already, and cured it for a while. It seems to be caused by vibration allowing the leak off pipes to move - over time they cause the bolts to rotate.

If it happens again, I'm going to change the pipe arrangement and use the set up from a 200 Tdi Discovery - this has a totally different pipe routing and is more conventional in the setup.

Don't have a pic to hand, but if you get the chance to have a look under the bonnet of an early Disco you'll see what I mean.

Matt

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Guest diesel_jim

Ger the new spil rail kit, about £40, comes with the banjo bolts (as i found out after i bought 4 of them!)

comes with the washers and a rubber type pipe, covered in cloth stuff. that way there is very little vibration passed between the injectors and they don't shake loose.

I've fitted one to my green 90 and a set to the engine i just built up. no problems at all with shaking loose after that.

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Guest diesel_jim
That is the kit Jim referred to is it? Sounds like just the job. Trouble is, it costs another fiver in diesel to go to the stealer. :( Perhaps tomorrow will be a nice dry motorbike day. :)

Chris

Yup, thats the jobbie.

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Chris, just out of interest what's the engine number of your 200Tdi ? mines a retro-fit kit unit it's number is S11L00777A & has the later spill rail with the short sections of hose, I've never seen the other version.

11L03800A

Chris

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