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Less talk, more action
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, 150,000 hard miles and I suppose its only fair to accept the old bus had to die sooner or later.... here's the sad story of the demise of yet another Cavalier T.... hankies at the ready.

It started with a club run down to the borders.... along with a few lads from East Scotland, Astra Sport and VVOC and me in the freshly painted Cav we hit the M8 destined for Glasgow, then onto Carlisle... Sadly, for me the Cav decided it wasnt going to England and threw the towel in.

80mph, drop in 5th and set off after Mad Coo in his VXR.... seconds later, misfire and tons of blue smoke. Freewheeled/limped into Harthill services, and along with the rest of the boys we did a quick diagnostic



We decided this was bad, very bad.... tie to all the AA. An hour later the car was duely chucked on a flatbed, the AA never even protested about lifting it or sending out a van to "repair" it. Must have on file "Dave's car - shed, lift and shift only" or something.



So with the car back at home it was time to do some investigating

Today I took some sedatives, plucked up the courage and went to investigate just how bad the damge was to the turbo'd bus.... and well....

After a short detour round Fife, Gaz (The Big Yin) arrived in his mobile workshop to lend a hand, and offer a shoulder to cry on if required... toys came out and we set about ripping it apart....

Initially we pulled the plugs out..... and immediately noticed number 2 was wet, a quick check down the hole and the top of the appeared complete but wet. Hoping it was just gasket failuer, we carried on.... note nice shiny engine, regular oil changes are worth it...



Short delay whilst Gaz nipped up to borrow a socket from Dougie (cheers dude) Whilsy he did that, the timing belt, inlet manifold, water pipes nd turbo ancilaries all came off.... from there the head was ready to come off...

Two man effort and the head was off an clear off the car..... in streo we went "ahhh fook" and we stared vacantly at the melted number 2 piston. Yes.... its terminal.



From there we checked the head.... bar some major pitting in the casting and on the valves, its seems savageable....



But.... sadly the block isn't. Its well melted, and looks like a minimum off two pistons and relining.... whether its worth doing that is dubious. 1 and 4 appear in good order, 3 is showing evidence of melting round the outer ede although the bore seems fine. Number 2 is wrecked, melted completly with extensive scores on the bore

So.... its time to weigh up the options.

1. Complete engine rom Vauxhall at £1200+vat
2. Source a rough complete Cav/cali and steal the bits as required
3. Buy a complete 2nd hand LET engine
4. Try and find an LET bottom end with pistons
5. Use an XE bottom end, source 2 LET pistons and use that
6. Break the car for spares or repair, cut my losses and buy a 850R

Regardless, its no gonnie be a quick or easy fix, although option 5 seems like the best/cheapest option.... and its happened at the worst possible time.... a. Im skint and b. I need it for work. But... if anybody has any suggestions, pistons or spare engines lying around then Im listening.

Im needing cheered up.... I need RWD power for a wee while, some TLC from a skank or a 24 park of Staroprammen and some drugs.... or all three....

*goes off to dig the mountain bike out the shed*

:cry:
 

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8v Power!
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10,748 Posts
you'll get it sorted :)
 

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Premium Member
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634 Posts
Dan's just told me he has a complete XE block but it's in his shed in Essex. D'oh.

It'll be back on the road again!!
 

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VXON's middle-aged lesbian.
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28,825 Posts
Bugger!! :(

Any recent hints that it'd been running lean or anything?

Ecotec bottom-ends are fine for LETs too I believe BTW :)
 

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Premium Member
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1,300 Posts
I second that. Sounds like an injector was running weak. Get number 2 injector checked out ASAP before putting back on engine, otherwise you'll get the same crap happen.

Sorry to hear that mate, mine did the same thing on my Phase 3.5 Cav Turbo, though it didn't wreck the head.
 

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Less talk, more action
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2,734 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Im confused, but Im not Tim Westwood.... yo mofo pimp ma ride innit.... but as for why it melted. Well, if somebody can tell me I'd be grateful. The car wa sin at Wallace Performance in November, it was diagnosed with fueling issues.... I replaced the pump, the tank, the lines, the damper, filter and fitted an FSE valve. I had it rechecked and it appered to be fuelling fine after that, running at 3.5bar... although it was due to go back in after I replaced the injectors (wanted 440's so I could run less pressure)

A week or so back I was playing with an Astra Coupe and doing 120/130mph blasts for a fair distance.... yet when it melted, I was cruising at 80mph (in a convoy) dropped to 5th and pulled out to pass a slower car, boost was sitting about 14PSi (will boost to 17.5Psi) and then it suddenly broke.... no warning, just instant misfire, foillowed by clouds of reek out the back.

All I can suspect is a sudden failure of fuel to that piston... the car runs plently fuel pressure and has a HUGE intercooler, so there was no way it was cooking itself for a long time. Whatever has caused this, happened instantly..... with no warning.

Any ideas....?
 

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Registered
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342 Posts
Unlucky mate, as paul said, I've heard of Eco bottom-ends being used with a LET.

That has to be the cheapest and easiest option, there must be more Ecos about by now then XEs
 

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Well-known member
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6,336 Posts
... the nibbling (by the looks of the picture) definately suggests detonation/ fueling issues ...
 

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Premium Member
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1,300 Posts
I have doubts that the piston let go without previous damage mate, they rarely go just like that. Everytime you push it, chances are the injector wasn't capable of fuelling properly. Certainly doesn't sound like the pump, otherwise all pistons would be exhibiting the same signs of damage.
 

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Less talk, more action
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Discussion Starter #15
Yup agreed, 1 and 4 look perfect.... 3 is showing signs of desintagraton round the outer edge but the bore is fine, and number 2 is totally wrecked and has scored the bores. So yes, I as ou say Galahad.... its like its been 1, maybe 2 cylinders running lean but the fuel supply in general is fine.

The best and cheapest option seems to be to use an XE or XEV bottom end.... I can use 1 and 4 pistons from mine, so just need to try and source two good LET pistons and then get the new block drilled and tapped for the oil feeds for the turbo.

I take it, I cant use and XE or XEV and use a thicker head gasket to drop the compression ratio.... or is that asking for trouble!!!
 

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Premium Member
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1,300 Posts
Thicker gasket is fine, but don't use a steel gasket. They cause more problems than they solve. Gaskets by design are the weak link between the head and the block. My steel gasket caused more damage to the head because it was stronger than a standard gasket. I'll never go that route again.

Don't write your car off yet mate, you don't need to spend hundreds of pounds to get it sorted. Knackered LETS appear on Ebay all the time, stick up a request in the 'WANT IT NOW' section on the main homepage, if you can get one with a buggered block but a good head, chances are you can get it fixed, sell some of the duplicate items you have to fund the cost of transportation of engine and you're laughing.

Good luck :Cool2:
 
C

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Guest
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FSE valves can give inconsistent fuel pressures. Weber type used on Cosworths is recommended.
 

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Less talk, more action
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2,734 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Ok, you've lost me.... are you saying that I can use XE/XEV pistons rather than the low compression LET ones? I had a Z20LEt stell gasket in it already, but just gonnie go back to a standard C20LEt one after this (coz I have one in the shed) I'd prefer to get a bottom end, I see what you are saying and yes... I had considered getting a complete Cav/Cali but thats a lot of hassle etc. If I can find a bottom end, and pistons then just get the head cleaned up.... I have a couple of legends who are willing to help me resurrect it. And yes, i've actually heard bad stories about FSE valves.... think when/if it gets back on the road I'll return it to standard. Take the XE cam out etc untill I can get it done again and this time with no ifs, buts or maybes....

That said, theres a Volvo 850R on Autotrader....
 

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Cannonball will win with or without you
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8,417 Posts
What a ******* so it was what you thought :shame:
You'll fix it with another bottom end Dave just keep looking for one , one will come up soon .
 

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VXON's middle-aged lesbian.
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28,825 Posts
I went for a V-Tuning FPR ( a standard one fixed at 3.5 bar), as they warned me about FSE's and their inconsistancies.

PS - If you ever sell that XE cam,......do let me know :D
 
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