My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

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My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  David2010 on Thu May 10, 2012 1:08 pm


I would welcome the advise of any member who has experienced what has recently occured here re:my re-built engine.
Suffice to say that every moving part was replaced - except for the 4 pistons - I will come back to that point in a moment.
The bores were measured and showed a 40 thou oversize - so obviously this engine had been overhauled before.The crankshaft had
one dodgy bearing - the one farthest from the oil pump - where copper was becoming visible ! I was told -" we got to you just in time".
All bearings were replaced including camshaft bearings. The head was examined by a professional outfit in Belfast and the valve guides +
the exhaust valve seats passed as ok. However, the inlet valve seats were found to have been "OVERCUT" by presumably a U.K.engineering
firm when the engine (and its car) resided in Surrey.The crankshaft was also reground. Total engineering bill = 390 pounds.
Back to the pistons - all 4 were passed as in surprisingly good condition (made by "Maxpower?) but all piston rings were replaced.
To finish up the bores were honed.

On running-in the re-built engine, nothing untoward was noticed, in fact the engine on tick-over was described to be "as silent as a Swiss
watch" by one of my Mini owning friends. The problem - EXCESSIVE OIL CONSUMPTION - has become a major issue. Taking part in a Mini
run only last week-end - from Friday to Monday over a distance of nearly 600 miles - the new engined consumed 3 LITRES OF OIL.
Of course I have reported this back to the re-builders - who made the following comment " Your engine has not yet done a 1,000 miles
and you should allow it to bed-in - in the meantime try STP oil additive - this will reduce oil consumption dramatically ".

For the record, the engine has shown remarkable improvement in power e.g going up hills in 4th gear with no fuss ; also it still ticks over
silently and starts even from cold on the first turn of the key. I examined all 4 plugs this morning - all have traces of oil on them and all
4 sparkplug holes have a noticeable oily ring.

Please dont tell me that its engine out again time and take another look at those pistons / piston rings (especially the oil rings).
A very disappointed David 2010.
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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  catmint on Thu May 10, 2012 7:36 pm

Frustrating. I would seriously question the amount of oil you are going through, even on running in.

A couple of thoughts from my experience - oil burning is normally either past the bores or down the inlet valves - I would have replaced the valve guides as a matter of course for the few pounds they cost, and they should be reamed after fitting to stop the valves galling. What type of valve seals are present - the little O rings are next to useless, the top hat type are far better, so could be pulling down here. Oil past the rings could be due to a couple of things, broken rings, bad honing and wash off. Rings can break on installation but there is no real way of checking effectively as a compressing test may not show a broken oil ring. Bad honing, there is an article on one of the mini forums about issues with honing and I think it is from one of our European members on this forum, just can't remember the details at the moment, but in essence if the honing is too course it will hold oil on the bores. Wash off from the bores occurs if the mixture is too rich and washes the oil from the bores so it gets burnt with the fuel. Had this on an MG after it was supposedly set up properly on a rolling road - took ages to find the problem, turns out he had put the wrong needle in so was OK upto 3000 rpm and then started to flood the engine with petrol

What type of oil are you using to run in on ? I have always been advised to use the cheapo stuff since it does not have the additives present that will prevent parts bedding in ?.

There is an article on the mini spares site in calvers corner about running in if this might help

£390 sounds very reasonable, I would have expected about £600ish for that kind of work

Hope this helps a bit

Gordon

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My 998cc 1965 engine rebuild - very disappointing results ;

Post  David2010 on Fri May 11, 2012 11:17 am


Many thanks Gordon for your words of wisdom - all of which I am taking on board with my engine re-builder.
To answer the questions you have raised ;
VALVE GUIDES : All were replaced late last year - when the head was giving a new set of Exhaust valves.
VALVE STEM SEALS : 8 new conventional rubber seals were fitted.
RUNNING-IN OIL : Halfords Classic 20/50 Green Oil was used for first 250 miles then replaced with same then @ 750 miles Miller 20/50.
HONING OF BORES : This job was done by a reputable Belfast firm ( have used them on one previous occasion). Bores looked fine (?).
ENGINE MIXTURE RICH : You may well have a point with excess petrol washing oil from the newly honed bores - the exhaust is very sooty.
PISTONS: As already mentioned the existing 40 thou oversize MaxPower pistons were examined and found to be in v.good condition.
PISTON RINGS : All were replaced and fitted to the existing pistons.

I have consulted with two local Mini engine gurus - both advise that I exercise some patience & see how the engine behaves after 1500 or
2000 miles. One of them remarked that MaxPower pistons have a poor oil seal reputation - he advised some hill work to bed in the pistons
rings - by hill work he means a drive in our local hilly country and allowing the engine to slightly labour before changing down on climbs.
Will take immediate steps to have the engine mixture professionally checked and rectified - my current petrol consumption is also high.
David 2010

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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  Jono_h on Fri May 11, 2012 7:01 pm

I've only ever had one new engine, so am no expert, but I thought allowing a new engine to labour under load was a bad idea?

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My 998cc 1965 engine re-build - very disappointing results ;

Post  David2010 on Fri May 11, 2012 7:11 pm


Hi Jono_h

I probably did not explain about using our local hills for engine bedding-in purposes.
The advice I was given yesterday was to use the climbing of hills to give the engine some work to do.
It was never suggested that the engine be allowed to labour - no more than you would allow this for a fully run-in engine.

The carburettor mixture is my next port of call. I intend to book-in the car with Dublin's S.U.agent - who incidentally still employ
an S.U. "specialist" - the guy has worked there since man and boy since the mid sixties !

David2010.
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My 998cc Engine Re-build - update :

Post  David2010 on Tue May 15, 2012 10:31 pm


The oil consumption is showing signs of falling - just as well - as the earliest appointment that I can get to have the carburettors checked
is next Tuesday 15th May !
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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  catmint on Tue May 15, 2012 10:59 pm

David2010 wrote:
The oil consumption is showing signs of falling - just as well - as the earliest appointment that I can get to have the carburettors checked
is next Tuesday 15th May !

Erm that was today !

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My 998cc engine re-build - an update on my update !

Post  David2010 on Wed May 16, 2012 10:41 am


Sorry Ed.

That of course should read NEXT Tuesday 22nd May.
Just goes to show how time stands still when you are NOT having fun !
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My 998cc Engine Re-build - UPDATE & EXHAUST GAS ANALYSIS FINDINGS :

Post  David2010 on Wed May 23, 2012 12:49 pm

David2010 wrote:
Sorry Ed.

That of course should read NEXT Tuesday 22nd May.
Just goes to show how time stands still when you are NOT having fun !

As arranged, my engine was given an Exhaust Gas Analysis yesterday by one of Ireland's "top four" high-priests of the A-series engine.
The initial reading was an almost unbelievable 9.0 % = engine running on a practically petrol only mixture !
After some carb adjustments a reading of 3.5 % was obtained which resulted in engine tick-over jumping to about 1500 rpm - reset to 800.
In Ireland, the highest permissible reading is 3.5 % (if one wants a "pass" in our NCT test, the equivalent of the U.K.'s MOT).
But as here all pre-1980 cars are exempted from the NCT test and as my engine is now running and pulling with great energy, I was advised
to settle for the 3.5 %. I have been informed this morning that a 2.5 % setting is more correct, but I have reason to believe that this
is more appropriate to those engines with ECUs ( as in the later Rover and Cooper cars of the 1995-2000 era).So stay with my 3.5 % !

The next step for my engine is to monitor its oil consumption (it had been dropping & "only" consumed 2 pints in 153 miles at the weekend).
Equally important - I certainly hope to see a dramatic drop in petrol consumption as well - as I was only getting (unsurprisingly) about
27mpg.
David 2010
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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  asahartz on Wed May 23, 2012 11:04 pm

The A-series tends to be happy running rich (though not that rich!), a fact which my MOT testers recognise. My Mini was at 6.5% when I took it in, they tweaked it down to 2.5% and said if it doesn't run properly, just turn it back again. To be honest I can't really tell the difference so it has to be better at 2.5%!
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My 998cc engine Re-build : Exhaust Gas Analysis - some additional thoughts :

Post  David2010 on Thu May 24, 2012 1:59 am

asahartz wrote:The A-series tends to be happy running rich (though not that rich!), a fact which my MOT testers recognise. My Mini was at 6.5% when I took it in, they tweaked it down to 2.5% and said if it doesn't run properly, just turn it back again. To be honest I can't really tell the difference so it has to be better at 2.5%!

I phoned my Exhaust Gas Analyser this morning ( Eamonn Byrne based in Kilcoole, Co.Wicklow) and asked him if he could reduce my engine
to the 2.5% level which many here as well as your goodself "asahartz" recommend. He said of course he could do but was not prepared to
recommend that it be done to my 1965 A-series. Best to leave it at 3.5%.
Time will tell.
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My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build : Catmint you called it dead right !!

Post  David2010 on Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:58 pm

[quote="catmint"]

Wash off from the bores occurs if the mixture is too rich and washes the oil from the bores so it gets burnt with the fuel. Had this on an MG after it was supposedly set up properly on a rolling road - took ages to find the problem, turns out he had put the wrong needle in so was OK upto 3000 rpm and then started to flood the engine with petrol
Hope this helps a bit
Gordon

Now that about 1,500 miles have been clocked-up on the re-built engine and following its exhaust gas analysis on May 22nd showing a 9%
reading - adjusted back down to 3.5% - oil (and petrol ! ) consumption has improved to almost acceptable levels. Oil consumpion is about
120 miles per pint ( WHICH Magazine's survey on a 997cc Mini Cooper in 1962 was 135 miles / pint). Petrol consumption has gone from 27
mpg to about 35 mpg. I'm reliably informed that once the new rings have finally bedded-in - especially the oil rings - then "normal service
can be resumed !" Much obliged Gordon for your spot-on diagnosis.
David2010.
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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  catmint on Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:03 pm

Great, glad it is getting sorted at long last, meant to ask how you were getting along. The diagnosis was more by luck than judgement, just experience from what has gone wrong for us in the past Rolling Eyes

I think getting the running in right is also important - we were give similar advice to you about driving the car, but not thrashing it, certainly not trundling around at 30 mph. I have a route of about 200 miles that has plenty of hills in it that I use to run in. Mpg sounds similar to us for normal driving (down to about 7mpg when rallying though Very Happy ), oil wise we tend to go from max to min over about 500 miles, though not sure how much burns or has leaked out Shocked

Happy motoring

Gordon

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My 1965 998cc Engine Re-build - What does the Dipstick tell us about oil capacity ?

Post  David2010 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:24 am

Oil wise we tend to go from max to min over about 500 miles, though not sure how much burns or has leaked out :
Happy motoring
Gordon

Just wondering Gordon - do you or does any member know what the difference is on the Dipstick between Max and Min expressed in pints ?
David 2010.
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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  catmint on Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:25 am

David2010 wrote:

Just wondering Gordon - do you or does any member know what the difference is on the Dipstick between Max and Min expressed in pints ?
David 2010.

I think it is about a pint

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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  Alex on Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:04 pm

Max to min is indeed a pint, so 500 miles per pint isn't too sad.

Certanly better than the 25-30 miles per pint I managed on the L2B !!
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My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - Recommended Oil Consumption :

Post  David2010 on Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:32 am

Hi Alex
Many thanks for the info re: Dipstick MAX minus MIN = One Pint.
However, 500 miles to the pint seems to be incredibly optimistic.
I've already quoted the WHICH magazine survey (back in 1962 ) on the then brand new 997cc Mini Cooper of 135 miles per pint - I've also
read or heard it said somewhere that the more powerful 1275cc Cooper S cars were somewhat similar (128 miles per pint).
We are talking about brand new cars with (presumably) continent sumps/engines that had not yet begun to inevitably leak some oil.
It was taken as normal that the A-series engine even in its most healthy state would (as we say in Ireland) " be fond of a drop".
Maybe the balmy climate in sunny Zummerzet inspires engines to the 500 miles per pint you are quoting Alex.
If you have a secret please let everyone in on it.
Best wishes from David2010.
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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  Alex on Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:24 am

Catmint was to originator of the dipstick marks when he mentioned he got 500 miles between them - 500 miles per pint.

Ring technology has moved on enormously since 1959, and so has the method of breaking in new rings. Gone is the gentle 500 mile trundle, and modern rings prefer a short, sharp break-in.
When I get back in a couple of days I'll scan and post the instructions that came with the last three sets I've installed.

Having achieved a measured & documented 1000 miles per pint on the Italian Job last year, and similar mileages on other cars, at 120 mpp I'd be thinking about tearing down the engine to find out what was wrong.
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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  Big_Al_Smith on Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:25 pm

i must add that JVG's rebuilt engine did seem to use virtually no oil on the IMM trip to Hungary - a top up in Belgium on the way there and all the way there and back all i did was check it and had to add no more, which makes me a happy bunny Very Happy
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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  catmint on Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:57 am

I should have mentioned that the engine was built about five years ago, has done about 30K of which a significant proportion has been competition mileage which reduces engine life significantly. I can't remember how much oil it went through when it was built, but not as much as it does now, of which a fair bit comes out of the timing seal (bane of my life that seal!). To be honest I have found that every engine has it's own characteristics some go through oil, some do not. BMC probably put the low mileage per pint in due to build quality at the time.

Regarding running in, this is a good snippet from Keith Calver

minispares tech

Please keep us updated David, will be interesting to see how it improves

Gordon


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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  psychobob on Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:35 pm

my engine doesn't seem to use any oil! i top up about quarter of a pint every 500 or so miles.i bought the engine used on ebay with about 50000 miles on the clock. it is a an economy 1275 spi block (on a hif44 now). i dont know if that makes any difference but i believe they are low compression. i'm quite chuffed now. it must be healthier than i thought!
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My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Rebuild - Ok at Last (Well Almost):

Post  David2010 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:04 pm


Hi everyone,
Following its complete rebuild in March of this year and then the twin carburettor overhaul in July (@ ridiculous expense).....
I can report that the engine remains fully continent (no trace of oil stains on our drive-way even overnight). The oil consumption
now is running @ about 500 miles/pint. I expect this to improve as the engine puts on more mileage, but mindful of the fact that this
engine still has its four Powermax pistons ( not famous for their oil retention) its probably as good as it gets for an original A-series.

Another Mini in my garage has an A+ engine. This engine uses microscopic amounts of oil - but it does leak from the timing chain cover
a very common fault I am told. All in all its not too bad - as a top Dublin Mini specialist often says " That's Minis for you".
David2010.
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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  catmint on Sun Aug 12, 2012 12:06 pm

David2010 wrote:
but mindful of the fact that this engine still has its four Powermax pistons

Some powermax pistons used a dyked ring that was really for racing only as it only made a good seal at high revs, could be an issue but these rings have been out of production for years. The pistons themselves should not be a problem as it is the rings that seal

I finally found the article I mentioned earlier on, makes an interesting read

http://pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&f=66&t=835560&mid=0&nmt=Engine%20smoking%20badly%20after%20rebuild...%20HELP%20PLEASE!..

Hopefully things will improve as the mileage increases.

Gordon

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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  devon_AUSTIN-MK3 on Tue May 21, 2013 10:06 am

mini's pretty much had oil leaks when new! lol never found a rusted front subframe!! lol
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Re: My 1965 998cc Complete Engine Re-build - a very disappointing result !

Post  devon_AUSTIN-MK3 on Tue May 21, 2013 10:07 am

mine leaves oil everywhere it stops but only used about 1 pint every 500 miles
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