#1 Cylinder at 40% Compression and Not Firing - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old May 15th, 2016, 01:28 AM
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#1 Cylinder at 40% Compression and Not Firing

Got my "free" 2.5 NA running after swapping the 300 TDI in prep for import to the US. It's legal now, but # one cylinder is at 40% compression and is not firing. Other cylinders are at 80%. Engine breathes hard and smokes. Was told that, if driven too far, the unburnt fuel in the cylinder will dilute the lubricating oil and create significant friction, which will result in catastrophic engine failure.

Fortunately, I'm only interested in shipping -- getting this thing on a car carrier, on a boat, off a boat and on a car carrier. This will entail driving it ~15 KM at one time. Questions:

1. Is there a chance the compression will increase as the engine warms up, creating favorable conditions for ignition and reducing risk of mechanical failure?
2. Realizing no one has a crystal ball, but what's the guess on how far can I drive it, at moderate speeds (50 kph), before it will eat itself?
3. During the import process, what happens if the shipping company cannot start it along the way? Will they just charge towing fee on/off the boat?
4. Does customs care if the vehicle won't start upon inspection?
5. It's titled with Armed Forces plates now, but the plates expire in June and I don't think I'll be able to get it renewed based on the running condition it's in now -- will that matter for import? Said another way, if my title expires during the voyage, will that frustrate the process of import?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old May 15th, 2016, 01:43 AM
Naplm00
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Can you just remove the injector? That way the engine isn't fighting the dead cylinder

Not sure if this is safe on a diesel. But I've done it on a civic with a dead cyl... Removed the plug and disconnected the injector, drove it 90miles round trip on 3cyl for a week
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Old May 15th, 2016, 02:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naplm00 View Post
Can you just remove the injector? That way the engine isn't fighting the dead cylinder

Not sure if this is safe on a diesel. But I've done it on a civic with a dead cyl... Removed the plug and disconnected the injector, drove it 90miles round trip on 3cyl for a week
Just remove the injector???

These injectors have no electronic connectors you can simply undo like gas engines.

You can undo the pipe but you would have to block off the line and I seriously doubt it will be good for the fuel injector pump.

If it is only 10 miles that it needs to run, just run it. I would start that 10 miles with fresh oil though.

40% compression is still compression and it could go up as engine warms up.

Qs: 40% to what though?
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  #4  
Old May 15th, 2016, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by DailyDrivenDefende View Post
Just remove the injector???

These injectors have no electronic connectors you can simply undo like gas engines.

You can undo the pipe but you would have to block off the line and I seriously doubt it will be good for the fuel injector pump.

If it is only 10 miles that it needs to run, just run it. I would start that 10 miles with fresh oil though.

40% compression is still compression and it could go up as engine warms up.

Qs: 40% to what though?
Yeah, certainly thought about taking my chances and just running it, but concerned the thing will crap out. Under the impression I can't export a non-running vehicle. That problem is associated with my second line of questioning about the vehicle not starting once I hand it over to them. Obviously cold starts are going to be a problem for whomever is trying to move it on/off trucks and ships.

Mech said it was 40% of specification. Trust his judgement, but he did not let it run long enough to warm-up. Heard that this kind-of issue gets better with heat, but how much better -- enough for detonation?
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Old May 15th, 2016, 04:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bayonet16 View Post
Yeah, certainly thought about taking my chances and just running it, but concerned the thing will crap out. Under the impression I can't export a non-running vehicle. That problem is associated with my second line of questioning about the vehicle not starting once I hand it over to them. Obviously cold starts are going to be a problem for whomever is trying to move it on/off trucks and ships.

Mech said it was 40% of specification. Trust his judgement, but he did not let it run long enough to warm-up. Heard that this kind-of issue gets better with heat, but how much better -- enough for detonation?
If it is blown headgasket you won't get compression.

There is no way of accurately guessing whether this engine will start without much intervention. My 19J, I have to glow it for 20 sec before it can start. FYI

One thing for sure is whoever starts the vehicle to check, they will not spend much time to get it to run as you would.

If you are serious about getting it through the custom, seems like you will have to to get some work done. You won't know if it is valves, or piston rings until you do some work.

I personally don't trust mechanics in general period. Or I should say it is better to not trust them.

Is it overheating?

Blowby introduces gas into oil. Unless it is really bad I really don't think driving 10 miles on a fresh oil will damage the engine. Not starting due to lack of compression is another issue entirely.
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Old May 15th, 2016, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DailyDrivenDefende View Post
If it is blown headgasket you won't get compression.

There is no way of accurately guessing whether this engine will start without much intervention. My 19J, I have to glow it for 20 sec before it can start. FYI

One thing for sure is whoever starts the vehicle to check, they will not spend much time to get it to run as you would.

If you are serious about getting it through the custom, seems like you will have to to get some work done. You won't know if it is valves, or piston rings until you do some work.

I personally don't trust mechanics in general period. Or I should say it is better to not trust them.

Is it overheating?

Blowby introduces gas into oil. Unless it is really bad I really don't think driving 10 miles on a fresh oil will damage the engine. Not starting due to lack of compression is another issue entirely.
Okay, thanks. It's blow-by the rings. Scored wall and questionable rings. Took head off to confirm. Head gasket replaced. Mech is a German (normally do great work), specializes in LRs and it's killing him that I won't let him fix it right. However, this 2.5NA is a very temp solution, as I'll replace with the 300 TDI I just clean-jerked out of it upon arrival stateside. Unsure if it's overheating -- still need to button it up completely and test it.

Believe I'm tracking on what you are saying: New oil should hold-up for a while (slow driving; short distances) and not create excess friction that will result in catastrophic failure. Old oil filled with diesel will eventually wear the whole engine out. One piston at 40% cold won't break it unless something else is wrong. Right?

Are you confirming that if CPB can't get it started, they won't clear it? Concerned about that because in aggregate, the engine has ~70% ([80%+80%+80%+40%]/400%) of factory spec compression. May be hard to start after a month on a boat. I know that there are a lot of asthmatic 2.5NAs just like this still on the road, but starting cold, as you have stated, is another issue.

Thanks again.
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Old May 15th, 2016, 06:44 AM
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I wouldn t be concerned about the guys at the docks. They will get anything started or towed.
It s their everyday business.
Most vehicles end up with flat batteries somewhere along the way.
The problem is not unburnt diesel diluting the oil.
An old diesel doesnt care much about the compression. It just looses power and wont start when cold. But once its running its running.
However diesels are very sensitive too uneven compression between cylinders. Diesels work on torque. So one cylinder has low or no compression means your crank shaft and main bearings will be under extreme stress.
I have seen many Land Rover diesels with snapped crank shafts. Usually the snap on No 1 or No 4.
Petrols dont have that problem as there is far less torque.
I wouldnt worry about sort runs in the shipping process but after that i d tow it or stick it on a trailer.
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Old May 15th, 2016, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayonet16 View Post
Okay, thanks. It's blow-by the rings. Scored wall and questionable rings. Took head off to confirm. Head gasket replaced. Mech is a German (normally do great work), specializes in LRs and it's killing him that I won't let him fix it right. However, this 2.5NA is a very temp solution, as I'll replace with the 300 TDI I just clean-jerked out of it upon arrival stateside. Unsure if it's overheating -- still need to button it up completely and test it.

Believe I'm tracking on what you are saying: New oil should hold-up for a while (slow driving; short distances) and not create excess friction that will result in catastrophic failure. Old oil filled with diesel will eventually wear the whole engine out. One piston at 40% cold won't break it unless something else is wrong. Right?

Are you confirming that if CPB can't get it started, they won't clear it? Concerned about that because in aggregate, the engine has ~70% ([80%+80%+80%+40%]/400%) of factory spec compression. May be hard to start after a month on a boat. I know that there are a lot of asthmatic 2.5NAs just like this still on the road, but starting cold, as you have stated, is another issue.

Thanks again.
CBP doesn't start vehicles. A vehicle doesn't need to run to clear customs.
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Old May 15th, 2016, 08:25 AM
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I had a similar situation with a Dormobile and just taped starting instructions inside the vehicle on the dash and let it go. Came over OK and yanked the engine shortly thereafter.

You didn't mention oil pressure, so assume it is OK.
If the engine is worn out the only chances you are taking is that it will fail during the short trips you need to run it to get it imported. After that it is going to get removed anyway, so who cares if number 1 is low on compression. If the smoking is a bother, don't remove an injector, that's insane. You can dial back the fuel on the IP and crank up the idle enough to get it "home". I would also make sure all the glow plugs work and get a carbon reamer used on the Mercedes OM616/7 and ream out the carbon buildup in the glow plug hole which will expose the glow plug for easier starting. The Germans have them in the tool box or can get one easily. You can also remove the air cleaner hose so it gets a free air charge to help burn the fuel.

You could always invest in one of the 200/300TDI 3.1 KW starters which you can reuse on your 300TDI.
It will fit your 2.5 N/A and spin it much faster than the stock starter to help eliminate any starting issues.

I have also heard of people installing a propane boost or a hydrogen oxygen generator to burn up excess fuel, but that is likely more trouble than it's worth for your short drives before the engine gets pulled.

Good luck Ed... keep us up to date by posting the next chapter.
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Old May 15th, 2016, 11:16 AM
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Does not need to run to be imported, but costs more for non-running RORO transport.
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Old May 15th, 2016, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rdavisinva View Post
I had a similar situation with a Dormobile and just taped starting instructions inside the vehicle on the dash and let it go. Came over OK and yanked the engine shortly thereafter.

You didn't mention oil pressure, so assume it is OK.
If the engine is worn out the only chances you are taking is that it will fail during the short trips you need to run it to get it imported. After that it is going to get removed anyway, so who cares if number 1 is low on compression. If the smoking is a bother, don't remove an injector, that's insane. You can dial back the fuel on the IP and crank up the idle enough to get it "home". I would also make sure all the glow plugs work and get a carbon reamer used on the Mercedes OM616/7 and ream out the carbon buildup in the glow plug hole which will expose the glow plug for easier starting. The Germans have them in the tool box or can get one easily. You can also remove the air cleaner hose so it gets a free air charge to help burn the fuel.

You could always invest in one of the 200/300TDI 3.1 KW starters which you can reuse on your 300TDI.
It will fit your 2.5 N/A and spin it much faster than the stock starter to help eliminate any starting issues.

I have also heard of people installing a propane boost or a hydrogen oxygen generator to burn up excess fuel, but that is likely more trouble than it's worth for your short drives before the engine gets pulled.

Good luck Ed... keep us up to date by posting the next chapter.
This is very useful. Thank you. How do you check the oil pressure? Didn't even think of that.

------ Follow up post added May 15th, 2016 06:50 PM ------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
CBP doesn't start vehicles. A vehicle doesn't need to run to clear customs.
Thank you, Doug. That's a big relief. Do you see any import issues if my Armed Forces registration expires during transit?
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Old May 15th, 2016, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Bayonet16 View Post
This is very useful. Thank you. How do you check the oil pressure? Didn't even think of that.

------ Follow up post added May 15th, 2016 06:50 PM ------



Thank you, Doug. That's a big relief. Do you see any import issues if my Armed Forces registration expires during transit?
You unscrew the idiot light sender and install a gauge fitting.
You can always search this forum: Defender Source > Defender & Series Technical Discussions > Defender Technical Discussions > Installing TDI Oil Pressure Gauge.
Kept the same idiot light sender and used a banjo fitting for the oil pressure gauge fitting.

Customs would probably care less about expired registrations.
They want to know that the vehicle complies and that you have some valid proof of ownership so it is legal to import...
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