200tdi decapitation - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old November 16th, 2017, 10:15 AM
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200tdi decapitation

Just a thread on working on my 200tdi.

(Don't mind the pushrods in the head. One of the bolts holding onto the rocker shaft stripped the head and I'm still trying to remove it.)

Not sure what happened but the truck has been quite down on power for years. I checked all the usual bits, set the FIP timing on the dot, put in a fuel pump, Everything was spot on, nothing was amiss.

I completely rebuilt the turbo, sandblasted and ceramic coated the exhaust header and downpipe, new exhaust/intake gasket, etc. Still no change in performance.

Oil mist has been steadily blowing out of the dipstick tube. It couldn't have been much because I have not really been losing a noticeable amount of oil. Long term observation of the oil filler cap on the head while running has shown no pressure coming out the valvetrain. No pressure blowing out the cyclone. Still, the oil coming out of the dipstick tube was a little concerning.

Coolant leaks have been an issue on the truck for a while: mystery coolant loss, nothing amiss on the truck, so I just filled the coolant regularly. On the last wheeling truck up to BDO at the cove, I realized that faint steam was coming out from under the bonnet.

When I popped the bonnet, I found that the interface between the thermostat housing and the head was spraying coolant in a fine mist. Had to carry several gallons of distilled water with me on the remainder of the trip home, filling up the coolant along the way.

Took off the head, expecting the worst, actually found the head in good condition.

During removal of the head, some of the head bolts were not nearly as tight as others - these "loose" bolts were near the middle two cylinders of the head on the exhaust manifold side.

Looking at the headgasket, it looks like a bunch of stuff was traveling through the headgasket - coolant, oil, combustion gases - all just kind of leaking around when the engine was hot.

2 of the 8 valve lash caps had busted through the center.
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  #2  
Old November 16th, 2017, 10:19 AM
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closeups of the valves
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  #3  
Old November 16th, 2017, 10:21 AM
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not-so closeups
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  #4  
Old November 16th, 2017, 10:29 AM
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valve caps
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  #5  
Old November 16th, 2017, 10:39 AM
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Wow, good on you to check this out before things got worse. Interesting the head bolts were loose. Do you think this was just a prior oversight? Any oil contaminants? While shes down you could send off for a full analysis with Blackstone for $25.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 10:50 AM
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As far as I can tell, everything is original on the engine and nothing has been worked on. Mikeslandrover could probably shed some light on past history on the engine if he's still lurking Quite honestly though, I think he got the engine secondhand and it was a good one.

My theory is that after decades of heat cycling things just work loose, and not uniformly. Once one part gets a little loose in the head, pressure just starts pushing through along with whatever is in it.

Decades of heat cycling, diesel vibrations, etc. just take their toll. I can't help but think that me only driving this thing for short trips here and there exacerbated the heat cycling.

Nothing lasts forever, the gearhead's fantasy is that an "engine done right" will last forever. Not hardly! Everything requires maintenance. I really felt true fear pulling the head. I had nightmares of cracks everywhere.
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  #7  
Old November 16th, 2017, 10:57 AM
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Congrats on the good luck. Get the nuances sorted, get the head cleaned up and you will be back better then ever.

I see some VW lash caps in your future
https://www.ebay.com/itm/VW-BEETLE-T...4383.l4275.c10

When you have a chance, can you take a pic of your valve spring retainer tops? I have what looks like wear on mine but can't tell if its just from casting/manufacturing. Machine shop thinks its just "how they are". I've had new springs/retainers/seats sitting in a box for a while but just don't feel like swapping them out. Supposedly it can be done with the cylinder head installed if you put the piston at TDC to keep the valve from dropping.

Not my pic but they look like this...
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  #8  
Old November 16th, 2017, 11:10 AM
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Adam, yes that is how they are. Every 200/300 engine I've had apart has had this pattern.

The lr lash caps are criminal, when rebuildinf this head... If you reuse the valves you should have the tips machined for mushrooming since the cap was gone. Or just replace them.
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  #9  
Old November 16th, 2017, 11:19 AM
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If the lash caps are worn, the head has been worked on at some point. The original lash caps do not wear out. It is only replacement ones that have the problem.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 11:34 AM
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The original lash caps definitely can wear out, it's silly to assume they never can.

But Yea the motor has probably had its Rocker cover off at some point
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Old November 16th, 2017, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naplm00 View Post
The original lash caps definitely can wear out, it's silly to assume they never can.

But Yea the motor has probably had its Rocker cover off at some point
My engine with god knows how many miles has the original caps. They have no wear. I suppose if the engine was very poorly maintained they would wear, but so would the rest of the engine. the original ones are hard as a rock and to be worn out as shown, the rockers would be gone as well.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 12:08 PM
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Either way, the vw caps are cheap and better alternative, we can agree on that


Ed: had any of the valve stem seals ridden up the stems?
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Old November 16th, 2017, 12:10 PM
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to be honest, it would be pretty futile to guess at the history of the engine. The best way to find out without a fight is to PM mikeslandrover

i'll keep posting pics as requested, thanks everyone for the tips on fixing it up - re: lash caps, etc. no idea on the valve stem seals yet as I am waiting for my valve spring compressor in the mail

I'm mostly curious about who should skim the head here in northern virginia?

also, should I just send this thing into turner's in the UK and have them do the valve guides, etc?
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  #14  
Old November 16th, 2017, 12:15 PM
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Yes, I was just making the point that the engine has more than likely been apart. That is the most likely cause of having loose head bolts. With the stretch bolts, they should never "work" loose.

Pull the tappets and have a good look at them. Some of the aftermarket ones are made out of cheese and if they were replaced "out of course" like the valve caps may have, they are worth looking at. Gives a chance to look at the cam as well.

On the coolant loss issue, I had loss from the gasket between the block and the timing case. Look closely there. The problem is that when you remove the water pump to get the timing cover off, it releases the clamping on that gasket. It is not the greatest design in engine history.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 12:27 PM
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On the topic of coolant leaks around the thermostat, anyone had trouble with the seal around the actual thermostat? I'm on my second gasket and it still seems to be leaking. Granted my situation might be a bit different as I'm using the cap from a Series and the frontmost bolt runs out the bottom, but still seems like I should get a solid seal. I'm considering wet sanding both surfaces on a flat plate to see if that helps, and/or put a nut on the bolt that runs out the bottom.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 12:40 PM
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You can see the stem seals by just looking through the springs!
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Old November 16th, 2017, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by east high View Post
On the topic of coolant leaks around the thermostat, anyone had trouble with the seal around the actual thermostat?
I've never had a leak there. I also use silicone and not the original paper gasket on that interface.

I would try using good silicone gasket maker instead of the paper gasket there.

I should elucidate: I have removed the valve cover and changed the valve cover gasket once. I have been checking the valve clearances every year. I have never changed the lash caps myself. I don't know when they cracked because I never examined them that closely when I was running the valve clearances. it's possible that when I was checking valve clearances, the caps were already busted.
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Old November 16th, 2017, 12:47 PM
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valve spring retainer caps. Looks similar to yours, adam

looks like fatigue cracking. Probably inevitable on this part
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Old November 16th, 2017, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
to be honest, it would be pretty futile to guess at the history of the engine. The best way to find out without a fight is to PM mikeslandrover

i'll keep posting pics as requested, thanks everyone for the tips on fixing it up - re: lash caps, etc. no idea on the valve stem seals yet as I am waiting for my valve spring compressor in the mail

I'm mostly curious about who should skim the head here in northern virginia?

also, should I just send this thing into turner's in the UK and have them do the valve guides, etc?
Ed, two very good machine shops in nova, they have performed very well on a variety of european engines I have commissioned for my past customers including Pedro....

Pete @ Bimmer's unlimited in arlington at 4 mile run and walter reed drive and Russel @ Allied machine shop services in falls church behind Don Beyer Vulva off rt 7.

------ Follow up post added November 16th, 2017 04:13 PM ------

sorry "VOLVO" frigging auto spell....
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Old November 17th, 2017, 05:49 PM
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rocker shaft and rockers. I think these probably have to be replaced, at least the ones with the grooves worn in.
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