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New Ultrasonic Cleaning Technology

Over the Christmas break we were spoilt here at Southside Cylinder Heads as we too received Christmas presents! We were lucky enough to get a BRAND NEW ULTRASONIC CLEANING MACHINE!

This machine has enough power to clean even the most stubborn Carbon build ups on Diesel and Petrol Cylinder heads/Blocks/Rocker gears and Timing cases.  Especially handy for late model turbo diesel inlet manifolds, which tend to become heavily carboned up and nearly totally blocked  resulting in loss in power and increased fuel consumption.  Dont forget we have a pick and delivery service available 🙂

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Trade Customer Rewards!!!!

have-a-drinkGive us a call to find out how you can have a drink on us this Easter long weekend.  Southside Cylinder Heads, Engine Reconditioning Australia is Queensland and Brisbane’s best for Cylinder head repairs and full engine rebuilds.  

Minimum repairs, standard rebuilds and performance upgrades are all catered for. Easter promotional offer is only valid for trade customers

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All About Cylinder Head Hardness

With the advancement in engine technology more components than ever before are being manufactured out of aluminium.  The 70’s and 80’s seen the introduction of aluminium cylinder heads into mainstream family cars and now almost all new engines use aluminium heads and in many cases an aluminium engine block as well.

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Southside Cylinder Heads
Digital Hardness Tester

Although both strong and light, aluminium is also a relatively soft metal that needs to be alloyed with another metal in order to have enough hardness to be used in an engine.  Typical alloying compounds are silicon manganese, copper manganese and iron.

When we talk about cylinder head hardness it is basically the ability of the component to resist being permanently deformed when a load is applied. Testing the hardness of your cylinder head is a vital part of the reconditioning process and the most widely used hardness test in the automotive field is Brinell Scale.

Depending on the manufacturing process and alloying metals used, cylinder heads will have different hardness levels from new, so for instance a new Mazda 6 cylinder head may be 125hb but a Toyota Corolla head may be only 110hb.  You would expect a new cylinder head to be in the vicinity of 100-130hb.

The only accurate way to test your cylinder head hardness is with a calibrated digital tester.  Our testing is conducted in 3 spots on the gasket face of each cylinder head and the average result is recorded.  Industry standard minimum hardness is 65hb and any heads with a reading below this level are unsuitable for reconditioning and must be replaced.  Unfortunately many workshops still use the outdated and unreliable manual “ball tester” that relies on a ball bearing in a tube to bounce above a line.  This type of tester is relatively cheap but has proven to be inaccurate in determining a cylinder heads suitability for reconditioning.

What causes the hardness level to deteriorate?

The single biggest factor that effects your cylinder head hardness is excessive heat.  Most modern engines operate at a temperature of approximately 88°c – 105°c.  When your engine overheats and exceeds its normal operating range, the increased heat puts major stresses on the aluminium cylinder head and starts to deteriorate the hardness value of the head.

Once the temperature of the aluminium reaches about 200°c – 250°c permanent softening of the alloy begins and the hotter and longer your engine is exposed to these conditions the more damage is done.  To minimise the damaging effects of overheating be sure to switch off your engine at the first signs of overheating and have your vehicle checked.

What will happen if I use a soft head?

Using a cylinder head that is soft (tested at 65hb or less) greatly increases the likelihood of premature head gasket failure as it has lost its structural integrity and ability to withstand load and stresses that occur during engine operation.  As well as gasket failure a soft head may also be more susceptible to warping and cracking as the weakened component continues to be subjected to the high loads and stresses of the combustion engine.

A key sign to look out for is head bolt recess or indentation caused when the load applied by the head bolts is too great for the soft aluminium and the bolts will start to sink into the head. These bolts pulling through the aluminium will prevent the correct load being applied to the head gasket and failure will be imminent.

If you have overheated your engine and suspect the cylinder head hardness may be affected, or you just want to be on the safe side, bring your head in to us and we can do a hardness test while you wait (in most cases), and best of all its free!

For more information on cylinder head hardness check out: http://www.aagaskets.com.au/PDF/CylinderHeadResearchInvestigation.pdf

 

 

Camshaft Scissor / Preload Gears

The scissor gear on a camshaft is designed to reduce the free play between the camshafts and eliminate any knocking noise by ensuring constant contact is being made between two mating gears.  Basically a spring loaded gear applies constant pressure on the sister gear in order to prevent any rattle or ticking noises occurring.

Fit the service bolt before removing camshafts

The best approach when handling these types of gears is to install a service bolt through the scissor gear BEFORE removing the camshaft.  Most of the time a 15-20mm long 6x1mm bolt can be used, however some applications may vary from this size.  After you refit the camshaft, simply remove the bolt and away you go.

If the camshafts are removed without installing the service bolt, the preload on the gear will be lost and you will have to reset it before re-installing the camshaft.

 

To reset the preload on a scissor gear secure the camshaft in a vice on a section that will not damage the lobes or journals.  You will need to rotate the scissor gear against spring pressure until the service bolthole lines up with the thread.  Normally a large pair of pliers or multi grips will be sufficient to do this.  Holding the gear in place with one hand fit the service bolt all the way through the gear. The bolt only needs to hold the preloaded gear in place and does not need to be any more than finger tight.

Once you have re-fitted the camshafts onto the cylinder head remove the service bolt BEFORE rotating the camshaft, if you try to turn the engine over with the service bolt fitted it will cause significant damage to the engine.

The noise caused by an incorrectly set scissor gear can be similar to a noisy hydraulic lifter or tappet.  After a cylinder head service many people make the mistake of assuming a hydraulic lifter or tappet clearance is causing an excessive ticking or rattle, but often it is the scissor/preload gear that has not been set.

Kia Rio 1.5L 2000 – 2005. Engine- A5D

Head Bolts & Maintenance Issues:

This engine consists of two head bolts at the front of the engine that are shorter than the rest. The two shorter head bolts must be fitted in the corresponding holes at the front of the engine. Fitting the longer bolts in the shorter bolt holes will cause the head bolt to bottom out and the head gasket will not seal correctly. This will result in water and oil mixing, water entering the combustion chamber in cylinder one, and external oil/water leaks around the front of the engine.

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These engines are also notorious for seizing camshafts as a result of poor maintenance and lack of oil changes. If you have an engine with a broken belt, be sure to check under the tappet cover for signs of oil sludge formation. If sludge build up is present, there’s a  good chance one or both of your camshafts have seized in the cylinder head.

Alternately, if your engine is still running ok but you know you’ve been a bit slack with servicing (doing more than 15,000kms without an oil change or using low quality oils), its best to check under the tappet cover for signs of sludge. If you find signs of sludge build up, you should talk to your local mechanic or give us a call as soon as possible to avoid costly engine damage.

NISSAN YD25DDTi

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There are an increasing number of reports of lower timing chain failures in Australian released Nissan YD25DDTi engines. The primary (lower) timing chain and gears are a simplex (single row) design, while t

he secondary (upper) timing chains and gears are a duplex (double row) design. The simplex chains are stretching and ultimately falling, leading to major engine component failure, including valve and piston crown contact and dam

age. It is advisable to replace the simplex timing chains and tensioners before 80,000kms.

Typically the timing chain guides and the vacuum pump timing chain sprocket and shaft are found to be heavily damaged and/or worn as well.

 

Brisbane's quality cylinder head service specialists

What to Expect from Southside Cylinder Heads

Brisbane’s Southside Cylinder Head Service offers world best practiceBrisbane's quality cylinder head service specialists and are one of Australia’s and Brisbane’s best choices for fast, reliable & quality workmanship. Our friendly and talented automotive technicians and engine builders are highly capable mechanics and have extensive experience in the reconditioning, repairing and diagnosis of cylinder heads from a wide range of engine types and take pride in their work.