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Catch cans what are they and do I need one?

A catch can sits in between your crankcase and intake system, and it is designed to separate the fluid and mist from the air that makes its way through and catch it in the bottom of the unit.

By design some oil and fuel escapes from the motor with the excess pressure that builds up in the crankcase while an engine is running. This excess pressure is vented through a breather or valve and recirculated back into the engine through the intake manifold. The purpose of the catch can is to separate the oil from the air before it re-enters the engine.

Without a catch can, your engine cakes up with oily carbon deposits and soon becomes badly restricted. . Left without being cleaned, you will suffer losses in power and poor fuel economy. There are a variety of ways of cleaning motors, which can be time consuming and expensive. Avoid the build up in the first place and you’ll be in a great position.

The second reason catch cans are very important is because oil reduces the efficiency of your intercooler when it covers the pipe work. The colder the air going into the motor the better it performs, and if your intercooler doesn’t function as it should you are missing out on its potential.

Different types of catch can

Some catch can’s have filters in them, and others use mesh, steel wool or a variety of combinations. If you simply use just a can with an inlet and an outlet, you have setup that won’t work very well! The catch can will have a valve to drain the collected oil, this should be done at least every 10,000kms.

Catch can legalities

Catch can’s are 100% legal, and on some well designed diesels they actually come as standard. Sadly, this isn’t the case for your average 4WD motor. In the past, people would just run a pipe to the inside of their chassis, and let the oil film run into the chassis, for ‘rust prevention’! This is not legal.

How much do they cost?

Southside Cylinder Heads can supply and fit a catch can to most makes and models of popular diesel engines. Prices vary but generally cost between $450 – $550 fitted. They can be fitted in one day. If your engine has already travelled significant kilometres without a catch can, you may need to have the intake system removed and cleaned prior to installing the new catch can to get the maximum benefit. Call us on 07 33435899 to discuss the best option for your vehicle.

The Importance Of Maintaining Your Engine

 Toyota_Kluger_rear_deepVehicle maintenance is of vital importance both for safety, longevity and performance, and today we want to talk about the importance of maintaining your engine and the surrounding components that make it possible for your engine to operate.

The engine is the heart of your car, and its fluids are its blood. In your own body, your blood has kidneys and a liver to keep the blood clean — aside from the oil filter, a car engine can’t clean its own fluids. That’s why it’s important to change an engine’s oil regularly, and to make sure that change happens before the oil gets too dirty. Dirty oil may suffice in the short term and things may go fine for a while, but eventually it will lead to disaster. Even small amounts of dirty buildup over time can lesson an engine’s lifespan.

Toyota Kluger 2GR-FE Engine

Your coolant is just as important.  Having a clean and correct mix of coolant increases the cooling efficiency and capability of your engine, and prevents rust and corrosion forming.  Your radiator and water pump also play an important part in this, the pump’s job is pretty self-explanatory, it pumps coolant through the engine, then through the radiator to be cooled and then back into the engine in a continues cycle.  If maintenance is lacking and part of your cooling system fails in its duty, major engine damage can happen in a matter of minutes.

For example, the engine block pictured is out of a 2010 Toyota Kluger with 79,000kms clocked.  Basic oil changes have been maintained but a lack of cooling system maintenance has resulted in a major engine overheat, so bad that the alloy in the block has separated from the cylinder walls. 

The repairs required to get this car back on the road came in at a little under $10,000.  Don’t let this happen to you, practice a good maintenance schedule with your trusted mechanic, and pay attention to what your engine is telling you. If your car’s gauges say the engine is getting too hot, the oil pressure is low, your check engine light is on, or it’s making a noise that it never used to make, don’t wait. Take it to a mechanic you trust.

 

 

Engine Block 2GR-FE

Holden Cruze 1.8 Petrol Camshaft & VVT Problems

Our home grown Holden Cruze has had several different engine options since its inception in 2002.  The most popular has been the 1.8 petrol (Z18XER/F18D4), which first came out in the JG Cruze in 2009. There are two common problems we would like to discuss to help make your diagnosis and repairs easier.

Oil Flow Tubes

Firstly, a few of our customers have had problems with oil feed to the variable valve timing units after having head work or timing belt repairs carried out.  There is a small plastic tube that is being left out during re-assembly that is crucial for oil direction and flow to the variable units.  Without the tube in place, oil is not being fed to the variable unit, which triggers an engine light as well as loss of power through the rev range.  Theses tubes are located inside the camshafts at the front, right behind where your camshaft gears bolt on.  There is one for each camshaft.  Make sure these are in place before refitting the cam gears because the engine will not operate correctly without them.

Oil Coolers

Second issue is a high number of vehicles ending up with oil in the cooling system. These engines (Z18XER and F18D4) run oil coolers which are renowned for failing.  If you have oil mixing with water, check your oil cooler before racing to remove the cylinder head as this is most likely your problem.  Southside Cylinder Heads can pressure test your oil cooler for you.   The coolers are located next to the oil filter and forms part of the oil filter housing assembly.  Currently replacement coolers are only available OEM.  Southside Cylinder Heads, Brisbane’s best choice!

 

we have new camshafts available for the Holden Cruze on our online store.

 

 

 

 

 

 

BMW Head Bolt Thread Problems

2003_bmw_3-series_sedan_330i_fq_oem_1_300There is a run of 6 cylinder BMW engines causing mechanics and owners all sorts of grief when it comes to repairing cylinder heads and replacing head gaskets.

The 6 cylinder BMW engines affected include the M50, M52 and M54 that come out in various models from the early 1990’s through to about 2007.  3,5 and 7 series vehicles as well as the  Z3, Z4, X3 and X5 are all at risk.

Now the problem is simple….the aluminium blocks are stripping the head bolt threads when you try to torque down the cylinder head after gasket replacement, even if the engine hasn’t been overheated.  bmw-engineYour options are to source a second hand motor of unknown condition and take your chances with it, or have the threads repaired.

Southside Cylinder Heads and Engine Reconditioning Australia have a thread repair kit available to do the job.  This kit is suitable for both flush threads and recessed threads.  Its available as a rental with security deposit and you can fit them yourself, or we can come to you and supply and fit the thread inserts on site and in car.   $POA

                                     Please contact us for pricing phone 07 3343 5899

Thread Repair Kit BMW

Thread Repair Kit BMW

 

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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Nissan YD25 EGR Cooler Issues

Problem:

EGR Cooler corroded or split and leaking Coolant

Vehicles Effected:

Nissan Navara D22 & D40 with YD25DDTI 2.5 Turbo Diesel Engine

Nissan Pathfinder R51 with YD25DDTI 2.5 Turbo Diesel Engine

EGR Cooler

EGR Cooler setup Nissan YD25

We are seeing more & more problems with the EGR coolers in the YD25 Nissan engine.  The coolers tend to corrode or split resulting in loss of coolant and due to the high temperature of the exhaust/EGR system the coolant loss often goes undetected as the coolant evaporates and doesn’t leave a puddle on the ground.  If the problem goes unchecked the cooling system will run dry and the engine may overheat and require major repairs.

To fix the issue some people elect to bypass the EGR system completely using blanking plates on both the exhaust and inlet manifold & disconnecting the coolant flow to the EGR cooler.  From all reports this has been an effective fix but Southside Cyl Heads doesn’t recommend this because removing the EGR will alter the vehicle’s emissions levels & render the vehicle unroadworthy

EGR Cooler Faults

Faults in the EGR cooler YD25

We recommend simply checking your coolant levels regularly and if you notice a drop in the level, get the cooling system checked and check for stains around the EGR pipe ancooler area.

Catching the problem early and rectifying the issue could save you thousands in cylinder head repairs in the event of the engine overheating.  If you suspect your EGR cooler could be leaking, give us a call and we check over the system and put your mind at ease.

 

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.