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crossflow big end bearing failure

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  • crossflow big end bearing failure

    I was up at Willow this week on the balcony and after a good thrashing around noticed a nasty noise on start up. Trailered it to the Morgan dealership in Santa Monica. Tony removed the sump and reckons the big end bearing on #3 cylinder is the problem. I'm awaiting an estimate but it ain't gonna be pretty I'm sure.

    So, questions for you guys:

    1. Anyone have experience of the Morgan dealership service shop? I think I recall Scott saying he'd used them. Scott, what did you have done and did Tony do the work?

    2. Any other recommendations on places to take it?

    3. I'm assuming this happened because of oil starvation so I'm thinking I should fit a dry sump if I'm going to repair this and do more track time. (The engine only has about 3K on it, damn it.). If so, go with the Caterham system, Burton's or something else?

    4. On the other hand, how much is this all likely to cost - engine out, strip down, crank machining, balancing? replace just the failed bearing or all etc etc?

    5. Maybe it's time for a Duratech and some serious power? But that means engine management, fuel injectors, bodywork since the exhaust comes out the other side etc. Sounds very expensive. And again, where to have it done?

    Any advice welcome.

  • #2
    Cannot say anything about Tony since I've never met him or used him.

    What spec is your (x-) engine?

    Harry Appelby's Viking Motorsports in Costa Mesa does a wide variety of British cars, including Sevens. He can probably help you with Duratec conversion as well.

    Cosworth in Torrance will sell you a Duratec. Call Ken Andersson at Cosworth, say hello from me, and ask him how much he wants for a CSR260 engine (or the Atlantic version if you want 300hp of high maintenance).

    Caterham can sell you all the remaining bits and pieces, including the ECU

    You can also, as I did, cobble together your own setup. Between us here at the site we should be able to spec out something nice.

    For the panel work, call Dan Fink's metalwork in Huntington Bach and ask for John West. He fitted my new rear panel and plugged my old Zetec exhaust hole.

    /Magnus F.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the info, Magnus. It's a standard spec 1700 crossflow, as far as I'm aware.

      Comment


      • #4
        Doug will give you a good price for his zetec.

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        • #5
          I'll take a stab at 3 and 4.

          3 - It sounds like you have a caterham. If so, I highly recommend removing the electrical oil pressure gauge and replacing with a mechanical one. The OEM caterham one rubbish. Oil starvation is a problem in crossflows - especially if you have decent rubber. If my sump isn't just over the fill line, I get starvation in right hand corners.

          If you don't want to invest in a full dry sump, an accusump may fit the bill as long as you only expect periodic starvation.

          Are you using an oil or additive with additional ZDDP?

          4 - Price depends heavily on the shop. Depending on damage - somewhere between $2k-$4k. Parts are pretty easy to come by and are relatively inexpensive. It's mostly the machine work you'll pay for.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by GWise View Post
            .......4 - Price depends heavily on the shop. Depending on damage - somewhere between $2k-$4k. Parts are pretty easy to come by and are relatively inexpensive. It's mostly the machine work you'll pay for.
            If you want to keep the Xflow you can save a ton of money if you take the engine out yourself, strip it down and take only the major pieces to the shop for machining (and later put it back together yourself).

            That is what I did for my Zetec and it cost me about $800 at Ron Dunlap's shop in Chatsworth for hot tank, cylinder boring and honing, crank grinding and valve seats incl. oversize pistons, rings, bearing shells and valve guides/seals. I know might have got a new ZX3 for that but I wanted to keep the ported head and cams for my ZX1.

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            • #7
              GWise, when you say just over the fill line do you mean just over the maximum fill line?

              I was running not much over the minimum line. (Anything over that and it all seems to come out the crankcase vent anyway!). That, plus the oil was old, and it got hot, is undoubtably the reason for the catastrophe. I won't make this mistake twice!

              Regarding ZDDT, no, I wasn't using. What oil do you recommend?

              I take it you haven't found it necessary to install a dry sump system?

              Do you have a recommendation on the mechanical pressure gauge?

              Does anyone have experience of the accusump for track use? Looks like it's a bit fiddly.

              As for doing the work myself, I agree it would save me a bundle, and be fun to do, but the reality is it would take me too long and I have a shed full of incomplete projects. I only just got through the SB100 registration process, damn it, and I want to drive it!

              Mind you, we'll see what the estimate comes in at tomorrow...

              Comment


              • #8
                Simplist is to use something like Redline Racing motor oil.

                Not just the Redline, it needs to be the racing oil to get the ZDDP levels up.

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                • #9
                  Just put some Royal Purple XPR in mine yesterday... thought I'd try that over Mobil 1 or Castrol Synthetic. I know it has more ZDDP.

                  Wonder why the 12 month oil change regardless of different mileage recommendations on these oils. Do some additives evaporate, condensation..?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by NigelT View Post
                    GWise, when you say just over the fill line do you mean just over the maximum fill line?

                    I was running not much over the minimum line. (Anything over that and it all seems to come out the crankcase vent anyway!). That, plus the oil was old, and it got hot, is undoubtably the reason for the catastrophe. I won't make this mistake twice!
                    I run just over the maximum fill line.

                    Shamelessly stolen from roger king in the UK:

                    What you need to do is to machine two inlet/outlets into the rocker cover. The first one should be above the breather canister and you should feed the hose that currently goes to the catch tank to this. Then machine the second hole into the rear face of the rocker cover as high as possible and lead the hose from this to the catch tank.

                    You now have a breather system that still allows free breathing, but dumps oil straight back into the top of the engine. The quantities are not large enough to cause problems with oil build up in the top of the engine. On a healthy engine this new rocker cover breather will dump little or no oil into the catch tank. I do not recommend that you rely solely on the filler cap breather; not only is it quite restricted, but the main breathing is at the bottom end of the engine and there are insufficient passageways in a Crossflow to allow this pressure to get to the rocker cover without the external hose. Particularly as the oil is trying to go down them as pressure comes up. Later Caterham supplied Crossflows have only the filler cap breather, which seems to be simply because Ford deleted the block breather canisters on later engines; instead, Ford used a core plug to block the breather, presumably a)to cut costs and b)they assumed that the engines were destined for FF1600 and thus don't need a block breather because they are dry sumped.

                    If you tap the holes machined in the rocker cover 3/8" bspt, you can use these part nos as screw in inlet/outlets - 1484835, 6148087. These are Ford part numbers and one is a straight outlet and the other is a 45 degree outlet. Both will screw into the rocker cover and then the hose simply pushes onto the them with a jubilee clip.

                    Originally posted by NigelT View Post
                    Regarding ZDDT, no, I wasn't using. What oil do you recommend?
                    I use Valvoline Not Street Legal which you can get at your local NAPA. You can also run a diesel truck oil which has higher ZDDP. Otherwise, you can buy additives.

                    Originally posted by NigelT View Post
                    I take it you haven't found it necessary to install a dry sump system?
                    No, but I have pretty modest tires and if I go to the track, I'm usually driving my go kart. The caterham is more for spirited weekend drives in the mountains.

                    Originally posted by NigelT View Post
                    Do you have a recommendation on the mechanical pressure gauge?
                    http://usa7s.com/vb/showthread.php?t=3913

                    Originally posted by NigelT View Post
                    Does anyone have experience of the accusump for track use? Looks like it's a bit fiddly.
                    It fixes the symptom, not the cause. It is absolutely a compromise between plain wet sump and full-on dry sump, but it's inexpensive, light, and it allows you to pre-oil the bearings before start up. It was just a suggestion if you only do limited track events and wanted a simple solution.

                    On a final note: While you're in there, you may want to think about forged pistons as the cast ones are definitely a weak point over time . It is tempting to go further though and can get expensive... Forged pistons work better with lightened rods, and they can take higher revs so new cam may be fitted , then steel rocker posts are a good idea, along with duplex chain... etc. At that point you may just want to think about a zetec.
                    Last edited by GWise; April 11, 2011, 09:43 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Mondo View Post
                      Just put some Royal Purple XPR in mine yesterday... thought I'd try that over Mobil 1 or Castrol Synthetic. I know it has more ZDDP.

                      Wonder why the 12 month oil change regardless of different mileage recommendations on these oils. Do some additives evaporate, condensation..?
                      ZDDP is critical for flat tappet, solid lifter engines. Probably not a big deal for you Mondo.

                      From what I've been told, the 6 month or 12 month recommendation is due to condensation and a decrease in the neutralizing agents. The timing is all relative and is probably worse for more humid environments or vehicles that only get short quick trips.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "You can also run a diesel truck oil which has higher ZDDP"

                        Oil makers have now lowered the amount of ZDDP in diesel truck oil too. Newer diesels have a particulate filter that the ZDDP might poison. Valvoline Classic Diesel truck oil was the last I could find and it was recently discontinued.


                        If you do some searching the oil makers say the ZDDP additives aren't a simple solution. The oil must be blended to work with the addtives corretly. They may be just trying to sell their racing blend.

                        I buy an additive for my diesel truck and will know the truth in about 400,000 miles. It's got 30,000 now. I don't have the particulate filter.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for all the great info everyone. Much obliged.

                          I'm going ahead with the crossflow bearing repair. In the final analysis I can't bring myself to discard an otherwise perfectly good motor that probably only failed because of my negligence. My craving for more power will have to go unsatisfied for a while longer.

                          I'll probably have the mechanical oil gauge and and oil cooler fitted while I'm at it.

                          Any recommendations on the cooler? Is the Caterham unit OK?

                          What about oil temperature gauge - worth adding? If so, favored source?

                          Looking forward to meeting some of you at Willow at the weekend.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I used a Laminova heat exchanger instead of the air oil cooler. A little more expensive but much more compact, less vulnerable and easier to install (but your radiator needs sufficient cooling capacity).

                            As oil temp sensor I used the same VDO probe as for coolant and installed in the front sump plug. That way I can switch the temp dash gage from coolant to oil.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by NigelT View Post
                              I'll probably have the mechanical oil gauge and and oil cooler fitted while I'm at it.

                              Any recommendations on the cooler? Is the Caterham unit OK?

                              What about oil temperature gauge - worth adding? If so, favored source?
                              Crossflows tend to do pretty well in regards to oil temperature. Most moderately tuned UK crossflows don't use them, even with occasional track use. If you use a high quality synthetic with ZDDP and change it often enough, there's really no need.

                              My suggestion would be to fit an oil temp gauge first to determine if you need an oil cooler. No sense adding all that weight if it isn't necessary. If you do add one, make sure you add a thermostat!

                              I also cant stress enough that you should reroute your crankcase plumbing, if you weren't planning to already. It keeps your catch tank from filling up and causing a mess (and a potential fire hazard).

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