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View Full Version : TR4/4A YAY! It started!!!



ghawk16
10-25-2017, 11:09 PM
But...I think it overheated during the 20min break in and I probably blew the engine. The hose came off the water pump housing and sprayed coolant ALLLLL over the engine bay, fenders, doors, interior floor (no carpet or interior pieces still), etc. This was all at about 6:30pm at night so it was just about dark. And it was 90 today so I don't know WHY I decided to do the break in. I wiped the car down with a towel and used some quick detail spray in some spots, but I'm sure the paint and some of the chrome will now have some discoloration. There is coolant everywhere underneath and I just didn't have the energy to clean it. I'm mentally and physically drained working on cars. My, what are usually bulletproof 4.7 V8 4Runner blew a headgasket in the middle of the NV desert a couple of months back because the previous owner put stop leak in it and caused the radiator to plug, spew coolant out of the return hose and eventually blow the engine. Quite a few dollars later and a lot of my time I have it running again perfectly as of last weekend. Yes, I did all the work on that as well. Well, wanted to jump on the Triumph while dad was in town last weekend. Didn't pan out starting it with him so got some parts in today and thought I'd try tonight. Should have been patient and waited for the weekend on a cooler day. Now, part of me just wants to sell and be done with it. It would fetch a pretty penny as long as the paint stays good. I'm guessing I may have to give it a micro-polish if it's discolored. Guess I'll go in early tomorrow and wipe it down again and see the damage in the light. It sounded like it was running great but I guess it just got too hot. And no...temp gauge wasn't reading anything but I didn't want to stop it in the middle of the 20min break in. Stupid. Anyway...sorry for the vent and long post. Just really really bummed right now. :(

charleyf
10-25-2017, 11:34 PM
Gary,
I want to say "my condolences ". But what I hope is that it is not even close to being as bad as your fears think it is. It has been a long road to get here look at this as a small step back and try to move forward .
Charley

dklawson
10-26-2017, 08:07 AM
As Charley said, step back for a while. Give yourself a break from cars.

When you are ready to try again, to rest your mind at ease, do a compression check. If the numbers are acceptable, assume the head gasket is good and refill the cooling system. If you didn't do so last time, leave the radiator cap off. With the engine running, watch the open radiator filler neck. When the engine heat comes up the t-stat will open and the coolant level will drop. When it does, refill the radiator with the engine running. Watch the filler neck again and top up the coolant 3 or 4 times as necessary until the level seems to be holding.

Before you start the engine, make sure the static ignition timing is set for a reasonable value. Your car may have a specified static timing value. If you cannot find that published value, set the static timing to somewhere between 5 and 8 BTDC. That will get the engine started and allow it to warm up without putting it under stress. You can set the dynamic timing later.

As a footnote, I was advised by Ted Schumaker of TSI to do an initial engine start and 20 minute break-in with only water in the cooling system. After the break in period, replace the water with antifreeze. I believe his suggestion was aimed more at preventing mixing oil and coolant if there is a problem. In your case, there is the added benefit that the water won't hurt the paint if the system vents again.

glemon
10-26-2017, 09:20 AM
Re the above: water is also a more efficient cooler than anti freeze (until it reaches the boiling point).

If the temp wasn't reading high you may just have had a hose fitment problem. I thought my newly installed hoses were all tight before I ran the car but several leaked.

I like to do the initial break in with a big house fan in front of the car and the hood off for ease of access and cooling. Note I don't know if I would take the hood off if I had already painstakingly fit and positioned it.

ghawk16
10-26-2017, 10:24 AM
See, I"m wondering if the new thermostat even opened. The first time I tried starting it with the radiator cap coolant spewed out and that was only after a minute or two. Keep in mind everything is new on this engine including hoses, radiator, fan, etc, etc, etc. I think this thing was running lean. After running at 2500 for a while that exhaust manifold and downpipe were glowing...bright. That's when I said enough, but the engine stopped on it's own before I could turn it off. Then BOOM the hose popped. No coolant was leaking anywhere before that. I did notice I had no reading on my temp gauge on the dash, yet again I have a new temp sensor. But now that I think about it I'm guessing it wasn't reading because it isn't grounded behind. Oil pressure and amperage were reading fine so that's good! Just hope my half ass attempt at cleaning the coolant off the paint worked. Doubt it. <shrugs>

Good to know on the water only for starting. I'll do that if I decide I want to give it another shot later this winter...when it's nice and cold out. Was going to do finish up my 4Runner this weekend with a tranny flush. Now...just seems like such a chore! Ugh. In the end I have no one to blame but myself for getting too excited and starting it without doing further research on proper timing and startup. Should have started it for 10 seconds and turned it off to know I'm VERY close and dialed it in for the long initial startup. I was just scared of starting and stopping too many times.

I'm guessing I cooked the oil so I'll have to drain that costly Driven break in oil. Thanks for all the tips and reading my rambling posts.

CJD
10-27-2017, 11:00 AM
The only good thing is that these engines, being all cast iron instead of aluminum, are usually pretty tolerant of overheating. Hopefully it is not that bad. I assume you will get the temp gage working for the next attempt, though!

ghawk16
10-27-2017, 02:29 PM
The only good thing is that these engines, being all cast iron instead of aluminum, are usually pretty tolerant of overheating. Hopefully it is not that bad. I assume you will get the temp gage working for the next attempt, though!

Oh you better believe it!

Geo Hahn
10-27-2017, 04:51 PM
If you get a pocket of air in the cooling system it can cause coolant to abruptly boil and result in a sudden and dramatic increase in pressure that will blow a hose.

I managed to do this on a different engine that had passages that were difficult to fully fill with coolant.

I usually drill a hole (say, 1/8" or so) in the tstat to aid inn filling and allow some flow even before the tstat opens.

ghawk16
10-27-2017, 06:54 PM
If you get a pocket of air in the cooling system it can cause coolant to abruptly boil and result in a sudden and dramatic increase in pressure that will blow a hose.

I managed to do this on a different engine that had passages that were difficult to fully fill with coolant.

I usually drill a hole (say, 1/8" or so) in the tstat to aid inn filling and allow some flow even before the tstat opens.

That's what my dad was saying. There was probably a massive air bubble in there. But don't these thermostats have a bleed hole like other thermostats? I can't remember. If not your idea of drilling is a very good idea. Just hope I didn't cook this engine like I did my 4Runner V8. This would be a lot cheaper to fix luckily. <prays that head gasket held!!!>

dklawson
10-27-2017, 08:33 PM
Keep the faith. Run a compression check to see how things are before attempting a restart.

Historical Footnote: The brothers on Car Talk presented a "puzzler" once about their mechanic "Crusty". Their story was that Crusty had a bottle of aspirin in his tool box but he never had headaches. What were the aspirin for? The answer was that Crusty would push a new thermostat open a little and place an asprin in the gap. Then he would assemble the thermostat and its housing as normal. When he filled the cooling system the gap held open by the aspirin would allow the air to escape and then the aspirin would dissolve.

charleyf
10-28-2017, 12:15 PM
That's what my dad was saying. There was probably a massive air bubble in there. But don't these thermostats have a bleed hole like other thermostats? I can't remember. If not your idea of drilling is a very good idea. Just hope I didn't cook this engine like I did my 4Runner V8. This would be a lot cheaper to fix luckily. <prays that head gasket held!!!>
Gary,
Some thermostats do have a hole BUT NOT ALL. The heater is another source of an air bubble. Always best to fill the radiator and then run it for several minutes or until the thermostat does open without the cap to make sure the system is full.
Charley

ghawk16
10-28-2017, 01:17 PM
Keep the faith. Run a compression check to see how things are before attempting a restart.

Historical Footnote: The brothers on Car Talk presented a "puzzler" once about their mechanic "Crusty". Their story was that Crusty had a bottle of aspirin in his tool box but he never had headaches. What were the aspirin for? The answer was that Crusty would push a new thermostat open a little and place an asprin in the gap. Then he would assemble the thermostat and its housing as normal. When he filled the cooling system the gap held open by the aspirin would allow the air to escape and then the aspirin would dissolve.

HAHAHA...that is great! And a good idea actually! Thanks for sharing that.

ghawk16
10-28-2017, 02:56 PM
So I did a compression check. Cold engine obviously and came up with:
1. 135
2. 135
3. 140
4. 145

Soooo...I think the HG is good. I also added a hole in the thermostat. Didnt notice any coolant on the oil dipstick or in the cylinders. But new oil and new coolant its pretty hard to tell. Going to static time it, get some 20W dash pot oil and more distilled water to put in. Jusssssst in case she decides to blow again.

Question...I ran it like 15 minutes. My concern is did I mess the new cam and lifters up because they didn't get the run time they needed? I'm not going to start it till next week when it's significantly cooler out. Another 90deg day here in NorCal.

CJD
10-28-2017, 07:13 PM
The stock springs are not that heavy, so cam break in is not as critical as on racing motors. I personally would not worry about it.

sp53
10-28-2017, 09:42 PM
I think you are going to be fine these tractors are strong. Every time I start a new engine it is high drama. I guess that is why we do it--- to test ourselves and be alive. I remember when John built his engine he was too cool; he must have a lot of experience because he was already talking about how to store an engine so the valves would not stay sprung before he started it, too cool. I have probably only built about 6 engines and I will be very anxious on number 7, so like said, keep the faith that is really all we have anyway. wait until 65 degrees and be cool
Steve

dklawson
10-28-2017, 10:23 PM
Every time I start a new engine it is high drama.
I have probably only built about 6 engines and I will be very anxious on number 7...

Likewise. I think my count is 5 engines and I was scared/nervous with each restart. I think spraying top coat paint also falls in that "scared/nervous" category. You spend months doing bodywork and prep and then you stand there with a gun full of top coat wondering if you missed anything and knowing that you could ruin all your previous work if you are not careful in the next few moments.

Rut
10-29-2017, 08:42 AM
Likewise. I think my count is 5 engines and I was scared/nervous with each restart. I think spraying top coat paint also falls in that "scared/nervous" category. You spend months doing bodywork and prep and then you stand there with a gun full of top coat wondering if you missed anything and knowing that you could ruin all your previous work if you are not careful in the next few moments.

Im working on engine number 4 and I couldn’t agree more with yalls comments! As far as paint work is concerned I think of it like witchcraft and magic and it makes me more nervous than anything else. The good feeling that comes from successful completion of any of these jobs is what drives me on these cars!
Rut