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Sump cracked - oil gone!!


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VVC on 14inch normal ride-hight!


I must have gone over a cats eye or similar. loud bang followed by no oil pressure and lots of tappet noise. I stopped and looked, NS corner on front of the sump has a large crack in it, the car was stopped without the engine seizing, i turned it off it did'nt stall, unfortunatly the car was driven a little way before stopping it, i had ear plugs in and did'nt hear the tappet noise!!, but my wife did.


Advice please, do i arrange for a new/fixed sump, fill it with oil and cross my fingers or ?


The AA chap suggested as it was impact damage the insurance would deal with it. this is only sensible if other damange has been caused, so any advice on how to proceed.


Mark Bennett


PS AA call centre don't list the 7! i was asked: "is it a van or a lorry sir?",


Edited by - markb905 on 29 Jun 2002 05:56:53

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unlucky Mark,


How far is a short way?

The problem is, there is a time between bearings picking up/running dry and actual seizure. Search the archive because the likes of PeterC and Roger King gave someone else some advise on this only a few weeks ago. Those with a good x-flow knowledge will be able to suggest the first thing to check prior to doing anything major.

In the meantime, get the missus a pressie for possibly saving your engine!

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There will have been a delay while all the oil drained out, so the 3-4 minutes from impact to stop relates to a much shorter time than from "no oil" to stop.


If you get a bang like that you have to watch the oil pressure gauge like a hawk until you suspect you are in the clear or know you have to shut down.


It also depends on the revs you were using in the time with no oil. The big end bearings are a very soft material and this will tear if there is any significant load on them for more than a few seconds.


The thing to do is to take you filter off and take the sump off and see if you can see any swarf.


Take the spark plugs out and set the engine at 90 degrees before top dead centre (all the pistons midway in the bores). With a spanner on the end of the crankshaft, rock the crank back and forth slightly and see if there is any give - crank movement without associated piston movement - check all four pistons.


The alternative is that seeing as you need a new sump anyway, get it and refill; crank without the plugs in to get oil pressure. If the oil pressure doesn't turn up (within ~a minute) cranking then you have run the bearings. If the oil presure doesn't climb above 3 on the gauge then you have run the bearings. If you get pressure, refit the plugs and start the engine, watching the oil pressure like a hawk. Ignore the tappets which will probably be noisy for a few minutes - they will sort themselves out. Oil pressure above 3000rpm should be ~4 on the gauge (a bit higher when the oil is cold). Oil pressure at idle with cold oil should be about 4. Oil pressure at idle with hot oil should be about 2.



253 BHP K-seriesteeth.gif, no gearboxbum.gifid=red>

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thanks for the information, the insurance comp are OK with a claim and are happy with Cat Midlands having a look first, at least i can now have a sensible converation about what they have checked etc, mind you given the revs the car was using at the time and shortly afterwards it's difficult to see how the bottom end is not due for a refit.


At least I will know what to do next time somthing similar happens, usefull advice for all of us I think. Unfortunatly when i looked at the oil pressure gauge, it was already at zero which is when i started to look for a place to stop.


Many Thanks


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I had a sheet of 3mm mild steel brazed to the bottom of my Xflow sump 15 years or so ago with an extra doubler piece to protect the drain plug area. This has taken a lot of bangs and scrapes and the drain plug protection has lost about 1.5mm in thickness. The bangs are transferred straight to the block and then to the mountings but these are still the same ones and being such a prehistoric design the engine seems quite happy about it. Extra weight though - no good for the kevlar fetishists!
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Sump guards are commonplace on rally cars that have to move on debris packed surfaces, the guard doesnt have to be that strong, its major purpose is to cause the engine to ride up over an obstacle rather than clobber it head on , hence a ramp affect at the front of the guard is a good idea, this will transform the vulnerable leading edge of the sump. Better to repace an engine mounting than an engine.


If the sump has to come off for repair, I would pop one of the big-ends and have a look at the bearing shell and journal for damage, inspect the rods for any signs of overheating.


Unfortunately, the presence of oil pressure doesnt necessarilt indicate that the bearings are undamaged...



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Pierre, I am certain this was a cats eye, combination of coming off the gas, change in road surface (ie like a small ramp!) raised cats eye and the shape of the crown of the road, the sump has smooth marks on both sides of the front, with no marks in the centre which is were the rubber bits are on the cats eye.


A sump guard is something i will be having a look at for the future, just need to get the car back on the road first.



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I designed and fitted a sump guard to my dry sumped K after I also cracked the leading edge of the sump 2 years ago on the public road - with thankfully no loss of oil .

The guard is made from 4mm thick ally kick plate and weighs just 400g , it is in a sort of + shape with the front attached to the front cross member , the RHS attached to the engine mount bolts , LHS attached to the disused VX engine mount holes . The guard than has a "tail" which runs under the base of the sump pan about 70mm wide . It has served me well for 2 years and has taken a good deal of abuse and no doubt save my sump many times . The other added bonus is that it also acts as protection from debris to my pulleys on the front of the engine , as it is like an undertray enclosing that area . It required no drilling just extended engine mount bolts by 10mm .

I will be at Oulton on friday , if anyone wants to take a look under the car .


I dont have any digital piccys sad.gif







Edited by - Dave J on 3 Jul 2002 08:03:08

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