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x flow oil loss via dip-stick tube issue
Deckman001 - 3/5/21 at 11:39 AM

Hi all,
Anyone out there with any experience of the above issue on x flows ?
Mine has a modified sump with baffles around the pick up point, and it seams to have a very similar capacity to the original.
Am getting a lot of oil being pumped up the dip stick tube, but nothing in the crank case breather catch tank, which I have already checked for correct operation and was fine. Are there any cheap fixes for this issue or do i need to remember to carry around a spare 5L of oil each time I go out in it?( and put a warning on the back of the car for following drivers

Jason


myke pocock - 3/5/21 at 12:35 PM

Have you cleaned the crank case breather out? I think it is called the PCV but someone will no doubt know exactly.


strongrb - 3/5/21 at 01:07 PM

Hi Jason, I may be able to help. Myke was on the right track. Yes it is called a PCV (positive crankcase ventilation).
Many years ago I had a MkII 440 Cortina, with a 1600 GT motor. The motor had a lot of miles (not Kilometers) on the clock. When I was fanging it, the dip stick would be blown out of the tube.
Found out the reason: The motor suffered from piston blowby, into the sump. The breather & PCV were severely blocked, so the pressure had to go somewhere. So the dipstick was blown out.
So I removed the breather & PCV, & soaked them in kero, then gave them a good flust out. Made sure the PCV was working again. This solved the dipstick issue.
The PCV has a hose that goes to the inlet manifold, just below the carby. The idea is to suck oil vapour out of the sump & into the combustion chamber, to be burnt with the fuel.
With a motor in good nick, this should not be a problem.
Hope this helps.
Roy


rusty nuts - 3/5/21 at 01:51 PM

I had problems with mine when it was running a carb , even removing the PCV and fitting a breather housing and catch tank, I found dropping the oil level to halfway between max and min helped


Deckman001 - 3/5/21 at 03:16 PM

Hi all, your replies will be of use to people so any more please do, just an update, when i stripped it down, there was oil in the sump so probably why i didn't get an oil light show or a drop in pressure. I sadly found that my newly refurbished head was at fault and the valve head had parted from the stem and dropped into the bore destroying the piston. I guess time will tell if I can get a refund from the head supplier so that a new engine can be sourced.
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Jason

[Edited on 3/5/21 by Deckman001]


adithorp - 3/5/21 at 04:24 PM

From the picture it appears all the valves were hitting the pistons.Something very wrong for that to happen.

Also surprised your post was about oil out the dipstick when it must have been knocking very loud and running on three cylinders.


r1_pete - 3/5/21 at 05:23 PM

Seen similar when a chap fitted thin cometic gaskets instead of the stock thickness, the 25 or so thou enabled contact...


jester - 3/5/21 at 06:45 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Deckman001
Hi all, your replies will be of use to people so any more please do, just an update, when i stripped it down, there was oil in the sump so probably why i didn't get an oil light show or a drop in pressure. I sadly found that my newly refurbished head was at fault and the valve head had parted from the stem and dropped into the bore destroying the piston. I guess time will tell if I can get a refund from the head supplier so that a new engine can be sourced.
Description
Description

Description
Description

Jason

[Edited on 3/5/21 by Deckman001]


I feel gutted for you. As you have not long got the car passed on the IVA. & summer was here ( less this coming week )


perksy - 3/5/21 at 07:28 PM

S**t that's bad

Just wondering if the valve has seized in the guide and its gone pear-shaped from there?

What's the bore like and has it damaged/bent the rod?


rusty nuts - 3/5/21 at 07:48 PM

Did you check valve to piston clearance when you rebuilt the engine? ISTR mentioning it at one point?


adithorp - 3/5/21 at 09:25 PM

This doesn't look like a head rebuild issue to me. Seeing the valve marking on all pistons would suggest the valve broke as a result of those impacts. The head would have needed a hell of a skim to cause that. Has this got a high lift cam and the clearance not been checked? That'd be a more likely culprit to my thinking.


BLing - 3/5/21 at 10:07 PM

I'm not an Xflow expert but I thought the pistons without valve cutouts went with the early blocks/heads that had small combustion chambers. See: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ford-1600-GT-and-E-Cross-Flow-Cortina-2737E-4-new-pistons-060-O-S-1967-1970-/273661110198 from the text "To suit the 2737E and 68IF Early engine blocks fitted with the combustion chambered cylinder heads".

The flat heads go with pistons with valve cutouts see: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Ford-1-6-1600-Xflow-X-flow-Crossflow-Formula-Ford-STD-Bore-MAHLE-Pistons-/133713298473


joneh - 4/5/21 at 07:51 AM

Looks like chamfered head pistons in a flat head set up. Wrong pistons for that head.

Either way, they smashed together and unlikely the head is at fault unless they put the whole thing together for you. I think you have to chalk this down to experience, albeit an expensive one.


snapper - 4/5/21 at 07:59 AM

It is clear that the engine was built with high compression pistons, probably from a 1.3 or 1.1 engine, a high lift camshaft fitted and no cutouts in the pistons.
The witness marks are quite severe meaning that calculations were wrong (or never done) and plasticine test to see if valves get close to pistons was also not done.
If the full engine was built for you tell us who did it so we donít buy from them.
If it was a short engine then youíll be liable for the damage.

I just get the feeling there is more to this story thatís being said...


nick205 - 4/5/21 at 10:12 AM

The engine must have been making a hell of a noise with a valve clattering about and it must have been way down on power too?


perksy - 4/5/21 at 10:44 AM

Looking at the damage, Surely this canít of been turned over freely by hand first before starting it


Deckman001 - 4/5/21 at 06:03 PM

Hi all, yes it was slightly noisier than i expected but others assumed it was due to being in a 7 and not housed in an escort.
The valves weren't checked for clearances as i had assumed the cam was giving the same lifts so definitely my bad and yes it's being chalked up as my fault and an expensive lesson the learn. The valves had/were hitting the pistons so yes it eventually gave up and caused the damage, Am glad it lasted enough to get me through the IVA so at least I'm in no hurry to sort it while i sort finances too. Thankfully the bore is untouched so very lucky there, the bearings are also perfect so I have gotten away with them too.
So it just needs a new piston/rings, a machine job to put pockets into all pistons and a head along with a complete gasket set and a few tubes of the correct silicon joint stuff.

I had a fantastic morning out driving it though so it was only the end results that it now appears was over due and was expectant at any point it would seam.

Jason


Deckman001 - 4/5/21 at 06:12 PM

The engine was sourced many many moons ago as was stated as being a tuned engine. When i took it apart after failing emissions at IVA i found everything to be std so just assumed it was a std 711 engine. I fitted the mexico head from a similar aged engine so had assumed it was a std fit.
Yes my bad, It turned over freely so no hint of issues when assembled. It mad fantastic power for that 90 mile first drive, it kept up with bigger engined 7's so maybe it was over compressed so I'll need to check that when it goes back together.

I'll still need to cure the oil leak/spray up the dip stick tube though.

Jason


joneh - 4/5/21 at 06:17 PM

Let me know when you've assessed the damage etc. I've got a spare head (needs a clean and new valves) that you're welcome to. I'm sure I have some slightly over sized 1300 pistons somewhere and various other bits to help with a rebuild if required.

Jon


steve m - 4/5/21 at 08:32 PM

OH dear, mate

I do wish i could of built that engine for you, and i did offer,

The pistons MUST be pocketed, to accomodate the valves, and even more so if a high lift cam is used,

Did the head have unleaded inserts fitted, as if so, that was a waste of money, as they fall out, ive had it twice both heads from the same company, and when i tried to take it further, was told to F*** ***f

Xflows will run for years with unleaded, and a fuel subsitute in the tank

if you take the engine apart, i would NOT use the conrods or any of the pistons, as the all of the rods and surviving pistons will be damaged, and if used again, will cause more headaches later, i know, ive been there !

steve


Deckman001 - 4/5/21 at 08:50 PM

quote:
Originally posted by steve m
OH dear, mate

I do wish i could of built that engine for you, and i did offer,

The pistons MUST be pocketed, to accomodate the valves, and even more so if a high lift cam is used,

Did the head have unleaded inserts fitted, as if so, that was a waste of money, as they fall out, ive had it twice both heads from the same company, and when i tried to take it further, was told to F*** ***f

Xflows will run for years with unleaded, and a fuel subsitute in the tank

if you take the engine apart, i would NOT use the conrods or any of the pistons, as the all of the rods and surviving pistons will be damaged, and if used again, will cause more headaches later, i know, ive been there !

steve


Hi Steve, yeah I wish I could have afforded to get someone to build the engine but to keep costs down I assembled it myself, yeah quite a mistake 😔
The engine is now out and the rods and pistons removed, thankfully the bearings are still like new so a save there anyway.
Am going to consider what to do next regarding pistons and rods as new ones of those are likely to be in the £400 mark which I canít afford yet.
Jason


Deckman001 - 6/5/21 at 04:08 PM

Hi all, just to confirm to those who thought the engine was built wrong, you are correct, the pistons are not meant to be used for a flat head !!

D'oh so a chambered head has been sought, I will get it assessed and ready for the rebuild once I've sorted the pistons and rods issue.

Anyone got a spare sump gasket and rocker gasket as I've got spares for all the other ones i need ?

Jason


rusty nuts - 6/5/21 at 04:44 PM

If you used a competition sump gasket from Burtons they can be reused.


steve m - 6/5/21 at 07:27 PM

So to conclude, you used a flat bottom head, with standard pistons, and a high lift cam ?

Im surprised the whole lot didnt seize on initial startup


Westy1994 - 7/5/21 at 02:22 AM

I am astonished that the first post in this thread failed to mention what would have been a huge loss of power and who knows how much racket, and instead wanted to know why the dip stick was behaving oddly????.

That aside, what cam was fitted and how much had the block been skimmed if any?. May i ask who built this motor just so i dont accidently use them in the future.

As for gaskets, come on, they are cheap enough get some form Burtons for gawd sake.

sorry just peeved a xflow is ill.


jollygreengiant - 10/5/21 at 08:04 AM

Just to throw a odd shaped spanner into the mix.
It IS possible to use a FLAT full race Xflow head WITH flat pistons. BUT you do need to know what you are doing.
Back in 1980, I home built a mother of a Xflow to go into my Mk1 Cortina, everyone said "nah, it work work/run nice". It worked and BOY did it have some ooooomph.
711M block with the crank reground 10/10/std, re-bored to take Std (bore) Lotus Twincam (PowerMax/Hepolite) Pistons (1662cc in the Xflow block and relatively flat pistons).
Flat FULL race head (with the biggest valves that could be fitted into the cylider bore/space between the valves and allowing for heat expansion off the valve face, yes that is a factor when your valves end up that close together).
The trick was to make space between the valve face and the flat piston. this was done in 2 stages. Firstly the (then VERY expensive pistons, funny bit was, the machine shop HAD to buy a second set as the machinist screwed the pooch on ONE of my pistons) pistons had there chamber faces machined flat to removed the inclined valve pockets (25thou rings a bell).
Secondly the block was then machined (with much reassembly work) to give a working C.R. of 11:1 (we were trying to go 11.5:11 but could not).
The whole lot was weight matched and balanced, then toughened, heat treated and balance rechecked. the assembled and run with a Full race Cam, Piper Ladder rocker gear and Twin 40 DCOE's.
Once run in, it was a beast. 30 MPG when cruised up the motorway at 70 (about 3800 rpm using a 3.7 diff), but the real fun was that the engine would pull 8k in top gear. Quicker that the (then) new 2.8 injection Capri's.

Don't loose heart it can be done and you can get really good figures/use out of the Xflow engine.
The only down side was that plod used to pull me (strangely always a different one, on the same road at the same time) about twice a week (sometimes more) for a "Document Check" (every time they ended up looking under the bonnet), It got so bad that I used to produce them at about 2am in Wellingborough station and after a little while, I used to walk in, the Desk Sergeant would look up, say "Oh Hello Mr Taylor, Documents Again", then pull out his book and tick off the appropriate section(s), without looking at my documents, only looking at the PC's numbers on the producers. I guess it must have been a right of passage for the Road Traffic Squad.


adithorp - 10/5/21 at 08:40 AM

Haven't seen it mentioned yet so...

Make sure you check the rockers and push rods. With the valves hitting the pistons they might have been damaged. Pushrods tend to get bent by valve impacts, though I suspect you'll have got away with it. Rods have probably only flexed.


Deckman001 - 14/5/21 at 02:11 PM

Hi again, sorry been off line for a while sorting room changes and no computers connected. The pistons are bowl'd type and the original engine was built by others before i got it so I assumed i could just change the head. Yes I also got a high lift cam and forgot to check the clearances.. The bottom end was built and installed before the head was delivered and turned over very freely. The refurbished head was bolted to the bottom end and it turned over very easily and fired up straight away. It was a bit noisier than expected but I just thought something was worn that i put back in but it also sounded so fantastic with bike carbs and big bore exhaust i just got carried away and used it for the IVA retest a few days later, I couldn't put the retest back as it was the last days for the retest before it needed a whole new test instead. It pulled like a train when over 2000 revs and it always pinned me back to my seat when the pedal was pushed too hard. Below 2k though it was very flat and I eventually realised i needed to change down when at low revs and bid load like a hill.

Rocker gear looks great still along with the push rods all looking correct and straight.

The pistons had been hit towards the tops of the bowls so thankfully the thinnest parts of the pistons, which is hopefully why the bottom end looks brand new still.

When the head comes back from the garage I will be dry assembling it to check clearances before i strip it again and build up the bottom end again, get it back into the car before i then put the head and ancillaries back together to risk the restart.
No news yet as to when I get the chambered head back once it's refurbished.

Jason


rusty nuts - 14/5/21 at 04:29 PM

I did mention checking the valve to piston clearances on your ď my old locost has come home ď thread last November!


Deckman001 - 16/5/21 at 01:52 PM

Yeah, but I had wrongly assumed that the new head should be the same along with bowled pistons and a slightly high lift cam will be ok, sadly it wasn't and I should have rechecked it. I was rushing to get it started due to my retest dates being the last attempt to get an IVA pass. At least the engine lasted long enough for the pass so the car can now just wait until i get the engine rebuilt correctly and checked along the way.

Jason