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1.8 vvc fire ring damage 
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Post 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
Evening all.

I managed to get a solid 600 miles out of the libra without major issues... :lol:

After the head on my 1.8VVC engine was cooked during the MOT (the fan switch is on the wrong side of the rad so it reached ~110°C) I found that I lost performance over the following few weeks, was running very rough. On examination I had lower compression on cylinders 2 and 3 and it had developed a misfire. I assumed the gasket had gone.

Took the head off and the gasket was surprisingly OK, but there was significant indentation on the exhaust side of the cylinder head where the fire rings have squished into the head. It was also warped over 0.05 mm.

Theres a good chance that its annealed and thus will be scrap, but I decided to have a skim to see if it could be salvaged. They weren't able to remove all of the indentations without going too low on tolerance and they can still partly be seen on cylinders 1 and 4.

Just wondered if it's worth filling those indentations with some high temp epoxy so the loading over the 4 rings is equal, or should I just carry on and see how it goes?

The liners are flat with the block so im working under the impression theres no point trying a MLS gasket. From what i understand the engine will work better with the normal elastomer gasket type but this doesnt have the head shaver shim so if its soft it's likely to push into the head again.

Thoughts?


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Wed Jun 02, 2021 8:04 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
Pics below. The fire rings dont look so bad but they were very deep, probably 0.5 mm maybe more...


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File comment: After skim
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File comment: Before skim
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Wed Jun 02, 2021 10:34 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
If the head is flat and the block is flat i'd put the elastomer gasket on and see how you go - what's to lose? My liners too were too low for an MLS to be fitted according to my research so I put a std gasket on. My gasket failed but my head was very badly pitted all over.

If you wanna fill the 'holes' maybe try full strength JB weld epoxy.

Do you have plastic or metal dowels? Get metal ones and make sure to measure the hole depths versus the dowel lengths as the std ones may be too long now your head has been well skimmed.

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Thu Jun 03, 2021 12:18 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
Thanks Sidewinder. Good point about the dowels. They are metal but I'll check the length to avoid that issue.

I have the normal JB weld which ive found to be excellent mechanically, but I also have a high temperature version I've not used before that might be more suitable. Might as well roll the dice at this stage.


Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:11 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
Hello, Have you thought of using K series liner shims as sold by EliseParts on www.eliseparts.com/shop/engine-components/?page=6 This is an extract from their web site "These shims are required to raise your cylinder bore liners to the correct height of 0.002" - 0.004" above the cylinder block face.
it is very important that all the liners are at exactly the correct height and are all completely level.
Supplied as a complete set of four x 0.004" Shims."
I have not used them as I did not have an issue with liner height when I changed my head gasket so I cannot say if they are any good or not.


Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:43 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
To fit them shims you gotta remove the liners though cos they go underneath. Quite an involved procedure i'dve thought.

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Last edited by sidewinder on Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Jun 03, 2021 8:50 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
I was under the impression that the liners had to be that height above the deck for both types of head gasket, not just the MLS. I was told if they are flush then the HG won't last long. Yes, the liners do need to be loosened to raise them. Not sure how though because they were all spot on on the engine I stripped. The old gasket was the elastomer type and hadn't gone but I had to take the head off anyway. I went with MLS.


Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:12 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
Have you seen this

https://www.dmgrs.co.uk/pages/choosing- ... gasket-kit

https://youtu.be/8BEYJX-GOIc

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Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:53 am
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
So it works, sort of. Shame there isnt an obd2 port on this thing it would make problem solving a lot easier.

Engine sounds rough. Quite a bit of sputtering from the exhaust particularly when down shifting, still possibly a misfire. Timing and belt tension look ok but the engine feels resistive / not very smooth when turned over by hand.

Completed 2x 20 mile journeys and didnt break down, but lost power a few times on acceleration and started to over heat in traffic on the second trip.

I'll repeat the compression tests. Perhaps a fuelling issue? Any suggestions on problem solving without OBD?


Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:24 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
I'm assuming it was running okay before the HG change? If so I can't see why the fuelling would have changed.

I recall it was quite hard to get the cam timing perfect, especially setting up the VVC mechs. Did you take the cams off? Guessing so if you lapped the valves. It took me a few times to get all the timing marks to align properly when re-fitting the camshafts, especially getting the VVC hydraulic actuator piston rack to mesh with the actuator shaft properly without rotating one of the VVC mechs away from the timing mark. I think I did it on the fourth go!
Then, putting the far end pulleys and short belt back on was also a trial if I recall correctly - that took several tries to get the marks to align - kept looking right and then after turning the engine over a couple of rotations the marks seemed to be a tooth out so in the end I put the belt on with the marks set one tooth out and it came right after turning it over if that makes any sense


Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:04 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
The OBD wires (only like three or four?) are prob there somewhere, just a case of finding em and fitting a socket?

Also IIRC it's easy to get the plugs mixed up on top of the engine.

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Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:37 pm
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GTM Nirvana
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
IIRC OBD only exists on MEMs 3, wasn't on the MEMs 2 versions?


Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:42 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
I think you might be right there, i thought it was earlier than 2.0 that didn't.

There is a diagnostic socket on 2.0 but it uses a different tech which i think is harder (more expensive) to get hold of.

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Thu Jun 24, 2021 12:05 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
Well, I mentioned fuelling because of the attached photo.... not good. Swapped the fuel filter as part of the overhaul and was greeted with rustageddon. I need to check the compression and spark to make sure but yeah, this could be a problem :shock:

I've played with the timing a few times and the vvc mechs are correct from what I can make out. The small belt and main belt are in timing together. The vvc pistons was rather stiff when i went to reassemble everything but it did move.

Has anyone put a ford engine in a libra, something widely available and relatively reliable and straightforward?....


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Sat Jun 26, 2021 11:11 pm
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Post Re: 1.8 vvc fire ring damage
The Toyota 2zz-ge (1.8 litre) is a squeeze in my Spyder so I would guess the Focus engines (Duratec and Zetec) would be tight. Something out of a Fiesta might be nice - especially the turbo 4cyl or even the 3cyl out of an ST.


Sun Jun 27, 2021 4:39 am
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