I totally ignored the van for the next week, I didn’t even say “Good Morning Skippy” as I walked past it on my way to work. I felt that it needed some time alone on the drive to give it a chance to reflect on it’s actions, time for it to consider if breaking down was a fitting repayment for all the love and time, not to mention money, I’d lavished on it through the years.
Eventually though I had to bite the bullet and find out exactly what was broken and how much it would cost to fix. It turned out almost everything was broken, and it would cost lots and lots of money, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
First of all I needed somewhere to work so after a quick redesign of the garage I had a nice little place to pull the engine apart. I don’t think it’s ever looked this neat again so I’m glad I took a photo while it was still brand new.
As everyone who comes up and talks to you about your van will tell you, “The engine is only held in with four bolts mate”, So I undid the four bolts, plus the other 200 that actually need removing as well, along with the fuel pipes, lots of electrical connections, both heat exchangers and the exhaust pipe. Actually it sounds a lot more daunting than it is, and it’s actually a fairly straight forward job.
This is a type 4 Campervan engine and the main thing to remember about this type of engine is, they are very heavy. I carried on stripping the engine down further until I eventually found the problem. This first picture shows the top of one of the four pistons.
You can see the marks where metal has been hammering into the piston as the engine was running. This next picture shows where that metal came from, it is the inlet and exhaust valves and pieces of the valve seat had broken away and fallen into the engine causing all this damage in just a few seconds.
So I needed to make a decision about the way forward, should i buy and fit a new engine or pay to have this one rebuilt?