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Coventry Victor Diesel

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Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Ianhw77k on Sat Mar 23 2013, 19:40

I was hoping this could go straight in the pride and joy section but unfortunately I can't get it started Mad

I started off by draining the tank as the old diesel in there looked a bit murky. I swilled the tank out and put some fresh in there then bled the system. After that I found out the primer was totally blocked so I squirted some oil directly into the intake port, still no joy!
I've also had the injector off and she seems to be squirting well so I'm out of ideas Sad

Here's some pictures to get you started:












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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Matth92 on Sat Mar 23 2013, 20:19

Very nice, I have always liked these, I had the WD3 1OHP, great old engines, but she always needed oil in the primer in the cold, try a heat gun down the intake in this cold weather, might get her going!

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Ianhw77k on Sat Mar 23 2013, 20:31

I don't actually know how to tell which model it is but I'm guessing this is a WD1.

Unfortunately Nutgone broke my heat gun but I'll try the blowlamp on Monday.
I fear the previous owner ran this for too long without a load so maybe the bore is glazed or the rings are stuck or the head is coked up, I just don't know.

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Matth92 on Sat Mar 23 2013, 21:27

looking at how it doesn't have a pulley that's probably right

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Ianhw77k on Sat Mar 23 2013, 21:30

Apparently it did have a pulley but someone offered him stupid money for it so he sold it.
I really need a pulley for this engine Shocked

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Stamford24 on Sat Mar 23 2013, 21:41

I take it you made your appointment OK this afternoon?
I seem to remember Dennis saying these engines were poor starters, even back in the day when they were new. His air-cooled one runs well though. How about a sniff up the pipe Laughing Brake Cleaner works well so I'm told.

BTW Ma says thanks for the advice, although I don't think I'll be digging any holes this week!

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Matth92 on Sat Mar 23 2013, 23:14

Yeah mine was never a fantastic starter

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by kevjhnsn on Sun Mar 24 2013, 00:59

well if shes squrting and not firing
to me all so sounds valves not sealing well or blow down past the rings "glazed up bore" possably
try heating up the engine with a hair dryer and hold a blow lamp in the intake it may just be with standing and the cold weather too,
my villiers diesel needs heater air and warmed up top end before she starts in this bloody damp cold spring weather were having Crying or Very sad
EASY STARTS are like heroine to engines they get addicted" so i try never to use the stuff "its known to deform bearings and conrods in cold engines
and then lowers the compression ratio so then they need it more and more "so ive been told by many different people over the years
kev

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Matth92 on Sun Mar 24 2013, 08:29

They don't get addicted to it, but using too much at a time can cause the first firing to be a bit violent which could obviously cause some damage

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by nutgone on Sun Mar 24 2013, 10:32

Half the trouble with easy start is it cleans the oil off the bore & it will eventually damage the top piston ring. But, an engine which needs the stuff has obviously got problems anyway. Personally I would try a sniff in this, just to hear her run, but I'm not sure it would work.

I was there all day yesterday, trying to get the Tarpen set up & running (no luck there either Crying or Very sad ), I think this engine has got compression, but I don't think it's quite enough to start her. I wonder if the rings are gummed up, as it's been stood for a long time.

When Ian was winding it over it was almost sounding like it was firing, & smoke was coming out of the exhaust, but she just wouldn't catch on. He was getting her up to speed on the decompressor then letting go & winding her over as fast as he could. I thought it looked a little bit too easy to wind, like there wasn't quite enough compression (almost enough, but not quite).

Also, the injector spray was OK, but I think it could have been better. These injectors have a kind of flat end, no pointy tip to speak of. If it were mine I think I would at least have the head off. I expect it's solid metal gaskets, which can be reused.

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by stationary stu on Sun Mar 24 2013, 12:10

If it's smoking when turning over means the fuels getting into the cylinder so I'd cross that off as a problem. If your turning it over quite fast it sounds as if it's low compression. A squirt of Easy start won't hurt but just a very short burst and only when the engines turning over so there's not much of a build up to cause the explosion when to much is added. So myself I'd be thinking head off, vavle check and piston/bore check to see how things are.
In the past I've held a burning rag over the inlet to get heat in but this has to be done at the inlet not the other side of an air filter. It's also going to be a tw*t to start in the cold weather as most diesels are unless they have heater plugs etc.

Stu.

PS is the injector spray patten ok? is it spraying or just a squirt like a water pistol? Try cleaning the injector end with a brass wire brush, see if the hole looks ok and no carbon on/in it.

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Ianhw77k on Sun Mar 24 2013, 16:33

Thanks everyone, I will just say now I won't be using easy start, I won't even have the damn stuff in my workshop! I've seen big 4 cylinder engines get addicted to it all too easily.

The injector was squirting pretty well to my eyes but then I don't have anything to compare it to, having never worked on a diesel before (apart from bleeding.) I think I will try giving it a bit of a polish with a wire brush as although there were no heavy carbon deposits on it, it was black.

I'm hoping I don't need to grind valves in and de-glaze the bore but the more I think about it, the more likely this is looking Crying or Very sad . I've got all day tomorrow to play with it so maybe getting straight on with the head and bore would be the best way? I don't know. I'm very tempted to try some flame gulping first just to see if she will run. Either way, I will be getting plenty of pictures and maybe some video for everyone to see.

My main trouble is, when people say they had one and it was a bad starter I just don't believe them, no offence meant to any of you but I just think you must have been doing something wrong. I suppose my main reason for this was when I had my Petter AA1, the amount of people I saw on youtube or I heard on forums saying they are a pig to start, when I could get mine to start first or second pull even in sub-zero temperatures. I may just have to face facts with this one though, you could well be right and it could just be a troublesome starter in the cold and damp conditions we're having at the moment Crying or Very sad

Now, I wonder if my little honing tool will be big enough for this bore, more to the point, did I leave it with Nutgone or is it in my workshop somewhere Shocked


EDIT: One more point to add about the compression. When Nutgone was watching me turn it over, I don't think he realised how much that heavy flywheel inertia helped. I seriously think this engine has enough compression, if anything the compression was getting better the more I was trying, but that could have been all the oil I was squirting down the inlet Embarassed

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by nutgone on Sun Mar 24 2013, 20:56

Yes it had good compression, but was it good enough? Don't forget your Petter AA1 had been fully restored by a previous owner, so probably had new rings & the injector sent away to be refurb'd & tested.

I say get the head, barrel & piston off, bring them over here tomorrow to pick up your hone (yes it is over here) & we will grind your valves in & I will do my special treatment on the rings & grooves. Also, don't use just any old wire brush on the end of the injector, some of these brass wire brushes aren't brass, they are actually brass coated steel & could damage it. You need a proper soft brass brush, like my spark plug one.

Maybe even get the whole engine in the car & bring it over, but you might want to take it to bits first, as I doubt you'll get it in the car in one piece.

Also, be careful getting the piston off. I bet the pin is a tight fit. Don't damage the rod.

Stu, the spray pattern was OK, but I've seen better. It should have worked though. Also, this was on "Start" position, I believe some injectors have a different spray on start, which puts more fuel in. We really should have inspected it on run as well.

I don't think this needs much to get it going. Grind the valves in (lightly), give the rings & grooves a good clean & a very quick hone of the barrel, just to take the glaze off (I would be tempted to do this by hand myself, it's that old thing about removing metal again & it's all too easy to over hone barrels, especially old ones).

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Ianhw77k on Sun Mar 24 2013, 21:14

OK, I think I'll whip the head and barrel off in the morning and head over to yours. I doubt I'll be able to bring the whole engine though, I wouldn't be able to offload it in one piece when I got it back to my place. It might be possible if I took the flywheel off so I might have a fiddle with it and see how strong I'm feeling Shocked

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by nutgone on Mon Mar 25 2013, 19:40

Someone's looking for a new set of rings. They might be good enough to get it running, but they really want replacing. & it's an oversize piston (+.020").

The valves have been pretty over-ground in the past too. There's a fair old lip there clearly showing pocketing. Diesels tend to have slightly more pocketed valves than petrol engines anyway, but these are a bit too far. They should still work, but won't take a lot more grinding.

Will edit this post with a close-up pic shortly, to show what I'm on about.

Apart from that she's a good engine. New set of rings & maybe a proper honing tool passed down the barrel, she should be pretty reliable. It's the usual story though, been a bit butchered in the past, but I've seen a lot worse. the important bits are largely undamaged.

EDIT:
As you can see from this picture of the finished head, the valves sit quite low down in the seats on this engine, as they do on a lot of diesels & older engine designs....



But, if you take a closer look at the actual contact area where the valve seats in the head, there is now a lip, which will protrude slightly over the head of the valve....



It can be seen better even closer up....



Note this pic is of the exhaust valve seat, on the right, after grinding, but the inlet valve seat can also be seen, on the left, before grinding. There is also a lip on this, pretty much as bad. You can see where it starts & how it only protrudes around a certain part of the seat. But it is clearly there.

This "pocketing" tends to happen more on one side, & will cause the valve to seat much slower than it should, & possibly catch on the lip, which will cause it to seat violently, possibly causing more damage.
As the lip is there & the valve has to get over it this will cause quite quick wear on the valve guide as well as there is lateral movement in the valve stem as the valve gets over the lip.
But the main running problem is the loss of compression as the valve seats slower, causing difficult starting & bad running with a loss of power.
It's easier done than people think as well, especially on engines, like this, with valves which sit very low in their seats with such a large contact area (the dull grey band you see is the contact area, this is quite large on this engine, the Kohler has a contact area of between 1/32" & 1/16", very very small, but easily enough to seal in the compression, but that's a different design, with valve that protrude from the head, diesels can't often do this as the piston would hit the valves). A wide band is not necessarily a good thing, as the wider the band, the larger the contact area, the longer the valve will take to seat & the easier it is for the valve to pocket with wear & over grinding. & as many old engine designs have low seating valves, many of these older designs are particularly susceptible to this kind of damage.

So worth taking care when removing metal.

Hopefully this one will still run OK, but it will require seats machining at some point in the future. As it will only run at rallies it could well go on for years. just as long as no one gets hold of it & decides to take a cordless drill & coarse paste to the valves. Wink


Last edited by nutgone on Mon Mar 25 2013, 20:31; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Ianhw77k on Mon Mar 25 2013, 20:18

Yes, Nutgone and I were giving this engine a good top end clean today. I haven't even had time to offload her from the car yet (got to do that before I can go to work tomorrow Mad ).

Like he says, the rings are a bit sloppy in the grooves and the end gaps are ridiculous! Almost like they've put the standard rings in the +.020" bore Shocked
Apart from that and the glazing everything seemed OK so I can't see a reason why this engine shouldn't start now, we even managed to clear the primer tube. I would like to polish the air cell but I haven't got a spanner or socket big enough to get it off Embarassed
Some pictures for you all:

The block after the top end was removed this morning:


The head dismantled and cleaned:


The bore, part way through de-glazing. I need a bigger hone as this had to be done by hand!


A couple of the injector nozzle before cleaning, no serious deposits but it got a soft brass brush over it and came up well:




Head rebuilt, valves lapped in:


Now I just need to put it all back together and bleed it in again, waiting for a rainy day this week or failing that it'll have to be the weekend.

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by nutgone on Mon Mar 25 2013, 20:50

Oh yeah, I forgot to say the barrel was glazed. Not too badly, but it took some work by hand to dull it down a bit. Good job it's such a wide bore, I could get my whole hand in there.

It's very nicely built as well. You can tell these weren't your normal, mass produced, run of the mill Lister or Petter. These were designed & built very well. Shame they didn't sell more of them, parts would be easier to come by now!

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Ianhw77k on Thu Apr 04 2013, 21:25

I had the day off today so I set to work putting this all back together. It went pretty well until it came to trying to start it.
I got her to fire a few times but she won't catch on, then I ran out of energy.
I do worry about those piston rings and wonder if it could be possible that they are causing the problem, there does sound like a bit of hissing under compression and the gaps were massive. what does everyone else think, can sloppy rings cause this much starting trouble in a diesel? It feels like there is plenty of compression, but is it enough?

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by nutgone on Thu Apr 04 2013, 21:53

The thing with piston ring end gaps is, under normal circumstances they mean very little. It's even been proved that staggering them has practically no effect on overall compression, it's just something we do (I'm referencing in part something Andy said on another thread & stuff I've learnt recently by researching piston rings & reading information published by piston ring manufacturers), & when you think about it, it all makes sense, I mean normally it's a tiny little gap, & the compression doesn't have very long to get through this gap.

But your ring gaps aren't normal, they are excessive (& I'm being polite when I say that). Also, as the gap gets bigger it has a bigger effect on the compression loss.

From memory I think the grooves in your piston were OK, so there shouldn't be too much loss that way, which is probably why you still feel you have good compression, I just don't think it's quite good enough to start this engine.

Perhaps best to get asking for some accurate ring sizes, get in touch with a ring seller/manufacturer & see if they can cross reference them with anything in stock (unless you can get a reliable cross reference from someone on one of the forums).

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by stationary stu on Fri Apr 05 2013, 11:37

Ian a diesel has to have good compression to run but I've had cars in the past with very low compression but you can still normally get them to start, in fact I've never had an engine not start because of compression. (they'll start somehow) I've had vans that had to be tow started to get them turning fast enough but once running you'd never think there was a problem. Also if the heater plugs on the older Mercs didn't work then no way would they start even towing them yet give it a sniff of easy start while it's turning over and shes away. The strangest thing is once warm they will stop and start great all day, so that bit of heat must give it expansion to create more compression (but not sure if that's the correct answer).

Ian have you not got another engine you could belt it to and see if it will start like that, it could bring other problems to the top, it might be timing is a touch out etc.

Stu.

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by nutgone on Fri Apr 05 2013, 13:43

Could belt it up to the Scott, but we'd need to get some flat belting. Also, not sure there's anywhere to put a belt on the Coventry Victor???

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by Ianhw77k on Fri Apr 05 2013, 23:11

Belting to another engine could prove tricky at the moment, I might try some flame gulping first, see if that does the trick.
Meanwhile I'm on the lookout for a piston ring supplier.

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by stationary stu on Sat Apr 06 2013, 11:26

Ian turn it over as fast as you can and give it a sniff of easy start, could be the easiest way to see if it's going to run or not, then that should answer some of your questions. There's a few ring suppliers in the Suppliers section on the forum or Turner and Cox are not that far from you.

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by janner on Sun Jun 02 2013, 21:55

I,m now in the process of re-building exactly the same engine, has this one been completed , did it run ? is there anyone with a smooth flywheel as this one has for sale as mine has the ring gear cast for leccy start and looks terrible ?? Cheers Janner

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

Post by nutgone on Sun Jun 02 2013, 22:27

This one isn't running yet, I think it needs a new set of rings. I'm in the process of ordering some rings for the Scott & the Lister A from a company in America (much cheaper than over here, even with the postage) & if Ian was to get his finger out & get that piston over here to me so I could measure the rings, then I could order his at the same time.

I have also recently met a bloke who has a few different Coventry Victor diesel engines & was talking to him about starting problems. These engines have a reputation for being difficult to start, but he told me there is a certain way of starting them correctly. he did explain it all to me but when I relayed the information to Ian it kind of went out of my head. I'm still in touch with the bloke though, so could ask again.

I will give Ian a nudge for you, see if he can tell you any more. It's his engine, after all, & lives in his garage, so he may be able to tell you more. Very Happy

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Re: Coventry Victor Diesel

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