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 Rebuilt engine failure

As I've repeated on here to the point of boredom, I have been

rebuilding the engine of my white Evo1, DYR.

This operation hasn't gone smoothly, DYR has challenged me continually with various leaks and faults. The engine started first turn of the key when originally fired up, with great oil pressure, the optimism didn't last though as starting became more difficult.

More oil leaks appeared, including a fine spray from a crank case

blanking bolt not refitted.

A new rear T piece water hose failed, then an oil cooler tapered fitting weeped, again requiring the radiator to be removed.

Lancia Delta Evo1

Butter wouldn't melt, I joke about this car's evil nature, but it's gone too far this time.

integrale water pipe

This little pipe split, requiring inlet pipe removal, new pipe shown.


Broken wire at this bend meant

no starting

Integrale radiator

Weeping oil cooler tapered fitting

meant another radiator removal.


Turbo oil feed pipe replacement 

The engine wouldn't idle without unusual air inlet modifications, the fantastic Lanciatrek programme found broken wires and faulty components. 

These were all fixed, and with every sensor in the engine renewed the motor ran acceptably. Without Lanciatrek we'd still be struggling!

On its way for MOT, the turbo oil feed rubber link pipe split, emptying oil onto my yard, luckily this didn't happen when charging down the motorway!

Radiator removed for the 5th time to repair the pipe,

MOT rebooked and passed.

Without Lanciatrek, and Steve's helpful advice, DYR would not have run at all. The programme can reach deep into the Delta's systems, and test parts and components individually, even when the car is driving along.

It shows the injector dwell time, TPS angle and it

tests all sensors.

This all needed our John to download it onto my

Windows laptop though!

Smooth running wasn't a feature of the engine, although I'd paid for a full bottom end balance. I did notice a puff of blue smoke now and again, but blamed my turbo. DYR boosted quite well, and kept temp steady with its all new radiator sensors and reconditioned rad.

I began to notice the hot idle oil pressure was low, but the engine was using semi-synth running in oil, I thought my Mobil1 would sort that out.


In the closing season of this difficult year, we had a small cruise to the Derbyshire Peak District. This started with happiness in the Autumn sunshine, but worry increased with DYR's driving speed oil pressure gradually reducing, as we climbed the smoke trail was increasing too, the power was fading and the engine took on a rattly sound.

We stopped near the top and left DYR to cool down, as we continued for a sausage barm and a coffee.

Returning to the Evo I topped up the dirty looking oil, started the car without trouble and we cruised downhill to Knutsford. I left the car there for my good friend Neil to collect with his faithful Transit, and rescue DYR to the engine rebuilder's shop.

On the Monday I did the donkey work helping the rebuilder remove the engine, he was unable to see much up on the ramp with the sump removed. The crank was scoured, and the sump was lined with a Carborundum-like substance. Tested oil cold pressure being 20psi.

I have no idea what's caused this, or what the fault is, but I'm not happy.

This has been an ill fated rebuild, and I don't know why.

I will find out though, and I'll let you know.

delta on ramp
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Scoured crank at centre main, this

is a new crankshaft

with less than 150 miles driven.

Engine out ready for inspection.

A very depressing sight.

The Delta had another trick up its sleeve, in DYR the night before this breakdown John got a producer from a police patrol car,

the insurance was 1 digit wrong from the number plate's numbers.

Thus no insurance! 




At ERS in Burscough, Steve continued to strip the engine down, he removed the gearbox, and on the bench he carefully took the engine apart.

Steve called me in the next day, he asked me if I'd cleaned the oil cooler before refitting it. I had done this, with paraffin and a pressure washer, several times, then left the cooler to drain out for 2 weeks or more.

On the bench Steve showed my engine's sump was lined with a soft grinding paste substance, the progressive failure of this engine pointed to swarf being introduced as the

engine warmed up and the cooler came into use.


The block and oilways had been well cleaned by Steve and his crew, I'd seen it all before assembly. However I had refitted the oil cooler and oil filter block at my lock up without Steve's supervision.

The failure was looking like it was my fault.

I rang Tanc Barratt for some answers, he asked me if I'd fitted a new oil cooler after the rebuild, I hadn't, Tanc said that then was the problem.

Tanc explained that around the time of our Delta's production, the camshafts were produced in such a way that the hardening process allowed premature wear.

Tanc did explain this fully!

This allowed friction to release very hard microscopic particles into the lube oil, these bits embed into the soft alloy friction surfaces and wear out the metal turning on that surface. The particles also nestle in to every corner and oilway, including the oil cooler and filter block.

Tanc will not guarantee an engine he has rebuilt unless a new oil cooler and pipes have been fitted before use, he has seen tightwads like me re-use the old oil cooler and return 200 miles later with my exact symptoms.

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Many years ago Tanc flushed a used oil cooler on their Safety-kleen machine for 24 hours, then steam cleaned it, then cut it in half. They found it still had swarf material in the tubes and corners, which would be washed into the oil system when refitted to the new engine. 


So Steve continued to strip the engine down, and found the exact symptoms Tanc had described. After Tanc's advice I returned to ERS and talked again to Steve and told him what I had learned, he already knew it all but was too polite to call me a tightwad, who had ruined his beautiful rebuild by

refitting dirty parts.

Steve however is not a man to give up easily, he rejected my decision to abandon the rebuild project. Steve will strip the engine again and have it ultrasonically cleaned, he will get the contaminated cam journals line bored, Tanc's new camshaft's bushes will be cleaned, and new bearings will be fitted throughout.

Steve will invite me to visit ERS to watch the engine's reassembly, and see for myself their regime of cleanliness

I'm very grateful to Steve for his care and enthusiasm, and to Tanc for his cheerful advice, this is a lesson for me, and a warning to us all!

IMG_9368 2.jpeg

Steve said he won't rest until our Delta starts up and drives out of his workshop.

I thank him for this!

 I'll keep you updated on the rebuild progress

over the next few weeks.

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