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Thread: oneohtwo's VR6 - New Wheels!

  1. #11
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    Nothing much to update here, except a bit of bad news; Head Gasket went

    Started using up coolant, in addition to the oil it had been using, which at first I thought was just from a leaking radiator (which is leaking). Anyway thought best take it in to get it all looked at, and then it suddenly started idling erratically and losing revs dramatically between gear changes - sometimes cutting out completely. Not good.

    Took it in to a garage with some VR6 experience in Yeovil, see if they could get to the bottom of the various things going on. Asked them to do a compression test on the cylinders, ostensibly to try and find out if the oil was going past the valve seals or piston rings. Most cylinders were fine, except piston 4 which read about 65 psi! They then also found exhaust fumes in the water... cue horrible sinking feeling! The only good news, sort of, was that the oil was most likely going through the valve stems, so when changing the head gasket they could be done easily as well.

    So it's currently in for a head gasket repair. Sure enough the valve seals were rock hard and not doing any sort of sealing, so they're being changed. Also where it had been burning oil there were heavy deposits on the valves themselves, which were then not closing properly, no doubt aiding to the overall sluggish and erratic performance. So they're gonna be cleaned up. And lastly there was some pitting on the cylinder head where the gasket had gone, so that's gone to be skimmed. They sent me a couple of pictures of this, which I'll try and put up later.

    Got over the stage now, and just want it back! Quite excited now about having it running smoothly again, and hopefully that should keep it going for a few more thousand miles! Gonna give it a thorough clean inside and out when I get it back
    '9 4 A q u a B l u e V R 6

  2. #12
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    Right, so Head Gasket was replaced, head skimmed, valves cleaned up and new valve seals fitted, which made a vast improvement. Engine is now much smoother and pulls away at lower revs. Fuel consumption has also gone down handily, I suppose unsurprising when before it was trying to do the same work, but with 5 cylinders instead of 6!

    Next job, was a radiator replacment which was still leaking coolant at a fair rate, which the fans were then handily distributing around the engine bay. I decided on a GSF one, I know they've got a bad rep on here, but the OEM from VW was just too expensive for me at the moment. I can always upgrade it further down the line I figure. A job which I thought would take a couple of afternoons ended up taking the best part of a week, mostly because everything was a battle! Any fixing that needed removing was inevitably seized ... took several hours just to get the plastic splash time under the bumper off! Anyway, got there in the end, and replaced all fixings with new stainless ones awith lots of greese applied. Also reqrapped some wiring which was looking a bit worse for wear. Pictures:



    Front end off, can see where the radiator was leaking bottom right corner... completely rusted away.



    Looked even worse in real life, picture doesn't do it justice. In a generally terrible state; a lot of the veins were smashed and just crumbled away when moved, depositing themselves all over the place, rusted all over, and with a large moth embedded in the middle!



    Old rad off, and generally things are in a pretty decent shape. Spots of rust on the cross members, but nothing major, all the piping in goo dnick and the wiring just needed rewrapping which I did. Got a lot of dirt out from under the battery as well and then applied a liberal helping of waxoyl to everything!



    Lovely shiny new rad! For comparison. Think the old one may also have been from GSF, as looked very similar. Only issue was the 6 metal tags which I can only assume fit some other vehicle rad assembly as they need to be bent completely back to fit the fan hosing on. Best to be done before you have the rad in place!



    New rad in. Looks much better. Topped the coolant up from the top of the radiator. Then everything went back together reasonably straight forwardly, with just a moderatel amount of things sent to try your patience!

    i also took the time to smarten up the fan cage which was a mass of rust again. Couldn't get it all off, some lumps were so hard and solid, all the grinder was doing was polising them and chipping away at them with a hammer and chisel was frustrating!



    Couple of coats of thick hammerite primer, and some hammerite spray later:



    Bosch.

    ---------- Post added at 02:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:44 PM ----------

    Thought the post was getting a bit long, so split it in two! The other job I had to unfortunatley do was repair the splitter which had been... split. I suspect it was done when in the garage having the head gasket replaced, and they somehow managed to do this:



    That's from the inside, it's the passenger side corner. I had straightened it out in this picture. Whatever happened it had hit something fairly hard. The plastic was overlapping itself, and you can see the screw holding the splash trim has been ripped out of the plastic. Additionally the steel reinforcing bar that runs along the top edge was bent out of shape, I managed to roughly bend it back into shape so it still fits, and the grill trim in the bumper had been forced out.

    The reason I suspect it happened at the garage is I sure as hell haven't hit anything! Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from immediately before I took it in of that side of the car to prove it. The only other incident I can think of is back when we had the heavy snow before christmas; a sharp right hander at the bottom of a hill, covered in snow meant I ended up going over the verge. However i checked ater for damage, when I reached my destination and beefore I left again, so I am certain I woul dhave noticed had it happened then. I also only noticed shortly after it had been into the garage. So that's frustrating, especially as VW say they are now obsolete. Managed to bodge a fix with some glassfibre and epoxy resin along the back, and then riveted a bit of Aluminium at the bottom:



    So all back together and running pretty well ok! No longer using coolant, but it is stil using oil, which is disconcerting. Much less than before but it is using it none the less. I am not sure where though, the guy who did the headgasket said he was certain it was going through the valve seals and nothing to do with the piston rings or bore wear. He said everything was fine when he put it back together, and said there were no compression issues. I was wondering if the valve seals might just take a while to wear in and seal properly? I gather some VR6s just use a bit of oil so should I just accept I'll just have to top it up regularly? I am half inclined to take it somewhere else to do a bit of testing on it again...
    '9 4 A q u a B l u e V R 6

  3. #13
    Enthusiast Wild-Animal's Avatar
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    Hey nice work, I am sure someone on here will give you some advice about you loosing oil, only thing i could say is check your expansion bottle and make sure there are no traces of oil getting into your coolant and check there aren't any visible leaks on the block.

  4. #14
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    Probably about time I updated this a bit. Mostly not a lot has happened for a couple of years apart from general maintenence. Nothing very exciting but all essential stuff like brake lines and the torsion bar links after one of them sheared off and made a mess of the CV boot, I also replaced both water pumps. That is until this happened on valentine's day:



    Courtesy of a nice (!) man in a Range Rover who wasn't paying attention at the lights. Not sure if the photo does justice to the damage, but the seams were torn, the boot wouldn't close and that whole rear was pushed in. So I was expecting the worst, and the initial assessmment from the bodyshop did nothing to help matters as they reckoned a new backend was needed and that I'd need to source one. I was thinking this could be game over, but I quickly managed to source one from an old G60, plus bumper. Unfortunately it was in pretty ropey condition and not really useable. Fortunately Range Rover man's insurance assessor decided he liked the car, that it was fixable and went and had a word with the bodyshop who were able to fix it. Some 3 months after the initial prang I got the car back and the body shop have done a great job on it. They managed to repair it, so it is still original, it is absolutely straight and the boot closes with a nice satisfying clunk. They've also matched the paint in perfectly. I am more than happy to recommend Bodytek in Taunton if anyone is around there. Only downside is I've lost my paintcode sticker inside the boot!

    The car then promptly failed it's MOT, to add to an already poor year. Exhaust and wishbone bushes needed doing. Both jobs I knew about really, the exhaust was in an awful state and was just rotting away, so much so that the top of the box kept banging on the underside of the car which was very unpleasent and it just sounded bad. The worn bushes were also the cause of the steering issue that had just cropped up, so at least I had found the cause of that.

    What should have been a fairly straightforward repair suddenly turned into another disaster when one of the captive bolts inside the sub-frame sheared off and the garage couldn't find a replacement. Again thought I was staring down the barrel but had a massive slice of luck as Vag-Hag from here saved the day and so the underside of my rado now looks very orange!



    I have never met the man, but I think I will be eternally grateful to Vag-Hag, and his idiosyncratic dedication to painting all his bits orange! Many thanks again, I really was in trouble then and I'm not sure what I would have done without your help.

    On to the exhaust. I decided I'd bite the bullet and go stainless as I'd always wanted to do that, and now seemed the opportune moment. No point getting another steel effort and never getting around to the stainless I wanted. Due to the MOT time pressure and plenty of internet recommendations I dropped it off at Infinity Exhausts in Bristol. Again, really pleased with the results. The tailpipe is exactly what I had always had in mind and they got the angle and position absolutely spot on. Really looks proper, very smart not too flashy or ridiculously big and keeps that OEM+ look. Had a shifty under the car and the work looks pretty good as far as I can see, and the engine immediately felt a bit freer. Noise is pretty good as well, setled down now so it's not particularly boomy and there's a few naughty burbles and pops on the overrun. It is interesting how the exhaust note changes... It gets louder until about 3000rpm when it really quietens off, briefly is almost whisper quiet and then the VR6 roar takes over.

    Anyway pics:



    Very happy with the car now, managed to iradicate most of the horrible bits in one fell swoop, including fixing a long running oil leak eventually traced to the sensors on top of the filter. Good timing really as I think I was starting to get a bit down about the car as each new problem appeared and I didn't seem to have the wherewithall to deal with them. But the MOT rather forced the issue, so I am going to put some effort into correcting the remaining bits. First up new wheels on the way!
    '9 4 A q u a B l u e V R 6

  5. #15
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    New wheels ahoy!



    They are MAM W3 16", with Rainsport 3s. Bit of an unusual choice, but I fancied something a bit different to the usual wheel choices and spent many months photoshopping all the wheels I could find before settling on these. Really pleased with how they look, and personally think they suit the car very well.

    Also gave them a little weigh in before fitting them; the wheels were less than 8.5kg and the tyres 7kg. So that gives a pretty good overall package weight I think, and improbable as it sounds the steering does feel a bit lighter than the Speedline/Kumho combination I had previously. Ride doesn't seem to have been affected particularly either - if anything it seems less crashy, which may well be the Rainsports. Very impressed with them so far!

    So all in all couldn't be happier with how that has turned out!

    (Yes the centre caps are missing... for some reason they didn't come attached with the wheel, and are currently out of stock. Should be able to get some in a couple of weeks)
    '9 4 A q u a B l u e V R 6

  6. #16
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    So the decision to buy the cheap GSF radiator back up there some 6 years ago finally came home to roost. Car had been running hot recently culminating in the top hose pulled the screw fixings out the rad. Cue my first ever trip home on a flatbed.

    Did it properly this time and bought a Hella rad. Here's why you shouldn't buy cheap:



    New Hella on the left is significantly wider for a start, at least 10mm. can also see where the fixings pulled out of their housing on the old one.



    Also has much better vane design, much finer with two cross tubes... the GSF looks an old design in comparison. The Hella is just all around better in quality. Internally the GSF had a lot of plstic flashing poking out, but the Hella was completely smooth. Additionally the top elbow was a really bad seal on the GSF. Basically it didn't, and had to seal it with a load of gunk. Hella fitted perfectly. Car now runs a lot cooler as well, stays down at 90 in traffic whereas before it was nudging 110. Really do buy a good rad is my advice here!

    May do a coolant flush as well as there seemed quite a lot of deposits in the coolant which may have gunged up the rad a bit. Not sure where that has come from as always just use G13. On the plus side my Hammerite job on the fan cage is holding up remarkably well!
    Last edited by oneohtwo; 28th March 2017 at 9:44 PM.
    '9 4 A q u a B l u e V R 6

  7. #17
    ⋆⋆ CF Donator ⋆⋆ swiftkid's Avatar
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    That is properly unlucky with it pulling the threads out, I've seen it done when people overtighten due to poor fitting but never due to pressurization. I'll have to keep that in mind if I need a radiator.

    Just looking at the exhaust and that does look a really fantastic fit, I realise its a few years back you posted it! Never been completely happy with the fit of my miltek

    Red 16v gone and long forgotten
    Red VR32.. Always a work in progress

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by swiftkid View Post
    That is properly unlucky with it pulling the threads out, I've seen it done when people overtighten due to poor fitting but never due to pressurization. I'll have to keep that in mind if I need a radiator.
    It really was an awful seal on it. I remember tightening and tightening it to try and get it to seal, but in the end had to smear gunk all the way around which wasn't ideal. I suppose that tightening could have weakened it a bit perhaps... although it was fine for 6 years.

    I really would recommend the Hella if you go to replace. Was about £130 from a place in Plumbstead, so not a huge deal more than the one from GSF.

    Unfortunately there's something else wrong with it now so it's off to the garage. 3 spark plugs coated in oil and running really rough. Not too confident...

    Quote Originally Posted by swiftkid View Post
    Just looking at the exhaust and that does look a really fantastic fit, I realise its a few years back you posted it! Never been completely happy with the fit of my miltek
    That is definitely the best thing about it! That was the bonus of being custom as I could show them where exactly how I wanted the tailpipe to fit. Still looks good now. The downside is that it is a bit boom-y at motorway cruising speed.
    '9 4 A q u a B l u e V R 6

  9. #19
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    So 2 paintshops, 1 vinyl wrapper and countless rattle cans later I have final refitted my number plate plinth 1 year after first removing it. Has been the absolute bane of my, and the poor chap who tried to vinyl wrap it a good 4 times without success, life for the last year. I took it off to repair a crack that's been there since I bought the car thinking it would be a fairly minor thing to repair it, spray it gloss black and get it back on. Nope. One thing after another...first repair didn't take. Second repair fine then dropped and broke it whilst trying to finish it; another repair, primer, flatten it back down, prime it, get the primer nice and smooth and paint again; some weird defect appears when finishing; flatten, prime and paint again, another defect; flatten, prime paint again; defect; flatten prime paint; repair starts showing through for the first time; flatten prime paint, flatten prime paintARGGGGGG. Get fed up, take it to a bodyshop. First effort is woeful, dust and weird white flecks in paint. Get them to do it again, still bad (By the way don't use Bodyworkz in Camberwell). Try vinyl wrapping it. Bloke does it 4 times, each time it lifts and he can't understand it. Finally take it to second bodyshop... and relieeeeef.



    It wasn't absolutely perfect, and the finish I should have been able to get myself, but smartens the back up so fairly happy. By the time I had gone through that I could have just bought a new carbon one so...

    Oh and I broke off the final prong putting it back just to round off the whole experience.
    Last edited by oneohtwo; 23rd July 2017 at 10:59 AM.
    '9 4 A q u a B l u e V R 6

  10. #20
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    Looks good now though!

    What's the name of the second body shop? I'm not too far from you (SE6) and I've got a lovely chip out of my wing that needs doing..

    16v Moonlight Blue
    1994 VR6 Green Pearl

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