In for a Penny..Oulton Park Prep

So on investigation after the Donington final lap disaster, and with a new 41000 mile engine purchased by my father on a pallet in the workshop – I found the bottom hose of the radiator had blown off using the original spring type clip.  Therefore losing all the coolant and then cooking the engine.

There is a lot of oil in the o/s engine bay and under the car which I think is the front crankshaft oil seal so I order one before going on hols for two weeks. When I return and go to fit, that area around the oil pump is dry as a bone so it isn’t that after all and it looks like both oil and water is weeping out the front of the head in one of the usual weak spots. This is not good, with a week to Oulton Park and no time what are the options:

  • Pull out of Oulton Park, use that weekend to fit new engine.
  • Change the head gasket hoping engine is OK and race it.

I decide that given the effort getting this far  I should try and race, so after a debate from my Mechanic mate we decided rather than use the new MLS type gasket as one would normally use I should use an original type with the sealant in place and go for getting it through the one weekend. I break my own record with a 1hr 10mins head off and onto the bench. The head is OK, signs that it has got are there, the piston liner marks around the valves but not too bad seen a lot worse. The bad bit is piston number 1 as the photo shows is rather chipped on the crown and while the rings seem OK and there is no movement this is not good.


But we’ve come this far and one answer I have is at least the pistons are 160 ones which I forgot to check last time as I do question the performance of the engine as is well documented. So it all goes back together and runs OK, just wont tick over to well when warm and I can live with that!

We will see how it goes at OP.



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