A lot of you will know what happened to my car from either the other forum or instagram. Basically, the mapping session didn't conclude how I'd have liked, despite telling the mapper that it needs to be slightly richer than normal to compensate for the outer cylinders running leaner. It did make 150bhp & 146lbft of torque at 13psi on 95ron fuel though!
Aaaanyway. After a long morning of runs and refining, I noticed puffs of white smoke appearing from under the rear of the car after a pull. Spoke to Ben and he immediately shut off the engine. After stopping the fan and looking around for a bit, we couldn't see any leaks and checked all fluid levels. All good, so started it back up, white smoke billowed out the breathers (not good). A compression test revealed:
Not good. Ben said head gasket, I said piston, he said potential stuck valve, I said piston. We got into a debate of knock/fuelling and he said everything was where it should have been and was running rich top end. Anyway, I drove the car home with white smoke pouring out the engine bay everytime i had to stop, parked her in the garage and left her until the next day to pull the engine and found the following
Lean on the outers, anyone?
Cylinder 1 marks
Cylinder 3 grazing over the top of the gudgeon pin
Absolutely no signs of det/knock on the tops of the pistons (just lots of carbon), on the cylinder head or on the bores. Full strip down began.
Cylinder 1 exhaust valve
Pistons came out... and no surprises here!
Piston 1 with 2 broken ringlands on one side
Piston 3 with one broken ringland
Ringland piece removed
The outcome is slightly serendipitous. At the end of this year I was intending on building a V2.0 engine anyway, so this just gave me chance to do it now. I was on the phone to MED for most of the morning talking through piston options, sending them pics of pistons etc, and who they trusted to complete the build (they wouldn't do it as they only did race engines ) I eventually went for Southam Mini & Metro Centre to do the engineering and bottom end build with the following spec:
Block bored to +0.040 - 1310cc
MED cast pistons with 10cc dish
Block to 11 stud
MED centre strap and ARP bolts
Matched A+ rods with ARP bolts
New ACL bearings all round
MED 1.3 roller rockers
They are also taking into account that it is a turbo engine, so the tolerances will be suited.
Whilst it was off, I also took the gearbox to John at Guessworks to investigate an issue with 2nd gear... and also as a late addition - a Quaife ATB diff from Swiftune
I also did a large gasket and seal purchase from Rimmer Bros
Got an insulating spacer for the inlet manifold (bored out to 50mm)
And the great guys at Forge Motorsport took pitty on me and I got a turbo blanket
Before it got comfortable in its new jacket, the turbo was stripped and is off to Telford Turbo's tomorrow morning for a bit of their magic!
So the conclusion to this. I'm not angry that the mapping wasn't right and the pistons let go, just frustrated. I did trust Ben to do a good job but I got every other reason of what it was rather than admit it was detination that killed off 2 pistons. I'm going back to Chris at EFi Parts for the next mapping session. My lessons from this - find a mapper that knows A series engines well, use super unleaded (98+ron) and do plenty of research before parting with your money; in ALL aspects of modification. The power I achieved during the mapping was almost exactly what I was after, I just need longevity now!
Hopefully I will get the engine and gearbox back at the end of next week.