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oil in coolant 2002 fortwo 599cc

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  • oil in coolant 2002 fortwo 599cc

    I rebuilt the engine about 3500 miles ago, lovely little job all new parts everything torqued up correctly. The engine is running as sweet as a nut and I regularly sit with the car at 85/90 mph, just recently it has started to loose a little coolant, maybe a cup full every 500 miles, and there is a white oil emulsion appearing in the coolant header tank. No emulsion in the engine oil.

    Is this likely to be head gasket failure, or are there other places that the oil and water come close?

    What stops oil and water meeting each other in the water cooled turbo?

    I can't remember if there are other places around the block that have galleries near each other.

    2002 fortwo 43000 miles

  • #2
    The head cylinder gasket. Tightening torques is correct?
    Bolts by cylinder head is tight in the order prescribed?
    Has the cylinder head is rectified?


    • #3
      What stops oil and water meeting each other in the water cooled turbo?

      The integrity of the casting. Possibly cracked.
      Head gasket fail is more probable though. No sign of the missing water? Through the cylinder and out the exhaust? Compression test may show something. Ditto spark plugs. Borescope may show piston crowns/head chambers have evidence of water ingress (unless you cleaned them during rebuild). Did you use new head bolts?

      Odd there's no water in the oil. Usually the coolant will find its way there on shut down when the coolant pressure is still high. Oil in water can only come from pressurised oil - or oil in the cylinders and the HG failed between cylinder and coolant gallery.


      • #4
        I suspect crack in turbo bearing housing if no oil is evident in rocker cover. To check for crack, remove turbo and pressure test cooling galleries on turbo with compressed air about 1.5 bar maximum. Use soap film over oil inlet and outlet to confirm if there are leaks.
        If yours has an aftermarket oil cooler, the leak could be there.


        • #5
          Car finally expired in a cloud of smoke, my wife borrowed it, I hadn't checked the water level, and she ignored the flashing bleeping dash warnings.
          Anyway, engine stripped and thoroughly cleaned and inspected for damage - very little. Big end shells suspect, so replaced with new, water pump leaking - so new, Head gasket and bolts, plus a set of crankshaft seals - and we are good to go.

          All the waterways where absolutely choked solid with oil/water emulsion, all 3 hoses front to rear solid, radiator solid, heater matrix solid, so after a mammoth flush out and pulling rag through the various hoses and tubes, cleaning out the header tank was fun - didn't realise it was multi-compartment. Still not found the source of the oil in the water which is a bit worrying.

          Turbo housing seems fine, compressed air and soapy water tested the galleries on that, all I can think is that the aftermarket head gasket i used originally was U/S. Anyway used a Victor Reinz set this time and made doubly sure that head and block where true and very clean.

          So the car is back on the road, so far so good. A little goop appeared in the header tank after the first test run, but I hope that is just the remains of the old goop being flushed out of the system by the hot coolant, I wasn't able to clear everything out of the radiator, the internal fins are too fine. Otherwise its back to square one, hoping this isn't the case.

          If it does it again, I have absolutely no idea how oil is getting into the coolant, but no sign of water in the oil - the engine oil was/is clean as a whistle.

          All good fun.


          • #6
            You could have a warped head, you would need to sit it on an engineers glass to test it.


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