Home Forums General Counties Cars Discussion A40 Somerset water in oil

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  • #4139
    widd0wss0n
    Participant

    Hi, I have water in the engine oil of my A40 Somerset. The oil was filled to the fill line of the dip stick and now it’s sitting about 2cm above the fill line. The oil was green Halfords 10w/20 and now it’s grey in colour. I replaced the head gasket last year with a solid copper one and it has not done many miles since and I am wandering if I have made a mistake fitting the head gasket or is there any other way for water to get into the oil. Just wanted to check before I go taking the head off again. Can the copper head gasket be reused if I take the head off again?

    Thanks

    Dave

    #4147
    widd0wss0n
    Participant

    After some more reading I think my problem stems from me not annealing the copper head gasket before fitting so it’s to hard to seal properly and is now leaking. Does this sound like a reasonable cause to water in my oil? Any advice would be appreciated.

    Also from what I have read it is possible to reuse the copper head gasket as long as it is annealed by heating it to cherry red then quenching it in cold water. This will make the gasket soft. Does this sound correct?

    Thanks

    Dave

    #4151
    MikeN
    Participant

    Copper only needs heating to dull red to anneal.  Heating to cherry red could end in tears (if you are using a gas torch). Then either quench or allow to cool. It makes no difference to the resulting softness/hardness. Scrub With a scouring pad or scotchbrite and water to remove any scale that forms during heating.

    With a solid gasket your joint faces must be in very good, flat condition. With an engineer’s straight edge or ground parallel test bar you can check for distortion with a feeler gauge. I would think any distortion, or hollow areas over .003″ on either the head or block would require rectification.

    Mike

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by MikeN.
    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by MikeN.
    #4159
    widd0wss0n
    Participant

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your reply, I have not annealed a copper gasket before so your advice on how hot to go is a big help. I will check the head and block for distortion also, I did check this last time and I am sure it was fine.

    In  you opinion does it sound like the the gasket is the cause of water in the oil?

    Dave

    #4161
    MikeN
    Participant

    Dave,

    Well actually I’ve never anealed a car gasket myself!

    But I have any done a few classic motorcycle head gaskets over the years. Which are a bit smaller. And I’ve built a few live steam copper boilers for miniature locomotives which involves a lot at anealing.

    So assuming you have a propane torch, I would hang the gasket on a wire hook. Maybe 2 books because the blast from the torch might  make it swing about a bit (coat hanger wire would be ideal). Start heating an area to red heat and work your way round until it’s all been heated to red. You don’t have to get it all red all at the same time, as long as it all gets to red eventually.  Then dunk it into a container of cold water.

    I think the gasket could be a cause of water in the oil. also examine the joint faces carefully for cracks.

    BTW, I rebuilt my A40 engine last year (I used a NOS asbestos gasket ). Before you refit the head. Get a bit of stuff wife and probe down the holes in the block into the water gallery. It should go down around 100mm all along and all the way round all 4 cylinders. My block was horribly choked up. Almost solid at the rear . It took me ages to clear it out. I had my head and block skimmed. If your waterways gallery is blocked your engine will run not and your gasket won’t like that.

    MN

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by MikeN.
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