Oh the Joys of ownership

Well my sad story started 3 months ago when at a family track day, i spent hours on end out on the track and after the last session there was a large deposit of oil on the undertray. Being sensible i took the car straight home, and had it at my usually reliable mechanic the next day. It was the main crankshaft oil seal, so not a train smash but i hoped it didn’t cause any further damage.

so my instructions to the mechanic were:

  1. Attend to crankshaft and driveshaft seals as they weep.
  2. Give the head a porting while we are at it.
  3. Gearbox crunches going from 3rd to 4th and had since i bought the car.
  4. Check bottom end and assess if it will last for nexxt seasons racing, if not do not repair it i have a spare bottom end so we can rather just install that one.

3 months, a brand new crown wheel and pinion from Quaife, a new set of synchro’s, a new AP clutch, sump baffle and a head job later, i fetched my car as i had enough waiting and took it back before any mapping for the new head, the car wouldnot rev past 6000 RPM but i was really not interested in waiting another 2 weeks to put the rear clam on.

Cost for my troubles : roughly 2000 pounds

Sent the car in to be mapped and the alternator had been wired incorrectly so needed to be repaired, anyway that was done and the car went on the dyno in the hope of having gained a few extra horses, no 16 RWHP on the last run on the same dyno.

Took the car home and checked the cam timing, it was 26 degrees out on the inlet and 21 degrees out on the exhaust. So my 2000 pounds did not buy me cam timing apparently.

Car was now running ok and had to go for a dyno tomorrow, but low and behold on a short drive today an almighty knocking, big end bearings more than likely, we have established

I have stripped the engine out and we will be building this engine ourselves, as i should have in the first place.

What really annoys me is they had the engine out for 2 months can they not just have checked it for me and asked if i want to replace.

The only thing making me feel slightly better is that the GK racing exige which now lives SA also had some engine trouble this weekend, however we were debating sticking my spare bottom end into it if parts cant be sourced in time and now i am using it.

Rant now over, it occured to me on more than 1 occasion in the garage today, my S4 has a lovely motor, Audi make nice motors. I now fully underatnd someone with little mechanical inclination having to deal with mechanics going th Honda/Duratec/Audi route. I can do it myself and should have, but i fully understand the shift, especially if it’s a daily driver.


I’ve got a leaky crank seal and driveshaft seal now, I hope I can get these fixed straight away!!

Yes the seal leaks are a common problem, so just keep oil levels topped up and they will not be a train smash if they cant be attended to right away, but if left unchecked and the car runs without oil then it will be a major problem.

The engine needs to vent to atmospehere, breather kit, or the crankshaft seal will always begin weeping during track work.

Driveshaft seals are cheap and easy to replace, and not worth it to leave them weeping, it just messes oil all over the engine and undertray and generally looks like a much bigger problem than it actually is.

My bottom end is # 15 from the autobytel series so has had a good run when you think about it but it is just frustrating having had the engine out of the car 2 weeks ago and now having to do it all again.

I’m going to vent the crankcase. I’ll pull off the dipstick tube and put another hole on the little plate that attaches to the block and then run another tube up above the valve cover and put a small filter on the end of the tube.

That should work… I think.

sorry to hear your woes Jason…

I’m surprised you trusted the repairs to someone you didn’t know would do the best job. Hope you get it all sorted soon.

Thats the problem Rox, he was my race mechanic on the Orange Exige for all the time i had and it was never a problem, no races missed etc and always ran like a dream.

Getting there though, new motor is installed, we rebuilt it on Tuesday evening all ready to be fired up, wish me luck.