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A tale of two engines. . .

Click on the thumbnail for a bigger image. . 

The DeLorean's PRV (Peugeot, Renault, Volvo) engine is know as a hearty and long lasting engine. . .but no car can run forever without good doses of oil.  My car is proof of that.  The PRV engine has some interesting "holes" in the top of it that were probably used to help make casting easier and / or to keep the weight of the engine down.  The green spots in the picture are the openings containing antifreeze.  These holes in the block have a tendency to collect all kinds of gunk. Road dirt, antifreeze, etc.  Some of these items have a desire to eat through metal substances. . .like aluminum. . .See where I am going yet?  (HINT: The engine block is made out of aluminum)
Sometime before I got my car (It had 17,500 miles on it when I got it). one of these holes grew to include the oil reservoir below it, making a nice oil fountain when the engine was running.  To solve this oil-spouting problem, the hole was pressure filled with epoxy.  Problem solved right?  With no more oil leak, the problem went away. You can see the hole with the remains of the epoxy in it to the left.
Sounds like a fairly good solution to me, except for one thing.  Since the epoxy was pressure pumped into the hole, some of the epoxy (a lot actually) got down into the oil reservoir.  The created a nice clog in the oil line, hence the failure of my engine.  The fix that was applied (epoxy seal the hole) was probably the least expensive fix. . .(I had that presented as a re-solution after my engine had to be rebuilt) but only in the short term.  This solution has in the long run cost me over $6000. I will say it again $6000 The proper solution would have been to replace the engine block from the get go. Total cost around $1500 with labor.  Not exactly chump change, but a far cry from $6000. To the left is my brand new (I.E. used) engine block off of a Volvo.  I inspected it personally to ensure that it complied with the Babb Standard of Automotive Excellence (BSAE).
After the new engine block is mated with the rest of my cars engine, we will be looking at options to keep this from happening in the future.  I want to fill these holes in, but without the possibility of moisture getting between the filler and the engine block. Any suggestions?  HAVE YOUR CAR CHECKED!  The cost of having a qualified mechanic check your engine block could save you the cost of a new block.  (part of the water pump replacement process will get you down far enough to check things out as well) These holes are about 5 inches deep, and can collect a lot of goop.  To give you an idea of the size of these, the picture on the left shows the two pieces of epoxy extracted from the car.  The big piece was pulled out of the top of the hole, while the bottom piece was inside the oil reservoir itself.


This page last modified on Tuesday, April 08, 2008