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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We left off part 1 with moving the high pressure fuel rail.

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After removing the 3 rail-to-injector pipes and unscrewing the nut of metal pipe connecting the 2 rails (above), one has to move the EGR unit a bit to gain access to the 2 bolts holding the fuel rail to its bracket.

You do not need to remove this very awkward-to-get-at fuel rail nut, thankfully.

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There are 3 bolts on the side of the EGR unit holding it to the side of the engine and they need to be partially removed:

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Pull away the EGR and then unbolt the fuel rail from its bracket (you need to also remove the bracket as it covers part of the maifold if I remember well).

Now remove the injector fuel return lines by first lifting up the round plastic cap (pops up 0,5-1 cm) and then simply pull off. A small flat screwdriver (inserted as per arrow in picture below) can help to get the cap popped up - some can be really tight. Apparently they should not be reattached more than 6 (or 8?) times.

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to remove the injectors use appropriate removal tool after removing the 2 retaining bolts. Or, as I did, get a long double-sided nut that will screw on to the top of the injector (16 or 18 mm if I remember) that will also allow attachment of a long shaft with an end-piece (I used part of a gate hinge bracket I got from DIY store) that can be hit gently upwards with a hammer. My contraption looked like this:

injector removal.jpg


All 6 of my injectors came out very easily with a slight twist and tap upwards.
Remember to take note of which injector goes where as they are coded for individual cylinders.

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As you can see in the above picture, I also only removed the EGR water cooling pipe at the top (curved metal pipe coming up from EGR unit). Only a little coolant came out. Just bend the rubber pipe out of the way and try to pinch it closed at open end or cover somehow to prevent leaking.

Now you just need to access the 2 (or 3?) bolts at front of LH manifold, which are covered by the front timing belt cover.
There are 6 bolts that need to be partially removed before the cover can be "bent" forward enough. There are a few brackets that need to be removed to get at all the bolts but fairly straight-forward (a bit tight for the lower bolts and a flexible extension helps).

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Then remove all 13 camshaft cover bolts (only 10 Nm tight).
Below is a picture of the RHS cover from the workshop manual (basically a mirror image for bolt positions). The RH timing belt cover does not need much (if at all?) moving to access the 3 front intake manifold bolts.
One needs to remove the oil filler neck (Nr. 3 below) from old manifold and insert into new one. For this, be careful not to force on too strongly it is possible to snap off the plastic retention knobs protruding from within the manifold housing. Guess who did 😊. The neck need to be inserted at correct position and then twisted to secure it properly.
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Above right is also the protrusion (arrow) that I needed to open by inserting a small drill and making small hole at its base (compare with old manifolds to make sure in your case). The breather pipe attaches to the outside of this protrusion. Same on both sides.

Once the camshaft covers (intake manifolds) are removed, give everything a good surface clean but be careful to avoid letting dirt and dust into the input/output valve holes and the injector holes. I used a vacuum cleaner with narrow hose attached to suck out all contamination from injector holes and then stuffed with kitchen roll. Also vacuum clean again before re-installing injectors, using new copper seals at base (Link).

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For the RHS you have to remove the firewall separating the engine from the fuse box. There are only 2 bolts but lower one is in a narrow space so best to use flat ratchet spanner if you have. One firewall removed you get somewhat better access to the bolts from the EGR unit, fuel rail etc. Still working in tight spaces however, which can get a bit frustrating - take your time and know that it is all possible with a bit of effort.
Of note, I had to remove the EGR valve motor (4 easy accessible bolts) on the RHS in order to gain access to all fuel rail bolts. This sits next to where the EGR pipe bolts on.

Removing the RHS camshaft cover was more difficult due to all the rear located pipes that had to be moved a bit for "squeezing" old/new cover out/into place. Again, be patient but persistent and you will get it done.

It is tight and fiddly work for sure. Nevertheless, compared to spending well over € 2000 professional garage time for an older car, I think it is well worth the effort.

I took the opportunity to clean my injectors using sonication (ultrasonic water bath), with appropriate detergent. Just dip the tips into 10% detergent solution at 50 ℃ and sonicate for 5 minutes to remove all traces of carbon deposits that build up around nozzle holes. There are 8 atomizer nozzle holes that allow diesel to be injected into the combustion chamber under high pressure. No need to dismantle and clean the internal injector components. I dismantled 2 of them to look and both were completely free of carbon deposits. Important to remove all traces of water from nozzle after the sonication treatment and spray with some oil to prevent rusting (especially if not installing then again straight away).
See this thread for more details if you also want to clean your injectors, where you will also see my own story of RP problems that eventually led me to doing all this work. I initially thought it was simply a blocked DPF.

Hope this can help others. I suppose more and more older diesels will now be suffering this problem.
 

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Fantastic write ups chaba!!!

Thank you for your time and effort to write these up, they are very nicely done and very helpful chaba.. and a fantastic addition to the forum!!!... :cool:
 

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What a fantastic write-up! Hats off to you, Chaba. Just another example of what makes this probably the best car forum . . . anywhere.

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Wow this is a fantastic write up! Would give a lot of people a bit more confidence in doing this themselves.

Had to have both sides replaced on my last xf at great cost.

At least if I were ever in that position again I’d feel I could attempt this myself next time thanks to your contribution.

I think this post will be helping ALOT of us xf owners in the future


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks also go to Hamed 👏, who helped me a lot in pointing me in the right direction initially and then convincing me to undertake the work and guiding me through it (all the way :D). People who can stip-down their entire engine and then put it back together again (and it still works) deserve respect!

Also big thanks to all the others who provided positive and constructive, critical, feedback.

One thing I really appreciate in this forum is the very good and fair balance of encouragement and critical feedback (positive critical feedback) that is provided. I can only assume some of you are very experienced car mechanics to have the knowledge you share.
 

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Just wanted to post a quick thank you to chaba for posting this.

Thanks to your write up here, I was able to easily access and successfully repair (rather than renew) my cracked inlet manifold (and without removing it), so thanks very much for the detailed info on accessing it.
 

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Can you share how you repaired the crack? Previous repairs have proved to not last.
 

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Can you share how you repaired the crack? Previous repairs have proved to not last.
Hi @cutlea01,

I opted to go down the route of repairing with a reinforced weld, basically using a process we routinely use at work to repair no longer available plastic casing parts. I've detailed the process below for those wishing to try it. I should point out, that the main reason I was able to repair in situ, was due to where the crack occured on the right hand side manifold (side with oil filler spout), which made it easy to access by removing relatively few parts.

The car is a 2010 3.0D XF Portfolio S

The items you will need to carry out this repair are:

  • Stainless steel wire fine mesh (this is product I used - URATOT 4 Packs 304 Stainless Steel Woven Wire Mesh 20 Mesh 15 x 21 cm Insect Rodent Control Mesh Pest Proofing Metal Mesh Sheet for Home, Kitchen, Airbrick : Amazon.co.uk: DIY & Tools)
  • A hot air solder rework gun and a soldering iron. I already own one of these so used this, though cheaper variants will do, as long as they can reach the same temp.
  • Scrap plastic of a type that closely matches the type of plastic the manifold is made from. This is really important, as there are around six main types of plastic used in manufacturing, all with slightly different properties. For a strong weld, that is going to bond and hold well when applied, the scrap plastic being added needs to be the same type used for the manifold. The closest near identical match I've found, is the same plastic used for laptop/printer casings or covers (example). I used the plastic paper tray from a cheap redundant printer I had stashed away.

Step 1 -
Remove the engine cover and the foam padding/soundproofing that sits over the injector pipes. Then remove windscreen wipers, followed by all the plastics under the windscreen, wash/wipe hoses, the cross bar, etc detailed in part one of chaba's write up and shown in chaba's image here

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This makes the wiring, manifold, etc, easy to access.

I then disconnected (at one end) the wiring that runs alongside and/or over the manifold cover, these were simply disconnected at their various plug points and tucked out the way. I did the same with all the little vacuum and other hoses that were in close proximity to the manifold.
Next, disconnect (at both ends) and remove the three metal pipes that run from the fuel rail, to the injectors and remove the foam padding that sits under and is held in place by these pipes.
This makes the work area easy to get to and helps avoid any possibility of excess spilled heat from the welding process, damaging any wiring, padding or hose tubing.

The welding process itself is done using temperature settings of 450℃ (soldering iron) and 480 ℃ (hot air gun), so keeping the repair area clear is essential. It's also worth noting, that while these temps seem high, they're used cos they quickly melt the surface of the plastic being melted, without transferring lots of heat into the manifold casing itself, which would happen if you use a lower temp, requiring the heat source to be in contact with the plastic for a longer period to achieve the desired degree of melting.

Finally, be sure to cover and close off the openings for any pipes, tubes, etc on the fuel rail, injectors and inlet manifold to stop any dirt, debris or cleaning solution getting into the engine.

Step 2 -
With the area to be repaired clear, take the wire mesh and using scissors, cut out a piece large enough to cover the crack and leave at least 1 inch/20cm overlap on all sides of the crack.

In the photo below, the red line indicates where the crack was in my manifold.
The area marked in blue, indicates the size, shape and placement of the wire mesh "patch" I applied to the manifold.
The two green lines indicate where I cut two strips out of the mesh to accomodate the two upright reinforcing bars on the inlet manifold, as these need to be kept intact.

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Unfortunately, I didn't photograph the process as I did it, so for illustrative purposes, I've used a stock image with color indicators.

Step 3 -
Utilising a broad soldering iron tip heated to 450℃, make a shallow groove following and along the length of the crack.
Then, lightly roughen the surface of the groove and area around it, using a narrow wire brush. Be careful not to be too heavy handed when doing this, as the manifold cover is relatively thin.

At this point, be sure to thoroughly clean and degrease all around the area to be repaired, with plenty of overlap. Also clean and degrease the wire mesh patch and the scrap plastic you intend using. Any grease, dirt, loose debris or oil left in situ, will create a weaker spot in the weld, so it's important to do this thoroughly.

Step 4 -
Press the wire mesh patch over the area to be repaired, moulding and shaping it to follow the contour of the manifold, it does not need to pressed into the groove you've made along the crack. If needs be, press the folded sides together slightly, to make for a snug fit.
Next, using the scrap plastic, melt it into the groove you've created, filling the groove so it ends up protruding very slightly higher than the manifold around it. Then sand it flush to the manifold and clean away any sanding residue.

Step 5 -
Put the wire mesh in place over the filled crack, if you've ensured a snug fit, it will stay in place sufficently well to be welded.
Next, starting at the top of your patch, use the (hot) soldering iron, to gently press the mesh into the plastic, whilst at the same time, using the hot air gun to melt the plastic under the mesh, so it comes up through the mesh.

You don't need to push the mesh very deeply into the plastic, pressing it just enough for the top of the mesh and the melted plastic to be at the same level will be sufficient, as your mainly looking to fix the mesh snugly in place against the manifold, with no air pockets under the mesh.
Using this method, spot/tack weld the mesh in place along the top, side and bottom edges, pressing the mesh down and at the same time pushing it lightly towards the outside edges. I found the tip of the soldering iron "engaged" with the mesh sufficiently to allow me to apply gentle pressure and make sure there were no lumps, bumps or gaps under the mesh, ensuring a snug and flush fit.

Once you've got the mesh spot welded into place, using the same technique, gently press and melt the rest of the wire mesh in place, ensuring that the entire patch has a layer of melted plastic flush with the top of the wire meshing. Take your time doing this and rather than going in straight stretches, melt each section into place randomly. This avoids softening the plastic of the manifold too much in any one area, through allowing too much heat to build up in one area.
Randomizing where you're welding, will allow the plastic in the last area you welded, to cool and reharden, while you weld the next area.

Step 6 -
This is the final step in the welding process.

Cut small pieces of scrap plastic into 20 x 20mm squares and using a narrow tube on the heat gun, melt them onto/into the wire mesh, making sure you overlap each piece slightly so you have no gaps. You can use the soldering iron to hold the pieces in place as you melt them.
Tip - Be sure to melt these plastic pieces to liquid like consistency, rather than just soften them, as this will ensure a strong bond with the mesh and the plastic of the manifold underneath it.
Tip - Also be sure to make sure the pieces along the edges of the mesh, overlap onto the plastic of the manifold along those edges.

Ideally, you are aiming to get an even layer of plastic at least 2 mm thick, across the entire surface of the meshed area, 3 mm will be even better and about the max you would want to go. The main thing to ensure is that you have a uniform layer at least 2mm thick and if slightly thicker in some places, that's fine. Just make sure there are no gaps/thin spots when finished.

Using this method, you're not going to get a smooth, neat and tidy finish and although you could sand it down for uniformity and to tidy it up, all I did was smooth off the roughness and call it good, as I didn't want to thin out the top layer of plastic.
While the repair might look rough and ready, if done right, you'll end up with a strong repair that should last as long as the rest of the manifold cover and will be hidden anyway, once you've replaced the foam padding, etc.

Step 7 -
Put everything back together as was taken apart and described in step 1.

Total time taken - around 6 hours, including stripping down and reassembling, which I don't think is too bad, given my very limited experience in fixing engines.
Total cost - £30.00 including wire mesh, engine degreaser and a replacement vacuum hose and connectors that I broke when removing (some of these are very thin and brittle). Add £100 to this if you need to buy a 2 in 1 soldering iron/hot air desoldering gun (well worth having as part of your tool kit imho, as you'll certainly use it for other stuff going forward).

Since finishing the repair three days ago, I've made a point of pushing the car hard over a couple of long runs covering around 260 miles, with no issues. The repair has been checked following those runs and there are no signs of any leaks, weakening, cracks or other issues and the performance is back where it should be.

Hope this is of some use to anyone with a similar issue.
 

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Fantastic write up @M_R_P !!! A really really good step by step guide! Thank you for taking the time to help others. :cool:
 

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Agree, great how to. Like the soldering station as well.
 

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Agree, great how to. Like the soldering station as well.
Me too Ian, trying not to buy it 'just in case' I need it one day...
 
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Another great write up. Thanks @M_R_P
Some nice skills you have there. I wonder if you'd be willing to offer your services to other FMs with this issue?
 

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Agree, great how to. Like the soldering station as well.
The solder station has turned out to be a really worthwhile buy and rarely sits idle for more than a week or two at a time. With so much stuff made with or encased in plastic it's a good tool for fixing anything plastic that gets cracked, broken, etc, specially difficult to replace bits and a welded repair almost always turns out to be more durable than a glued one, if done right.
 

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Another great write up. Thanks @M_R_P
Some nice skills you have there. I wonder if you'd be willing to offer your services to other FMs with this issue?
Certainly happy to help point others in the right direction, if they've a similar issue to the one I had and want to try this repair. As long as they're aware that while i'm very familiar with welding plastics, this is the first and only time I've done it on a car engine, 😂
 
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