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Discussion Starter #1
So... Project XF. Bought cheaply (hopefully cheaply enough!) and in need of work. The first thing that needs fixing is the engine, it’s very smokey. It’s a white smoke, fairly odourless and all fluid levels are okay. Diagnostic suggests the engine is misfiring on all cylinders.

At this point we (Dad and I) are thinking bad fuel. Possibly diesel in there. Anyway, only one way to find out if it is the fuel... need to get it all out. I’m hoping I’ll be able to disconnect a line in the engine bay, continually select ignition and pump the fuel out into a container that way. Anyone got any ideas?
 

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Not about the fuel, but I would do a compression check on the engine before anything else. That way you will know if its core is good or not.
 

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You could try syphoning the tank via the filler or removing the sender unit from tank should give plenty of room to get a hose in.
Your method would take ages, as the pump will prime then shutoff.
 

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If you have a compressor, perform a leak down test, that will give you a good idea on the health of the engine
 

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Diesel in fuel should smell of diesel at the exhaust because it hasn't burnt it.
 

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If you really want to drain the fuel tank there is a specific procedure shown in the Workshop Manual on pages 1566 to 1572.
A bit of faffing about - release fuel line pressure, remove rear seat base, remove door surround trim, then attach a "special tool" to the fuel tank drain port and pump the fuel out.
The fuel tank cover/access port is directly under the rear seat on the RHS.
Get a copy of the 2010 - 2011 XFR Workshop Manual from my Dropbox here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bet26xniuafluyn/2010XFRWorkshop.pdf?dl=0
 

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If there's diesel in the fuel, to test, maybe put some on a piece of kitchen paper and leave in a well ventilated place to evaporate. If pure petrol the paper will be dry, if there's diesel it'll show a grease stain?
 

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So... Project XF. Bought cheaply (hopefully cheaply enough!) and in need of work. The first thing that needs fixing is the engine, it’s very smokey. It’s a white smoke, fairly odourless and all fluid levels are okay. Diagnostic suggests the engine is misfiring on all cylinders.

At this point we (Dad and I) are thinking bad fuel. Possibly diesel in there. Anyway, only one way to find out if it is the fuel... need to get it all out. I’m hoping I’ll be able to disconnect a line in the engine bay, continually select ignition and pump the fuel out into a container that way. Anyone got any ideas?
Have you noticed the coolant levels dropping at all. White smoke can be indicative of a head gasket failing between a cylinder and water channels.
 

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The smoke could be various different things.

Your idea of it being diesel is certainly possible.

The diagnosis of it mis-firing on all cylinders will be a fault code/s generated from the coil packs which detect the mis-fires.

As has been said though, you need to know if it's got decent compression in all cylinders though first, if it hasn't then you might as well not bother wasting your time with the smoking issue. You will need quite a lot more money than you're possibly prepared to put into it if it needs a rebuild (£3-4k depending on the level of damage) or new engine (£8k+).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi all, sorry for the delayed response. This forum seems much chattier than some others, so I promise to raise my game and keep you all updated. With that... warning, long post!

So, it wasn't the fuel. I got access to the tank via the sender under the back seat and siphoned a load out. I don't think there was any diesel in there, it seemed like the fuel was a little old but then again the car has been off-road for 2 years.

I then did a compression test. Zero compression on all cylinders left bank. Right bank, one had 75psi, a couple at 50, and the other zero. I ordered a head gasket kit.

So I started stripping the left head. Found the head gasket had failed between the two inner cylinders. Further inspection revealed inlet valves to be coked up, and they were not seating properly as a result.

Right, a bit about my work conditions. I have a driveway and single garage only. And a basement. Unfortunately I quickly came to the conclusion that I would not have enough workspace with the car in the garage. So onwards with work outdoors in the rainy North West it is.

I took the head to an engine shop to check for warpage and if possible, to skim it. The guy (who I've known for years and trust) commented "it's not warped, that's not had a massive failure, but yes it's failed and we can skim it a little no problem."

So with the head skimmed and new oil check valves fitted, I transferred the head to my basement and started cleaning up all the valves and the head in general.

This brings us up to last weekend. With the rebuilt left head ready and waiting, I set about removing the right one for rebuild. It was when I disturbed the oil cooler, there was a "Houston, we have a problem" moment...

I found parts of piston and rings. Bad news, but glad I found it now before the heads went back on.

So this week I stripped it down further, and found all 4 pistons on the left bank are cracked. I've checked for damage to the big end bearings and shells, and rods, but they all seem okay. Camshafts and oil pump seems fine too. Water pump seems to be fairly new and turns freely. I've elected to replace the infamous plastic water (heater) pipe on the rear of the engine while I'm in there... I'm already resigned to the fact this is now an engine-out job, especially as I was also planning to do the timing chain tensioners and guides as well. Further piston debris was found in the oil-pickup.

After inspecting the Supercharger I have a hunch that it has a smaller pulley fitted, whether this has contributed to the failure I can only speculate. Does anyone have a picture of a standard one so I can verify? Might also be interested in reverting to a stock one... anyone on here got one lying around?

So that brings us almost up-to-date. This week I've fitted all new pistons to the left bank (Bearmach items from BritCar) and inspected the right bank, finding two obviously failed ones. I'll be replacing them all, just like the other side.

So this weekend sees the attempt to get the engine out. I write this as I came in for a break and a cup of tea. Unfortunately the starter motor solenoid broke off during removal, so a replacement from a breaker is enroute.

I know we all like pictures. So I'll add some over the course of this weekend. Wish me luck...
 

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Wow. Sounds like a seriously screwed engine. Would be interesting if some wannabe engine tuner got his hands on it causing the issues. With all that piston/ring debris, are the bores ok?

Interesting that the valves are coked too. I’ve heard that upping the supercharger pressure can hold the valves open. Whether that’s BS or not I don’t know.
 

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I well remember those days when the job at hand suddenly becomes significantly more challenging but mercifully it sounds as if you are not phased by it. So I for one would you the best of luck but I can't help but think if broken piston rings have been circulating then there's a risk damage might be found elsewhere. Keeping my fingers crossed that the gods are smiling upon you.
 

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Good and interesting post Blanco92.. sounds like you've a bit of a job on.. but at least you'll know a whole bundle of bits have been changed and won't now cause further problems.
Do keep us updated on your progress please. :)
 

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Indeed, thanks for the detailed update, looking forward to another later ;)
 

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Blimey! Good that you are positive. Fingers crossed all goes well and thanks for updating. Looking forward to pics!
 

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Fingers crossed the bores are OK where those rings broke up.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I can't help but think if broken piston rings have been circulating then there's a risk damage might be found elsewhere.
It's a fair point. The reassurance comes from the fact that this is pretty thorough rebuild, there's so many pipes and hoses that have been removed and inspected that I'm confident I've found most, if not all the shrapnel. Fingers crossed!

Good and interesting post Blanco92.. sounds like you've a bit of a job on.. but at least you'll know a whole bundle of bits have been changed and won't now cause further problems.
Do keep us updated on your progress please. :)
Thanks mate, this is my 5th post so hopefully unlocks picture uploads :D
Fingers crossed the bores are OK where those rings broke up.
So far, I've not found any bore scoring. The bores don't look amazing by virtue of having sat full of water for 2 years, water that has started to cause some surface rust. I'm doing my best to clean all that up, and hopefully the engine will do the rest when it's up and running...
 
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