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V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

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V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby FordMk1Transit » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:33 pm

Hi all,

Last week I started having some engine trouble with my 1977 Transit Mk1 Firetruck, with the V4 Cologne engine, low milage.

Someone else was driving it, so I have to go with his story on how it all started.

At first a noise started that increased with revs and a he noted a loss of power. After he contacted me I asked him to take off the distributor cap to have a look and it turned out to be the contacts inside the "aftermarket" distributor cap, somehow two of them where rotated.. no clue how they came loose. :?

He was able to turn the two contacts again and continued driving for another hour before he stopped and called me again: the engine still had no power and was now making a terribly sharp noise when being revved. At that time I got in the car and drove his way. Small detail: he was in Normandy, France, so a long drive..

When I got there I first changed the distributor cap plus rotor for an original but used Ford one, I noted the carb venturi was completely black (backfiring?) and then lifted the rocker-covers.

I quickly found what was causing the nasty sound.. One of the exhaust valves had a valve clearance of approx 1 centimeter.. I set the valve clearance to 0.40 again (hot engine, had no choice) and did a test drive. Nasty sound was gone, and it was drivable, but if you rev fast a clacking sound can still be heard together with a loss of power. (Power seems ok when you pull away slowly and steadily, until you reach the moment when the clacking noise starts, then power is gone.)

Got the rocker cover off again and had another look at this exhaust valve. I turned the engine and noted that all the valves go down quite a lot, but this valve doesn't. Only a little bit.. :|

Took the push-rod out and rolled it on a flat surface. Seemed nice and straight, not bent.

So my common sense tells me it can now only be a damaged camshaft lobe or maybe the cam follower?

Anyone on here had this happen? Any clue why it happened?

If the camshaft is indeed damaged, any idea where I can get a new one? Can I replace the cam with the engine in place, by removing the grill+radiator? Really hope so. Probably have to take the heads off in order to take the cam followers out?

All info greatly appreciated.
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby DougT » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:28 pm

It might be worth comparing 2 push rods. If it is the same as the Cologne V6 then there is a ball at the end that sits in the cam follower. Something might have happened to that.

It might be a bent valve - is your friend likely to have over revved the engine because it was not pulling ?

Also which exhaust valve is it - in fact which valve is it ? If it is the last valve on the cam ie furthest away from the drive from the engine, then it is possible that the camshaft has broken and what you are seeing is just an attempt to lift rather than a full lift. I hope that this is not the case but I have broken a Cologne V6 cam in the past.

Replacing the cam in situ is not easy. You will have to get all the followers out from both sides before you can pull the cam once you have got the front cover off.

I would take the head off on that side and see what is going on as a first step so that you know what you are dealing with.

Doug
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby FordMk1Transit » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:24 pm

Hi Doug, Thanks for your reply.

It is possible that the engine was over revved, to be honest it feels like I'm over revving it myself most of the time. Everything above 80km/hour feels too fast, I normally cruise around 80 /85 km/hour. (Since it's a firetruck it has a different rear axle, it pulls well, but top speed is low. I would love to get an overdrive in there one day.)

First step will be to pull the head and check the valves. Will also compare pushrods as mentioned.

It's not the last valve luckily. When standing in front of the car - facing the engine, its the second valve on the right bank. So second valve from the front of the engine (first valve is intake, second is exhaust valve), all other valves, also the ones behind it, seem to go down normally.

With the heads of, cam followers removed and front cover removed; can I just pull the camshaft out and push a new one in?

If the camshaft is indeed damaged, any idea where I could get a replacement? Is the Saab V4 cam the same?

Thanks again.
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby bulls in transit » Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:58 am

For engine parts try 'motomobil gmbh',they stock an extensive range of early cologne parts,that's if Ralph 9 on here hasn't got req parts.
From experience,try to source pushrods out of old engine,changed heads on mine due to valve seat problems( loss of power when engine warmed),used new pushrods on just one rocker,together with new rocker,it lasted 250 miles,top of new pushrod mushroom had a slightly machined(not smooth) finish,the rocker simply ate through pushrod top,so unless beyond reuse I wouldn't fit new.
I'd also do a compression test before pulling apart lump.
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby DougT » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:41 pm

Good call Bulls, I have a tendency to pull things apart rather than do some other checking !!

Back to the problem, it is also good that it is not a snapped camshaft. The Saab V4 engine is the same as the Ford V4 although there are different capacities of Cologne V4 most are the 1700 which was fitted to the Firevan. I would guess that the Saab cam profile is different. It should work but engine may not pull in the same places (not that they pull much anyway).

BTW since I have a Cologne V6 pushrod to hand, it is 137mm overall length just in case it matches the length of the V4.

I think it is really unlikely that one lobe of the cam has failed. Not impossible but never heard of it happening. So one more thing to check is to see what the follower is doing. Try measuring down the pushrod hole and see whether the follower is too low or too high compared to the same cam position of another valve (ie base to base and peak to peak). Next door inlet valve will do just to get an idea. Follower may be sticky in the bore so make sure it is pushed onto the cam.

Before you take off the head also measure the height of the valve/valve spring without any pressure on it from the rocker arm. I seem to remember someone having trouble with sticky Cologne V4 valves so trying to be optimistic it may just be that rather than bent.

If you do need to pull the cam out then the followers must come out first. I'm not sure but I think they can fall into the sump without the cam there !

Doug
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby FordMk1Transit » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:30 pm

Hi all,

Finally got time to have a look at this engine again.

I have decided to tackle a few jobs at once, whilst trying to fix this camshaft (or other) problem. Got hold of a steel timing set, a good second hand camshaft and a full engine gasket set. Will take the heads of to inspect them and get hardened valves/seats fitted.

Good to mention, I've asked a local specialist that knows these V4 cologne engines how to take the camshaft out. His mentioned the heads do not need to come off. Just remove the intake manifold to take the cam followers out and the camshaft is secured by a clip that can be taken out once the front cover is off. (Just copying his advice here, haven't reached that point yet..

For now: any advice on how to take the intake manifold off? (I removed everything around it, including the front grille)
I've taken out all bolts and nuts, except for the two nearest the distributor. But those two are released fully. (Don't want to take distributor off, since I got timing adjusted recently on a rolling road. I could mark the timing, but hoped there was no need to take it off.) I've tried to get it loose using long screwdrivers, even a long crowbar/prybar but no luck.. I'm quite sure it should come off easily but it's not. I've even tried to take the heads off with the intake in place, but I'm thinking I'm making things worse. Any advice? I stopped working on it eventually as I didn't want to break things..
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby bulls in transit » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:06 pm

Took the distributor out when changing heads on mine.
Once all bolts are undone it should just lift off heads/block.The manifold gasket does have a few bits that have factory sealer between heads/manifold so needs firm jiggle to crack seal before it lifts off,didn't need to force or use levers.
When taking heads off don't forget to drain water from them,there's a drain bolt/plug under rearmost and plugs either side of block by core plugs,even with manifold etc off the heads hold water until drained,it drops down bores etc when you take heads off unless emptied.
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby DougT » Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:39 pm

And if you are having hardened seats put into your existing heads, make sure it is someone that knows about Cologne heads. The new seats need to be very thin. If they bore into the head to the normal replacement seat depth, then they will cut through into the waterways and then that head is scrap. I learned that lesson the hard way.

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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby FordMk1Transit » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:02 pm

Thanks again for the replies. Time for an update:

Got the intake off in 5 minutes the next time I had a look at it, I had put a paper towel in the carb-hole which blocked sight of the last bolt securing the intake..
I will not spend time explaining how that could happen.. let's get on with it. ;-)

Took the distributor out as well as there was no way to leave it in. Hoping to get timing back to the old setting later, especially as I still have to take the cam out as well and will rotate things along the way.

When I took the intake off I noticed two copper shims with holes in them that were sticking to the heads, blocking some of the coolant holes. Any idea what they are for?

Got the heads off and am having hardened seats installed, the man doing the work was aware of the fact he could not drill too deep. Two exhaust valves needed replacing (one was cracked..) and there was too much play on the valve guides (surprising, as the odometer in the firetruck reads 30000km only).

I used a strong magnet to take the cam followers out (one of those extending magnet sticks to pick up dropped bolts). The cam follower on the exhaust valve that gave me problems was clearly damaged.. It was at least 1mm shorter as the rest and it was hollowed out a bit as well (on the side that touches the cam lobe. :?

Did not have time yet to pull the cam to inspect, but I would guess it is damaged as well.. how else could the cam follower be damaged?

Hoping to find some time tomorrow to continue working on it.
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby FordMk1Transit » Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:53 pm

Another update:

Found time to work on the engine a bit more. Finally got the camshaft out.

Here's how to take the cam out, for future reference (and since I didn't find much info on it online):

Make sure the distributor and fuel pump pushrod are out. Remove cam followers with a strong magnet. Remove all bolts on front cover. I took the fan plus fan pulley off as well to give some space.
Then I removed the balance shaft pulley (remove bolt plus washer before using a 5 or 6inch puller) I left all water hoses attached, but did loosen the hose clamps. Waterpump does not need to be removed. I pried a knive between the front cover and gasket and worked the gasket loose. When front cover came loose I took a bit of wire and pulled it out of the way (water hoses are flexible. I left them on because older hoses can be very difficult to get back on).

The cam gear came loose easily (I used two big screwdrivers to gently pry it loose from behind). Behind the cam gear you will find a plate with two bolts. Take the bolts plus plate out and the cam should just slide out... well it should but it didn't at first. I put the washer plus bolt back in and tightened it as much as I could. I then gently hammered the cam back into the block - very gently. Then used molegrips to get a good hold of the cam and turned/pulled and eventually it came loose. It then just pulls out easily.

Then it was time to inspect the cam: It was indeed worn badly on one lobe only. I measured the height of a good lobe and it was 3.4mm, the damaged lobe was rounded off and was only 3.2mm in height. The cam follower on that lobe was damaged badly as well as mentioned before. It was 1mm shorter and hollowed out another 2mm compared to a healthy cam follower. In the opening post I mentioned I had a huge valve clearance of about 1cm, I now know that in reality it was 5 mm (plus 0.40 valve clearance). Still a lot. Still have no clue why the cam got damaged. Maybe because of a stuck valve? maybe because the cam follower got stuck and didn't rotate anymore (read somewhere that a follower plus pushrod needs to rotate when engine is running).

Now I just need to get replacement parts, do a lot of part cleaning and start re-assembly! :D
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby DougT » Mon Sep 04, 2017 11:27 pm

That's great that you have found the source of the problem - but unfortunately as you originally suspected. Damaged exhaust valves won't help.

Also that means the cam that you have is probably too worn to be reprofiled as it won't give enough lift any more. Probably finding the replacement cam will be the biggest problem. Maybe you can hunt one down in Germany. I would suggest that you use new followers with whatever cam you get as, yes, they are supposed to rotate and therefore they wear into the specific lobe. Re-assembly with old followers in a different order can stop them rotating and cause excess wear but some people get away with it. Also maybe worth using some of the sticky "cam assembly oil" to smear over the lobes and followers. It just means there is some lubrication when you first turn the engine over.

Do you think there could be an oil pressure problem ? With the valve guide wear and the cam wear, it would make me suspect a shortage of oil pressure at the top of the engine. Pump ? Blockage ? or just that the filter wasn't changed for a long time ?

Doug
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby bulls in transit » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:20 am

X2 on finding problem.
Motomobil and Sweedspeed stock standard and performance cams for cologne V4.
Firevans do seem to suffer from valve/seat problems,personally think it's due to the unleaded fuel ban in Europe 2000,mines 1968,was in service till 2009,first thing I did was put tablets in tank and lead replacement with each tankful,got it with 14 kkm,valves failed at 22kkm.This is with van with full service history(but realise this means that between 1968 and 2009 Ford only got to do up to the 12 k service,any other maintenance would be done in house fire station),so although low km,age wise they've probably been in a Ford workshop less time in their life than Joe Bloggs 2year old repmobile.
Did find a noticable(easily curable) problem when changing heads on mine,regarding oil flow to top of engine,there should be two types of rocker support fitted to all engines post fall 67(oil ways improved,heads redesigned),one is solid one has an oilway inside(they are visibly different).
Looking at van from front,on right hand head oilway support should be at front(no3 cyl),left hand head rear,it tallys with oilway cutouts in head gasket.
On my engine these had been fitted reverse from factory(engine hadn't been apart b4 I touched it),when I reversed post positions the oil flow to top was noticeably improved(saw this visually when tweaking valve clearances with rockers off),also followed the valves that had failed were the ones that would of had oil flow impaired by post reversal.
Didn't have the baffle/shim you mention,but there 11 years between vans.
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby FordMk1Transit » Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:20 pm

Thanks again for the replies. Managed to get quite a bit of work done on the engine again.

Found a replacement camshaft with some other parts that I bought, was in decent shape. Tiny bit of surface rust, but got rid of that by rinsing with WD40, some gentle rubs with sandpaper and chome polisher.

I removed the oil pan, there were quite a lot of metal shavings in the pan, probably from the camshaft. I also fished out the lower part of a dipstick. 8)

Cleaned everything and fitted new cork gasket to the sump (few dots of superglue to keep it in place). After doing this I noticed the rubber sump seal could not easily be fitted to the sump, but should be fitted to the engine-side.. I cut away a bit of the rubber ends and used two dots of silicone gasket sealer where the rubber meets the cork. Hope it will not leak.. What is the right way of fitting these gaskets?

As advised: I packed the "new" camshaft in assembly oil (bought this oil at an engine rebuilders workshop, found out most parts stores don't sell it) and it went in very easily. Also used lots of assembly oil on the cam followers. Wil re-use old followers and found a replacement for the damaged one. Hoping that I get away with this. The replacement cam follower cost me a fiver, a new camshaft & followers would be a lot more.

Decided to not change the timing gears for metal now, after I was told my engine would sound like a siren with the metal gears.. Cam gear seems fiber and the balance shaft gear seems nylon, with a metal center. I have to do another rebuild on one of my other Transits soon, will try the metal gears on that engine, as on that engine the balance shaft gear stripped and all the gears in this engine still look brand new. Also no play on the balance shaft bearing.

Filled new oil filter with oil and screwed on. Will change oil and filter again after the first long drive.

I will absolutely check out the rocker assembly to make sure they are fitted correctly for good oil flow, very good point. I did remember I didn't see much oil spattering around when I ran the engine before with valve covers off..

I will use headgaskets from eBay on this engine, but i also have some older grey Goetze headgaskets. The eBay gaskets look better.. are they?

For now 2 questions as I will continue working on the engine tonight:
- what torque settings do I use for the head bolts? When do I re-tighten these?
- How do I put back the distributor correctly? Dots on timing gears aligned (cilinder 1 TDC) and then..?

Hoping to start up the engine tomorrow :D
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby DougT » Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:46 pm

Bulls has done the job so he will be the best source.

But if he doesn't give you the info in time, the V6 torques are as follows:

Tighten in 3 stages
1) 39 to 54 Nm
2) 54 to 69 Nm
3) after 10 to 20 mins wait, 88 to 108 Nm

then after engine warm up, 15 mins at 1000rpm 88 to 108Nm

The back of the motomobil catalogue has the same end figure for the Cologne V4 but 3 stages makes sense to me. It also has the tightening order which is from the middle to the outside, so bolt number 1 is the centre bolt on the inlet side, then centre exhaust, then front inlet, front exhaust, back inlet, back exhaust.

For the distributor, again the V6 procedure is to set engine at 12 deg Before Top Dead Centre on number 1 cylinder. Then fit rotor arm to distrubutor. Align Dot on rotor arm with Dot on casing and slide distrubutor into position. Once distributor is installed then Dot on rotor should align with a Slot in the distributor housing.

I would suspect that the Goetze gasket being grey has asbestos in it. It depends how you feel about that but I would feel happier with the asbestos one !

Hope that Bulls can confirm but that may give you a pointer.

Doug
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Re: V4 cologne engine trouble - worn camshaft or...?

Postby bulls in transit » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:26 pm

Dougs infos spot on apart from crank pulley static is 6deg not 12deg on V4.
Here's pages/torque settings from manual that might be of help(sorry just iPad photos)

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