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A PCV valve is a little more involved than a simple open/closed check valve
I had a look at the UPR check valve on their website here:

It’s a zero psi crack pressure check valve meaning there is no spring in the valve body.
The position of the PTFE ball inside is going to be based solely upon the pressure differential across it.

So the check valve is going to give you maximum flow out of the crankcase, or no flow at all.

When you have a large pressure differential across the check valve but only need to bleed a small amount of blowby gas out of the crankcase (at idle for example), the check valve will move to the completely open position and vent more gas than is necessary. This is why Radium is saying that using a check valve instead of a PCV valve will give you a “vacuum leak” at low loads.

The PCV valve has a second spring in the valve body to allow a small flow of blowby gas at idle.

I can see that the tune plus website appears to show gutting the OEM PCV and using a check valve as a possible solution to high crankcase pressure and smoking issues. I don’t understand why they would recommend doing so when they also sell the radium PCV valve & baffle kit? Am I missing something, or interpreting it incorrectly?


They also mention gutting of the oem PCV and using a check valve in the “my car smokes after exhaust changes” FAQ section here:

 

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Ok. How is the car during idle now? Any difference? (Idles at a higher or lower rpm, a little rougher for example)

Did Tune plus give you a reason why you should pick a UPR check valve over the radium PCV &baffle for your situation?
The radium pcv is a fairly new part and not available previously, I certainly never saw it.
I don’t have a radium plate anyways and as I said to you in a pm if i was taking the whole lot out in hindsight I’d go with the full upr setup.

also, the upgraded valve has flow control holes in the fully open position so there is some restriction on flow but yes flows more than the stock pcv.

Given the EB problems on the mustang and RS you might say ford didn’t do too well with the design and engineering of the EB engine, well they did an even worst job on the pcv system would be just as valid.
 

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I don’t understand why they would recommend doing so when they also sell the radium PCV valve & baffle kit? Am I missing something
Yes you are, the faq section states

]The solution is to add a catch can and gut the factory PCV valve or run a Radium Crankcase Breather Plate linked below. Both will require a catch can, you cannot gut the factory PCV and run it in the stock configuration as you will pressurize your crankcase system and cause more issues.
gut factory pcv or run radium setup

if the gutted pcv does cause an issue I’ll learn a valuable lesson and refit my spare stock pcv.
 

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Ok, back on the road and been out today. No idle issues and no CELs at present.
Car driving well, holding 1.9 bar boost well. AP figures below

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Wmi being fitted in next couple weeks then back to Adam for tune update
 

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How do you like the NX2 turbo set up?
I like it, adam has done great job dialling out the lag and it holds boost right through.
The NX2 is sensible priced and fitted my budget well
 

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Discussion Starter · #469 ·
It has been about 2 months since the car was taken out of service. Good thing is that we have other cars and this was mainly a hobby car and never got it to be a daily driver as I would face new obstacles.

I plan to post more about my build once I get it sorted and find a solution.

Hit the follow button above to get notified when this thread gets updated 🍿.
 

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What did you find when stripping down and removing the head
 

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Discussion Starter · #471 · (Edited)
So here is the awaited update,
  • Badly built Esslinger Engineering engine resulted in domino effect engine damage though out the engine.
  • I am surprised it even lasted 3,500 miles
In the first post you can see pictures that Esslinger Engineering shared with me during the build process. I did not see anything odd, heck even people with experience apparently didn’t see anything odd or they would have pointed it out. Being that they have a good reputation I never accepted a possibility of any issue I had, as being related to the engine. (Stop reading here, go to post #2 and see if you can spot the issue)

Since day one after starting the engine I had a weird rattle noise when RPM would be held constant. I believe mentioned it in earlier posts. My mechanic friend said, something is not right. I said nah, just needs tuning. After all, Esslinger Engineering built it and did the brake-in on their bench dyno.

Consulting with Brian at Esslinger Engineering and showing them the logs, I was told to have my tuner change the min/max VCT degrees being requested as it was hitting 40 degrees (max). Was told to set it to 30 degrees and that it was odd since they have not heard of that issue before. Doing that, the engine stopped doing the audible noise. Maybe it did at higher rpm while driving (hard to hear) but parked and holding revs at 3000 rpm I no longer had noise.

I had engine hesitation at lower rpm but pulled pretty strong when I floored it. Assumed it was the tune and THEIR stage 3 cams. More on cams later.

I could never get the vacuum pump on cylinder head to not leak even after wasting more time replacing gasket several times eventually used “black right stuff” at autozone + gasket and stopped it. Now I see it was related to excessive pressure under valve cover.

I then noticed blow by early on that was getting into the cold air intake tube and accumulating under the air filter and I thought it was normal too. Not sure if I mentioned it in earlier post but when doing a WOT log, the moment I let go of the throttle I would notice a small faint puff.. cloud… from the front left side. Again.. thinking this is a solid Esslinger Engine…. I assumed a boost leak hitting ground and lifting dust but later found the oil under the filter, so I figured that was it. I decided, I needed a catch can. Got one and well…. That would fill up with an ounce for every 1 WOT 3rd gear run. Again, I thought Engine is fine. Must be PCV system needing mods to cope with higher boost. Esslinger at that point, when I told them I was collecting 1oz of oil in the catch can with ONE WOT I was told best to run vented catch cans. Tested by venting one end of both cans into a big soda bottle. Result was pretty much the same. It was weird as it was only happening on HIGH boost. Low boost, minimal oil in the can.

Spent money on equipment and did a compression test. Results were not that great but figured it was because engine was not at operating temperature. Also my denial of an issue since after all, Esslinger Engineering built it right?!

I then ordered a borescope to look down the spark plug hole. One of the cylinders was wet so I figured maybe head gasket also all spark plug threads had oil all the way up but no leak from the valve cover gasket into the spark plug holes…..

I then ordered a leak down tester kit and the result on 2 cylinders were of concern. When I tested one cylinder, I would eventually get bubbles in the coolant expansion reservoir so at that moment I concluded… headgasket and HOPED I was somehow pressurizing an oil passage in the cylinder head under higher boost. I figured it was an option since it is a 2L block… Ordered everything AND all kind of bolts that ford manual marks as one time use bolts.


Went to my friends shop to do the head gasket. He is a friend but I Pay him for letting me use the space since each lift is a source of income to the shop. I was all excited to do the head gasket in 3 days taking it easy.

So, off came the Cylinder head and here is a rundown of what was wrong with this Esslinger Engineering 2L Engine build.

HEAD GASKET

Had gasket issue detected at 5,000km probably started earlier. not sure on the cause but did track down another guy who had an Esslinger Engine that blew a head gasket during tuning process. I think maybe mine blew due to the sharp edges on the psiton following valve contact.

This causes hot spots prone to super heating and can cause pre ignition.


CAMSHAFTS

I had P285 PIPER CAMS!!! WTF. I was supposed to have Esslinger cams in my Ford Focus RS engine!! . The reply I got when I sent the message was. “We couldn’t get our cams in time on your build. The piper cams we bought are almost the same exact specs. Like within 2 degrees! So we bought those to not hold up the build” I should have been told but instead they didn’t tell me.

  1. One of the intake cam lobes had visual damage and so did the cam bucket of that lobe.
  2. They were NOT the cams that should have been installed. I did not order PiperCams.
  3. I checked clearances only on intake as it had the lobe damage and they were not what Piper Cam requires, heck they were not even what they said they set them to. It was 0.005” and Lee at PiperCams told me it should be 0.010”. Also Lee at Piper cams told me “tolerances that you are running will cause this issue.” Esslinger however, tells me "Valve lash set to 0.006-0.008" on intake. That is where we have the best results in our experience. The 2 tight lobes could be loosened up a bit but even at 0.005" won't have any issues"

    Even going by “what they set it to” It was not set to that . 🤷‍♂️ :cry:. Was even told "we can exchange them if you want"

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PISTON ORIENTATIONS

  • All 4 pistons were installed BACKWARDS! Esslinger Engineering put the pistons on backwards. I could not believe it. BACKWARDS F.F.S. The fuel bowl was now on the exhaust side instead of intake side where the injector sprays.

In my first post in this thread, you can see the pictures… installed backwards. The piston has intake and exhaust valve cut outs. Intake side cutouts are shallower than exhaust side. Since they installed them BACKWARDS. Since day one…. That noise was… yupp valve to piston contact on all 4 pistons on the exhaust side.

When they brake-in the engine on their bench dyno, they do NOT run VCT. So the camphasers are position zero and reason why it ran perfect. Not sure how to explain it but basically when I hooked up the engine the ECU of the RS activated the variable timing component of the camphasers and it was enough to start the process to kill the engine… slow death in my case since I put low miles over the course of a year.

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I BEAM BEARINGS

  • I beam bearings. I only checked the bearings on the I beam to the crank shaft…. Caput too. I would expect the crank shaft bearings have damage too.

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PISTON RINGS

  • I pulled the pistons, and 2 of them had ring land. The second ring on both were destroyed in like 10 pieces. Not sure if valve to piston contact can cause this as i would have expected broken rings on all 4 pistons. Maybe the ring gaps was incorrectly set. I should have measured the other 2 pistons rings but did not occur to me at the time.

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TIMEING CHAIN
  • Esslinger said, chain should be changed too since it might have stretched on impact of valves to pistons.

EXHAUST VALVES

  • I tested the 8 Exhuast valves for leaks. Did the water test by putting cylinder head on its side and filling with liquid. They all leaked past the valve seat. Not much, but enough to show that they are bent. Also blew compressed air at the valve and got bubbles.

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CYLINDER WALLS

  • Light scratches in 2 Cylinders while in 2 cylinders I could get my finger nail to catch the scratches. To be expected with metal shaving in the combustion chambers.
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OIL PAN

  • In the oil pan I saw what appeared to be metal shavings dust.


So, what happened next.

I did NOT get the customer service attention I was expecting. I have a dead engine that is of no fault of my own but 100% them to blame. They should have just said we are very sorry (not once did they apologize) and offer to ship a new engine to the US border and I would go pick it up like the first time or offer a refund after all the wasted time and money.

Since ordering the engine I have always been in contact via facebook messenger as I shared feedback on progress and also hunted for problems. I reached out on facebook messenger and eventually after sharing videos and pictures and bothering enough I was told they only would cover parts and labor if I ship it back to them. I eventually called them as I was fairly irritated and loosing my mind since I did not see the point of sending junk back and wasting more time and money on something that was 100% their fault. No maybes.

I was reminded over phone (I wish I had recorded the call!) that the engines come with no guarantee to which I said I understand but this issue is 100% on them for installing pistons backwards and causing the rest of the damage over time. I see why no guarantee since many abuse the engines but guys, they put the pistons BACKWARDS!

At one point I was told the “we might be able to reuse the pistons” At that moment I got a brain freeze and said no, it has side wall damage by ring grooves. I mean I paid for a good build from a reputable shop with “50 years of experience”. Why should I have the pistons rectified and reused. Even the block, would need to be bored up one size and that means thinner walls for me. I paid for a new engine, I don’t want a broken engine fixed and parts reused.

Heck, I paid to pull the engine and put the BADLY BUILT Essliner Engineering Engine in. I wasted all this TIME trying to tune a dying engine and wasted TIME again hunting problems and tweaking the tune and then I paid to pull the engine AGAIN and paid to ship it back to them. Then paid to tow the car home while I decide what to do next. I then will have to pay to put the engine back in the car even though I am doing it, it still costs time and money renting the lift, space and equipment and someone to help at times.

At the end (over a phone call) they offered to cover everything and ship it back to my door down here in Mexcio. I mentioned it would be too expensive with customs etc and they said they would cover it. I shipped it in 2 boxes since I had it apart and that way each box weighed less than max allowed by shipping company.

Then I find out both are stuck in Mexican customs lol ffs. I was expecting it to get stuck in US customs and the customs broker that I was told esslinger has, would take care of getting it released and paying any applicable duties. Well since April 8 they have not moved from Mexican customs and I have yet to be told why not and if they need some document. They just keep telling me check back in 3 days.

So I am fed up and told Esslinger again, that I do not see the point of having had me ship the junk back, paying all the unnecessary costs. Having it shipped back to me and them paying the duties that will be easily 50% of the engine price. Instead of just shipping a new one to the US border and call it a day.

I told them If it does not move, we need to come up with another solution or no solution. It did not move and they gave me no alternative solution. Was told “If we made a mistake, we’ll fix it. Bue we need the engine back at the shop to make any repairs.

So here I am posting all about it and hope they see it and realize it was cheaper to just have done the right thing from the start.

I don’t know if you all agree but since this damage was a result of their fault putting the pistons in backwards. The very LEAST they could have done was (1) we are sorry (2) send me a new engine. I would have absorbed the cost of pulling and installing engine TWO times. (3) Just issue a refund.

In a way I was lucky the cause of the problem was so obvious and they cant point a finger back and say it was my fault engine got damaged. I feel they knew I would have a hard time getting it back to them.

I told them i am no longer interested and if it does arrive at their shop they can keep it.
 

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I am genuinely shocked. You'd think big name want to protect their brand
 

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Wow, genuinely sorry to hear the end result. I wonder if companies like them would ever admit fault by apology. I've not heard of such a thing to be honest, even when it's so obvious. Also disappointing to hear they would use different parts without your approval, unless again another mistake with a cover up story.
 

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I think all (all!) engine builders have some dead bodies in their closets.

I ordered a performance long block from a reputed, super-well known, above all suspicions and doubts company, and the engine started to smell funny (burned oil) at high load as soon as it was broken-in and I cranked up the boost.

The engine eventually lost all compression on #2 and suffered bore damages on #2 and #3.

Their 40 years of experience was not enough for them to check for %#**%^# interferences when building the block and all piston skirts interfered and broke all four oil jets.

The #2 and #3 completely broke away and the pistons overheated and lightly seized at every occasion. I did maybe 500km of run-in and one oil change before the problems started to manifest themselves.

Apparently no one thought of hand-rotating the god damned crankshaft assembly to check for physical interference, and the engine left their shop with a hidden defect that inevitably led to a catastrophic failure. I’ve yet to contact them and see what they have to say about it.

My only advice: Build it yourself (and tune it yourself too)
 

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Discussion Starter · #480 ·
I think all (all!) engine builders have some dead bodies in their closets.

I ordered a performance long block from a reputed, super-well known, above all suspicions and doubts company, and the engine started to smell funny (burned oil) at high load as soon as it was broken-in and I cranked up the boost.

The engine eventually lost all compression on #2 and suffered bore damages on #2 and #3.

Their 40 years of experience was not enough for them to check for %#**%^# interferences when building the block and all piston skirts interfered and broke all four oil jets.

The #2 and %3 completely broke away and the pistons overheated and lightly seized at every occasion. I did maybe 500km of run-in and one oil change before the problems started to manifest themselves.

Apparently no one thought of hand-rotating the god damned crankshaft assembly to check for physical interference, and the engine left their shop with a hidden defect that inevitably led to a catastrophic engine failure. I’ve yet to contact them and see what they have to say about it.

My only advice: Build it yourself (and tune it yourself too)
Sorry to hear that. Exactly, most if not all have. Usually don't here about them since they get taken care of quick. I wonder how your issue gets resolver.
 
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