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Never Paint The Inside of a Sump
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theopenroad



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 19
Location: Warwick

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:13 pm    Post subject: Never Paint The Inside of a Sump Reply with quote

As we run a classic car hire company - The Open Road - www.theopenroad.co.uk , we have the use of 10 fantastic classic cars which we use for general pleasure use around the UK, including a number of classic car runs. Each September or October for the past 10 years we have taken one of our cars on a major tour of Europe - the MSA Euroclassic.

The October 2007 Euroclassic was a fantastic tour around Northern Spain and Portugal taking in Porto and Lisbon, including a blast round the Estoril F1 Circuit. On the Sunday of the run, (the pen-ultimate day) the run took us though beautiful countryside, along empty roads in bright sunshine. The Jaguar E-Type which I had bought 6 months previously was running beautifully and purring along in the way that only an XK engined Jaguar can do. But as we approached the checkpoint for our morning coffee stop I noticed a slight change in the engine note. Nothing serious, just a subtle change, which had we been driving through town or in heavy traffic wouldn't have been noticeable.

We have mechanic support on the Euroclassic so we pulled up in the town square next to the mechanic's van for them to have a look. After a careful listen, including the time honoured practice of sticking a screw driver on the camshaft cover and using it as a stethoscope, they confirmed that there was definitely a noise! Any E-type with the bonnet raised attracts a crowd of people who all turn into experts and offer their advice to the trained, time served, mechanics. After checking through the oil filler and removing the exhaust cam cover, he comes to the conclusion that the exhaust cam is running dry, no oil getting through at all. Not having the wherewithal to fix it here, we decide that driving it another 500 miles to the Spanish ferry and a further 300 miles in the UK is not a good idea. So we call the RAC and after a number of discussions arrange for it to be collected and repatriated.

We finish the run as navigators in other cars, worrying about the cost of an engine re-build as the cams are 150 each, never mind he labour.

Two weeks later the E-Type arrives back home and is delivered to my local garage. After briefing them on the problem they continue the diagnosis, fortunately before deciding to remove and strip down the engine.

Draining the oil doesn't show any obvious problem, no bits of swarf fall out, so nothing has come apart and blocked the oil-ways. But the oil filter is clogged up with some very sticky gunge, not just normal congealed oil. This gunge turns out to be a reddish brown and appears to have flakes of paint in it. The oil feed pipe to the camshafts is removed and blown through, dislodging more sticky gunge with flecks of red paint. Like all good E-types, the bodywork is red but how does it get into the engine oil?

Next step is to remove the sump, with the engine still in situ and the cause is revealed. The inside of the sump has been painted bright red. Why on earth would anyone want to do something so stupid? A detailed inspection revealed a repair in the corner of the sump where it had obviously been cracked before and filled with some sort of resin or chemical metal. Then presumably to protect the repair, it was painted. While most of the sump was still painted, inevitably some of it had flaked off and been pumped round the engine.

Liberal doses of nitromors removed all the remaining paint and the repair was sound so no further action was needed at that point. The sump was refitted, new filter installed, the engine re-filled with fresh oil and fired up. Straight away there was perfect oil feed to both camshafts and the engine note was back to the sweet sound I know and love. Fortunately no engine strip down and re-build was required and no new cams needed.

Because some fool painted the inside of the sump, this was the first Euroclassic that we didn't complete under our own steam. Luckily we had full RAC European cover otherwise it would have cost us a couple of thousand pounds to get the car home (we know this as one of the other participants broke down and didn't have cover).

Why on earth did this guy paint the sump? We will never know.


It was never going to rust for two reasons:

1.A sump by design is full of oil, being permanently sloshed everywhere
2.An E-Type sump is make of aluminium anyway.

So rule Number One when/if you ever have to repair a sump in any car in the future. Keep the paint on the outside only.
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Tony Merrygold
The Open Road - Classic Car Hire
www.theopenroad.co.uk
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Phil - Nottingham



Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Posts: 1254
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very stupid idea - I have heard of someone painting the inside of a petrol tank with similar results

Glad it did ruin the engine
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baconsdozen



Joined: 03 Dec 2007
Posts: 1119
Location: Under the car.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Glad it did ruin the engine"
Thats not very nice is it. Laughing
I had an old Hillman where the fuel tank had been painted,had loads of aggro with flakes getting stuck in the fuel pump.
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Ashley



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1431
Location: Near Stroud, Glos

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rolls-Royce used to paint the inside of Phantom III engines and the sump to stop porous castings leaking and often the insides of cast iron blocks were painted to try and prevent sand from the casting process destroying the mains and big ends, but presumable they didn't used a paint that dissolved in oil!

Ash
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buzzy bee



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3397
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

You can get paint that you paint the inside of tanks with, I supose that would do sumps too, to stop them leaking etc. However, one should definateley not use a general paint!!

Cheers

Dave
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Riley Blue



Joined: 18 Jun 2008
Posts: 1732
Location: Derbyshire

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a trip to the Le Mans Classic a few years ago one of the pre-war Rileys, a Kestrel, kept coughing and farting and wouldn't run smoothly. On checking the fuel system we found flakes of white 'paint' in the filter. We reckoned the tank had been sealed but the sealant had eventually flaked off clogging the fuel lines. It had been done before the present owner had bought the car so we had no idea what had been used.
The car made it back to Blighty OK and was last seen staggering along the M27 heading west - I hope it's not still there...
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john-saab



Joined: 06 Dec 2007
Posts: 342
Location: West Dorset

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently read an article about painting the sump to help the oil move more freely around the engine..the theory sounded good to a point but my thoughts were that it's better for sludge to sit in the sump rather than move all around the engine and i questioned how long the paint would stay on the engine walls if the engine wasn't spotless in the first place?
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Phil - Nottingham



Joined: 01 Jan 2008
Posts: 1254
Location: Nottingham

PostPosted: Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree and even if an oil restantant paint exists (epoxy/2 pack?) it would only need a knock on the sump from the road or stone to slighkly dent it and loosen the paint film so bits of hard paint circulate and block oilways
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