Determining the condition of a V8 engine | V8 Engines

The following are mere guidelines that can be used when determining the condition of an engine at a glance.

The most reliable place to start checking is by removing the oil filler cap and looking inside the tappat or rocker covers. You are going to need a good strong torch to peer into the inside of the covers to determine the internal condition by clour recognition.

Firstly, take a glance at the inner side of the oil filler cap as you are removing it. Look for signs of water mixed with oil which is a dirty milky colour. This indicates a blown head gasket, a crack in one of the cylinder heads or even on the cylinder block. The same inspection should be done to the expansion bottle or radiator cap.

If the components inside the tappat covers such as cam chains, sprockets, camshafts, tensioners and guide rails have a relatively clean shiny silver alloy colour, this indicates that your engine is in good condition with low kilometers or one which has undergone a reconditioning process of some sort to the cylinder heads or to the entire engine.

A light brown or tan colour represents a good engine with low mileage and darker brown tarnished colour indicates higher mileage which as a rule of thumb is still an engine with low kilometres and still in good condition, firing well on all cylinders.

A brown to black colour represents an engine with higher mileage than you would anticipate but should be considered an engine with a potentially bleak future.

A dirty dark black inside, the colour and texture tells a tale and indicates that the engine has high mileage with exccessive ‘blowby’ a term which means the engines piston to bore clearance is not within acceptable specification or the piston rings are worn out or broken and/or the cylinder bores are badly worn, scuffed or even cracked. This will undoubtedly cause excessive smoking and the V8 engine wil be underpowered and the motor vehicle will be uneconomical to drive.

If you are buying a BMW or Land Rover vehicle powered by a V8 engine then these guidelines are a very first of any inspections that you should make, it’s quick and can be initially done at a glance.

N.B Also pull the dipstick out and look at the colour of the oil. This will also shed some light on whether the oil has been changed. If it is pitch black and ‘sludgy’ it hasn’t been changed for a prolonged period of time.

The methods above are quick and easy guides to determine what you have in front of you. By doing these simple and quick checks will help you decide what you should do when buying a vehicle and deciding on how to go about it.

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