Oil leaks from rocker box on Dorman engine

Emergency engine risks



Last week we headed out to survey a pair of Dorman 6QT driven emergency fire pumps for an operator.

Our job was to determine if replacement engines were required or if they could be overhauled. Not always easy advice to give just based on a survey, but we were able to do it.

Here’s how:

  • Carried out a visual inspection where we found oil egress across both the engines. We believed the source to be the rocker cover gaskets, the head gaskets and side inspection plate covers, but intrusive work was needed to confirm
  • Visual inspection also showed signs of excessive coolant loss from the header tank and stainings down the faces of the reservoir from the header tank cap area
  • While carrying out borescope checks of the engine’s internals, we found that cylinder number 6 had signs of water ingress
  • The borescope also let us see the cylinder liners were glazed and not in good condition. There were no crosshatches visible and as they are chrome liners, they cannot be honed
  • Both fire water pump assemblies showed all water glands to be in poor condition and leaking water from the seals in a stationary position

Oil leaks from rocker box on Dorman engine

The first engine was then tested, and on start-up, the header tank cap leaked water, flooding the floor, suggesting combustion pressure had entered the cooling system.

The engine was also breathing excessively.

When it came to the second engine, we were advised the drive coupling had glowed red on its last operation and smelt of the burnt debris from the coupling.

From this, the on-site engineers decided it was unsafe to run in its current state because of the condition of the drive coupling.

Pretty damning, right?

Despite all of these issues, we are confident we can bring them both up to spec and restore their reliability, so much so that we’re able to offer assurances and a fixed price which will save the operator almost £100,000 and reduce downtime by 5 weeks, as opposed to buying replacement units.

If you have concerns on how reliable your critical engines are, let us know, we’d be happy to assist. Email us or call +44 (0)1206 673101.

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