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SIGNS OF DAMAGED TOP GASKET IN DIESEL ENGINES,EFFECTS & HOW TO FIX IT

 

Image result for free pictures of diesel engines S195

Diesel engines have become a major source of power supply for welders, manufacturers, banks, construction industries, and small enterprises. The use of diesel engines had been expanding every year due to the introduction of varying sizes of such engines. The sizes of diesel engines in the market are many ranging from the smallest sizes used for driving the locally made milling machines for the grinding of corns, beans, and millets, etc. to the biggest sizes used to drive the high-tension power grids generators in the power stations.

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The use of diesel engines has not suffered any setback ever since its invention. However, there are some technical problems that do exist from time to time in this type of engines, such problems do not just occur rather they were being caused by some factors. It is believed that diesel engines can operate for more than 24 hours without stopping or developing any fault if all the conditions and specifications of the manufacturers are being maintained.

The reasons for developing problems frequently could come from the overloading, high operating temperatures, wrong base alignment, improper coupling, improper lubrication, and regular shortage of diesel in the supplying tank, etc. it is believed that when all the conditions for diesel engines are met, they will operate like a horse without any unexpected reactions. It is because of this characteristics that made some power stations to use large diesel engines to supplement the shortage of power in the power grids, while some small power stations use only diesel engines for their power supply because such engines can operate for a long time in a single starting when all its favorable conditions were met.

Among other problems that the engine can develop, we will be emphasizing the problem of the top gasket in this post. What is a top gasket of a diesel engine? That would be a question from anyone with little knowledge about the diesel engines. The entire parts of the engines were made to function through connections with one and another. These connections cannot be made directly with a metal to metal contacts otherwise it will lead to overheating, leakages, wear and tear, etc. therefore the gap between each connection is usually fitted with a leather or carton paper materials shaped according to the size of the connection it will be used for, so the leather or paper material is what we call gasket in any engine.

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From the above explanation, one can easily derive a meaning to what top gasket is all about. It is the gasket usually attached to the connection that exists above the piston of the diesel engine, the parts bearing the connection could be the engine block and the engine top where the injector and nozzle are usually found.

The top gasket of S195 and S1115 of the diesel engines may look alike but they are not the same and were made with the strong leather-like material being re-enforced with a metal ring. The reason for the above design lies in the actual function the gasket performs. It can be said that top gasket bears more stress and performs more function than other gaskets in the engine because it is located where the engine combustion takes place and bears more heat, more tension, and vibration than any other part of the engine. Because of all these crucial functions, it tends to develop fault easily than other gaskets.

A simple damage to the top gasket may not be noticeable immediately because the engine may still be running in operation until it has been switched off before the signs will start manifesting. Before we go into the detail of the signs of a damaged top gasket, let us take a brief look into the actual reasons top gasket could get damaged, because reasoning from what I said earlier that diesel engines do not just develop fault except something was done wrong to create unfavorable working conditions.

There are major and minor factors that can cause the damage of the top gasket, the major factors are:

There are other major factors which their presence will guarantee the ultimate damage of the top gasket in the diesel engine.

The minor factors are the ones that may not first damage the top gasket rather they may cause other problems in the engine which may later damage the top gasket in a severe situation. They are highlighted below;

  • Operating the engine with insufficient engine oil.
  • Operating the engine with Old engine oil that needs to be changed.
  • Improper tensioning of the top and engine block connection after maintenance job.
  • Insufficient water in the radiator. This can lead to engine knocking damaging piston rings, metals and bearings, and will still damage the top gasket.
  • Pouring dirty water or water contaminated with certain chemicals into the radiator. The dirt can block the flow lines in the engine, while chemical may change the water properties become reactive and cause corrosion and leakages due to the reduced viscosity of the water.
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These and more are the minor causes of top gasket damage in a diesel engine.

Now let us discuss the common signs of a damaged top gasket.

SIGNS OF DAMAGED TOP GASKET

  1. Water leakages from the top connection.
  2. The appearance of smoke from the connection.
  1. Another crucial sign of damaged top gasket is that water will fill up the inlet manifold and sometimes the exhaust line also, each time the engine is put to rest for about five hours.
  2. Suddenly overheating at the top connection that can lead to the engine knocking could be from a damaged top gasket.
  3. Some bolts in the top connection may start to get loose in their tension as a sign of the damaged top gasket.

There are other signs of a damaged top gasket which may be explained later.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE ENGINE IF THE TOP GASKET IS NOT CHANGED AFTER DETECTING IT?

  1. It can lead to the engine knocking which may damage the top itself, the piston and rings, metals at the piston rod, main bearings at the front and back edges of the engine crankshaft which will be a huge cost to the engine owner.
  2. It can make the engine to start having sudden oil and water shortage from the invisible leaking in the top connection and such will cost the operator time for refilling of water regularly and cost of buying engine oil regularly to refill the shortened oil.
  3. Damaged top gasket can cause severe problem and damage to the combustion chamber by its ability to introduce water into the air-inlet manifold and if the operator is not aware and turns the crankshaft of the engine to start it, the whole water in the manifold will be sucked directly to the combustion chamber instead of air that it was made for, thereby making it impossible to run the engine again until thorough cleaning and servicing is done in the combustion chamber.

HOW TO CHANGE THE TOP GASKET OF A DIESEL ENGINE

Detecting the sings on time and making its change immediately is the best and safer way of running diesel engines if not, one small problem may lead to huge one that can cost much financially for the owner.

Assuming you are in a place where mechanics or engineers are not accessible, there are steps to change the engine top gasket and they are highlighted below:

  • Use tape to obtain the actual sizes of all the bolts and nuts located at the engine top down to the combustion chamber.
  • Disconnect all the metal pipes delivering diesel to the injector by using two spanners one for holding in-place while the other for loosening the nut.
  • After that; loose the injector, the air-inlet manifold, the exhausts manifold and every other component attached to the engine top areas.
  • The set of nuts or bolts used to connect the top to the engine block is usually big in size look for its size in hammer wrench or torque wrench to be able to lose them because they usually have high tensioning.
  • After losing the nuts, remove them and keep in a safe place to avoid misplacement.
  • Gently pull the top gasket out from the connection or joint. If the connection is stiff and the top is unable to come out as you pulled it, then look for slim metal, insert it at one edge of the link in the connection & tap the metal to be able to penetrate into the joint and cause a separation between the top and the engine block.
  • Then pull out the top after the separation.
  • After the top is removed, you will see the damaged top gasket that laid in-between the top & engine block, gently pull out the gasket and replace it with a new one.
  • If the gasket has made some marks on either wall of the engine parts, remove the particles by using smooth sandpaper and a solvent.

Having done everything correctly, repeat the reversal process to re-assemble the engine back to its initial arrangement. Then check for oil and water before starting the engine again.

 

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Originally posted 2018-06-24 05:24:50.

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