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  1. #1
    superkarl's Avatar
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    Increasing longitivity(Engine rebuild)

    With the recent news of yet another rod failure and a poor fella having to go through the expense of a new engine to keep his baby going, i want to make sure that the likelyhood of this happening to me is reduced, quite frankly I cringe at the thought of it, and I don want to tune my car only to drive it waiting for something to happen, it just won't be enjoyable.

    So I think this summer il begin work to make my engine stronger and safer.
    After finding a substantial amount of oil in my boost pipes I can imagine what it's doin to the fuel octane and timing, so a catch can will be fitted.

    I intend to fit forged rods, because I don't see the point in tuning or a simple remap when in the back of your mind it could throw one out the block at any moment.

    I know roughly how much the rods are and il more than likely order these through badger5, what bearings etc will need to be done?

    I have the tools and resources to do this myself, my dad is also a mechanic but I don't like to rely on him at all, I'd rather learn myself. My only obstacle is time and the hassle of it, so debating paying someone to do it for me.
    What have people paid in the past and how much is a job like that?
    I have a couple of people I know might do it for me so I may get a good deal on the job. Id jut like an estimated figure.

    Another question is does the engine need to come completely out or can it be done in the bay with head off and sump off?

    I just want to way up costs in parts and then debate whether to attempt it myself, or save time and hassle and get someone else.

    At the end of the day this is something I Am going to do before any sort of tuning.

    Thanks for any input.
    Karl

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  3. #2
    superkarl's Avatar
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    After a discussion with my old man, he suggests buying a new engine, say and agu, fitting forged rods to that as it'l be out of a car, that way I can still use the s3 until I spend a couple of days swapping the engines and s3 parts around.

    Seems like a good idea tbh, saves having the car off the road for a while.

  4. #3
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    What I would do and have recently done was

    Buy an AGU, strip the engine.
    Ditch the Rods and fit forged.
    Fit new Big end bearings and piston rings. ( You could fit new crank bearings but these aren't prone to failing)
    Either refit your old head if it's in good nick, but first get it skimmed.
    Or fit the AGU head again get it skimmed but make sure if you have a VVT engine IE BAM you swap the cam tensioner over.
    Fit new Head gasket, Inlet manifold,Exhaust gasket,turbo to downpipe gasket, cambelt, water pump, tensioner and pulley.
    Replace the sump and make sure you clean the oil pickup.

    Optional:
    Replace flywheel for single mass, clutch disk and slave cylinder.
    If staying K04 turbo, get it reconditioned- A lot cheaper than a new one.
    Remove N249 valve
    Remove SAI if fitted.

    Sure I've missed something but it a place to start.

  5. #4
    Welly's Avatar
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    This is an interesting read for any of those doubting the (in my opinion) sound ideas presented here.

    Integrated Enginering... Connecting Rod Failures Explained
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Marriage is like a coffin and each kid is another nail."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prawn View Post
    Wellyboots, you are quite literally my most favourite pikey in the entire world




  6. #5
    superkarl's Avatar
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    Thanks very much, that's a good way of doing things with some benefits of the large port head on the agu.
    But After using tufftys build thread as my bible I can change rods with engine in the bay, making it alot easier without removal of the engine. I figure the less work and removal of parts the better. But my dad is telling me let's get a new engine and do a swap and while everything is out you can change the clutch. I think though that when it comes down to it we might regret the extra work. I mean we work enough full time and I think my dad gets sick of the sight of the dam things to be honest.

    I have no massive power goals at the end of the day, I'm not a number chaser, My goal is just to have this car as long as possible and be relatively worry free, Obv other things fail but nothing is quite severe as engine failure. This just enables me to do a little each year be it a remap to a hybrid and the foundations of a reliable motor are there. Everything is a lot easier when this is done.

    My next mission is to add up all parts to do the job in the bay. Best get ringin round and have the wallet at the ready. Once I've got figures for all parts involved il post the costs of such a job, there doesn't seem to be prices of things in threads. Although I think welly had some costs in his build thread, time to check that out!......

  7. #6
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    1. sump clean + pickup pipe = first step

    i think there is a bit of scare mongering with the whole rod chucking. rods chuck as a result of something i.e oil., geee if this wasmt the case everyone with a remap would have a broken engine. Engine has a safety factor

    2. regular oil changes (engine + gear box + diff + haldex + mechanically minded driving

  8. #7
    superkarl's Avatar
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    Yeh there is scare mongering. Point is though, it happens, and say if I go and get a stage 1 map, I know torque levels are relatively high, and how do I know my rods arnt going to give in, it's not something I want to chance at all.
    Even if it wasn't common, i have a 133k engine and if I have no intention of selling, this with all bearings shells cambelt and clutch is going to keep her going a hell of alot longer.

    I know for a fact over the next 2-3 years il go more than stage 1, it's only natural to crave more power lol.

    Does everyone think that doing this with engine in, is a better, easier, cheaper option to buying an engine and doing a swap. ?

    P.s. When I bought my car I Had low oil pressure issues, subsequently a new sump and pick up were fitted along with engine flushes and about 5 oil changes over about a month. Has since been fine, but it's not to say there isn't loose crap floating around that could cause havoc. This previous prob is always in my mind so even more reason to go ahead with it.
    Last edited by superkarl; 22nd January 2011 at 19:05.

  9. #8
    finesse's Avatar
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    on this forum there have only been two catastrophic failures (as far as I know). welly & leggy

    but you have a good point, if you going for big power then do it

  10. #9
    superkarl's Avatar
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    I'm not going for big power, maybe hybrid one day but nothing silly.
    This just ensures I can love my car for a little while longer lol. I want peace of mind more than more power. Just as I wanted to tighten the whole car up more than power (I'm in the process of bushes top mounts and ball joints all round).

    Dam it I will have the last 8l s3 on earth!!!

  11. #10
    Alex C's Avatar
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    i agree with you karl
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  12. #11
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    I am not convinced it's worth doing if you are only going stage 1, failures seem to be pretty rare, especially on cars running stage 1 with certified histories. Certainly consider if going the big turbo route though.
    My own car is a 99,V plate S3 I bought from auction eight and half years ago. I have done 45,000 miles on a REVO stage 1 and forge DV with no major mechanical problems (lots of the usual smaller problems such as thermostat,abs module,indicator relay,dodgy pixels,stereo volume problem etc though)
    I have done very little servicing other than the cambelt etc at 70k and the odd oil change. Drive the car like it's stolen, but prob. only 3 or 4 full on launches.
    Prob. go bang when I am out tonight now ! hehehehe.

  13. #12
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    I see your point but I don't see the point in spending a load of money on a new engine build for something that may happen? Would it not make more sense to just spend the money in the event of it actually having a major failure?

    You say you want to keep the car for a few years, surely just changing the engine over if you *need* to would be a more sensible option.

    The way I see it, you could spend thousands, drive down the road and have someone smash into you a write your car off, your still losing out to something that is ultimately out of your control.

  14. #13
    superkarl's Avatar
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    Regardless of what stage I'm going, gt turbo or completely standard, for me it's about preserving the car, I don't want it to die on me Tomoro.

    The fact you just said 'could go bang tonight' means you know it may happen, it may not like, but what if the chances were massively reduced, I know I'd feel alot happier drivin like a lunatic, which I do alot of the time. In my opinion for my car having covered over 100k miles and being 10 years old, fitting rods and bearings is the best mod I could do if I'm going to keep it as long as I intend.

  15. #14
    superkarl's Avatar
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    Ian, I've thought to myself to hell with it il just leave it and if it does blow il deal with it, but think of the damage and work required if that does happen!

    Doing this is nothing compared to what leggy is now going through.
    It'l cost me whatever it costs. And if I left it and it happened it'd cost more and a hell of alot more stress.

    Id rather read horror stories And not even consider it happen to me. And be able to tune away.

    By the way I know this doesn't mean it will ever break, but it's a he'll of an assurance.
    Last edited by superkarl; 22nd January 2011 at 20:04.

  16. #15
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    there was a s3 on autotrader afew weeks ago and it had over 300k on it so sum keep going lol,how much do you reckon the rebuild is going to cost?

  17. #16
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    I would think having your car put on a RR like R-Tech / Badger5 would also be beneficial.

    It would be a good indicator of what is going on with the map (if mapped) and where the fuelling and timing are and if there was scope for some fine tuning to limit boost spikes etc.

    Good maintenance (dropping the sump and checking the strainer, regular oil and filter changes etc) would be the first port of call followed by a session on the RR, then continue with the regular oil changes / routine maintenance etc. At the end of the day, if your luck's out after all that, your gonna have to dig deep into your pockets. I've never had any catasrophic engine failure in my time (touch wood) and what keeps me from worrying is doing the above. If after all that it goes boobies up, I won't be kicking myself - sh*t happens sometimes, unfortunately.
    Imteyaz.

  18. #17
    superkarl's Avatar
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    It will keep to 3 figures easy. Which is money well spent to me. Work will be done by me and my old man though. I'm excited, love taking things apart, it's the putting back together that frustrates me, 'Daaaad....' haha.

  19. #18
    superkarl's Avatar
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    That's good advice imteyaz thanks, I totally agree.
    But the above doesn't rule out rod failure. However, once done, I will definitely have it on badger bills rollers at some point to have a health check and make sure fuel and timing is in order, as this is one big cause of catastrophic things. That is definitely one of my steps, but that can be done together with a remap.

    The only thing I'm gutted about is il have to put a ring trip on hold
    And my girlfriend thinks were going to new York for christmas, hmmmmmm
    Last edited by superkarl; 22nd January 2011 at 20:19.

  20. #19
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    Had a good old read of this as i thought about doing similar with my first S3, Ultimately I decided against, I to thought of a 2nd engine on a bench being "Choooned" bit by bit each month but it would cost me just as much to buy a new engine if the first one failed ...

    I do think that knowing youve got forged bits and bobs inside will give you that peace of mind and WILL make it last longer but as finesse said, on this forum there has only been 2 known CAT-failures. Im not convinced that a stage 1.... or even with a hybrid turbo + Stage 2 which i had on my 2nd S3 would warrant gutting the internals... Im a firm believer that if you look after the engine by means of regular oil changes, proper cool down post hot running etc will be enough to keep it going.

    Plus its German and the bosch know how to make engines

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  21. #20
    s3dave's Avatar
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    I think the problem his spending 1k on something that is not going to make any difference to the physical driving of the car...and there always seems to be something else to spend your hard earnt on....so you need a kick up the arse
    piece of mind like said..... your car your choice.......

  22. #21
    superkarl's Avatar
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    Yes but it's gonna help my Car last that little bit longer and I don't have to worry when I do come to tune it. Plus it's fun.

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    Untimatly its your choice bud, posting something like this you are bound to get all sorts of opinions, The majority of which I can tell have sumed it up with, "if its not broken dont fix it"

    I reckon if you push 200k etc or + other things are more likely to go wrong... drive train, Gear box or other potential Tech write offs..

    IF however you do ! Take lots of pictures step by step and whack a post up
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  24. #23
    superkarl's Avatar
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    I'm just being careful and sensible before tuning. I'd rather have the piece of mind, I'd only kick myself other wise. Once it's done it's tuning capabilities are endless, well, alot more.
    Ha, who knows it might happen before I do it, or might not be able to. We'll see, but that's the job I wana do next anyway.
    There's already enough pics and advice in some of the build threads for me to follow.

  25. #24
    JD09's Avatar
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    I personally don't think it's necessary Karl. But what you need to get straight in your mind is what the car will have done to it in the future.

    You say you're not a number chaser, but talk of hybrids would suggest bigger power?

    If you're staying standard, regular servicing, with a little extra like the oil pickup as someone has mentioned is a good idea. But if you're going big power, why not do the new engine idea and do it gradually but in one go? Rods, dp, hybrid, fmic etc?

    Just spit balling here fella - only based on what I have read on here

  26. #25
    superkarl's Avatar
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    The new engine idea is more expensive option and I'm in no rush to tune it right now.
    At the minute, very slowly due to the weather, it's goin through havin new bushes and the likes to tighten it up and give back some new car feel, followed by wheels tires.
    Next step is the rods and rebuild the engine and replace wear/tear parts.
    Once that's done shocks and springs will be sorted.
    I think then, even with standard power, il have a well sorted solid car, that will be ready for whatever performance mods my budget allows.
    I'm thinking over a large time scale here, it's not like I'm doing rods in summer followed by hybrid build a few months later.

    I think on a car of it's age and mileage, not that it's shagged or anything, jut bolting on go faster bits is neglecting areas that would benefit from tlc.

  27. #26
    jojo's Avatar
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    As I can't remember, and can't be arsed to look through the previous threads. Are bent conrods related to remapped cars?

    Just FYI Karl, I'm running a CC stage1 S3 with over 155k miles on the clock, and it made a healthy 251.5bhp on Badger5's rollers not to long ago. It's has a folder full of service history of regular servicing and the oil pickup cleaned too. So in terms on longivity, I don't think you have much to worry about so long as you keep the maintenance up to scratch!


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  28. #27
    superkarl's Avatar
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    Yeh I see your point, and it's great that your car is going strong, and may do for a long time. With the maintenance I do and with this work I'l hope it goes for twice that mileage with whatever mods it might have.
    I'm just thinking of ways to improve the car as a whole.
    Before any tuning ventures.
    Even if there were no failures on rods at stage 1 or standard. What engine wouldn't benefit from a rebuild at 133k, along with other work.
    I know for a fact over the next few years I'l tune it a step at a time, and if that does include hybridizing, rods will be needed, or rather, strongly advised.

    Btw, can I have the thread renamed, engine rebuild.

  29. #28
    superkarl's Avatar
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    Yeh I see your point, and it's great that your car is going strong, and may do for a long time. With the maintenance I do and with this work I'l hope it goes for twice that mileage with whatever mods it might have.
    I'm just thinking of ways to improve the car as a whole.
    Before any tuning ventures.
    Even if there were no failures on rods at stage 1 or standard. What engine wouldn't benefit from a rebuild at 133k, along with other work.
    I know for a fact over the next few years I'l tune it a step at a time, and if that does include hybridizing, rods will be needed, or rather, strongly advised.

    Btw, can I have the thread renamed, engine rebuild.

  30. #29
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    My S3 bent a con rod and mine is remapped, had forged con rods fitted supplied by badger 5, new piston rings, all new hydraulic tappets, oil pump, oil pick up pipe, cambelt, big end bearings, and nearly 2k in cost! I would say the remap contributed if not caused this failure, I regularly service mine with the best oil, genuine parts and always allow the engine to warm up and cool after each drive whether its sprinted or not, plus I run mine on v- power always. So be prepared for con rod failure in my experience with a remapped S3! The con rods are cast as standard and not forged so a weak point of the engine and are prone to failure in my opinion
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  31. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by campbell View Post
    My S3 bent a con rod and mine is remapped, had forged con rods fitted supplied by badger 5, new piston rings, all new hydraulic tappets, oil pump, oil pick up pipe, cambelt, big end bearings, and nearly 2k in cost! I would say the remap contributed if not caused this failure, I regularly service mine with the best oil, genuine parts and always allow the engine to warm up and cool after each drive whether its sprinted or not, plus I run mine on v- power always. So be prepared for con rod failure in my experience with a remapped S3! The con rods are cast as standard and not forged so a weak point of the engine and are prone to failure in my opinion
    Interesting info campbell, did you get the revo after sorting the tapping issue out? > Loud Tapping noise Help Please
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  32. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by campbell View Post
    So be prepared for con rod failure in my experience with a remapped S3!


    Very bold statement, I think its more of a case of dammed unlucky! Rather than the 1.8T not handling +30 Ponies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tankie2ndrtr View Post

    Very bold statement, I think its more of a case of dammed unlucky! Rather than the 1.8T not handling +30 Ponies.
    I'd go with this based on my own personal experience, and it's +40 ponies in my case.


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  34. #33
    JS1500's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    As I can't remember, and can't be arsed to look through the previous threads. Are bent conrods related to remapped cars?

    Just FYI Karl, I'm running a CC stage1 S3 with over 155k miles on the clock, and it made a healthy 251.5bhp on Badger5's rollers not to long ago. It's has a folder full of service history of regular servicing and the oil pickup cleaned too. So in terms on longivity, I don't think you have much to worry about so long as you keep the maintenance up to scratch!
    ;ojo, yours is running the same map and bhp as mine. Mind if I ask what PSI and torque you made on Bill's dyno?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I'd go with this based on my own personal experience, and it's +40 ponies in my case.
    Do you believe it was purley the extra powers fault or something else that may have failed causing it.. oil pickup, jet, overheating ? were you giving it the beans?
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  36. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by finesse View Post
    1. sump clean + pickup pipe = first step

    i think there is a bit of scare mongering with the whole rod chucking. rods chuck as a result of something i.e oil., geee if this wasmt the case everyone with a remap would have a broken engine. Engine has a safety factor

    2. regular oil changes (engine + gear box + diff + haldex + mechanically minded driving
    Good bit of advice. I thinks its a bit OTT preparing for something which rarely happens. The 1.8T is in SOOO MANY cars and when you think how many engines fail due to rods, its very very small. Look after your car and it "should" look after you.
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  37. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by tankie2ndrtr View Post
    Do you believe it was purley the extra powers fault or something else that may have failed causing it.. oil pickup, jet, overheating ? were you giving it the beans?
    jojo,s rods havent gone... lol

  38. #37
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    Conrods don't bend because of poorly maintained engines or just mapped ones... they can (and have) fail on std cars as well as remapped ones... they fail due to being a poor design that fatigues over time... how the car is driven is a major factor IMO... the cylinder pressures under boost are immense... especially on the peaky little K04's and its that initial lump of torque that weakens the rods over time... if a car is driven sensibly then the stresses are less over the same time period as a fully maintained yet thrashed engine...

    Rod failure is stress related which means you could go 300k or 80k before a rod failure... other factors can influence this too... harmonics from the crank etc which is why the crank pulleys are dampened... a failing dual mass flywheel can induce stress to the crank etc...

    Trouble is it would appear that there is no timelime for failure as its subjective... just know this... they do fail and more often than not its in cars that are driven with a bit of spirit or at least have been in thier past..

    While there may not be many on this forum that have had failures you have to realise its a possibility... if you plan to do any kind of tuning much beyond that of stage 1/2 then rods should be factored in IMO...

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  39. #38
    S3 Nattie's Avatar
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    I used to know of a guy who had a bit turbo LCR with 2 bar boost and constantly battered everywhere with standard rods and that done thousand of miles on it, all very very hard miles.

    Rod are designed with a high safety factor (goodmans diagram) and the steel used will alway be put under the materials elastic limit and "should" last for an infinate number of cycles. Obviously rods are breaking but no one has any actually reaon why. If someone is planning on going for a BT setup in the futrue ye, rods but not as a general maintence because others are going so your will be at some point.
    Last edited by S3 Nattie; 24th January 2011 at 11:31.
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  40. #39
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    As said... subjective at best... obviously you have a choice here and on a std or mapped engine then rods can be argued away as not essential...

    Big turbo cars aren't the same as the little K series and hybrid variants.. they don't make torque the same way so you can't compare... little turbo's and the peaky torque delivery gives more stress in a shorter time... BT's aren't as vicious in torque delivery and are therefore more gentle on rods...

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  41. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by finesse View Post
    1. sump clean + pickup pipe = first step

    i think there is a bit of scare mongering with the whole rod chucking. rods chuck as a result of something i.e oil., geee if this wasmt the case everyone with a remap would have a broken engine. Engine has a safety factor
    Nothing scare mongering about it - they are failing a lot more than previously.. old cars

    They are at an age now where the millions of engine cycles have started to catch up with the engines... and remapped is more load, and cyclic loads for many 1000's of engine revolutions is taking their toll.

    these are not new engines now..
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