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Rings and seals.

danny_dj3 Mar 29, 2020

  1. danny_dj3

    danny_dj3 Registered User

    My car is currently sat in the garage waiting to have work done to it. Its slowly started to smoke more and more so I suspected the valve stem seals to be the issue as it only smoked once the car was warm, mainly at lights and stop start traffic jams.
    so as im lacking most the gear to strip the engine down, i threw it in to my garage to do, however after a week of waiting on a price, i got told it wasnt the stem seals but the rings. Naturally i asked how they knew this and was told that the engine shop had said that S3's are notorious for the rings failing and there no way its the seals, bearing in mind its 19 years old.

    Now, i fully trust the garage as the owner is a good mate of mine for 20+years and i do spend quite a lot of time messing about there, but this has got me a little confused as i never heard that the rings were bad on these cars.
    as far as i know, no compression test has been done and no investigation work as to whats actually failing and causing the smoke.

    Going to get TJ's engine and strip that down, rebuild and refurbish it and 'see' if im capable to do it right. Its something i have been wanting to do for a while now, and if i get it right, brilliant. Thinking of doing a engine swap and then rebuilding my original to forged spec's over time.

    Anyways, im looking for any advice about the rings or stem seals, im reluctant to let the engine place near the engine anyway as i have now heard not so good things about them not lapping valves and tophat liners being damaged on installs. Unfortunately they seem to be about the only local place to me.

    here's a couple of the last days work on her :(

    removed headlights without the whole bumper off. 10 mins a light roughly. no scratches or damage to the car either.

    led sides.jpg
    much cleaner and MUCH brighter. the headlights from trups are quality for sure. need to align them and take for a night time test. daylight looked bright tho.

    and cleaned up.

    stay safe all,

    S3AMJ likes this.
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  3. Tj 0785

    Tj 0785 Registered User Bronze Supporter Silver Supporter VCDS Map User

  4. danny_dj3

    danny_dj3 Registered User

    y'know, its pretty much what i was going to do before it went in. i bought the car to do myself, not keep throwing at the garage to sort.

    i did see a vid of a guy who's rings had seized up and was causing blowthro the oil filler, he soaked the rings in oil in situ over a few days and it cured the prob.

    if i knew for sure it was the stem seals, i would sneak down tomorrow and bring it home, but they got me worried now. i dont think the cars gonna seize up on me, i just dont wanna damage it unnecessarily [lol had to google the spelling of that as it really didnt seem right]

    i have also noticed i seem to have more smoke now that i did the pvc delete. wonder if the fact im not running a catch can yet is a major factor.

    god im itching to get back to work on it.
  5. danny_dj3

    danny_dj3 Registered User

    so no one had issues with sticky rings?
  6. Ryan s3

    Ryan s3 Registered User

    Had a similar issue, smoke, burning oil etc.
    I got a used engine online.
    Rebuilt it and fitted it once it was ready.
    Still got to use the car etc....
    And not pay expensive garage Bills
    danny_dj3 and Tj 0785 like this.
  7. Welly

    Welly 335D Driver :-)

    I've never ever heard of S3s (or any of the 1.8T variants for that matter) being notorious for ring failure. Like ever.
  8. danny_dj3

    danny_dj3 Registered User

    yeah i haven't found much out about em being bad. phoned the garage this morn, asked for a compression test over the next day or so if possible then im going and getting it back as i strongly believe its not the rings.

    when i phoned for a quote, i was told straight away its not seals, its the rings. so i left that there. then when i asked my garage to sort it, the engine place said exactly the same to him. i reckon they just want to make more money.
  9. danny_dj3

    danny_dj3 Registered User

    So got the car back from the garage at dinnertime, free compression test in return for me wrapping a back window for the mechanic :)

    not looking so good im afraid, it seems the test shows the pistons at 50-50-60-70. so it looks like the cars gonna get minimal use [been told not to leather it about and it will survive for now] but as we are on a lockdown i dont really have a use for it so its gonna sit there till i rebuild a replacement up.
    it still runs sweet and pretty nippy however its smoking as soon as it gets up to temp.

    no doubt, and i mean this in a apologetic way, im going to be bugging the heck outta peaple asking questions on the rebuild so bear with me!

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