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Author Topic: Our Grand Espace 24v failed on the way to France  (Read 19930 times)
Anders Dinsen
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« on: April 14, 2009, 03:27:14 pm »

Our faithful 2001 Grand Espace failed on the way to France last Friday, and we had to leave it in the middle of Germany in a small town called Bad Hersfeld. It was the timing belt that caused problems - luckily it didn't fail, but was coming off the pulleys. We realised that there was a problem when we stopped for lunch about 500 km from home and the engine made a strange noise. I quickly realised that the noise was coming from the rear timing belt cover and called for help. The car was towed to the Renault garage in the nearby town of Bad Hersfeld.

The mechanic tried getting the belt cover off the engine, but its practically impossible without removing the r.h. engine mount. He did manage to get it opened up enough to see from underneath that the belt was misplaced by some 10-15 mm outwards, and was therefore scraping on the inside of the cover, making the noise.

The belt was done in December by my regular Renault garage, so the car had to go back to them for repair under warranty. We therefore had to reload to a rented Ford S-Max - nice car, but no way a replacement for the Espace: Wife and children disliked it a lot, and I must say that while driving it was a nice experience, the space and pulling power of the V6 Grand Espace cannot be made up by this "mini MPV".

The car is still sitting in Germany due to the holidays, but I expect it to arrive here in DK this week. I therefore haven't got a final diagnosis yet, so I can only guess on what has gone wrong. A bolt on a pulley not tightened enough? A bearing failure? Wife misses her car a lot, so I hope it will go smooth and quckly!

And I'm extremely glad we discovered the problem before it became fatal!

/Anders
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
renaultbiler
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2009, 05:41:37 pm »

And I'm extremely glad we discovered the problem before it became fatal!

puh !! Shocked
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Lennart Sorth
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2009, 01:10:39 am »

Our faithful 2001 Grand Espace failed on the way to France last Friday,
Argh - poor you.  But also lucky.
- and I was just about to send you an email to hear about your holiday ...
It could at least have waited until the end of the holiday.

So you could drop off the S-Max in Copenhagen ? - how much of that is covered
by insurance or even the garage warranty ?


/Lennart
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Lennart.Sorth@matrasport.dk
Murena 1983 1.9i silver // Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2.0d 2012 white // Smart 4two cdi 2010 blue //
Matra_Hans
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2009, 08:01:35 am »

That was a close call!!

Hans
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2009, 04:51:21 pm »

I got a call from the mechanic today - it turned out that the car was dropped off with them on Tuesday already. I never heard anything from SOS (who handles the transport).

But he had really bad news:

1. It was the tensioner that failed. It had literally been pulled off the engine, where it is fixed by three bolts. Threads in the block were ruined and there was still two or three turns of thread from the block left on the bolts! This is a very odd failure!

2. When he received the car, the belt was loose. It was not when I last saw it! And had one broken and 23 bent valves! Some idiot obviously started it after we left it! Probably during transport.

Good thing: Everything will be covered by my garage, and they are now looking for new valves - or a replacement engine/cylinder heads. Renault charges ridiculous prices for valves (600 DKK/piece plus VAT). Bottom end is still in perfect shape.

I still feel lucky that it didn't happen on the motorway - we can still save the engine, but I'm furious about the fact that it has been started. In hindsight we should have removed the battery and put a large note in the car, but then again!

Yes we could drop of the S-Max in Cph, and as far as I know, everything will be covered by insurance and garage warranty.

It's been a strange day - 15'th wedding anniversary, new job start - and then this!
I'll go and see for myself on Monday. I don't have time tomorrow due to the new job.

/Anders
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2009, 08:13:44 pm »

2. When he received the car, the belt was loose. It was not when I last saw it! And had one broken and 23 bent valves! Some idiot obviously started it after we left it! Probably during transport.
....and thats why you never heard anything from SOS Lips Sealed

Exchanging valves and/or cylinder head - but what about the destroyed treads for the tensioner ? Isn't that part of the engine block ?

Any chance to claim factory rebuilt exchange engine from Renault ?

The damage to the tensioner mountings could very well be a result from overtightening it when the cambelt was replaced..
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2009, 11:18:14 pm »

2. When he received the car, the belt was loose. It was not when I last saw it! And had one broken and 23 bent valves! Some idiot obviously started it after we left it! Probably during transport.
....and thats why you never heard anything from SOS Lips Sealed

Perhaps?

Quote
Exchanging valves and/or cylinder head - but what about the destroyed treads for the tensioner ? Isn't that part of the engine block ?

Indeed it is. They've cut the threads up to a larger size and that should be all right - unless the bolts are over tightened again. As you suggest, it's clearly my own garage's fault when they fitted the belt and over-tightened the bolts. One bolt that kills a thread is okay, but three!? No.

Quote
Any chance to claim factory rebuilt exchange engine from Renault ?

No, and I don't think it's necessary. The final failure has happened at low speed and the pistons are undamaged. I'll look for myself on monday. Valves are designed to snap/bend before the bottom end is hurt: It can take a lot of punishment. I'll prefer my current engine to be fixed with new valves, as I know this one is well maintained. The mechanic is looking at other options, and he's found a complete used engine in Sweden with only 70 kkm on the clock, but it has an oil pressure problem, so it will surely need a close inspection before fitting.

Another option might be to buy a complete car in German. I've found one with "leichten Getriebschaden" ("small gearbox problems", whatever that might be) for only 1500 EUR:
http://suchen.mobile.de/fahrzeuge/details.html?id=110765807

/Anders
« Last Edit: April 16, 2009, 11:22:34 pm by Anders Dinsen » Logged

'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
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'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2009, 11:32:18 pm »

That one has the older gearbox with lever on the dash, are you sure it is a 24v ?
I could really need one of those extra Initiale seats as i have only 6 Tongue

I think i have been across the swedish car in a forum over there - repeated trouble with oil pressure whilst still in use, and they (Espace 24v) dont grow on trees there so im pretty sure it must be the same one. Hands off and stick to your current engine.
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2009, 06:41:19 am »

That one has the older gearbox with lever on the dash, are you sure it is a 24v ?
I could really need one of those extra Initiale seats as i have only 6 Tongue

I think i have been across the swedish car in a forum over there - repeated trouble with oil pressure whilst still in use, and they (Espace 24v) dont grow on trees there so im pretty sure it must be the same one. Hands off and stick to your current engine.

Yes, the position of the gear selector nothing to do with the type of gearbox.  I used to think the same, but the gearbox on all 24V Espace's are ZF 4HP20's (which are good boxes, though I know of problems with them in UK), and this particular car is indeed a 24V. The only reason Espace was switched to the floor mounted was because users preferred that layout. The original design had the lever on the dash, and that was used throughout the versions of auto-boxes until they switched to the other.

Thanks for connecting on the one in Sweden. Yes, it's probably the same car. I agree, it's not an option.

/Anders
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
TheJoker
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2009, 02:25:26 pm »

That's quite bad news Anders! I hope you get it sorted without too much aggrevation.  Shocked
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2009, 07:28:43 pm »

That's quite bad news Anders! I hope you get it sorted without too much aggrevation.  Shocked

Thanks. Things are beginning to look a bit brighter now. I went to the garage this morning to see for myself and have a chat with the mechanic who replaced the timing belt back in December. We discussed the procedure of fitting the belt, which is quite elaborate and involves intermediate tightening of the bolts to only 10 nm followed by loosening, tensioning of the belt, and finally tightening to 25 nm. He knew these numbers, and also knew the manual. He has done everything according to procedure. Only thing he could think about was that the bolts were rather short, and perhaps they should have been replaced with longer bolts because the mounting plate for the tensioner was thicker?

The good news is that they seem to have found a factory new engine - it is not a rebuilt engine, but one that has never run a single km. It seems to be old stock saved by someone in Germany, and they can get it at an attactive price. I know the source, and I trust that this will be the best possible solution - much better than rebuilding the old engine. While the old engine can do many more km than the 190000 it has done now, there's a lot of work involved in replacing the valves and repairing and grinding valve seats etc, so even for them, this will be cheaper.

I hope they will get it up from Germany quickly, so we can get on the road again soon! We really miss our wonderful Espace!

Here's a link to my photos of the damage:

http://gallery.dinsen.net/v/biler/soelvpilen/timingbeltfailure/

This photo shows the engine block and the failed mouting plate. It looks perfect on this photo because it is: It has been refitted on the block before they realised the valves were damaged:



These valves don't look right, I think Wink



... and this one has snapped:





/Anders
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2009, 10:54:37 am »

Anders, that is indeed good news. Funny how you can still find a garage in Denmark that can actually work on an engine rather than say "It's broken" as they seem to do here in UK.  Angry  Roll Eyes
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Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2009, 07:46:29 pm »

It turned out that the engine they found wasn't the right one after all. They got the number, and it was different: It's a Clio V6 engine. There must be a few of these on the market, which - despite being in a higher state of tune - are being sold at attractive prices.

But it doesn't help me - it will never run well. Compression is higher, cams are probably a different profile, and it has variable valve timing. It's tuned version of the newer generation of the engine!

I think the garage will end up repairing the old engine, but let's see what they come up with. If only it will be FAST - this is SO frustrating.

Cars here are taxed very high, so there's a bit more value to do repairs for, I suppose that's why they're ready to repair and not just buy us a used similarly aged car. That would be around 20000£ here in Denmark.

/anders

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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
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« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2009, 08:17:13 pm »

http://www.minedor.net/pieceespace.html

Quote:
Moteur NEUF Renault V6 3 LITRES L7X

Disponible pour boite manuelle ou automatique

(ce n'est pas un échange standard, moteur neuf, 0 kilomètre, n'a jamais été monté)

pour véhicules :Espace3, Laguna II, Avantime, Velsatis ou autres..
(idéal pour préparation)

Moteur Neuf Livré complet avec : alternateur, pompe assistance et clim, injection + faisceau moteur, embrayage, courroie de distribution et autres, collect.echap...

Prix unitaire TTC : 2392 euros A titre d'info, en magasin plus de 10 000 euros
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1980 Alpine A-310 w/GTA 2.5 V6 Turbo
2000 Grand Espace V6 24v Initiale: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=2529
2000 Scenic RXi 2.0 16v IDE aut DP0: http://www.renaultbiler.no/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3751
1982 R20TX 2.2
Service Online: www.servicehefte.net/servdata/?cid=qqkX
Anders Dinsen
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« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2009, 06:40:14 am »

Hmm.... thanks Tom!

Can they be trusted? 2400 EUR is a lot of money to send on a cheque and Paris is a bit far to drive to pick it up.
I'll have my father in law call them today.

/Anders
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'82 Murena 2.2 prep 142
'01 Grand Espace 24v
'08 Smart Fortwo 0,8 cdi
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