Nikasil Engine Blocks

Nikasil what is it and why is it a problem.  Let me first start by saying that not all Nikasil engines have a problem.  You may ask why and you will get several answers, the best I can give you is good maintenance and low sulpher fuels and the lack of short trips will provide you with many trouble free years of operation.

Let me give you a link to the definition of Nikasil and it will also inform you that this is not a problem with one car manufacture although I am doing this to inform Jaguar followers.

Now to be honest with you I am a victim of the Nikasil issue and I can tell you I was not pleased.  When I purchased the car I was informed that it was well maintained by a Jaguar Dealership and I continued to do the same.  However my engine failed me on starting several times and that is when I found this information on Nilasil. You may be required to get a logon for the web page, do it, itís worth it.  I also got this information that only confirms the Nikasil concerns:

http://www.racinggreencars.com/modern/JaguarAJ-V8Engine.pdf

Now you may have heard of the BlowBy test on Nikasil.  .  Most of us have heard of it but I must tell you that it is the best kept secret.  I checked around and no one had a clue what it looked like and I was unable to find it on the internet.  In fact the process was a little vague to many so I elected to try to get that information and have it available for others.  I found that the BlowBy test is a real test and in fact Jaguar had the BlowBy tester manufactured.  I got my hands on a video that explains the BlowBy procedure and I will make every effort to explain the process to you so you can understand.  The video I received is copywrited and I am unable to post it on this page, however I will provide the resources and you can contact them and get your own copy if you wish.  I asked for permission but have not received anything yet.

The BlowBy tester was developed to identify excessive bore wear.  To do this the secondary breather hose is disconnected and plugged on both ends, the primary hose is then disconnected and the BlowBy tester is installed between the car and the hose.  The meter will have a static reading (engine not running), then the car is started with the A/C and all other non essential turned off and it is run for 1 minute and then an additional minute.  The results are calculated (I think by subtracting the static from the results) and you get the BlowBy results.  Now according to the comments on the tape < 40ppm is OK!  And < 30ppm is reason for concern!

These facts apply to ALL AJ-V8ís produced between 1996 and 2001, regardless of size or application, (XK 4.0, XJ 4.0 and 3.2, S-type 4.0)

In August 2000 Jaguar replaced the Nikasil-linings with steel linings.

The Nikasil cut-off date (18/08/00) is often confused with the date when low-sulphur petrol was introduced into the UK (01/01/00).

To the best of my ability the U.S. Diesel Low-sulphur date was 2006 and gasoline fuel was around 2007 (I did not want to spent a great deal of time on the sulphur issue but 1 hour later this is what I got.  Not real good on the searching thing). The risk of Nikosil failure was substantially reduced after the 01/01/00 in the UK when low-sulphur petrol was introduced, especially in new and low mileage engines. Jaguar replaced many Nikasil engines under warranty, so a car built before the cut-off date below may possibly have steel-lined bores (check the engine number).

Nikasil  - Cut-off date/number

The first steel-lined AJ-V8 came off the production line In the year 2000 on August 18th at 10.43am hence the engine number will read:

                   00         08      18       1043       or more precisely:         0008181043

With this piece of information it is simple to discern between a Nikasil and a steel-lined engine as all the numbers refer to the date of manufacture and any engine built before August 18th 2000 WILL have Nikasil bores!

The only way to tell if you have a Nikasil lined engine is to check the engine number, as stated in my document.  

CHECK THE ENGINE NUMBER - IT IS THE ONLY SURE WAY OF KNOWING. 

Engine number on V8 is under the black plastic cover, stamped on the top of the block to the right hand side of the front of the engine, near the lifting bracket. Whether or not there is a fine line between the readings given by a compression tester and blowby tester, cannot say, but at least now you know more about the topic.

Thanks to:

http://en.wikipedia.orghttp://www.jag-lovers.org  , http://www.racinggreencars.com , http://www.xclusively-jaguar.co.uk , http://www.jec.org.uk/jec-new/index.php , http://www.accessmylibrary.com

This is a good read RE: Nilasil http://www.enginebuildermag.com/Article/36521/machining_new_metals__nickel_silicon_carbide_coatings.aspx

 

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