Thrust Washers

Hi All,
I’m in need of some advice. For the last 18/24 months I’ve had a small, but persistent oil leak on my Mk1 1.8. It’s coming from both the front and rear of the engine. It’s starting to get worse as time goes on.
I’ve recently moved house, so don’t have any experience of local garages. There is one close to me which was highly rated on Google, so booked it for a minor service and asked them to look at the oil leak as well.
They reported that there was too much fore/aft movement on the crankshaft. As a result it would need the Thrust Washers replacing, and front/rear Bottom End Seals.
These are the parts being quoted:
Bottom End Gasket Set
Thrust Washers
The quote for supply & fit of the parts is approaching £1400.
Can anyone comment on the above, and/or recommend a garage in the St. Albans/Luton area that could take a look and give a 2nd opinion? It’s not that I’m distrusting the garage, it’s just a lot of money to pay out. So I’d just like a validation on the work involved and the costs.
Many Thanks…

It’s rare for thrust washer to wear to the extent that your are describing. I’d be more inclined to suspect it’s just the oil seals that are leaking. But to change the thrust washers, most of the work is done through changing the oil seals. £1400 does seem quite a high price for the work.

Thanks for the quick reply. About 18 months ago I had the cambelt changed. I was aware of the oil leak at the front of the engine at the time, so had the front crankshaft oil seal, camshaft oil seals and the water pump and relevant seals replaced.
So it’s a concern that it’s still leaking from the front.
When I mentioned this to the garage, they felt it was still leaking from the front (and rear) because there was too much movement in the crankshaft, so seals alone wouldn’t be enough.

A common leakage area is the 2 rubber seals front and rear of the sump. The curved pieces in the seal kit. Requires sump removal to fit them so if there is excessive crank end float then it’s not much extra mileage to change the thrust washers while the sump is off. My concern would be why are they wearing though? Did you get a measurement for the end float?

I’ve had the car from 2007. I was the first owner after it was imported. It’s always been commented that it’s in very good condition. I’ve always looked after it, and it’s not had a hard life. Pretty limited mileage each year.
They didn’t quote me a measurement for the end float. I’ll call them and ask if they recorded it. I assume there’s a range of measurements that are considered acceptable?

Standard is 0.080-0.282mm. Maximum is 0.30mm

Just to add, this is very easy to check using a dial gauge without needing any dismantling, especially for a garage with a hoist. £1400 does seem excessive for the amount of work needed to replace the thrust washers.

OK. Thanks. I’ll contact the garage tomorrow. I just need a recommendation for another garage to take a look, so any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sorry, can’t help you with that bit.

As a follow up this is the response I got from the garage…

“I did not manage to get a measurement on the movement. I know slight movement is possible on these cars but this is for sure out of the limit.”

That doesn’t sound like the response of someone who seriously expects to be given a £1400 repair job. (Which is a lot more than the cost of swapping in another used engine anyway.) I’m afraid it sounds a bit more like they decided if it’s still leaking after the seals were changed then it’s probably a sump-off job and probably more than an owner will want to spend on a minor leak in an old car so they didn’t bother to measure the end float. They put a wet finger in the air to cost that job and doubled it.

Every car has a specified crankshaft endfloat (not just ‘these cars’), and any half decent garage could actually measure it. However, to be fair, if it is really bad you can tell by a quick test. I’ve done exactly that on the original A series engines a time or two in the dim and distant past, but not commercially, but only as a favour for friends. However as they are a commercial garage they really should do a bit more diagnosis, demonstrate the problem and provide a breakdown of the proposed repair to justify the cost. As Martin Young says, they probably don’t really want the job so haven’t put any more effort into it. Without plenty of expensive work on an old engine it may be difficult to get it oil tight.

Edit: having said that about A series engines, I don’t recall excessive crankshaft endfloat actually causing oil leakage problems.

Thanks for all the advice. Needless to say I won’t be using this garage for the work. The trouble I’m having is finding a recommended garage local to me who can properly diagnose the fault. Unfortunately it is something I need to get looked at as the leak is getting worse, and it’s starting to make a mess of the drive.
I would take it down to a garage in Kent, however, it’s probably a bit of a push in the current lockdown climate that can be classed as essential travel!