Alright, so my 2.8L-powered 24 Hours of Lemons car has successfully completed two races. Unfortunately, I overheated it pretty badly a couple weeks ago in NH. I was driving the anchor stint and shut the cooling fan off during a full course caution and forgot to turn it back on...for like 30 minutes. I looked down and my temp gauge was reading somewhere between 260 and 280 degrees. I flipped the fan back on and drove an easy lap - the good news is that the engine cooled back down to 160 degrees and ran that way for the remaining 2.5 hours of the race. The bad news is that it's now using coolant and the compression and leakdown numbers are effed!
Cylinder Compression Leakdown (target 90psi) 1 125 27 2 185 65 3 70 14 4 100 42 5 90 12 6 120 46
The numbers were so bad, I did the leakdown test like 3 times and pulled the valve covers off to make sure the timing was okay and the valves were closed. I could hear air rushing out the exhaust, so my guess is that I've burnt the valves. There is no mixing of oil and water, but the fact that I'm losing water makes me think the head gasket(s) are broken or the heads are warped as well.
I'm looking for opinions on how to repair this. Remember, it's a budget race car, so I shouldn't be spending much money:
- Option 1: rebuild existing motor (new valves and gaskets, machine the heads), est: $700
- Option 2: buy another 2.8, est: $300...but motor is of unknown quality
- Option 3: swap in a 3.0 from an A4, est: $1000
how is the 3.0 different from the 2.8? do they share the same bellhousing pattern?