Cylinder Block Pressure Testing

The best case scenario is that cracks and pinholes in heads and blocks can lead to a loss of power in the engine, resulting in poor performance, in more extreme circumstances it can also lead to overheating and complete engine failure.

A pressure test is not always required but is recommended especially if there has been any coolant leaks, head overheating or mixing of liquids such as oil/fuel/water.

There are four main inspection methods that you can use, each of which has its applications. These methods are:

  • Dry magnetic particle inspection (use for cast iron)
  • Wet magnetic particle inspection (rarely used for heads or blocks; very messy)
  • Dye penetrant inspection (ideal for aluminum castings)
  • Pressure (or vacuum) testing (use to find pin holes in aluminum or cast iron)

The Pressure test method is the one mainly used at Powermax Engineering. This is completed by plugging off all the water jackets within the head, then forcing a maximum air flow pressure of 200psi into the head and by applying an application on the head it allows us to locate even the smallest of imperfections within the cylinder head. This is known as a cold test and is the industry standard.

We can also perform a warm (hot) test at 80 degrees celcius on request or an alternating test cycling between hot and cold.

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