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Head Gasket Failure


Guest Chris N

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Guest Chris N

Well my head gasket has gone :(. I have the kit now and all the fluids. I have been offered a Change For £100 from a family mechanic but it is that hard to do. The haynes manual and online videos make it look easy! And i'd love to learn how to do it but could i kill my car and take it off the road? If i make a bad job of it.

 

Chris

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You need to know why the gasket has gone. If it's run short of water and it's overheated, it's likely that the head will be warped, and just to put a new gasket on with a warped head will be a waste of time. The new gasket will quickly leak. If the engine has overheated, it's worth having the head checked and maybe skimmed. Also if you are going to do any valve work whilst the head is off, some specialist tools are required.

 

If your engine is diesel, depending upon the protrusion of the pistons above the block, it gives you a choice of 5 different gasket thicknesses. Also the cylinder head bolts should be measures and if they are over a specified length, should be renewed.

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Guest Chris N
You need to know why the gasket has gone. If it's run short of water and it's overheated, it's likely that the head will be warped, and just to put a new gasket on with a warped head will be a waste of time. The new gasket will quickly leak. If the engine has overheated, it's worth having the head checked and maybe skimmed. Also if you are going to do any valve work whilst the head is off, some specialist tools are required.

 

If your engine is diesel, depending upon the protrusion of the pistons above the block, it gives you a choice of 5 different gasket thicknesses. Also the cylinder head bolts should be measures and if they are over a specified length, should be renewed.

 

Sorry should have said , the engine is the 1.4 petrol. I'm positive unless the previous owner had overheated it , it has never overheated. So i'm doubtful a skim is required. Valves should be good as well hopefully! I am replacing headbolts as a matter of course anyway! I was just wondering how difficult the actual head removal and replacement is. I do not have a garage i have done quite alot of car work but nothing this major.

 

Chris

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