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Head gasket advice


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NebulaicToaster

I'm about to get the head off because of a leak above the alternator. Stupid question do I need to drain all the oil, the Haynes manual doesn't tell you to under head removal and there's no water in it. I know the coolant has to go. Also I'm getting the head skimmed, should I whack some cling film over the cavity to avoid dust and such getting in while the head is off. How do I make sure the timing belt goes back in the right place? And finally any advice for fitting the new gasket, it's a rubber elring job? 

Cheers

J

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Elring is good quality. Is the skimmer refitting valves with new seals?   Hope this is not too much advice...   It's not the belt that matters... it's the top and bottom of the eng

You could leave the fuel pump on, unless the skim shop want it completely bare. It'll need a new gasket when refit.   If you are using a little Allen key you won't succeed.  I use hex b

if all 3 bolts are out of the pump its just held on with corrosion , id use a small pry bar to lever it off , can be fairly rough with it 

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MonsterL35YFP

Im in the middle of doing the  head gasket myself, Some oil will come out of your head even if you drain it not loads tho, as for covering it over I got some oily rags stuffed them in the cylinders to keep the moisture off and one over the top the block surface. As for timing belt you could use a marker on your belt and sprocket but as your taking the head off I would just set the timing as it says in the Haynes manual.head gasket If you've still got your old head bolts cut the top off 2 of them and use them as pins in the block.

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Elring is good quality. Is the skimmer refitting valves with new seals?

 

Hope this is not too much advice...

 

It's not the belt that matters... it's the top and bottom of the engine that need to move in sync so the opening valves don't collide with rising pistons

 

Crank moves twice the rate of cam so you need to be able to visualise/workout where the pistons are without being able to see them.

 

You need to first set the engine to TopDeadCentre for cylinder 1(cambelt end), and the timing marks on crank pulley and cam pulley should line up.

Then double check with something straight and long down number 1 spark plug hole (i use a wooden chopstick) that the piston cannot move any higher and find the midpoint of  any visible movement. 

With rocker cover removed the inlet and exhaust rocker fingers for cylinder 1 should both face upwards at TDC.

 

If timing marks don't line up at this point then seek help.

 

Then rotate crank pulley anticlockwise 90 degrees. This should bring all pistons to halfway down cylinder.

The chopstick or whatever will descend by half the engine's stroke. 

Then leave the crank pulley alone. If you turn it you'll operate the oil pump....

 

 

Now you can remove the cambelt and the head (bolts in correct order by correct amounts to stop warping or a single bolt becoming immovable).

Loosening the water pump (3x 10mm bolts) is the reason for draining coolant.

Releasing cambelt tension I find a long blunt screwdriver in water pump housing lugs works.

It's an eccentric hole and it comes loose the opposite way to a bolt. 

May as well fit a new water pump.

 

Later you can refit a head with cam fitted and its valves in any crazy position and turn camshaft clockwise until back at TDC because pistons are safely out of the way.

 

Keep two old bolts to use as guidance studs. Chop heads off old bolts and cut slot for screwdriver. Put them in outer rear holes (not tight)

and lower down these. 

 

Then turn crank clockwise 90 degrees to move piston 1 back to TDC, and refit and tension belt.

And finally very carefully by hand rotate crank two full rotations clockwise (no spark plugs in)

feeling for any medium resistance that is unwanted contact.. light resistance is valve springs. It should get back to TDC.

With plugs in you'll feel compression of air against closed valves.

 

Then refit manifolds, refill fluids, reconnect electrics, check for leaks, enjoy the car.

 

Mistakes you can make...

removing and fitting camshaft pulley back to front, so lining up the wrong '.' at its rim with pointer on the block.

moving the crank with belt while tensioning - only twist the belt don't pull it.

cracking the water pump housing.

fitting a new belt of wrong size or tooth shape (it's worth fitting a new cambelt and auxbelt - while doing this job).

not reassembling in reverse order.. I found the water pump plate could not be re-fitted because the cam pulley got in the way.

 

 

Edited by dvderlm
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steveo3002

doubt it needs skimming for the alternator corner leak , only need em when overheated badly , you can hold a metal straight edge against the head and check with a torch to see it has any gaps

 

triple check the belt is right and dont try to start it unless you are sure its right...if in doubt ask here

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NebulaicToaster

Started prepping for the removal, got the dizzy off and drained the coolant but I can't for the life of me get those Allan bolts undone on the fuel pump or thermostat. Am I doing something wrong?

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You could leave the fuel pump on, unless the skim shop want it completely bare. It'll need a new gasket when refit.

 

If you are using a little Allen key you won't succeed. 

I use hex bits on a 3/8ths socket set with about a 10inch lever.

Are you doing this outside in the cold?

You might need to shock the bolts like tap with hammer or little tighter then loosen.

 

For fuel pump I have even used a Torx bit one size too large and an impact driver and lump hammer (destroys the bolt but it moves).

If doing this with head attached to block in situ don't hit the bonnet. 

 

Thermostat housing needs more care as probably plastic. Just pull off the rubber hoses and let skim shop deal with it.

Protect housing when transport or it may crack.. had a 2nd hand cylinder head from Germany like that.

 

(and the fuel pump bolts face you,  if standing in front of the car, so the bolt moves clockwise to loosen... never sure if I'm stating the obvious to someone mechanically adept)

Edited by dvderlm
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steveo3002
NebulaicToaster

So I've set the timing belt to the right place and went to get the water pump off, top two bolts were easy but the bottom one I cannot for the life of me get at. The extension I have is too wide to get in and the other is too long. How do I get the plastic covers off the back?

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steveo3002

i use a deep 1/4 drive socket , maybe have to undo the front engine mount and use a jack to raise/lower the engine a little bit to get the socket on 

Edited by steveo3002
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NebulaicToaster

Thanks for the advice so far, I've undone that fiddly bolt, next fiddly one is the exhaust clamp (1.05 model), any tips or is it a get a friend job? Also how on earth do I remove the water pump with this plastic back cover in the way, it seems pretty welded in. Replacing the cam belt is also confusing me with all these plastic covers. Will it all become clear once I've got the head off? I've managed to unbolt the covers but they aren't coming out because they're around various sprockets? Sorry for my ineptitude, I'm very new to head gaskets...

tmp-cam-1611636126.jpg

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steveo3002

undo the camshaft bolt and theres a 10mm bolt under the pulley area 

 

water pump bolts - as i described above....once the 3x bolts are out give it a gentle pry with a bar or large screwdriver they get stuck 

 

if youre fitting a new belt then the lower cover needs to come off as well....4x 6mm allen heads, these round off easily so good quality tools , get the allen bit and tap it home in the bolt with a good whack from a hammer , once theyre out raise/lower the engine on a jack to wiggle the pulley out ..again it might need a nudge , DO NOT UNDO THE CENTER 19MM BOLT  , once the cover is off theres a few 10mm bolts holding the lower cover on 

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NebulaicToaster

How do I undo the camshaft bolt without putting the crank in the wrong position?

24 minutes ago, steveo3002 said:

undo the camshaft bolt and theres a 10mm bolt under the pulley area 

 

water pump bolts - as i described above....once the 3x bolts are out give it a gentle pry with a bar or large screwdriver they get stuck 

 

How do I undo the big camshaft bolt without putting the crank in the wrong position? And I can't for the life of me see the 6 mill Allan bolts for the bottom cover, I found and undid two 10mm bolts on the bottom plastic, that's free'd it up and both covers jiggle about now. It just seems I'm missing something. Can I do the belt without jacking the engine?

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steveo3002

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Universal-Camshaft-Injection-Pump-Sprocket-Pulley-Cam-Holder-Holding-Tool/262350000150?hash=item3d15475016:g:3ygAAOSwZtJW819u

 

bodge together something like that...2 long bolts in a bit of wood , or mole grips on the rough part of the cam (not the lobes ) or an impact gun to zip it off....its not massivly tight

 

the 4x 6mm allen are on the bottom pulley....you can view it through the inspection hole on the inner wing, might be easier with the wheel off....might need to raise or lower the engine to get at them all

 

needs jacking up ...or you will struggle alot 

Edited by steveo3002
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NebulaicToaster

Okay so I got the head off and gave it to my man to get skimmed, thanks for all your help with that. I was cleaning the pistons up a bit and getting rid of the gunk under the old gasket today and I made a huge rookie error. The coolant holes were all gunky so a took a little plastic tool to them to scrape the edges. While scraping the end of it came off, a small cube like piece less than a cm cubed. It fell down one of the holes! I'm not sure if I can feel it down there or not, I can't get it out. Any advice? Will it wreak havoc with my cooling pump or engine if I leave it there or is there a way to fish it out short of taking the engine out and dismantling?

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oops.

 

Had you drained the coolant?

 

Fill coolant channels with water and it might float up where you can grab it?

Then drain the water if freezing weather is likely (antifreeze is poisonous to small animals).

 

 

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NebulaicToaster

Piece doesn't float :l I want to try to flush it out by removing the water pump but it's stuck fast, the bolts are off, I've tried bashing it out with a hammer and screwdriver, is there a particular method? I've chucked a load of penetration fluid on it as I suspect the gunk in the coolant has rusted it on. Any tips on this bit? This has definitely been more complicated than I expected!

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steveo3002

if all 3 bolts are out of the pump its just held on with corrosion , id use a small pry bar to lever it off , can be fairly rough with it 

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  • 2 weeks later...
NebulaicToaster

Thanks for all your help with this job, finally got the car back in one piece, followed all your advice with the timing and I think it's good. Got the cylinders to TDC on 1 &4 then back so they're all halfway down. Chucked the head on, got it to tdc on the mark, put the cylinders back to tdc. Put the new water pump and belts on and gave it a crank. No nasty noises, a bit of resistance at points but that was the springs I guess. I put the rest of the bits on and flushed then filled coolant. Very apprehensive starting it. Any tips with troubleshooting the timing now it's back together? It turns over and starts but it's lumpy and dies out after a bit. Sounds like a misfire on a cylinder or two? If the timing is badly out the engine wouldn't turn over at all would it? Sorry for the anxiety, I don't want to mess this up! Thanks again and happy Christmas

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kiran_182

Check your cam and crank position, also dizzy rotation affects the ignition timing. If yours is set to far to retarad itll conk out and run lumpy

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  • 2 weeks later...
steveo3002

how did it go ?   always turn the engine by hand with a spanner to confirm the timing marks before cranking it via the starter  

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NebulaicToaster

Got my hands on a strobe timer, got the timing spot on but she was still running rough, I checked the spark using the strobe on each ht lead and 2 & 4 were sparking sporadically/not sparking. I've replaced the rotor end and the dizzy cap. Got a new coil going in today and I've got a compression tester now to check that. Hoping it's not the dizzy but if it is I've got a spare one (condition unknown though) 

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