On Alfa number 15
AO Platinum Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: United Kingdom
I am pretty sure you would get away with a new head gasket and a skim of the head (plus cambelt and waterpump)
This will cost about £500-600
If you know your engine is otherwise fine it would be the way to go rather than take a risk on an unknown secondhand engine.
Just make sure you find the cause of the gasket failing. The TS engines made up until around 2000 have pretty strong headgaskets and it is rare for them to fail. The car has probably overheated, and you need to find out why this is otherwise you will quickly blow the new gasket as well.
Common causes of overheating are a blocked/corroded radiator, failed waterpump, Cooling fan not working, stuck closed thermostat (Quite rare) or inadequate/incorrect coolant mixture.
You will never be cool driving a Vauxhall.