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(Post Link) post #1 of 45 Old 06-10-07 Thread Starter
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Cry Like A Baby Failed Head Gasket! Help!

ok, drove to work this morning, 5 miles ish, no problem.

started the car to drive back, very very chuggy, but would go.

drove it home, got under the bonnet. used laptop, checked on here for the MAF problem, then set about going over the plugs.

Plug ports on cylinder one are both full of oil and water "mayonnaise".

thats the head gasket then.

what are my options? bearing in mind the car has only been driving 5 miles with chugging, will it be relatively undamaged and ok to just change the gasket and have done?

would i be best getting a recon engine?

is there anyone in the York area who could repair this at a reasonable price, any recommendations?
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

How low is your coolant?
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

I got a quote from BMC in Newton Aycliffe for a head gasket repair a couple of years ago although thankfully my car didn't need it. They can be contacted on (01325) 300520 and I, and other forum members, can highly recommend them.

The head will need to be skimmed and pressure tested, you'll need a new head gasket set and cam belt kit, an engine flush, five litres of new oil and an oil filter so with around 6 hours labour expect to pay around £500.

Last edited by Roswell; 06-10-07 at 15:21.
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

You don't say if its on a 4cyl or a V6 (or even a JTD)..

I think that will make quite a difference price-wise.. Make sure it is headgasket failure though. Doing short distance driving can build up moisture in the plug wells, which might explain your 'mayo'. Is there oil in the coolant? Also, has your coolant level dropped?

If it is head-gasket, get it done properly the first time round.. Just changing the gasket probably wouldn't be enough IMO, if it is HG that has failed..
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

hi, Pud, sorry, its the 2.0 TS, 2000 reg. i have been in touch with Italauto, who break Alfa's and recon engines. they seem to think the problem stems from the piston rings, they mentioned something about post-2000 model 2.0 TS engines having a problem with them going, leading to overheating with piston melting and gasket failure. "Meltdown" was the word used.

the "mayo" isnt just a bit, the whole plug port on cylinder one was full to the brim with water and mayo...spark plug completely submerged. Strangely enough, my coolant level is normal though.

the car is now booked in for collection, for either a full recon engine fitting, or a rebuild of mine. £1150 is the price, not including collection.

While the car is there, im gettign a couple of cosmetic bits done too, drivers front wing needs replacing, and passenger door does too.
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

Does £1150 for a recon engine include a new cambelt/tensioners/idlers & variator set? If so, thats a bit of a bargain! Is there any guarantee, and does that include fitting? I'm assuming this is on an exchange basis?
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

Wouldn't changing the belts and tensioners be part of reconditioning the engine?
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

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Wouldn't changing the belts and tensioners be part of reconditioning the engine?
You're right, it would.. That was a daft thing for me to ask..
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

Alarm bells ringing here, my 2.0l ts had the rocker cover gasket fail and it filled the two middle plug ports with oil plus a bit of condensation turned the oil creamy which in turn shorted the spark plugs out it became sluggish.I replaced rocker cover gasket £15.00 and cleaned up spark plugs and ports, going like the devil himself again.
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

Thats what I was getting at Sparkoniocv.. £1150 is good money for a recon engine but its not if you don't need it.

You need to get the problem properly diagnosed first before shelling out that sort of money. Whats the milage? Do you do oil/filter regularly and top-up when necessary?
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

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You need to get the problem properly diagnosed first before shelling out that sort of money.
What he said
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

ok, Pud, yes its all included in that price.

Everyone else, i have had the car about a week....

something not mentioned before, is that i found out two days ago there was very very little oil in it from when i bought it.

basically, im going for the recon engine regardless, as it was something i was considering doing anyway.
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

also, i wouldnt have thought it could be the rocker cover gasket, as oil and coolant wouldnt go up that high in the head. if they did, that would mean draining both oil and coolant in order to remove rocker/cam cover.
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

No, you can take rocker covers off without disturbing the coolant or the oil. A stuffed headgasket will not put oil and water into the plug holes ... it would go into the cylinders and leak from the outside of the engine.

It could also be overspill when filling the engine oil and condensation or water from a pressure washer mixing in the plug holes.

Get the mayo out, clean it up and try it for a few days. Then check again. Don't waste your £££s on an engine you might not need.
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

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Originally Posted by gazza82 View Post
No, you can take rocker covers off without disturbing the coolant or the oil. A stuffed headgasket will not put oil and water into the plug holes ... it would go into the cylinders and leak from the outside of the engine.

It could also be overspill when filling the engine oil and condensation or water from a pressure washer mixing in the plug holes.

Get the mayo out, clean it up and try it for a few days. Then check again. Don't waste your s on an engine you might not need.
Agreed why change the engine unless you have to? Cover all other options first you have nothing to lose.
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

alright, will take a lookie, thanks for that
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gazza82 View Post
No, you can take rocker covers off without disturbing the coolant or the oil. A stuffed head gasket will not put oil and water into the plug holes ... it would go into the cylinders and leak from the outside of the engine.

It could also be overspill when filling the engine oil and condensation or water from a pressure washer mixing in the plug holes.

Get the mayo out, clean it up and try it for a few days. Then check again. Don't waste your £££s on an engine you might not need.
That sounds like good advice to me.
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

I had exactly the same oil-water-mayo down plug hole number 1 on my 155 16v after driving through a deep puddle. I did not believe that the water would have got under the spark plug cover but it did! Hence I spent ages looking for sensor problems elsewhere before checking the plugs.

NB it is common for there to be oil down the plug wells due to rocker cover gasket being dodgy...or even careless topping up of the oil...on its own the oil is not an immediate problem , but ...just add water and mayo is what you get...and the misfires that go with it. I do not believe your head gasket has failed...unless you can definitely see mayo in the coolant header tank aswell...
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

Now that £1150 we just saved you ... I know a good charity case ...
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

right ok, cheers for the input. i have tried it dried out, and no better at all. there was, not immediately, but after a few runs, a good few milky white traces appearing in the header tank, which was checked after every startup.

the car has now gone down to Italautos, for a recon engine to be fitted, and i am having an engineer's (or similar) report drawn up, and have been in touch with trading standards, as on a phonecall to Italautos, the guy i spoke to seemed to know the symptoms, and suggested the probem was internal. Trading standards have responded, and seem to think i have a case to claim for a refund to cover the engine work.

see what happens, eh?

as a treat to cheer myself up, a set of 17" Pro Race 1.2 lightweight alloy wheels, in matt black, have been purchased.
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

Where abouts in York are you azira?
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

hiya mate, if u dont mind asking, how much did the alloys cost you?
if u r going black order the rgm black grill too
good luck with the car
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

i ve ordered this one today carbon effect not the black stated.

anyone tried this before? any comments?

and btw how can i take off those chrome stripes as well?
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

Pud, im in Foxwood, are you in York too?

n3xus, im one step ahead of you there, i already have the rgm grille cover as you have shown in your piccy, and have ordered the lester front grille too. ive also got smoked repeaters, smoked gta-ish look headlights, and smoked rears. oh, and the wheels were £688 in total, including 215/45/17 tyres.
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Re: Failed Head Gasket! Help!

has anyone actually had a rebuild done by Italautos?? My 2.0ts has been knocking for months, finally started belching smoke on Friday (great joy in my household the last weekend). th advert states that they grind the crankshaft but my mechanic (mike roberts in Fareham) seems to think that's not a great idea as a re-grind will strip the hardened surface from the crank, meaning the re-con wil probably only last a year or so. Anyone had a re-con last longer than that??

by the way, just got off the phone to Tony at Italautos, the re-con doesn't include cam belt or variator, the belt is another £50, didnt discuss the variator price.
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