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Discussion Starter #1
Helpful tips please:) Judging by the coffee coloured oily gloop in the radiiator I'm pretty sure my head gasket is blowing - and has been leaking for some time (car not been on the road for 5+ years).
I've decided to re-condition my carb's and the emulsified water/oil mixture covers the inside of the inlet manifold, thermostat and housing and inside of the radiator hoses.

I'm reasonably confident in replacing a h/gasket but never done an Alfa before, is there anything I should particularly look out for when doing this job, or anything I should change while the head is off.....

Finally, I can swill out the radiator, heater matrix and hoses, but what's the best way to flush the block of this sticky, gloopy, smelly liquid......

Thanks Andy.....
 

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well most of these engine flushes don't like antifreeze, so first you have to drain the system, then refill with clean water, then get the car to operating temp. which opens the thermostat and pulls throught the antifreeze in the engine channels, then allow to cool completely and redrain off. Then add the engine coolant flush (here in Germany a good one is Voltronic R10, but you will have other stuff in the UK!) together with new water and run the car for about 10 minutes.

This ought to loosen all the gunge and then once cool again you can drain off. Perhaps try to back flush the system (I used to hold a garden hose onto the engine drain tap hole, and flush it through until it came out clean from the inlet manifold (with thermostat removed) housing. Messy I know!

Then once you think all is done, refill with correct water/antifreeze mix (I use distilled water).

As for headgasget, it is not difficult, but time consuming if you want to get it right! 2 people are better, definately, if you haven't done it before.
My tips:
1. get a manual and read it through before starting!
2. make sure the valve timing is set right, first off.
3.Then don't forget the two bolts under the front of the head!
4. When splitting the timing chain (edit: and the tensioner will have been pushed back in, releasing tension, obviously), stuff a big rag under it (in the area where the timing chain goes through the head) before removing the link, because if it pops off and falls in, it will be more than a head you will have to remove!
5. Once the chain is split, I hold up each end of the timing chain with an old wire coathanger, because you don't want that dropping in either! And keep it taught, dont let it slip a cog down below.
6.Once the head is off, check the piston liners protrudence above block (very important!...if the values are not good enough, liners out and new seals (which might be why you are getting grungy water??)
7. Last and not least, check the head itself is true, and if you have to skim it, make sure the height-after the skim- isn't less than the minimum recommended.
8. lastly, a bit of common sense, but Put back every bolt, nut etc, exactly where it came from (so lay them out in sequence on a table or something)-and don't mix up bearing caps etc...v.Important!

Others might have other useful tips for you. Sorry for rambling on so lo:cheese:ng
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I spoke to a machanic friend today who advised exactly what you said - adding that the oil in the radiator might be the residue from an earlier gasket failiure - so flush, clean and try driving it for a while. I'll keep an eye on the temperature readings............
 

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One very important technique is after you have put it all back together again is to tension the chain before you start the engine and then ensure you tighten the 14 mm tensioner bolt. Then when you have successfully restarted the engine and it is ticking over smoothly then retension the chain in motion. Obviously don't undo the tension bolt too far or the clamping bit will fall off the end and you have a big problem. Just undo it until it is loose then retighten.
If you start the engine with the tensioner bolt loose the chain can jump and you will bend the valves like I did many years ago. Then it's back to minus square one.
 
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