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Head gasket replacement

Posted by Graham S - Created: 8 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by Graham S - 8 years ago

Thanks for all the contributions, folks; it turned out to be cracked head. Now replaced, running beautifully and cooling problems a thing of the past. Not the cheapest of possible outcomes, but I didn't think it was too bad at not a lot over 1000 Euros, and a lot cheaper than replacing the truck.

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Posted by JonnyTango-687826 - 8 years ago

Hi,

You say you are leaking water, is it blowing out the over flow as hot steam? If it is blowing out of the over flow check first the radiator cap, it may be perished or even broken. If the head gasket is blown i.e. via the water channel to the cylinder you will see bubbles or even a full gush of water and air on start up with the rad cap removed. Also if the head has gone that way you will have steam in the exhaust when the engine is hot as it will pull water into the cylinder during induction. Also check the engine oil and see if it has water in it. If the water channel is leaking into the cylinder there is a possibility when the engine is stopped water pressure will fill the cylinder and drain down into the oil. Check the oil but remember oil floats on water so you may only find the oil level on the dipstick has risen. If none of these signs are visible then before arranging for a mechanic to change the cylinder head gasket get him to run a pressure test on the cooling system. This is done in two ways, one with the engine running and one with the engine at standstill. It is done by putting a radiator cap with a pressure gauge and a pump. the cooling system is then pressurised and left at a set pressure for one hour with the engine stationary. Any pressure drop will indicate a leak in the system. The other test is to place the same cap on and run the engine and see what pressure the system runs up to. Most pressure caps or radiator caps have the blow off pressure written on them, but not all, as a guide it is between 8 to 15 psi, pounds per square inch, of course now it is in metric. If the system goes over this then there is a fault caused by power stroke of the engine.

It is also important to check the thermostat, a main fault that bad mechanics use to change head gaskets. take it out and put it into a pan of water. As the water boils it will open. To check properly just take the thermostat out and run the car for a day or so if everything is good replace with a new thermostat, never run without one as so many do over here, it is there to bring the engine up to optimum performance. It is rare to have a raidiator block unless it has been treated with propriety leak preventer like rad weld. So just remove the bottom hose and drain into a bucket. take a look and see it it is full of material. Put a hose into the rad cap and flush through looking for solids. if no solids your rad is OK.

Good mechanics diagnose so if yours doesn't then don't use him.

Turbo or non turbo should make little difference to the cost. Skimming the head is only necessary if the head has distorted, the head should be checked on a surface plate first to decide if it is distorted. The most important thing is to have the head pressure tested as more often than not on modern engines the problem is craking between the valve inserts. This has nothing to do with the cylinder head gasket but produces the same symptons. Again a simple test will tell your mechanic what is wrong, if he can't do it don't employ him. You wouldn't have an operation without first having your symptons diagnosed. If the engine is running OK there is no need to lap in the valves or to do any other work to the engine if they want to they are robbing you.

So first have the problem diagnosed by all the test tools available to a good mechanic. That same mechanic should by rule of thumb do you the correct price. After all there is a difference between a mechanic and a grease monkey, bit like a consultant at the hospital and a witch doctor.

All the best.

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Posted by Graham S - 8 years ago

Thanks for that - I'll try that tomorrow morning. The prospect of flushing (or replacing) the radiator and maybe a new thermostat sounds a lot more appealing than having the head off!

Cheers

Graham

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Posted by Leicester-696506 - 8 years ago

Hi Graham,

Your symptoms are the same as the bottom quater of the radiator being blocked which is so common with the L200's as I have experianced in my past days as a mechanic.

If the engine is still running, get it to norm working temperature, turn off the engine and put your hand as close as you can all around the bottom of the rad. If it is cold then it is blocked. You could also change the thermostat first, (located in the bottom hose) as this could also give the same symptoms.

Good luck

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Posted by Graham S - 8 years ago

Thanks for the input, folks. I assume "N/A" to be "naturally aspirated" - unfortunately it's a turbo, which I guess will cost more. I'm guessing the problem is with the head gasket as I'm losing water at about half to threequarters of a litre a day, though the truck is running beautifully amd shows no other symptoms. I assume the gasket's gone between a waterway and a cylinder. I'm really trying to establish whether it's going to be an economic job; I'm very fond of the truck (about 10 years old) and don't want to part with it. Even at 1000 Euro it's going to work out cheaper than chopping it in against another truck that might not be as good.

Thanks again

Graham

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Posted by DellBethsmith - 8 years ago

€150 all in!!! You must be joking?? The head gasket set would be about €120!! Plus Machining etc!If a quick "bodge" job was done i would say about €500/600 But to do the job properly including re-seatting the valves etc nearer €1,000!The question maybe should also be why did the head gasket fail in the first place? Is there any chance of a liner being cracked? Your number 1 priority is to have a mechanic you can trust, and who will explain exactly what, and why things need to be done.Good luck!Dell

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Posted by mx5cyprus - 8 years ago

If its an N/A engine 500 Eur.

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Posted by kitkarman - 8 years ago

150 euro wont pay for head skimming never mind doing job.

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Posted by Graham S - 8 years ago

Thanks - I have a suspicion I'm going to be quoted a silly price in the hope I'll think it's uneconomic and buy a new vehicle.

Cheers

Graham

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Posted by Stefan J - 8 years ago

Around 150 euro forparts and labour.

Cheers,

Stefan