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> Cylinder Head Rebuilding [1], Engine only firing on 3 cylinders
hazeyblue
post 18th March 2006 14:56
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My Girly's MGF had a Head Gasket Failure... very common on K Series engines. I don't know how, but there are tests that can be done to confirm any failure.

Symptons were - a smokey exhaust - running very rough until warm - coolant loss and water in the oil.

In the end, the oil was a coffee coloured creamy substance.

HTH

I wish you the best.
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purple
post 18th March 2006 18:54
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had this on my Saab. There is a test that involves putting a vessel containing a liquid that changes colour in the presence of carbon monoxide in place of the rad cap. If there is CO present it changes colour, often the fault will cause a lack of compression as the pressure seeps to the neighbouring cylinder, also causes water loss, in very extreme circumstances it can result in oil in water or vice versa or that mayonaise type crap under the oil filler.

THe cost for the Saab was 300 at a specialist, but as that was a chain driven engine they did not insist ona belt/bearing/variator/water pump/oil pump change at the same time.

HTH
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GialloEvo94
post 18th March 2006 19:01
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I have checked the oil and the water and there is absolutely no sign of cross contamination. I also been out again this afternoon and with the engine running the car is no longer producing white smoke anymore huh.gif huh.gif huh.gif

I decided just to let the stealers loose on it as originally planned otherwise I may end up spending far more money unneccessarily as I still don't really know what the cause of the problem is.


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AforAlfa
post 21st March 2006 14:22
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OMG, YOU HAVE GONE TO A DEALER??? let us know the diagnosis before you authorise the work. please!!!

the lambda connection is under a black cover at the rear of your engine bay, it just slides upwards and off, and there you'll find a 4 pin connection. and yes, it'll smoke lots of colours and smells if overfueling due to lambda probs


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GialloEvo94
post 23rd March 2006 12:31
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Bo****ks! I just had the diagnosis done and the result is the timing has (somehow) gone out and apparently trashed at least 2 valves. The full extent of any other head or valve damage won't be known unless the head is removed which hasn't yet been done.

The garage has quoted me around 2000-2500 to do the work dependant upon actual damage and are fully booked up for the next month work wise so wouldn't be able to do the work for quite some time. Obviously I told them NOT to proceed because the whole car itself is probably only worth this amount (with a running engine) so economically it doesn't make sense to pay out this sort of money for repairs. What p****s me off more than anything is that the previous owner had this head completely rebuilt only 2000 miles ago (15 months ago) rant.gif How on earth would the timing go out like this? I checked the belts last weekend when I was trying to diagnose the problem and not only did they look okay but they were as tight as you like.

I think the only real sensible option money-wise is to tow it back and do the work myself. Maybe it is worth looking for a reconditioned head rather than getting my own repaired (again) in case there is some issue with it and also bearing in mind it's been skimmed once so may already be on the limit. Does anyone know of any places I could look for a new head?

Ho-hum...happy days sad.gif

(BTW, the garage it went to wasn't a dealer but an Alfa specialist which I didn't actually realise until yesterday blink.gif)


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F355
post 23rd March 2006 12:53
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The best place for a head is eBay if you are patient. Other than that you could get one from a scrapped 145,146 or 156.

However I don't see a problem re-using the head if there is nothing wrong with it.

Expect to pay 700 in parts (thats what it cost me although I did change a lot of other stuff at the same time such as plugs, thermostat and filters) if you recon your old head, and 50 or so if it needs skimming.
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GialloEvo94
post 23rd March 2006 13:03
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Where did you get your head reconditioned out of interest?

I will probably try and reuse my current head if it doesn't need a reskim, or it does need a reskim and hasn't already been skimmed to it's minimum limit. But, if I do go for an already reconditioned head (I guess they would be on an exchange basis?) then are there any differences between the phase 1 & 2 engines (alloy/plastic cover tops) that I need to be aware of?

Thanks.


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F355
post 23rd March 2006 13:10
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I took it to an engineering place and got the valve seats cut but the rest was done by myself.

It should not need a skim. I didn't skim mine, its only really a precaution when the headgasket goes. Just check the head with a straight edge to make sure it isn't warped or anything.

There are no differences between phase 1 and 2 other than the stuff that is bolted to it. Just be aware that 1.6 and 1.8 heads are the same, but the cams are different smile.gif

I don't know anywhere that recons Alfa TS heads, although I wouldn't be suprised if there is. I think Poweralfa (in AJ's opinion the worst supplier ever known to man) sells the bare head on its own for 700.
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GialloEvo94
post 23rd March 2006 13:12
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QUOTE(F355 @ Mar 23 2006, 01:53 PM)
The best place for a head is eBay if you are patient. Other than that you could get one from a scrapped 145,146 or 156.
*

I found a seller called engine-express on ebay who reconditions heads. 295 including VAT for a TS one. Not sure about collection/delivery prices but it doesn't sound too bad a price. Does this sound a reasonable price to pay for a head recondition?


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F355
post 23rd March 2006 13:15
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That sounds like a good deal actually. If not a bit too cheap. The headgasket and bolts (set) are 50 each, alone.
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GialloEvo94
post 23rd March 2006 13:47
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Thanks smile.gif

I think what I will do is get the car back home, get the head off and if it isn't warped then I will give this guy a call and find out the score. My bet is that he will offer some kind of guarantee but I will ask.

It should be relatively straight forward getting the head on and off by following the manual (just time consuming). The hard bit (which I won't be looking forward to) is probably going to be getting the belts back on. I will obviously get some cam locks and go from there.


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laaf
post 23rd March 2006 13:50
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I reckon you'll just need a few new valves, a valve spring compressor, some grinding paste and one of those rubber suction cup thingies?
(I usually get lazy and put the top of the valve in a drill chuck to grind it in.)

As far as I've ever seen the valve ends just bend a little and then stop hitting the pistons so your head should have survived.


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GialloEvo94
post 23rd March 2006 14:00
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Hi Peter. you might be right. I guess a complete recon is the worst case scenario and seeing as all guides and valves were already replaced just over a year ago, the guides (and most of the other valves) may be perfectly OK. My dad has a spring compressor in his drawer somewhere that I can borrow and a little elbow grease grinding in a few valves shouldn't be too much effort. I guess I will only really know what route to take once I have got the head off and can inspect the damage.


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pimp
post 23rd March 2006 14:20
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Look for a 156 2.l head.

there the same part number. Plus there easyer to come across.

Once you get her running again, change the oil and then after a few hundrad miles **BUT** keep to the same make and grade oil. Don't change it.

This is how i trashed my head, by using different oils.


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AforAlfa
post 27th March 2006 12:45
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for a complete valve/guide overhall, theres a guy near bicester in oxen that does the whole lot for 275 + vat, and thats worst case scenario replacing the whole lot. he does heads for me and the local stealer, so does a lot of twinny heads.


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GialloEvo94
post 1st April 2006 23:22
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Well today I started the task of stripping the engine. With the engine at TDC the cam caps would not go on and both cams were out by exactly the same amount (about 3 or 4 teeth) which means the belt had clearly slipped at the crankshaft pulley sad.gif The (slightly) good news is that there is absolutely no evidence of either the exhaust cam pulley or crankshaft pulley having slipped on their shafts as pulley/engine block markings lined up perfectly so at least I won't have to worry about trying to take these off to check for what I though might have been a sheared woodruff key.

The timing belts were in perfect condition but I could see almost immediately that the white adjustable tensioner wasn't doing an awful lot and the 'pointer' on the spring-loaded mechanism was right on it's bottom stopper (even when the engine was turned in a forwards moving direction)...not good at all no.gif I can't believe there is any way the belt would have stretched by so much since it was fitted so as to cause the tensioner to do virtually nothing at all which means the finger of blame lies with the garage who did the head rebuild job 2K ago for not fitting the tensioner correctly mad2.gif It's an absolute miracle I managed to get 2K out of the engine before it trashed itself.

I decided to spent a couple of hours putting the belts back on and timing the car back up correctly (with the tensioner properly fitted this time) just in case, but sadly it was to no avail and the engine still ran like a bag on nails so there is obviously some valve damage somewhere and it was definately a head off job sad.gif During removal of the head ancilaries, I came across numerous 'loose' bolts including some of the exhaust manifold ones!! I don't know what people this garage has (or had) working for them but they are clearly a bunch of incompetent amateurs rant.gif

Anyway, the head is almost off but in true p**sy British weather style rain stopped play so hopefully it should be off tomorrow when I guess I will get to see the full extent of the damage unsure.gif


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hazeyblue
post 2nd April 2006 07:37
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Shame you have no come back with the dodgy gararge... good luck with it all.

Does that mean you a runing around in the Evo? gleam.gif
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F355
post 2nd April 2006 10:07
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Good to hear progress is being made. Its just a job of getting the head off and seeing what condition the valves and pistons are in.

Shall we take bets on the number of bent valves? My guess is 8 biggrin.gif
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GialloEvo94
post 2nd April 2006 12:14
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Lunch break biggrin.gif

Head is off smile.gif First inspection shows immediately that one exhaust valve is definately bent in cylinder 3 which is the cylinder I had suspected. With the cams off this is the only valve which doesn't go back into it's seat so maybe the others are all okay. Next I need to get the valve springs off to see which spin freely against their seats and which do not. This should then conclude how many valves need replacing. Pisons don't look too bad. A few dent obviously but some of theose were from the previous rebuild.

I will post up some pictures later.

Does anyone know the best way to de-coke the valves and exhaust chambers in the head? unsure.gif


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GialloEvo94
post 2nd April 2006 12:19
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QUOTE(hazeyblue @ Apr 2 2006, 08:37 AM)
Does that mean you a runing around in the Evo?  gleam.gif
*

Sadly yes biggrin.gif But sods law that it goes in for it's annual service & MOT tomorrow and will be there for a few days minimum so I be car-less for a while rolleyes.gif

I guess it will take at least next weekend and probably the weekend after before the 145.gif is back together and on the road again cool.gif


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