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Major Head Gasket Failure - Please Help!

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#1 handrews123

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 12:15 PM

Long story but two years ago I replaced head gasket on my 1098 small bore 1976 mini clubman after grinding in valve seats, replacing studs and water pump. At the time o followed Haynes and started engine after filling with coolant( although extremely roughly perhaps due to tappet adjustment or the issue I go on to discuss…)

I then noticed water seeping from front rad side of the head and called it a day. Fast forward two years (been sitting) I remove the head to refit a new gasket to find cylinders full of water.

Is this game over or do I clean up, remove water, change oil and crack on?? Any thoughts much appreciated!

Cheers

#2 sonscar

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 12:29 PM

Most likely game over,rebore minimum,possible gearbox and crank damage.
Not much to lose cleaning off the rust and running it if there is not too much pitting and it turns over.This may be poor advice.,Steve..

#3 cal844

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 02:03 PM

You've nothing to lose cleaning it up, removing the water and inspecting the bores for pitting, don't use a copper head gasket and also check that the head and block is perfectly flat.

If you do get away with fitting a new gasket,

My advice is to run the engine with no water in for 30 seconds once you've built oil pressure, then once you've done this, add just plain water until you see if it's leak free or not.

Hope this helps

#4 handrews123

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 02:17 PM

Thanks for advice guys. Have cleaned up head which looks okay. The bores have some light surface corrosion (would light emery paper take this off?) but I think cylinders are seized and don’t want to force it to turn over - have gently rocked in gear to try and persuade cylinders to move. Any advice to free up without causing crank damage…

Is it possible to get composite small bore gaskets? Remember looking at the time to no avail and opting for a genuine payen copper gasket. If anyone knows the part number would be much appreciated .

Good advice on running up to pressure before topping up - will definitely bear in mind!

#5 handrews123

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 02:21 PM

Attaching a picture of the cylinder for reference. Thanks!

#6 handrews123

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 02:26 PM

Concern is corrosion of bores…

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#7 sonikk4

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 03:54 PM

You could use some diesel or hydraulic fluid in the bores. Leave it for a day then use a block of wood and a lump hammer give the top of each piston a healthy thump. Don’t go mad and then see if anything has freed up.

I used this method on a old Fiat Uno engine that had sat with the head off for six months. It worked a treat. The bores were not too bad either and some scotchbrite did the job.

BUT although this worked at the time if it was my car I would be looking at a hone at the bare minimum but budget for a rebore for next size up.



#8 austinseven

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 04:44 PM

I used diesel as advise by someone on here engine had been seized for over 20 years, pored diesel down bores got a thin feeler gauge run it around top of piston left for a week freed off happy days, gently clean all that crud off the bores, fill each bore with diesel and see what happens, when it frees up clean the bores with some fine wet and dry 2500 grit and engine and see how they look, good luck

#9 austinseven

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 04:45 PM

That should have said engine oil 🙄

#10 handrews123

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 04:57 PM

Brilliant advice - many thanks will give it a go and report back… is there anything else I should be doing if I expect water has got into the block?

#11 austinseven

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Posted 14 May 2022 - 06:41 PM

If everything is OK when you put it back change the oil and filter, I would get the head checked though to make sure it doesn't need skimming.





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