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Head Gasket?

 
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Old 13 Mar 2014, 08:52 pm
PGH PGH is offline
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Default Head Gasket?

Thanks for posting soooo much valuable info that I have referenced over the years. I finally am a bit stumped. I have coolant on spark plug #1, but my compression tests low (90 PSI vs 150 PSI on the other cylinders) only on cylinder #2. Could this be more than just a head gasket?
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Old 13 Mar 2014, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: Head Gasket?

There's always a chance that it is more than just a head gasket. Often the head will need some work. So always plan on taking the head to a machine shop from cleanup and rebuild anytime you change a head gasket. The shop should be able to detect if the head is cracked or damaged beyond repair.

And if you are doing the head gasket job yourself, take the valve seals out of the new head gasket set and take them with you to the machine shop. This will likely save you a little money. Of course his is also an opportune time to go ahead and do the timing belt, tensioner and water pump too.

Also, don't wait too long to fix this. The water in the coolant will sometimes start to rust the cylinders if the car sits for too long with coolant on the cylinders. Once the head is removed, clean those cylinders really well first thing and then put a coat of oil on them and the engine block deck. You can clean the oil off the deck later while prepping for the new head gasket. Assure there is no damage to the block deck where the head gasket was blown. If there is damage on the deck or rust pitting on the cylinder walls, then it's time to look for a new engine. It's also possible that you will find coolant in the intake and/or exhaust manifold and that will need to be cleaned out. And I recommend draining the oil pan and refilling with new oil before start up.
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Old 14 Mar 2014, 09:02 pm
PGH PGH is offline
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Default Re: Head Gasket?

Thanks for the advice. I picked up all of the parts (hopefully) to perform the repair and maintenance. Is there anything that has to be done differently when disconnecting the exhaust on the turbo models before tilting the engine to get the lower timing cover off? I experienced the joys of the tiny engine bay when I replaced the alternator last summer, and want to make sure that I don't destroy anything hidden when lifting/pivoting.
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