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Triumph Torque    Cars    Herald/Vitesse  ›  Head gasket help
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April 3, 2017, 8:10am Report to Moderator

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So it looks like my head gasket is failing, (sludge of oil cap and slowly losing coolant. )
Can anyone tell me what I need to buy before doing this, are there any kits that's are good?
Do I need new bolts etc or can I reuse everything?
I've never changed a head gasket before so any hints and tips would be appreciated.  
I've watched a vid on YouTube on changing one on a stag engine so I imagine it's pretty similar.  
Also, should I do anything else while I'm at it?

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April 3, 2017, 8:46am Report to Moderator

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Don't jump to conclusions!

The symptoms could be due to other reasons:
Sludge on oil filler - is this whiteish "mayonnaise"?     Could be just water condensation in the rocker cover - give it an 'Italian tune-up', a blast down the motorway.
Loss of coolant - could be anywhere.

Get yourself a cylinder compression gauge and test the compressions.
Warm up the engine.
All plugs out, battery charged.    Coil disconnected (there will be petrol fumes pumped out where they shouldn't be!)
Wire the throttle WIDE OPEN.
Screw the gauge into each cylinder in turn.
Turn the engine over on the starter, until the gauge plateaus.
Note that value, do the next.

You may need a few runs to practice.
What you want to see is that the pressure are the same across the block, all within 10psi.
If two are down and are adjacent - there's your failed gasket.
If one is down, it might be.

Test by tipping a teaspoonful of engine oil into each bore before repeating the test - quick buzz first with the starter to spread the oil about.
This tests the piston rings.  The oil improves their seal temporarily, but a gasket OR a damaged valve will not improve.

Good luck!  Hope you find them all the same!

Serial Vitesse racer.

Old Blue.  1995-2001
Silverback. 2001-2007
SofS. 2007 - to date.

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April 3, 2017, 3:13pm Report to Moderator

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Thanks John, I'll give that a go before I go tearing it apart.  
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April 3, 2017, 4:55pm Report to Moderator

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And if it is the gasket, rest assured it willbe an easier job than a stag one.

Make sure you get a payen headgasket. You haven't said what car, but some engines are available in recessed or non-recessed bores (especially if say a vitesse engine has been replaced by a later 2000 engine)

You can reuse studs, nuts and washers. Be careful if any are damaged, the nuts and washers are hardened, not the usual variety so would need to come from a specialist.

You can do it with all the manifolds still attached to the head if needed, saves time but is heavier to move.

And take all the studs out of the block if the head looks like it is sticking at all (likely)

Clive Senior

Location-Brighton, East Sussex
Foxy is here, 1500od tax exempt Toledo. Now has the decent engine back in Slant 4 engine bolted in, sprint box and axle.Now has fresh MoT. Needs paint though.
Spitfire Zetec project is started work progressing slooooowly on the road!
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April 3, 2017, 5:16pm Report to Moderator

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Thanks guys, it's a bog standard 13/60.  
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Pete Lewis
April 4, 2017, 7:01am Report to Moderator

Tssc Herts and Beds A.O.
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Rocker box Mayo is normal in cold weather and short runs  nothing to do with HG problems
unless its real nasty HG lets compression into the water jacket rather than coolant into the combustion as the pressures are vasty different.

rarely water in oil ,  I go with John  look for a hidden leak and do a Compression test
with a good battery all plugs out and throttle open.


1964 1600 Vitesse 6 Cactus and Black , now  sold
now have T2000   Mk2 saloon in French Blue/grey trim  been  restored without running since 1997
now has power steering ,poly bushed and Alfa 156 seats
location  Luton
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April 5, 2017, 8:52pm Report to Moderator

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right then, i did a compression test today and these are the results. (psi)
1:   140
2:   130
3:   120
4:   140

carried out in that order, with all plugs removed, foot flat on the accelerator.

what are your thoughts guys?
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April 5, 2017, 10:00pm Report to Moderator

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Normal result.

Keep calm and carrry on driving.

Mayo = condensation

Coolant lossfrom somewhere elder.


Serial Vitesse racer.

Old Blue.  1995-2001
Silverback. 2001-2007
SofS. 2007 - to date.

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