Getting the head off - Do i need to drop the engine?

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Getting the head off - Do i need to drop the engine?

Post by bendillon on Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:39 am

Hi,

Recently I got myself a little 1300 Hijet van, the guy I bought it off has replaced a lot of parts (cam belt, thermostat, water pump, rad caps etc.) and promised my it didn't overheat, drove it around, seemed fine, driving it home, the temperature gauge hits the top...

So, I've joined the club of overheating Hijets, lucky me! I've decided to sort it out properly, take the cooling system out, replace hoses and clips, potentially the radiator once I've had a good look/test of it. I've got all the classic symptoms of a blown head gasket, lots of exhaust gasses in the coolant, bubbling sound behind the dash, white smoke from the exhaust etc etc, and I've done a compression test - the rear two cylinders get to about 90psi then lose all compression instantly.

So my questions are:
1) head gasket: how easy is it to replace, and do I need to drop the engine? access seems alright, if there wasn't the bar there which the seats bolt on to!
2) Is there anything else I should do whilst I'm at it? I've ordered a full set of gaskets, should I get some gasket seal as well? (if so, can anyone recommend some good stuff?) and plan to rehaul the cooling system, as the hoses and clips seem to be a bit knackered...

Cheers,

Ben
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Re: Getting the head off - Do i need to drop the engine?

Post by Raggy on Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:18 am

You seem to have got the right idea so far, make sure all hoses and clamps are sorted, head can be sorted with engine in place ( just had mine done but chickened out and let a garage do it as he has ramps, cover and time). If its having those symptoms probably head gasket gone but you will need to get head pressure tested to see if its cracked due to overheat and while its off probably get it skimmed anyway. You dont need sealant for head gasket due to their design, probably other ones (others will be able to give better advice as I have not attempted one of these, only mini engines way back when).
Sorry to hear you have been caught out with this one but you sound to be up for the challenge.
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Re: Getting the head off - Do i need to drop the engine?

Post by bendillon on Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:25 am

Thanks Raggy,

Yeah, I knew what I was getting into when I bought it, It's my second Hijet, the first was a 1.2 diesel which died when the head got warped and cracked (didn't have the money / time to fix it at the time). I am still tempted to chicken out and get the garage to do it, as I've never done anything involving taking the engine apart before, but it's reassuring that I don't have to drop the whole thing out.

Whilst I'm at it, you don't happen to know what sizes and lengths of hoses I'll need (I plan to replace them all, as they've all seen better days, and can't find a specific set, so I'll have to buy it in lengths)?
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Re: Getting the head off - Do i need to drop the engine?

Post by Raggy on Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:54 pm

No sorry, probably a case of getting the tape measure out I'm afraid.
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Re: Getting the head off - Do i need to drop the engine?

Post by bendillon on Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:56 pm

Thought as much... Thanks a lot anyway!
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Re: Getting the head off - Do i need to drop the engine?

Post by HighlyJetted on Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:27 pm

Its not the rubber pipes which are the problem.
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