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#130905 - 10th Aug 2006 7:35pm Head Gasket Blown?
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Hi guys,

I was on my way to New Brighton today, and as I got there I noticed the car sort of chugging, and when I pulled up it was as though it needed more revs to prevent it from stalling at idle.

However, when more revs are put into the engine, it seems to vibrate and has a loss of power.

I started the engine again and although it had a bit of hesitation in firing up, it eventually did, although it was still chugging at idle.

Now I thought it might be a wet spak plug or somtehing, so I left the engine to dry off and cool down for about 10 minutes.

When I started it again I got nothing at all, except a frantic whizzing noice, as though the starter was rotating, but not kicking the engine.

So I called the RAC and they turned up about 20 minutes later. The guy had a listen and immediatly said it sounds like a fault with the starter.

So he put it in to 4th gear and push it back a bit. When the key was turned it seems to have a bit more clout on the starter but the same thing happened and the engine would not start.

So we lifted the bonnet and he had a look. He listened to what it did when the key was turned and he said it sounded like the teeth were not aligned, so the engine was not being kicked into action by the starter (he explained it in a bit more detail but I didnt take much in).

Anyway, he tried tapping it with a hammer lightly, but with not joy. So eventually we tried a push start, and it was still not firing up. So in the end he gave me a pull start with the van and this kicked it into action.

Now, this is where it gets interesting. He followed me most of the way home, which was good to know, incase the engine stalled etc... When I first started driving the car it was fine. However as I went further, it started chugging again, and hesitating on going forward.

As I drove on furtherm I could see white smoke coming out of the exhaust. It wasnt loads and loads, but it was enough for me to notice.

As I was driving, sometimes during the revs I could hear a hissing sound, I didnt notice what revs but i think around the 1500rpm stage. Also, I noticed that I had to keep nthe car in a much lower gear then I would normally (when I am not going fast), I was having to keep it in 3rd at 30 - 40mph because when I went into 4th it really wasnt happy.

So with the loss of power, the white smoke and chugging, I expect the head gasket has gone.

Does anyone have any other idea's as to why this might be? I cant "really" see it being a loss of air somewhere and whilst it could be petrol related, the light was on this morning, and I put a 5ers worth in at the Shell on the A41, so I would expect it would have shown up a problem with the fuel before now.

On my way to New Brighton, I went over the Bidston Flyover, where I hit in the late 5000's before I changed into 4th. The redline is at 6000 and the maximum bhp is at 5750.

Any suggestions or help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

smile

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#130906 - 10th Aug 2006 7:42pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
scoop Offline
Wiki Addict

Registered: 18th Nov 2004
Posts: 7238
Loc: Leuchars
Does it have enough oil/water/petrol in. Check the oil for mayonaise (any whitey yellow discoloration) get the spark plugs out and check for abnormalality.report your findings,this can rule out lack of fuel/lubrication and weak spark,or blown headgasket which will show itself in the oil/water and plugs.

then get back to us. It MAY be the head gasket,it may be clogged up injectors,but it seems pretty severe.check the above things first,i may suggest red-ex if the above things give u no clues,after that id suggest compression test
_________________________

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#130907 - 10th Aug 2006 7:58pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Thanks Scoop, I will check these things tomorrow, I am going to keep away from the car for the rest of the day as otherwise I will be frustrated as I am dead tired (didnt sleep well lol).

smile

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#130908 - 10th Aug 2006 11:06pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
DavidB Offline
Wiki Guide

Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5595
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Head gaskets aren't a big problem if they've gone, just get it changed and get the head skimmed.
The most precise way of checking is to go over the compressions of the cylinders.
You can buy testers where you remove a spark plug, and put the end of the tester in. You crank the engine, and check the compression on each, and if there's a massive difference between one of them, then that's where the gasket has failed. If two are out, it's failed in between the cylinders.
They're £15 - £20 quid from Halfords.

Mayonaise on the cap can sort of prove it, but you can get this from doing really short journeys.

There's a possibilty it could be fuel pump related as well, but the whitish smoke usually points to the HG. smile
_________________________
"C20 LET bang"

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#130909 - 10th Aug 2006 11:46pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
MrPhil Offline
Forum Master

Registered: 14th Apr 2006
Posts: 2367
Loc: Prenton
scrap it happy
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#130910 - 11th Aug 2006 12:07am Re: Head Gasket Blown?
Scooby Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 5327
Loc: Birkenhead, Wirral.
Matty, compression tests donmt always show a defect as a head gasket typically fails more when the engine is hot.

The problem you have is that you cannot tell 100% if a head gasket is gone as it is stuck between the block and the head. Even removing the head dosnt always proove it. Basically we are working on a process of elimination here.

Is there any white sludge in the oil filler cap ??

Is the coolant level correct ?

Is the oil level correct ?

Does the white smoke only appear when the engine is hot ?

Give me these answers and i will advise you accordingly.

p.s. what car have you got smack

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#130911 - 11th Aug 2006 12:20am Re: Head Gasket Blown?
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Hi Jay,

Its a Renault Clio, engine has done 115,000 (not clocked, all the MOT's etc confirm this and has been well looked after regularly serviced etc) so I guess if it has gone, its probably mainly the time for it to go.

The engine wasnt hot when the problems started, in fact it was only just warming up as I had only travelled about 2 miles. The white smoke seems to appear when it is coolish, but then I never noticed it until I was driving back, and I have not started it since to see (firstly I aint even tried it, i dont think the starter is working and sedcondly I didnt want to drive it anywhere with it chugging lol)

I will give you the answers to your questions tomorrow, I was going to chack for all the things suggested when I got out the car, but to be honest I was just glad to have the car home and didnt want to frustrate myself as I got hardly any sleep last night and was tired lol.

I learnt a few things to look out for as this is a common problem with the Rover 200 K series engines, and before I got my latest Clio, I was seriously thinking of buying a Mk2 Rover 216 hehe.

I think I may be fearing ther worst, it could always turn out to be a really bad spark plug and it is only running on 3 cylinders or somnething, but would this explain the smoke and slight hissing sound?

Either way, I suppose we will have a bit more insight tomorrow, when the pre-medical checks are done hehe.

Btw clj85, I would love to do a 16v drop, but the insurance wouldnt be so happy haha, and neither would my bank balance. One day in the future, i plan to go the whole hog and get a Williams.

Thanks for the help guys, ya's are all diamond geezers on Cruisewirral!

smile

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#130912 - 11th Aug 2006 2:41pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
Pomp Offline

Forum Veteran

Registered: 19th Aug 2005
Posts: 5253
Loc: Wirral
Was talkin to ya about this wen we went the rock after the members meet and hopefully things will get sorted wiv gettin ya webber engine into ya present car. Hope everything is sorted matey, wud b a shame if ya cudnt get around n come to the meets.

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#130913 - 11th Aug 2006 2:48pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
StuyMac Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 24th Nov 2003
Posts: 12002
Loc: Wirralshire
Have you put some Derv in rather than petrol - that can make a white/blueish smoke and if diluted enough will still let the car run, just very poorly.
_________________________


What If There Were No Hypothetical Questions?

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#130914 - 11th Aug 2006 5:23pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
scoop Offline
Wiki Addict

Registered: 18th Nov 2004
Posts: 7238
Loc: Leuchars
U went to nigh on 6000 revs per min on a COLD engine???? U shud no not to go anything over 3k until ur into the "normal" part. How did u get on today matey?
_________________________

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#130915 - 11th Aug 2006 6:17pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Yeah Scoop, I know, I dont usually drive fast but for some reason I did on this occasion....

I only have myself to blame if something serious has happened as a result of my stupidity hehe, I know lol!

Anyways, I am going to go and have a check over it now, so I will report back in a bit.

smile

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#130916 - 11th Aug 2006 6:53pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Well, I have just had a look, and the first thing I checked proved my theory lol. White gunk in the oil cap. No coolant in the resevoir.

Tried me Clio Weber and still running fine, so I am seriously considering doin an engine change.

A few questions about it though. The Weber obviously doesnt run on an ECU, so would this cause problems as the RT is injection and thereford does.

Also, the Weber is currently manual choke and does run a power steering pump, is this like to cause problems if it is changed over, or is all likely to be compatible?

Both engines are exactly the same, 1.4 Energy's, only difference being the working one is a Weber carb with manual choke, the other is an injection with automatic choke.

Also could the Weber be converted to automatic choke, or is this too much to ask of it?

Hehe.

Also considering finding a 16v lump from a scrappy, but I know the Weber is a good strong engine hence its my preferred change atm.

smile

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#130917 - 11th Aug 2006 9:29pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
Scooby Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 9th Nov 2003
Posts: 5327
Loc: Birkenhead, Wirral.
Quote:
Well, I have just had a look, and the first thing I checked proved my theory lol. White gunk in the oil cap. No coolant in the resevoir.
It deffo looks like the head gasket smack


Quote:
The Weber obviously doesnt run on an ECU, so would this cause problems as the RT is injection and thereford does.

Also, the Weber is currently manual choke and does run a power steering pump, is this like to cause problems if it is changed over, or is all likely to be compatible?

Both engines are exactly the same, 1.4 Energy's, only difference being the working one is a Weber carb with manual choke, the other is an injection with automatic choke.

Also could the Weber be converted to automatic choke, or is this too much to ask of it?
Right, to keep things simple mate you can leave all the manifold in place, ECU, Exhaust etc etc and simply swap the bare engine. This way you will keep the ECU and it wont cause managment problems (As long as both engines are the same).

Otherwise it would probably not pass a MOT test due to emissions problems.

Hope this heplps ?

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#130918 - 11th Aug 2006 10:31pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
MattLFC Offline
Wiki Master

Registered: 14th Aug 2004
Posts: 22315
Loc: Moreton/Beirut/Mobile
Yer, that is a good help, thanks Jay.

Would you say it is harder or easier to swap the engine only?

Year both engines are exactly the same, althought the Weber is about 2 years older, but has dont 10,000 less miles.

Everyone keeps tellin me to do it myself and sayin it is easy to swap the engine, was even told Clio's in particular are a "piece of cake" to swap lol.

Is this true? What special tools would be required? Can I hire an engine crane? Or is best just left to a garage or mechanic to do it?

Also, I am assuming in changing the engine, the likes of the coolant pump and starter would be/be able to be changed with it as the starter is dead and I dont hold out much hope for the coolant pump as it was reaching the end of its useful life.

How long would a garage take to do it? People are saying I could do it myself (with the right tools and sum1 with a bit of knowledge) in a day, but I aint got a clue lol!

Thanks smile

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#130919 - 11th Aug 2006 10:59pm Re: Head Gasket Blown?
scoop Offline
Wiki Addict

Registered: 18th Nov 2004
Posts: 7238
Loc: Leuchars
Budget 12-15 hours of urs,and a mates time. If the engines are IDENTICAL INCLUDING THE PORTS,then its just a case of getting the bare engine and swapping them. Maybe use the starter and gearbox from the weber'd car too?
_________________________

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