BX Head Gasket Failure - The Culprit

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G4EIY
Posts: 186
Joined: 04 Jun 2003, 18:20

BX Head Gasket Failure - The Culprit

Post by G4EIY »

The Radiator:
If anyone has a head gasket failure, ie presurising the cooling system, bubbles large or small showing on the surface in the header tank,or just overheating, then find out what caused the failure, before having the head skimmed and refitted with new stretch bolts etc.
Could be stuck closed thermostat, blocked radiator etc, in my case it was the radiator at fault, this was suspect when blowing through usuing my mouth, detected some resistance, so off with the end caps, and below was the picture.
Image
Last edited by G4EIY on 08 Oct 2005, 09:36, edited 1 time in total.

VisaGTi16v
Posts: 829
Joined: 27 Sep 2002, 21:39

Post by VisaGTi16v »

Kinda related. It was the radiator in my old 1.6 visa gti that caused the head gasket to go. I took it out and flushed it both ways and it water passed through fine. Only later on did I find out that only the top third of it was hot, bottom 2 thirds stone cold. So it was clearly totally blocked inside and had 1/3 of its cooling capability. Worth checking but obviously being careful as it will be hot etc.

Simon Canfer
Posts: 114
Joined: 02 Mar 2001, 18:41

Post by Simon Canfer »

That radiator (above) looks like it's full of scale; illustrates why NOT to use hard tap water when filling/topping up your radiator!
Simon

tomsheppard
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Joined: 19 Dec 2002, 15:46

Post by tomsheppard »

Yep, boil it first!

Stuart McB
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Joined: 03 Oct 2003, 00:50

Post by Stuart McB »

Why do modern rads foul up so easily? I remember years ago you'd never needed to repair / replace the rad on most any car. I can't remeber any car from years gone by needing one. Only car I ever replaced was an old Lada Niva but that was holed after hitting a tree while going off road.

tomsheppard
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Joined: 19 Dec 2002, 15:46

Post by tomsheppard »

You never had a Mk 4 Cortina then.

Dave Burns
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Joined: 14 May 2001, 05:30
x 2

Post by Dave Burns »

Cylinder heads of cars from yesteryear were mostly made of cast iron, this was much more tollerant of overheating and didn't warp at the mere thought of a few extra degrees of heat like the aluminium garbage of todays heads.
Have you noticed on occasions when taking parts of modern cooling systems to bits, that alumnium components often seem to have greasy lumps growing all over them and the metal is being eaten away, I think this crap is what clogs the rads up on poorly maintained systems.
With the old cast iron heads all you got was rusty water, even when this got bad and turned a bit sludgy it was easey to shift with a hose in the rad/block, not so the greasy crap that fouls these modern ally headed systems.
The motor industry would have you believe that they use aluminium heads to cut down on weight, BOLLOCKS, its cheaper to cast into complex shapes, and tooling last much much longer on it because its soft compared to cast iron which is much more abrasive to cutting tools.
Dave

tomsheppard
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Joined: 19 Dec 2002, 15:46

Post by tomsheppard »

Aluminium is not just lighter and easier to cast (Which makes cars lighter and cheaper) but it also is easier to recycle and dissipates heat more quickly.Modern Alloy heads have been around for well over 50 years, Dave; that's half of the evolutionary life of the Motor car (or do you prefer Horseless Carriage?). Deal with it. The manufacturers specify coolant and if you use tap water to fill the cooling system , then you have only yourself to blame.

Stuart McB
Posts: 1635
Joined: 03 Oct 2003, 00:50

Post by Stuart McB »

Stupid question but I thought that aluminium was in the top 10 of rare alloys on the planet[?] Iron on the other hand well it's just lying around all over the place and is easily avalible to use. As for the recycle ability aren't Blue peter collecting the stuff again? [;)]

bernie
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Joined: 10 Apr 2001, 02:25

Post by bernie »

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by tomsheppard</i>

Deal with it.
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
Bit strong Tom[:(]

Dave Burns
Posts: 1916
Joined: 14 May 2001, 05:30
x 2

Post by Dave Burns »

Yes Stuart I'm affraid you win todays stupid question prize which is a condement set without holes in it[:D]
Aluminium is the most abundant metalic element in the earths crust and it isn't an alloy, alloy simply means means mix, steel is an alloy as it doesn't exist in nature its man made, in its simplest form it is iron alloyed with carbon, aluminium exists in nature and is therefore a primary or base metal, it only becomes an aluminium alloy when its mixed with other elements such as manganese and magnesium to give it certain properties, such as to make it hardenable, pure aluminium can't be hardened.
Yes Tom I know aluminium heads have been around for a long time, but they only saw the light of day in exotic cars like the E-Type jag and the like, of all the cars I have owned Ford's, Austin's, Morris's, Vauxhall's, the first one with an ally head was a 205 diesel in 1988, so really as far as the Brittish motor industry is concerned the run of the mill car for the man in the street would likely as not have had an iron head back then, and we'd be better off if it had stayed that way.
Engines that have to work hard all their life (such as lorry engines) and be as reliable as possible have cast iron heads not alloy.
I know how to look after them and when I buy a car or have to repair someones car that has not been looked after in the correct manner, be assured that I can indeed deal with it.
Dave

Stuart McB
Posts: 1635
Joined: 03 Oct 2003, 00:50

Post by Stuart McB »

Cool but can' I have a salt and pepper shakers instead? Sorry Sunday morning momment, heavy night, me and a bloke called Jamesons. Alloy, of course mixed etc. It's all coming back now, those heddy days at colledge. Aluminium first obtained in it's pure form in 1827 & comes in group 3 of the periodic table. It's chief part or ore is bauxite which is composed of among other stuff diaspore, gibbsite and boehmite. Large deposites are found in france, USA, Italy & Kazakstanm. Seem to remeber that it's a bit involved to refine it thought. A couple of process needed.

tomsheppard
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Joined: 19 Dec 2002, 15:46

Post by tomsheppard »

No offence intended, Dave.
Perhaps we need to look at the French, who had been using Alloys for years in car engines, likewise the Germans. The French in particular seem to be able to make functional metal work out of a minimum quantity of metal and have long been good at aluminium alloys. The 2CV crankcase and gearbox spring immediately to mind. The whole car is probably no heavier than the gearbox of a Triumph 2000.
I just cannot agree. Lighter is better, full stop. Fewer resources used, better power to weight ratio, less fuel to push it along, and if the component is mounted high in the vehicle, as cylinder heads often are, then handling and roadholding benefit too.

Robin
Posts: 485
Joined: 01 Jan 2004, 19:45

Post by Robin »

A few decades ago I owned a Moskvitch, a wonderful Russian tank of a car that just kept on going. It had a cross flow fully machined alloy head. Not a cast one machined but a block fully machined. First designed in 1946 I recall. 1500cc and 75bhp single downdraught carb. Robin

tomsheppard
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Joined: 19 Dec 2002, 15:46

Post by tomsheppard »

Reliants had alloy engines, too as did Imps but Moskys!
A friend had a Taxi firm in essex in an awful winter, buying three Moskys for the price of two. He cleaned up when the punters rang to ask the cab rank to send one of those little yellow warm ones please.
I could tell the story of how one was written off and rebuilt twice in 24 hours but he'd have to kill me, so I won't.
And I know why just kept going as well...