[Vwdiesel] Head gasket time for Dave

LBaird119 at aol.com LBaird119 at aol.com
Wed Feb 2 15:53:39 EST 2005

  You can also just watch the coolant stream going into the top of the 
reservoir.  If it sporadic instead of a solid strem of coolant, at a fast 
idle, you most likely have a leak. 
  The toughest part is getting the exhaust clips back on the downpipe.  
Other than that you should be able to do it in a Saturday.  Book rate 
on a diesel head gasket is 2hrs I believe.  Although an A2 body is a 
little more difficult than the A1. I had the head off of one of those, in 
the back yard, and cleaned up, in 45 minutes.  :-)
  Get to know your timing marks BEFORE removing the belt and 
head.  So long as you line them (and the hole on the pump) up 
before you start, set them back on reassembly, and set the 
belt tension back to where it is (or correct tension) the timing 
should come out darn close to spot on.  IF it was correct to 
start with.
  Don't use sealers, just clean both surfaces well with Brakleen, 
alcohol or some other non-residue solvent.  Clean, scrape, blow or 
vacuum out the bolt holes and run a tap through them.  Get the tap 
ahead of time.  :-)
  DO have the head checked for warpage. If it's more than .002 then 
some say to have it heated and straightened, I've had fine luck with 
simply having them surfaced.  Local shop just uses a big belt sander 
basically.  You have to pull the manifolds, glow plugs, cam and lifters 
to do that.  Use anti seize on all bolts, glow plugs and injector threads 
upon reassembly.  
  Also a good time to check the head over.  Check exhaust valve wobble 
for stem and guide wear.  If you're really ambitious, if the rings would 
possibly need replaced.... ;-)
  There are notches in the head gasket right about #3 injector.  A tab 
sticks out there and will have holes or notches in it.  The number of 
notches identifies the gasket.  You can go with a thicker one withouth 
any real problems but Dad's original pu engine ended up with a thinner 
one and had about 750psi compression.  BIG power loss from the extra 
compression.  We used what came out.  You just don't know if someone's 
done it wrong before.  :-P  The only  way to be sure is to measure the 
piston projection above the deck of the block.  Too many times I've seen 
the wrong gasket in there.

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