[Vwdiesel] Head gasket question

Tony and Lillie tonyandlillie1 at earthlink.net
Fri Sep 12 09:41:27 PDT 2008

for starters, I can't imagine those cracks leaking coolant. I've seen them 
on literally hunderds of heads in these VAG cars, and have never seen any 
that leak coolant through there. Your mechanic simply has you paraniod about 
it, as far as I can tell.

I wouldn't suggest putting anything in the head. If it falls it could cause 
you long term internal engine damage.

What you are describing sounds like a bad headgasket. Either that, or there 
is a crack in the head somewhere, and magnafluxing the head will show this. 
However, your description was that the headgasket replacement fixed the 
problem for a while. So, that makes it sound like the headgasket is failing 

Did you have the head checked for bing true the last time it was installed? 
Were the headbolts retorqued? Was the head magnafluxed then?

On the subject of the engine swap, it will bolt right in. I'm not sure about 
the head interchangability, though. There will be a couple of things to 
know. You want to use the 1.6 complete, with it's injection pump. The 
exhaust will be different, so you need the downpipe as well. There may also 
be some differences in the cooling system, but hoses are easy enough to come 
by for NA diesels.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Doyt W. Echelberger" <doyt at buckeye-express.com>
To: <vwdiesel at audifans.com>
Sent: Friday, September 12, 2008 8:52 AM
Subject: Re: [Vwdiesel] Head gasket question

Mark suggests a kerosene-dribble test, and points out that the head
flatness needs measurement.....both of which makes a lot of sense to me.
Very helpful. Still interested in other replies.

With the head off, I can get a flatness reading from a machine shop. That
still leaves the cracks as a factor. Maybe a crack leak could be plugged up.

Permatex makes something that might work, other than the "low pressure"
notation in the product description.

                 Permatex® Hi-Temp Metal Repair Compound

"Makes long-lasting repairs to high-temp, low pressure exhaust leaks from
the exhaust manifold to the muffler. Gets stronger with heat up to 2000°F.
One-part, water-based ceramic is safe and easy-to-use."

Maybe I could work this stuff into the cracks and then peen them, and have
a shot at getting the leak plugged up?

Compression in a cylinder certainly isn't "low pressure."

Maybe something else or some other approach exists....epoxies?   Anybody
know anything about soldering-brazing-welding for this situation? I'll bet
somebody has tried anything I can think of, and can tell me what happened.
I don't want to buy another head.

I do have a naturally-aspirated 1.6 running in my 84 Rabbit that would drop
into the space vacated by the TD. Or, could I just swap the heads? Does my
TD head have anything special that would make such a swap unwise?... like
high-temp valves, different cam, different passage locations...?


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