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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My head gasket was replaced recently. I've noticed that there is coolant leaking along the (out of the) intake gasket. See wetness here...




Today I saw bubbles in the recovery bottle, and if memory serves, thats exhaust pressurizing the cooling system due to head gasket fail? What do you guys think?

 

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A leak down test will diagnose a failed head gasket. But there are other reasons for bubbles in the recovery bottle. For example, if the coolant level is low then there could be air bubbles pushed into the recovery bottle. And the leaking coolant likely means the coolant level would have dropped.
 

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the Italian made 4 cylinder headgaskets don't fit properly and fail quickly, only the renz head gaskets fit properly, why the ill fitting headgaskets are still being sold is beyond my understanding


a quick diagnostic trick is take the the rad cap off, start the engine and see what happens next


and yes, in most cases the bubbles in the recovery are from a leaking headgasken
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Do you guys think that a re-torque may help? I forgot to ask the guy when I should re-torque it...

Coolant bottle is a little over full mark, and coolant has burped out of the recovery bottle. I just undid the radiator cap (cold) and it was like opening a beer. Psssst!

Will a compression test tell me which chamber the gasket is leaking from? I don't have a leak down tester...unless I can just leave the compression tester in for a while and see how long it takes to leak out :whistling:

I have an email out to the shop that did the work...if he is willing to do the job again for me, I will request Victor Reinze for sure. Never failed me on my E21 BMW...
 

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A compression tester won't help.

You don't need an actual leak down tester - a simple air hose to spark plug hole adapter will do. Position the cylinder being tested at TDC with the valves closed, pressurize the cylinder and look for evidence of escaping air. [Warning - be careful as the air pressure can cause the engine to suddenly turn if it is not exactly at TDC. Block the wheels, apply the handbrake, put it in 4th gear and keep your fingers away from any potential moving parts - fan blades, alternator, drive belt.]

A re-torque is well advised. But once it is leaking it may not have a great chance of success. But neither will it hurt or cost anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks a lot, Eric; I really appreciate this. I feel pretty low right now, after waiting for 6 months to get my car back. So much is great, I'd say most of what he did, but...this. And, the **** heater fan which started the whole farm out thing is blowing backwards...

Like Mork said, "Shazbot!!!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Some follow up

So, here's some more info. Yesterday I re-torqued the head. I found that bolts 1 and 2 (front of head) were at or near 65ft. lbs, and so was 7 and 8 (rear). But 3,4 and 5,6 were only at around 50 or so, as measured by what my torque wrench was set at to make it tighten more, as opposed to it clicking off at it's set torque.

It did not solve my problem, bubbles still in overflow bottle like a fish tank.

Today I warmed the engine up and did a compression test (WOT). My results are 201-205-160-193. Can I assume that cyl 3 is probably where the head gasket is leaking from? Also, these compression readings seem high for a stock 86. What are the odds that someone put some higher compression pistons in at some point? Keep in mind that a valve job was just completed. If there's build up on the piston face, I'm sure he would have cleaned it off..if buildup can even cause readings this high.

What say you all? Guy will be stopping by to pick up the Alfa hopefully this week to re-do his head gasket job.

Thanks,
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's done!

I finally heard back, and it turns out that the head gasket failed around the sealing surfaces. He used a German gasket this time- last one came in a kit from IAP and he just used that.
 

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That's good news! I have to replace my head gasket this winter; not looking forward to it.
 

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That's good news! I have to replace my head gasket this winter; not looking forward to it.
I understand your trepidation but if you follow the excellent DYI "head gasket for dummies" you'll be fine.

It's really just a bunch of stuff to take off and put back on! Take your time, bag and label parts and enjoy!

PS. When you are ready to actually pull the head, I highly recommend using the 'rope trick' to free the head from the block. it will save you from getting a bad 'head ache', Get it??
 
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