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Cylinder head gasket


Martin White
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Hi Folks

Just had the cylinder head gasket blow on my 1500 spitfire (lots of white smoke). Does anyone know where I can source a high quality cylinder head gasket set? Did look at K seal but decided to do the job properly but want to make sure that the gasket that goes on is as good as can be.

Thanks

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Doing slightly better than me. Took delivery of new car at 11.30 on Tuesday and head gasket blew at 4.30 same day :-). Thought I might get at least one day before I had to get my hands dirty! Shame really as was really enjoying driving around in a Spit again after 30 years of owning one. Have the luxury this time of a dry and relatively warm garage to work in. Just hoping head gasket is the issue.

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I bought one from Canley last year and not had any trouble yet, but then the car's not had much use due to fuel tank issues.

While you've got the head off it's probably worth replacing the studs and nuts, maybe change to the MiniSpares flanged nuts with the integral "washer".

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4 hours ago, Martin White said:

Thanks Clive. Can you elaborate on the NoS Payen not the latest stock comment please?

 

It appears payen have moved factory/country of manufacture, and the latest stuff possibly isn't as accurately cut? 

I would happily buy an ebay set from a reliable seller. 

Check the gasket has the "tag" on it, that shows it is for recessed bores.

And about replacing studs etc. I never have. However NEVER swap the washers unless you have bought the correct hardened type (normal ones will slowly squash and lose torque=blown gasket). The flanged mini head nuts are a good idea, sensibly priced and correct grade 

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+1 for the flanged nuts from Minispares. I’d consider those essential. The studs should go again unless obviously damaged.

Does it seem that the head might have been off recently? What symptoms other than white smoke? Header tank like a jacuzzi and smelling of fumes? Water loss? Loss of compression?

Does the car have a brake servo fitted?

Nick

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Seem to have not much water in the radiator but water in the header tank. Oil is clean, no particular weird smell. Car starts OK still and drives (although only to move it to tow truck and into garage). Unfortunately will not have time to look at this weekend as away but will start the process next week. Is it worth filling up with water again to see if I have any bubbles in the radiator/header tank? Anything else I should check before dismantling?

As I say I have had the car less than a week is there anything else to check while the head is off. Check seals of valves with petrol, grind the valves back in? 

I have to admit to being a bit rusty on the maintenance front and probably 30 years since I have taken the head off s spit. 

 

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No, you don't necessarily need to, but if there's any sign of worn threads it's worth it. Make sure you get the proper ones, though. The nuts from the MiniSpares website are a good option - I used them on my Mk1 Vitesse (along with some new studs) and it fixed the recurring blown head gasket every 18 months problem that it had.

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I fitted a new head gasket when I had the head rebuilt (PO of the engine had reground the valves and it was burning a fair amount of oil so had the head unleaded and it was found that the seats had regressed) - and it lasted a few miles - found there was damage - either at the factory or elsewhere that allowed water between the 4/3 cylinders and the water way - was a Payen one - replaced it with another Payen and flanged nuts - I also changed the studs, but that was more that a couple where not in fantastic condition and that I wanted to be sure it had the best chance! 

But as others have said, Payen doesn't seem to be the same company anymore. 

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