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 Post subject: Head Gasket replacement
PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 4:57 pm 
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Location: Roundabout City (Milton Keynes)
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ok, am gonna change the head gasket on my 1108cc Seicento. Any reason I can't leave the exhaust manifold on and undo it at the downpipe join? Manifold nuts are pretty corroded.

Am also thinking of leaving the inlet manifold on.

Checking for warps: I have a metal ruler (bends on one axis) and feeler gauges, any tips on checking this?

Any worthwhile DIY methods for fixing any warps?

cheers :)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 5:24 pm 
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You can leave the manifolds on, but you'll need to remove them later anyway to take the head in to get skimmed. Not worth messing about with straight edges etc., for the sake of ~£30 just get it skimmed or chances are you'll have to do it all again. Voice of experience... :lol:

If it isn't new, change the water pump while it's off. Check the cam belt, if it looks at all worn or tired change it too. Thermostats aren't expensive, so while you're there...
Give the radiator a good flush, maybe run some Holts Speedflush through before you start?

Change the oil and filter once the job's finished and the engine's warmed up, too.

Head bolts should be changed if there is any suspicion the gasket has been done before - they can be re-used once but best to change really.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:59 pm 
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do i have to check the block for warps?

I have new radiator, so am planning some kind of flush/clean pipes/swap heater core etc.

I've ordered gasket, bolts, oil filter (and alternator as bearings are shot).

I couldn't find a camshaft end seal (coil pack housing seal) on its own, only timing belt end ones. I see something that could be it in the gasket kits but I wont need all those manifold gaskets so just got the single head gasket.

I wondered if there is a proper name for it that I'm not googling?

Water pump and cambelt will depend on finances (selling some stuff :)), but I see there seems to be 2 different cambelts (different tooth numbers). Do you have to count them to know or is it based on engine code?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:25 pm 
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Drives: Cinquecento sporting(POLLY)
Mytheroo wrote:
I see there seems to be 2 different cambelts (different tooth numbers). Do you have to count them to know or is it based on engine code?


i would like to know this too. my cambelt looks ok, but for the sake of an hours work im thinking of chucking a new one on for the winter. just want to make sure it is the correct one!

want the engine to last over the winter at least. then take it to trackdays until it gives in ;)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:00 am 
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Cinquecento and mpst SPI Seicentos use the one with fewer teeth, later Seicentos use the other.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:02 pm 
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yep, mine was 104 teeth.

On ePER, the 46474432 Belt shows a product code of 71719646.

I also counted the teeth on a picture of a 0071719646 part number and that is 104 teeth also.

Have taken mine apart and no obvious head gasket problem, but pressured water system and vapour lock in heatercore can only mean HG problem really.

Will take head for check and skim on Monday.

Dismantled the throttle body and didn't have to remove many tubes, especially the ones that often get put back wrong way around. Just tied the pieces away from the head.

Got a shock trying to remove the alternator, I see I have to prop up the engine and take off the mount. Crazy! :)

Plus, oil filter looks wrong size, 2nd hand alternator is apparently from a 2001 Sei, and is wrong (has a 3rd mounting point at the rear and electrical connections are different).

And, I managed to order a single head bolt! £7.30

Picked up a set from the motor factors 10 for £10 :D

Old head gasket seemed weird. Made of like a metal sheet stamped into a kind of checkerplate/cheesegrater pattern, and then coated in a fibrous material. Maybe all HGs are like this, but this one has left tiny indentations on the head mating surface from this cheesegrater metal stuff.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:41 pm 
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silly question:

If I turn the engine via the crankshaft sprocket nut, is clockwise the normal direction of the engine?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:05 pm 
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Yes. The tensioners are (almost) always on the 'slack' side.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:05 am 
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well, took head for a inspection and wasn't warped, but the guy was unhappy with the old gasket fire rings being discoloured, and the corrosion of the fibrous stuff. He also said the checker-plate design was common and the indentations on the head wouldn't have caused an issue.

So, had it skimmed as a safe measure, will just put it down to a bad rebuild last time.

Gonna replace the radiator, but I guess not until I've rebuilt it and done a flush of some kind (head-gasket place recommended liquid Aerial Automatic :D)

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:45 pm 
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ive always just flushed cooling systems through with water and its been fine.


im almost excited to rebuild mine when it breaks :D


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:00 pm 
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so started it up first time last night. Fired up straight away. Had issues with the final tightening of the slim 13mm bolt (#1 middle front) as my only slim 13mm was a 1/4 drive and I bent 2 reducers on the final few degrees of the 2nd 90 degree turn. Annoying design.

Wanted to ask about alternators.

I bought this Image sold as "FIAT SEICENTO 1.1 PETROL ALTERNATOR WITHOUT AC 1994-2004"

but it has a 3rd mounting point at the back and the small wire electrical connection is on a stud not a connector. My old one looks like this Image


Is the description of the one I bought wrong? The label says 2001 on it so I'm thinking its an MPI version?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:57 am 
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Alternator with the third mount is for 1108 MPI engines. Can be used on the 1242 but may need a bigger pulley. Year 2001 onward is MPI. The change was in 2000 but these models are quite rare.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:26 pm 
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did a head gasket on a friend's MPI and put it on wrong (don't ask :)) so have to take the head off again, and I was surprised how easy to turn the head bolts were.

question: after the 30 ft lbs and two lots of 90 degree turns, what ft lbs would you expect on a bolt?

I tested one and it seemed to be about 46 ft lbs.

Does this seem right?

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:31 am 
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Oh dear did you put gasket on upside down? Blocks the oil feed to the cam. Never had a problem with the standard torquing procedure and new head bolts

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:22 am 
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i've been reading up on stretch bolts and looks like the torque isn't necessarily indicative of the compression loading on the head.

Yes, fitted gasket 3 times (not torqued down) as inlet manifold was being trouble, and first two times I was really careful but I think i got it in my head that it couldn't fit rotated 180, and the 3rd time I didn't check properly :) wasn't upside-down but was rotated 180.

I did check for oil pressure with hand cranking and thats when I noticed, so it wasn't ran oil starved.

Anyway, is running fine engine wise, but am now discovering what caused the HG failure. Thermostat didn't open, and after removing the innards and retesting the radiator started leaking.

Fun fun fun.

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