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hi,

my car isnt over heating however ive noticed it used a bit of water in the 4 weeks ive had it

and its a pre 96 model with the original head gasget and is leaking oil rather badly from the NS front of the block.

so whilst i was going to do a cambelt change i thought id do the headgasget as well, the car runs fine but i want to upgrade the headgasget to the klinger one.

ive read that you can change the head gasget without having to skim the head? or take any valves out etc?

and since my car runs mint, i was thinking id do that.

just wanted to check tho is it ok to change the head gasget without skimming the head?

btw my car isnt overheating, it always keeps its temp.

cheers
john
 

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rover_600
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I once carried out a "pre-emptive" head gasket change on a K series, before it overheated. I carried out the job without skimming and it worked perfectly afterwards. No-reason why it won't work on a T16, I always thought better to do it at a convenient time rather than wait for it to go bang at what is alway's an un-convenient time!.
 

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it would be foolish to change a head gasket and replace the head 'as is' if it is warped. i believe the reason for having the head skimmed for a head gasket change is that it is common for alloy heads to warp when on the block.

you can check this with a straight edge when you remove the head. but if it is warped then it will need skimming.

so in short you can replace the head gasket without removing the valves or getting the head skimmed, but if you don't skim the head and it is warped, it will probably have to come off again anyway!
 

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mg_zt_t
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it would be foolish to change a head gasket and replace the head 'as is' if it is warped. i believe the reason for having the head skimmed for a head gasket change is that it is common for alloy heads to warp when on the block.

you can check this with a straight edge when you remove the head. but if it is warped then it will need skimming.

so in short you can replace the head gasket without removing the valves or getting the head skimmed, but if you don't skim the head and it is warped, it will probably have to come off again anyway!
Only have the cylinder head skimmed if it needs it. An engineer's straight edge placed along and diagonally is a good test for truth (flatness). Many professional "quotes" tend to include skimming even before the head is removed. I sometimes wonder how many punters are charged for the skimming when it was not needed and in all probability never done simply because it was not needed.

What is essential when fitting the Elring gasket often referred to as the "Klinger" is proper cleaning and preparation of the block and cylinder head interfaces which clamp down on the gasket ~ the same is true when using conventional head gaskets of course. Success is 90% preparation and 10% parts. If the job is not prepared properly, the best gasket in the world will 'fail'.

I have renewed the head gaskets on several T16 engines and only one needed a skim, mainly to clean it up because of corrosion which was due to incorrect Anti-freeze or more likely, lack of being used.
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in the most basic terms its a piece of metal that is straight. you can hold it against another object to see if that too is straight.
as for getting one you may be able to borrow one from a garage ?

it looks like a piece of metal (large one will be approx 30cm long) with another (slightly bulkier) piece of metal attached at 90 degrees. sort of like a mathclass set square but without the connecting 'third' side of the triangle.
 

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im trying to describe it without confusing myself, maybe i should let MGjohn answer. lol.
i wrote a reply out maybe 3 times but deleted it all because it made no sense. just re-read this and thought it sounded a bit wierd, but to explain, i have read a lot on here and MGjohn is a fountain of knowledge and is very good at transferring what he knows into words. that's what i meant. just hope no-one else read that post as i did after i wrote it. was meant very literally.

i'm not sure to be very honest. again i would say probably ask MGjohn. i've never bought one. used many but never bought one. Snapon would be a very expensive solution, surely one in the tinterweb somewhere. google it ?

http://www.sitebox.ltd.uk/proddetail-fp5s30-straight-edge-tool-10-3m.html

granted this one's absolutely massive but you get the idea
 

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i guess it would be a good idea to try and predict the likely hood of it being warped. i mean the best way is just to check when its off, but if it runs nicely like you say and has had a good life the chances are it could well be fine.

you could risk it, but if it was warped it may not seal properly when replaced!

you may not need to use a straight edge either (to save you buying one) you could use the edge of something, that's very straight!that would show up any obvious warpage.
 

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If it has never overheated and is removed carefully then it'll probably be fine. However it is always good practice to get a straight edge and a feeler gauge and check, then skim if it is necessary.
 

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mg_zt_t
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OK Here goes.

Made from very high grade steel, my very old one is a pre-metric straight 18" metal rule which is always 'straight as a die' and should remain so provided not abused or neglected. About 2.5mm thick, it will stand up on its edge on a flat surface.

In mine there is a central grove along one surface of its length for a sliding right angled locking device which may have included a spirit level ~ this was lost long before I was given the rule. I believe mine was originally called a "Sliding T-square".

I should imagine a new one would be quite expensive. Cheaper, less substantial 12"/30cm ( simple straight rule ) versions are available but would not be long enough for the average sized cylinder head checking. See Ebay Item number: 300046947827 @ 2.99p.

For the 'real deal' items see:

http://www.moore-and-wright.co.uk/main/ukpdf/Page54engistraiedges.pdf

Look at those prices ... OUCH!
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surely wouldn't a Spirit level provide a "straight edge", I don't mean one of those cheapo 99p ones, I mean the type that builders use, as they have to be straight for checking the trueness of a wall. Just thought it might work out cheaper and from my experience as a brickie they tend to be straight as a die. I could be wrong though.
 
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