wet liner engine head gaskets
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Default wet liner engine head gaskets

    Am about to drop in a low km motor into an R21. The motor has been sitting without coolant in a wrecked car in a wrecking yard for about 8 years. It all looks in very good condition and turns over very freely. BUT - is it worth pulling the head off before I bolt it in to replace what may a degraded head gasket? Or should it be OK? It will a lot easier now while the motor is bare on the shed floor then once its in the car and has gone pop!

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  2. #2
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Personally I'd take the risk.

    I've never had the head gasket go in a wet liner Cit motor due to sitting for extended periods.

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    PS: How many cars have you got now ?? Poogeo, R21, Fuego, R25 etc, etc ...
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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleChevron
    PS: How many cars have you got now ?? Poogeo, R21, Fuego, R25 etc, etc ...
    too bloody many.... I personally have a 406, an R25, an early R21 (resto project) an R25 parts car, Fuego parts car, 2 R10 wrecks, 3 Rover 2000 (one resto project, 2 parts), an NSU Ro80 (resto project again...).

    This particular R21 is my ex's car.... It blew a gasket, but the auto was dying, the engine was never the same after it got fryed the last time the gasket went, and the power steering is getting changed as well, and the driveshafts re booted. All parts from a 30K km car I bought wrecked and stripped for her for $400 . Cheap rebuild for an ailing car. Wouldnt have been worth fixing if I had to rebuild the engine/auto/steering from scratch!
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  4. #4
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    How about changing the water pump in case the seal has dried out, and the timing belt in case it has developed some sort of weird shape or condition from not being used. Head gasket should be OK though, if the car had decent coolant in at the time it went off the road.

  5. #5
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    the water pump I will risk (feels good bearing wise), as its an easy job to swap if it leaks, and the timing belt of course!! It was very dry and cracked.... I have also changed both crank seals, cam and aux shaft seals.
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  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    Default Wet liner engine etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon
    the water pump I will risk (feels good bearing wise), as its an easy job to swap if it leaks, and the timing belt of course!! It was very dry and cracked.... I have also changed both crank seals, cam and aux shaft seals.
    When purchasing your new cam belt check if it has the round or square teeth. There was a special belt tension gauge for Renaults but I would just use common sense.
    Are there any other auxilliary drive belts worth replacing while you are in there?

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildebeest
    When purchasing your new cam belt check if it has the round or square teeth. There was a special belt tension gauge for Renaults but I would just use common sense.
    Are there any other auxilliary drive belts worth replacing while you are in there?
    All R21s have the round tooth - early Fuegos and R20s had the square teeth. Belt deflection is given as 10mm b/w cam and aux shaft pulleys, so yes, common sense will be fine. Unfortunatly, this is a very late model motor (one of the last Douvrins built in 1992) that doesnt have the tension setting plunger in the water pump housing that most Douvrin motors have that makes setting the tension a no brainer.

    Other belts, hoses and a host of other stuff getting fixed up or renewed in the process. Should be good for another 15 years when I'm done with it
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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    personally i wouldn't take the chance on the head gasket

    i'd change it as i have seen a few engines that have been sitting for a period of time bieng put into a car or cars that have been sitting without coolant in them for a period only to blow a head gasket within 6 months

    up to you but for a few dollars and a little time i'd change it if it were me
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  9. #9
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    Default take the risk!

    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon
    Am about to drop in a low km motor into an R21. The motor has been sitting without coolant in a wrecked car in a wrecking yard for about 8 years. It all looks in very good condition and turns over very freely. BUT - is it worth pulling the head off before I bolt it in to replace what may a degraded head gasket? Or should it be OK? It will a lot easier now while the motor is bare on the shed floor then once its in the car and has gone pop!

    Hi Haakon,

    I am in the position as you: I have just purchased a 505 motor from PickA Part. It looks OK , going on a hunch that it is OK, I intend to fit it as is to my 404.

    For the effort of putting it in (about 2.5 hrs) I am taking the punt and if there is problem it's only cost me the time to fit & remove -but if all well that's even better.

    Depending on how hard it is fit to the Renault you could consider running the gaunlet - but I will be watching mine for any temperature problems or lost coolant like a hawk.

    If you pull the head off then you are faced with a full disassemble and a VRS and bottom end gasket kit - once the liners unseat [email protected] can fall down into the seal area. If pull the head off remember this. It was almost a guaranteed occurance on 504s.

    There seems to be two, highly polarised schools of thought on the forum -one for leaving as is and one for a full check up.

    The choice is yours !

    regards

    Rob
    Last edited by robmac; 10th January 2005 at 06:32 PM. Reason: spelling errors !!!

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger! Jack Z's Avatar
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    Impressive collection Haakon...

    I always loved the NSU Ro80... fabulous car for it's time...

    I don't feel as bad now...
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  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Well, considering a head gasket and head resurface will cost me about $50 and only add another hour or so to the job since the motor is stripped already, I may pop the head off now and have a look. At least save me the stress of wondering if it will go again. Its not my car, so I want to be fairly sure its not going to give trouble - she doesnt always keep an eye on things like engine temp, and I dont want it leaving her stranded with a cooked motor again!
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  12. #12
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Eight years is a long time... if the water dried up over some long period during that time, I think there might be problems...

    I have a 165,000km 505 XN engine here, it hasn't run for about 15 years, I wouldn't dream of installing it without a head gasket change.

    On the other hand, a 404 with the closed top block, I would use that untouched, even after a similar period.

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Have decided after much deliberation to err on the side of caution, and pull the head off while its still easy to do so. Plus I realised I have a set of valve guide seals lying about that I might as well have fitted while they resurface the head. Worth it for the peace of mind I think. Plus I get to smear some oil on the bores to lessen the shock of it being awoken again after such a long slumber
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  14. #14
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Z
    Impressive collection Haakon...

    I always loved the NSU Ro80... fabulous car for it's time...

    I don't feel as bad now...
    In the family...
    C5 HDi Wagon; BX TZi; BX TRi; GS Series 2 Cmatic Club; GS 4sp Series 1; Volvo 850R; Triumph 2500S: Ford Cortina MkII 1600E; Hillman Hunter 660 Royal and that doesn't include the parts cars...
    Cheers - not too bad yourself. I caught the Ro80 bug from Dad - he still drives the one he bought in 1974, and yes he still runs the proper NSU engine and yes it is perfectly reliable. It goes to Perth and back every couple of years as well as being the daily driver. He has few of them as well, as well as 2 NSU Prinzes, many R4s, several Hillamans, a few Rovers, a series 1 Landrover, 2 Fichtal and Sachs Wankel stationary engines, and an NSU Ski Craft (this thing is great - imagine a 6 foot long boat with handle bars out the back. It is powered by an NSU Wankel single rotor inboard motor and you get dragged behind it on waterskis. So cool... ).
    Also has an NSU inboard boat motor, a version of the Ro80 engine - VERY RARE. As you may have guessed by now, he is a rotary fan
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  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! 604 tragic's Avatar
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    Default Ro80 memories

    Quote Originally Posted by Haakon
    I caught the Ro80 bug from Dad - he still drives the one he bought in 1974, and yes he still runs the proper NSU engine and yes it is perfectly reliable.
    As you may have guessed by now, he is a rotary fan
    Hi Haakon
    I have a mate who did his apprenticeship at Regans in the late '60s and worked on many R080s. (he's in Cairns now but hes still a Pug nut).
    He told me a story about a big Radio mast used by the towtruck company next door to his workshop falling across a line of new Ro80s in the Regans yard at Auburn, so perhaps yours or your Dads has the evidence of a rapaid roof repair done to about 8 cars before the customers saw the damage.

    Everyone knew the mast was being dismantled - by the local gorillas who drove the quickest tow trucks in the Easter suburbs. This huge reinforced aerial was a war surplus thing about 4 stories high, anyway John Regan sensed danger & got the machanics to move the NSUs, that had just been delvered off the boat, to the other side of the yard.

    But Murphies law kicked in a a big gust of wind blew the swinging mast onto the worst possible place across the roofs of all the new cars. If he had left the cars in their original spot they wouldnt have been damaged!!

    PS: wasnt there a rotary NSU helicopter??? Has you dad got one of those too?
    So many projects - so little time.

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 604 tragic
    Hi Haakon
    I have a mate who did his apprenticeship at Regans in the late '60s and worked on many R080s. (he's in Cairns now but hes still a Pug nut).
    He told me a story about a big Radio mast used by the towtruck company next door to his workshop falling across a line of new Ro80s in the Regans yard at Auburn, so perhaps yours or your Dads has the evidence of a rapaid roof repair done to about 8 cars before the customers saw the damage.

    Everyone knew the mast was being dismantled - by the local gorillas who drove the quickest tow trucks in the Easter suburbs. This huge reinforced aerial was a war surplus thing about 4 stories high, anyway John Regan sensed danger & got the machanics to move the NSUs, that had just been delvered off the boat, to the other side of the yard.

    But Murphies law kicked in a a big gust of wind blew the swinging mast onto the worst possible place across the roofs of all the new cars. If he had left the cars in their original spot they wouldnt have been damaged!!

    PS: wasnt there a rotary NSU helicopter??? Has you dad got one of those too?
    What a horror story . I will have to tell dad that one and he will no doubt be checking the collection to see if any of his were victims. But the one he runs daily was bought in Perth where it was sold new, so its an unbent one. It needs to have some restoration work done and a respray soon - its 250K MILES are starting to show (weak and unreliable NSU motors are a very annoying urban legend that has seemed to have stuck...)

    NSU helicoptor? Thats a new one to me.
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Bloody Murphey.... Bit the bullet and pulled the head off, and of course the gasket was in perfect condition....
    Oh well, better safe then sorry - and of course if I hadnt, it would have blown because as we all know, Murphey is a bastard!
    So a head gasket and head resurface I didnt need to spend, but at least I know now it will be hunky dory. And it has confirmed that this is a very low km engine - the bores look brand new.
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

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