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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

So the engine (CIH 1.6N) on my ascona B decided to quit on me about a year ago. Since I knew "nothing" about mechanics I decided to seek for professional help. They said it was the head-gasket and that it would cost me north of 650€ to replace it. Being a college student, i'm basically broke. So I decided to take matter into my own hands and do the job myself.

Fast-forward a year and some much needed e-learning, I pulled the head out of my engine and just started to dismantle it. (waiting on a valve spring compressor to remove the valves and springs)

Throughout the whole process I took some pictures and I will be posting them as I ATTEMPT to fix my engine.

To recap, when I bought the car like 3 years ago, I did some basic maintenance and notices that it run a bit rough. I also notices a brown paste in the oil filler cap (which later found out it was a mixture of oil in the water). Got the car running a bit better without major intervention but, unfortunately, last year, and after many kms lost all power (all of the sudden). I creeped ir home and when I tried to start it again the following day it remained hurt. Had a v8ish rumble and a powerful scent of gas out of the exhaust pipe. It also shook a lot...like physically speaking. I assumed it was running on 3 cylinders so I left it be.

Since I already suspected that the Hgasket was about to let me down, I assumed it was it's death and channeled all my anger and disappointment to said gasket.

That's when I decided to learn something about mechanics (after those rather scary budget/quotes I got from professional mechanics).

Back to the present day


As I said, i managed to, somehow, pull the head without any complication ("proper preparation prevents poor performance", as they say) and how now like to show you some pictures of the block and head's surface as to get your feedback on how bad it is.

I'm getting the head machined as to ensure the contact surface is as straight as can be. Regarding the valves themselves, i'm having them polished (or maybe I'll try and do the job myself).

I will make sure that the block's surface is flat as well using a straight edge and a feeler gauge.

I will replace all gaskets on the upper engine as well as valve seals, thermostat, oil and gas filter, all hoses (inc. radiator hoses, which were absolutely brown on the inside), head bolts, manifold to head bolts, carburetor to intake plate (or metallic gasket, don't know the proper name), manifold gasket, serpentine belt and coolant temperature sensor.

I intend to flush my radiator and, if and when the engine is back together and running, replace the oil and water (once again) after a few miles to try and flush any gunk left in the engine.

I think that it's all for now.

Please give me your input on the matter, I would love to read what you have to say as I love to learn new things and discuss ideas.

Thank you all for your help! :cool:
Diogo
 

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Discussion Starter #2

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Looks gunky but otherwise OK.

BTW no damage to the valve you just scrapped off some gunk.


Problem with heads, unless tested you have no idea if its good or not just looking at it. So for a few euro probably worth it to get it tested.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Looks gunky but otherwise OK.

BTW no damage to the valve you just scrapped off some gunk.


Problem with heads, unless tested you have no idea if its good or not just looking at it. So for a few euro probably worth it to get it tested.
Hey there, Manta,

Thanks for your input. Where do you reckon I can get the head tested and what does that process involve?

:cool:
 

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Realistically the head check needs to just be cracks and warpage.

First the head should be cleaned, then magnafluxed. Magnaflux checks for cracks that you can't see with the naked eye. To my knowledge, 1.6 heads aren't prone to cracking. The main cracking happened on the 12 bolt heads.
If you had the head surface ground, that would take care of the warpage.
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Realistically the head check needs to just be cracks and warpage.

First the head should be cleaned, then magnafluxed. Magnaflux checks for cracks that you can't see with the naked eye. To my knowledge, 1.6 heads aren't prone to cracking. The main cracking happened on the 12 bolt heads.
If you had the head surface ground, that would take care of the warpage.
Remember he is in portugal, his 1.6L head is a 12 bolt.

As for where a local machine shop will suffice if you have one. In the US its a $30-$60 service. If magnafluxed you will need them to install new cam bearings. Also while there you can have them check the head and valves. You could simply hand them the valve stem seals, and have them do the work. Probably 100-200 euro for it all.
 

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Remember he is in portugal, his 1.6L head is a 12 bolt.

As for where a local machine shop will suffice if you have one. In the US its a $30-$60 service. If magnafluxed you will need them to install new cam bearings. Also while there you can have them check the head and valves. You could simply hand them the valve stem seals, and have them do the work. Probably 100-200 euro for it all.
Hey there, Manta,

You are correct. By any chance do you know if the 2 "extra" bolts in the front of the head have the same torque specs as the remaining 10 other bolts?

Another question, is it ok if I degunk and wash the head with the camshaft bearing still in?

Thanks!!
 

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Hey there, Manta,

You are correct. By any chance do you know if the 2 "extra" bolts in the front of the head have the same torque specs as the remaining 10 other bolts?


Thanks!!
Two different diameter and strength bolts, larger ones screw into the block and the smaller into the aluminum timing cover. Two different torque specs.

Harold
 

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CIH's use four bolts per cylinder.
The front bolts (aka 12) the small two are to help control oil leakage from the cover.

I would pop all bgrs. and alum. things from the head.
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Hey there, Manta,

You are correct. By any chance do you know if the 2 "extra" bolts in the front of the head have the same torque specs as the remaining 10 other bolts?

Another question, is it ok if I degunk and wash the head with the camshaft bearing still in?

Thanks!!
Technically yes, you can degunk the head and not worry about the bearings.

BUT.. give you are going to invest at least 100e into a new head gasket set, it would be best to have the head tested and have them replace the bearings, and install new positive style valve stem seals. Your 1.6L head probably has one positive seal and a o-ring style. Its not much to get them to fit the head with a nice set of new positive seals for all the valves.

https://www.alexsparts.com/valve-seals-3-8-positive-type

Otherwise you risk the head not being good, and losing the money spent on the head gasket set.

The other side of this equation is that you may have a bad motor in general, and as I am sure you didn't do a compression test. The cheapest option is just degunk, and throw a new head gasket on.

Use literally JUST the head gasket, o-ring, and valve stem seals.

Use black RTV to seal the end and cam covers, and valve cover. Then compression test the motor, if the compression test is good. Then reuse the gaskets in your head gasket set ( Cam covers, Valve cover and intake/manifold )

I say this for a simple reason if the compression test comes back bad, you haven't wasted those expensive gaskets. Because if it comes back bad, you will have to replace the motor or at least rebuild the head and possibly the block.

Be sure to get the valves adjusted right as they can affect your compression test.

Look around though you maybe able to find a 2.0L from a Kadett or Manta or Rekord, etc.. and swap its motor in. It will bolt in and look stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Actually I did a compression test before removing the head. But due to a fading battery and lack of booster the final values were compromised.

Take a look at this thread to see the results: http://www.opelgt.com/forums/6a-engine-mechanical/86362-opel-cih-1-6-compression-test-values-help.html

"The initial readings in psi goes as follows:

Opel ascona B 1.6N (I think its a N)
Cylinder 1: 140 psi / 140 psi
2: 129 psi /121 psi
3: 119 *at this point, the battery began to fade*
4:108 psi / 98 psi"

I quoted the thread to make things easy, but if you want, take a look.

BTW, can someone give me the torque specs for the two timing case screws?

Thanks for all the help,

EDIT: yeah, i knew it would be much easier and painless to just swap the 1.6N out, as it gives little power (and only few of us are, actually, OK with that....not particularly me though :cool: ),but since I am self-taught I enjoy the linear process of learning things. So I would like to be able to (theoretically) rebuild an engine and only later being capable of completing a swap on my own. so yeah, pretty committed to making this one somewhat reliable.
 

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Opel Tinkerer and Rescuer
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Actually I did a compression test before removing the head. But due to a fading battery and lack of booster the final values were compromised.

Take a look at this thread to see the results: http://www.opelgt.com/forums/6a-engine-mechanical/86362-opel-cih-1-6-compression-test-values-help.html

"The initial readings in psi goes as follows:

Opel ascona B 1.6N (I think its a N)
Cylinder 1: 140 psi / 140 psi
2: 129 psi /121 psi
3: 119 *at this point, the battery began to fade*
4:108 psi / 98 psi"

I quoted the thread to make things easy, but if you want, take a look.

BTW, can someone give me the torque specs for the two timing case screws?

Thanks for all the help,

EDIT: yeah, i knew it would be much easier and painless to just swap the 1.6N out, as it gives little power (and only few of us are, actually, OK with that....not particularly me though :cool: ),but since I am self-taught I enjoy the linear process of learning things. So I would like to be able to (theoretically) rebuild an engine and only later being capable of completing a swap on my own. so yeah, pretty committed to making this one somewhat reliable.
25NM - 18 Ft/Lb

I'll read the other thread. Definitely looks like weak battery on the numbers. So looks like the rings should be good as the drop was linear and not a massive drop and/or no reading. But that's just a guess from doing this a ton of times and seeing a faded battery mess with my own tests.

Like I said, quick assembly, test and then you will know.

OR take the head to a machine shop, have it tested, new bearings, and valve seats, etc.. but as your on a budget. Just a head gasket may work for the short term. Who knows it could out last the car. Opels are like that.
 
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