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79 Spitfire 1500 - Head Gasket


Becci

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Hey all,
Am currently attempting to replace my head gasket, having been informed it has well and truly gone. Before I do, I've been advised to compression test it first, is this a good idea? Also, when looking at how to replace head gasket, have come across a couple of problems in terms of how to detach the exhaust manifold. I don't seem to be able to get to the bolts from any angle... Any advice on what I can do with this? Would really appreciate any help, as I've only had my spitfire since July, and am a bit of a novice!
Thanks, Becci xxx

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Becci,

No point compression testing it if the head gaskets definately gone, there may or may not be other problems, but the compression test won't tell you anything becuase of the head gasket.

Those bolts under the exhaust manifold are well known for being difficult, I didn't have a problem with mine, but I've got a tubular manifold and that makes it easier. I think one solution is a short/stubby spanner, I'm pretty sure someone else chopped a spanner in half to get to them!!! You can also get half moon spanners (shaped like a Banana!!) they'd almost certainly do it, but you don't find cheap ones, might be worth investing though, if you get a 1/2" / 9/16" one, it's only one spanner for nearly everything on the car!

Once you've got the manifolds off head gasket is pretty simple. Get yourself a decent gasket scraper and a decent torque wrench..

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Thanks - will see if I can pinch a half moon off a friend, or even buy one myself. Have got everything else I'll need, just been a bugger getting the bolts off in the first place!! I'll let you know how it goes...
xxx

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also what replacement gasket have you got? general consesus seems to be to use a PAYEN gasket as alot of the others nowaday are rubbish.

manifold, also easy to do if your triple jopinted :D

and im sure its probably been explained to you but just thought it might be worth putting it down, usualy head gasket failure signs are oil in your coolent, milky white gunk on your filler cap and i think you get various trouble with your coolent level dropping and overflowing etc, oh and blowing white? smoke out of the exhaust, others may just clear a few things up for me whov had experience with having one fail im sure.....

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You might also want to use the manifolds as leverage on the cylinder head, so once you have disconnected the water pump and the exhaust pipe from the manifold then unbolt the cylinder head and make sure it can be lifted.

I'm sure I used sockets on mine, but they are 3/8drive so a bit narrower and you use the extension bar like Bill said.

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JamesR wrote:
You might also want to use the manifolds as leverage on the cylinder head, so once you have disconnected the water pump and the exhaust pipe from the manifold  


I wouldn't risk undoing the manifold to down pipe flange unless you absolutely have too, you can gaurentee that one of the bolts shears off, although I do agree that it makes it easier to lift the head.

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