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    Thread: head gasket

    1. 04-28-2012 10:24 AM #1
      looking for a cabriolet for my wife.
      found one with bad headgasket??? not sure how much more is bad, but was told head gasket is bad, water in oil?
      if thats it, what kinda money will it take to fix.

      thanks for any info

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      04-28-2012 01:14 PM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by anextgli View Post
      looking for a cabriolet for my wife.
      found one with bad headgasket??? not sure how much more is bad, but was told head gasket is bad, water in oil?
      if thats it, what kinda money will it take to fix.

      thanks for any info
      what year cabby?

      bad head gaskets kinda scare me, because VWs are NOT notorious for blowing gaskets. it usually takes some sort of user error to cause gasket failure, then they usually get over heated BAD by the time the retarded owner realizes that their engine is so hot that its about to become a nuclear reactor core..

      if there is water in the oil, its a blown gasket, bad.

      oil in the coolant tho, that could be as simple as a bad oil cooler.. its more common for the oil cooler to bite the dust, then the head gasket.. i dont know if your car has a cooler or not tho, look directly above the oil filter, if theres a square aluminum box, with 2 coolant lines coming from it, then thats the cooler.

      please describe as best you can, what the symptoms are?

      is there low compression on any cylinders?
      does it make coolant smoke when it runs?
      does it even run?

    3. 04-28-2012 01:18 PM #3
      have not gotten car yet. debating it. wife wants one, found one on the cheap. but has said, gasket issue.
      dont know more.
      guy says car starts fine. just has this issue. im pretty sure its not just this.
      but if i can grab it for 500, and the fix dont equal new motor, might be able to make wife happy

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      04-28-2012 01:35 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by anextgli View Post
      have not gotten car yet. debating it. wife wants one, found one on the cheap. but has said, gasket issue.
      dont know more.
      guy says car starts fine. just has this issue. im pretty sure its not just this.
      but if i can grab it for 500, and the fix dont equal new motor, might be able to make wife happy
      if there are any issues with the bottom end, drop an ABA in there, they are CHEAP plentiful, and a good displacement increase..

    5. 04-28-2012 01:37 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Glegor View Post
      if there are any issues with the bottom end, drop an ABA in there, they are CHEAP plentiful, and a good displacement increase..
      that the same motor i have in my 95 golf sport? sorry for lack of knowledge here.

    6. 04-28-2012 01:42 PM #6
      oh and its a 91 with 107 on clock

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      04-28-2012 03:02 PM #7
      where do you live? not trying to be optimistic, but cold weather can make people assume the worst when they see milk on the oil cap
      I really suck at smog.

    8. 04-28-2012 03:04 PM #8
      Nj.

    9. 04-28-2012 08:23 PM #9

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      04-29-2012 09:30 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by anextgli View Post
      . . . found one with bad headgasket??? . . . was told head gasket is bad, water in oil? . . . what kinda money will it take to fix. . . guy says car starts fine. just has this issue. . . but if i can grab it for 500, and the fix dont equal new motor, might be able to make wife happy
      I purchase my used vehicles based on body condition as I'm not a very good kind of body/fender work kind of guy. To me $500 for a good solid body and a drive train which is not all that bad is an OK deal. Just what if anything other than just saying the head gasket is bad did the owner tell you? A head gasket is really a simple and not very expensive job if your doing the work yourself. The fix will for sure not equal a new (or used) motor and if your a little handy doing the head gasket will be much less than the $500 the car cost you. I would at least find out just why he says the head gasket is toast, could be something different and even cheaper

    11. 04-30-2012 09:41 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by anextgli View Post
      . wife wants one, might be able to make wife happy

      I wouldn't buy it if that is the reason.

      It will need some work. It is an old car. Women don't like to be broken down on the side of the road and they like everything to work.

      If you want a project to work on, to restore, that is another matter, if she wants to wait and if she understands there could be other problems, and if you are willing to dig into it.

      You could buy it and maybe it just had an original headgasket that has finally started to disintegrate, maybe 300-400$ or so to put a new gasket on and new headbolts.

      Or, the engine might have overheated, blowing the gasket, warping the head (requires straightening), or cracking it (requires crack repair). If the oil has water in it and has been sitting, that's not good for the bearings in the engine. Then, you would need to figure out why it overheated. Maybe the fan sensor went bad, maybe the radiator plugged up, maybe the plastic overflow tank cracked, maybe the thermostat is defective.

      I can see just from the pic you will need new strut bearings. May as well replace the shocks while you are at it, etc.

      With as little as we know about it, considering that domestic tranquility could be at stake, it may be better to hold off for one that someone has taken better care off, even if it is 1500-2000$, which is not a lot of extra money when you add up replacement parts.
      Last edited by chickenfriend; 04-30-2012 at 09:50 PM.

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      05-01-2012 05:06 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by chickenfriend View Post
      I can see just from the pic you will need new strut bearings. May as well replace the shocks while you are at it, etc.
      This of course Iím sure will be another case of ďYou questioned me?! Iíll just have to dig out the flamethrower and try giving you a blast!Ē I always hope deep down that it does not turn out that way, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

      I have worked for car dealerships and repair shops for many years before changing careers and never once met a mechanic who could look at something like a strut bearing and determine it was bad. Now donít get me wrong, if it is torn up or shows some other sign of being damaged then fine, but dirty and old just donít make them bad. So my question, that maybe I can be a better mechanic and person, is just how have you determined them to be bad? Maybe you blew up the picture and saw something I canít from the one posted or something, just curious, really.

    13. 05-01-2012 06:19 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by WaterWheels View Post
      This of course Iím sure will be another case of ďYou questioned me?! Iíll just have to dig out the flamethrower and try giving you a blast!Ē I always hope deep down that it does not turn out that way, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

      I have worked for car dealerships and repair shops for many years before changing careers and never once met a mechanic who could look at something like a strut bearing and determine it was bad. Now donít get me wrong, if it is torn up or shows some other sign of being damaged then fine, but dirty and old just donít make them bad. So my question, that maybe I can be a better mechanic and person, is just how have you determined them to be bad? Maybe you blew up the picture and saw something I canít from the one posted or something, just curious, really.
      I can only offer you my observations.

      With that particular mount, as it gets old, the top plate keeps pulling away from the rubber at the base because it is under tension. Eventually, the rubber will split in the seam, or it has otherwise lost all resiliency.

      The gap on the one showing looks like it has already stretched out to the maximum. I'd say it is most likely it is binding and the rubber has begun to split, or has split, in the seam.

      Those types of mounts last about 40 to 60K before they should be replaced, depending on the abuse they take. I get around 60k on mine, but our roads are not that bad.

      There is a subset of the A1 crowd who can't stand that particular style of mount, and instead use the early-style rebuild-able types, or aftermarket rebuildables, because they last longer due to being a different design which is under compression rather than tension.

      These mounts are discussed frequently over in the mk1 forum, usually because of their design and short lifespan. So, we are tuned-in to them, not because we are good mechanics, but because it is one of our old car quirks.

      While on the topic, I'll also mention that the stock black cover caps are junk. Cheap pieces of plastic that split where they push over the strut top nut. However, if caps are left off, water, dirt, and road salt spray will pool in the nut cavity and corrode the bearing prematurely. The cheapest way to go is to cover them with tuna cans and a magnet or something underneath to keep them from rattling around.
      Last edited by chickenfriend; 05-01-2012 at 06:35 AM.

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      05-01-2012 01:41 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by WaterWheels View Post
      This of course Iím sure will be another case of ďYou questioned me?! Iíll just have to dig out the flamethrower and try giving you a blast!Ē I always hope deep down that it does not turn out that way, but hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

      I have worked for car dealerships and repair shops for many years before changing careers and never once met a mechanic who could look at something like a strut bearing and determine it was bad. Now donít get me wrong, if it is torn up or shows some other sign of being damaged then fine, but dirty and old just donít make them bad. So my question, that maybe I can be a better mechanic and person, is just how have you determined them to be bad? Maybe you blew up the picture and saw something I canít from the one posted or something, just curious, really.


      if the strut bearings STICK UP THAT FAR out of the cup they sit in, then there is basically a 95% chance that they are TOAST..

      every set ive ever replaced, that stuck up that far, came off in 2 pieces..

      the HEIGHT of the retainer on top of the bearing is basically a WEAR INDICATOR..

      if they barely come above the strut tower cups (1/4" or so, then they are in very good condition, maybe new even) but if the metal retainer is like 1" above the strut tower cup, then its a VERY HIGH LIKELIHOOD that the strut bearings are JUNK..

      as the strut bearing wears, the vehicle pushes down on them, and degrades them. so then te metal retainers/ and plastic protector caps have more distance from the strut towers, and they are indicating there wear..

      i CAN NOT believe that you did not know this trick for inspecting strut bearings!!

      and yes, it works basically every time on a mk1/2/3 car, being that the strut bearings have wear indicators. (that metal retainer that goes on top of the strut assembly, under the top nut, i use that as a wear indicator, as do many other GOOD VW MECHANICS that know there car very well..

      so, yea, you must not have known this sweet little trick. because it works.. ive never once seen one that stuck up like they were bad, and go to replace them, and have them be good.. they are ALWAYS toasted when the strut retainers are sticking up that far past the strut tower cup..

    15. 05-01-2012 02:38 PM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by Glegor View Post
      the HEIGHT of the retainer on top of the bearing is basically a WEAR INDICATOR
      That is a very good way to put it.

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      05-02-2012 07:22 AM #16
      Maybe because in my opinion it is not any kind of trick, sweet or otherwise, really. If one canSEE the stretch then one has viewed damage/wear which tells you something is wrong, itís not any trick. That would be like saying that seeing fuel on the ground is a good trick that tells you there is a fuel leak. I have to say here that I viewed the picture at work on an old tiny, by todayís standards, monitor (13Ē if that). So the picture was not real big or super sharp for trying to detect any problems with anything. Today I copied the picture and blew it up large enough to see better detail (before it started to get too grainy). And yes, the strut bearings do look to be a stretched. That then would be obvious signs of damage or wear. "Now donít get me wrong, if it is torn up or shows some other sign of being damaged then fine, but dirty and old just donít make them bad. . . Maybe you blew up the picture and saw something I canít from the one posted or something, just curious, really.Ē That is a quote from me in the post I made above.

      Like I said up front, to chickenfriend, maybe he blew it up or something. I had not so I found it odd that someone would tell another person their stuff was bad, not suggesting it looked bad or might be bad, but saying it was without explaining how it was determined. So in my curiosity I asked how from looking at the picture he came to that conclusion. Period.

      Those plastic caps do seem to like to break. For some strange reason it always seems that only one breaks, left or right side. I just keep placing the broken one back on the strut if it comes off while working and the hood when closed seems to keep it from coming off. Itís a pain sometimes but finding good ones is even more of a pain.

      Thanks for taking the time to explain all the facts about strut bearings and how they wear. It really was not necessary to answer the question I posted, but Iím sure some others will find it helpful. All the other comments and assumptions really were not helpful or needed but as they say, ďhope is always the last thing to dieĒ, so I guess one out of two responses to what I wrote, as it was written, is a start.

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      05-02-2012 12:30 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by WaterWheels View Post
      Maybe because in my opinion it is not any kind of trick, sweet or otherwise, really. If one canSEE the stretch then one has viewed damage/wear which tells you something is wrong, itís not any trick. That would be like saying that seeing fuel on the ground is a good trick that tells you there is a fuel leak. I have to say here that I viewed the picture at work on an old tiny, by todayís standards, monitor (13Ē if that). So the picture was not real big or super sharp for trying to detect any problems with anything. Today I copied the picture and blew it up large enough to see better detail (before it started to get too grainy). And yes, the strut bearings do look to be a stretched. That then would be obvious signs of damage or wear. "Now donít get me wrong, if it is torn up or shows some other sign of being damaged then fine, but dirty and old just donít make them bad. . . Maybe you blew up the picture and saw something I canít from the one posted or something, just curious, really.Ē That is a quote from me in the post I made above.

      Like I said up front, to chickenfriend, maybe he blew it up or something. I had not so I found it odd that someone would tell another person their stuff was bad, not suggesting it looked bad or might be bad, but saying it was without explaining how it was determined. So in my curiosity I asked how from looking at the picture he came to that conclusion. Period.

      Those plastic caps do seem to like to break. For some strange reason it always seems that only one breaks, left or right side. I just keep placing the broken one back on the strut if it comes off while working and the hood when closed seems to keep it from coming off. Itís a pain sometimes but finding good ones is even more of a pain.

      Thanks for taking the time to explain all the facts about strut bearings and how they wear. It really was not necessary to answer the question I posted, but Iím sure some others will find it helpful. All the other comments and assumptions really were not helpful or needed but as they say, ďhope is always the last thing to dieĒ, so I guess one out of two responses to what I wrote, as it was written, is a start.
      hahaha, you always have a way of making yourself seem better than the people posting around here?

      why do you even post on VW vortex if you are soo awesome? why dont you post on the forums for people whos SH*T dont stink?

      cause all of us here, our SH*T does stink.. you dont fit in here at all. you are always 10 feet above everyone..

      you didnt know how to check strut bearings by looking..

      2 people inform you how, and then you get all snooty, and just dont give a FCK...

      are you this much of an @$$hole in daily life? do you ever get laid?

      (and why is it that every MOFO on the planet besides me, Vortex's at work? do you guys not have bosses that give a FCK?)
      Last edited by Glegor; 05-02-2012 at 12:33 PM.

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      05-02-2012 03:03 PM #18
      Haha, that trick is why everyone always thinks Fox strut bearings are shot, and multiple people have failed state inspections because of it.
      I really suck at smog.

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      05-02-2012 11:26 PM #19
      I spy an automatic trans. This is a bigger liability than any possible engine problem. It might never fail, it might not get out of sight. I would not count on it lasting long.

      You didn't mention the top either. A good canvas top will run you $400+ and they are a long, tedious job.

      In my eyes this car would be suitable for someone who is ready to pull the motor and trans, put in a running mill and do a 5 speed conversion. I wouldn't screw with it otherwise. Unless the rest is just cherry I think $500 might be a bit too much. If you aren't ready to dump some money and time into it so you can get it running and see what else it needs to be a driver, walk away. You can find a nice running 5 speed cabby in the $2000-$3000 range.

      brakes, suspension, axles, rusty gas tank, air con, power windows??? This stuff adds up real fast and that's just the parts.

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      05-03-2012 06:41 AM #20
      I have very little if any faith in the ďModeratorsĒ of this forum or ďAdministratorsĒ as a whole to work this issue through or even see it for that matter. The forum Moderators seem to spend the majority of their time in different forums and visit maybe one or two times a year, but thatís another story for another time. So Iíll address the above post myself, in my own way out in the open as I have nothing to hide and let the chips fall as they may.

      It is 100% irrelevant to me what you think about me as a person. I donít care if you have a problem with me being allowed to use the Internet at work. I donít care if you question or think you know anything about my sex life. I do find it odd that it even entered you mind. I could care less if you feel I am better then you or if you think Iím holding myself above you somehow. And I for sure donít care if you think I donít fit here, like you really know and can speak for everyone, or wish I would go to a different web site. And I aslo don't care if you have some kind of problem which causes you to feel others are against you in some imaginary way. I have all my life not cared what people think about me or the way I care to conduct myself. Yeah, sometimes it causes problems in life but I would rather deal with those problems then present myself in a phony or misleading or imposter kind of way.

      That said, I proclaim openly that I have no problem with you ďpersonallyĒ that I can really think of right now. I donít know you, what you look like, if you are a man or woman, the color of your skin, your religion or your sexual preference or just about anything at all for that matter. Not even if you really own or can drive an automobile. I doní know and donít care. Remember the key work in that sentence above, personally, as it is the basis for this response. I do however have issues with the way you attempt to discuss or converse with me, and others too Iíve noticed, in an open public forum. Am I going to try to change your ways? No, you can conduct yourself as you see fit. Am I going to fall prey to your silly attempts to draw me into some tit-for-tat name calling game? Again, no, that type of childish behavior I am above. I am only going to do two things.

      The first is to attempt to help you a little in life, if you will. Have you ever looked back at some of the things you say (write) and question just why you posted what you did? Have you ever thought about how un-educated and small it makes you look or how it turns people off even if you might have a point or are maybe correct? I know America has, or had, a good education system as I went through it myself. It taught me how to express myself to others without resorting to character assassination attempts or using words (censor defeating or not) which not only attempt to offend the person they're directed towards but the people around you as well. Try it sometime. Pick up a dictionary and discover some words which say what you want without resorting to cheap back ally talk. Come up with some text that will express and convey what you are thinking without trying to be offensive or hip or cute. The second thng is to point you to the below link. You must have read it at some time and agreed to it also. What happened to you since then?

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/faq.php?f..._faq#faq_rules

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