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Old 16-09-2011   #1
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Question head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

Hi new to the forums currently have a few fiats in stock

one being a Punto 1242cc on a 2000 (v)
took the car in part ex yesterday diddn't bother to check oil or water as it it just a cheapie!! Used the car all day yesterday as it has a bit of tax and mot and fairly cheap to run around in had no problems apart from a slight missfire if i tried to pull away from junctions in 2nd while still rolling!! this seemed to clear as it reached norm temp. so i thought nothing of it. temp guage between 1/4 and 1/2 all day!

Today got in the car this morning (horrible day very damp) had the same problem with the missfire when cold, just put it down to a bit of damp on a lead?, However 5 mile into my journey temp guage went up to 3/4 and was going up and down like a yoyo between 1/2 and 3/4

decided to pull over and check the engine!! seemed fine to me (i have a fair bit of mechanical knowlege) slowly took water cap off could see water! result just put it down to a dodgy guage and kept going!! (big mistake)......also must add the heaters worked fine!!

got to my destination fine switched car off for over 2 hours!

started my 12 mile drive home temp guage straight up to half!! (unusual but surely a dodgy guage) then it went up to 3/4 within about a mile! drove all way til i was about a mile from my garage then it went all the way to the red, red light also on, did NOT smell hot so kept going (as i said just a cheapie)

arrived home and relised my heaters were not working opened the bonnet and this time seemed very hot, radiator fan IS working!! took the dipstick out and let just say you could not touch it! opened water cap i could still see water however i found this strange so i checked the top and bottom hose and these bothe seemed empty! took the bleed screws out and filled with 2 kettles of water (i know this is a no no as i should use antifreeze) took a while to fill!

However when i put the bleed screws back in ive snapped the one closest to the bulkhead! so i know cant test the car to see if it was airlocked until i get a new screw!


In my personal opinion i think i may have had an airlock and i have now probobly warped the head! however the engine itself is showing no signs of a head problem eg no oil in water or water in oil!

Any advice would be appriciated, i am fully prepared to do the head if its needed but i have seen stranger things turn out to be something minor and you boys are running them all the time so you might have came across this before



sorry for babbling on but i like to give an accurate discription

Many Thanks in advance
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Old 16-09-2011   #2
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Re: head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

i've done a few HG's on the 8v engine and i'd say it was probably safe to say the HG has went unfortunately, probably why it was traded in.
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Old 16-09-2011   #3
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Re: head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

yeah i think your right alex! just a few things seem a bit unusual to me, eg it was running perfect yesterday!

just a couple more questions!

ive never done a punto head before are they quite straight forward (any common issues when doing it) i have done rovers, freelanders, peugeots so i do know the basics eg torquing the head in a certain order usualy spiral changing belt pump and tentioner at the same time etc.. just anything specific to punto's you know of??

also any ideas on how i can get the part of the snapped bleed screw out as its plastic!! i was thinking a small FH electrical screwdriver to try and put a groove on it and turn it out but theres always the danger of it going in the pipe!
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Old 16-09-2011   #4
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Re: head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

Quote Originally Posted by gavinreadman View Post
yeah i think your right alex! just a few things seem a bit unusual to me, eg it was running perfect yesterday!

just a couple more questions!

ive never done a punto head before are they quite straight forward (any common issues when doing it) i have done rovers, freelanders, peugeots so i do know the basics eg torquing the head in a certain order usualy spiral changing belt pump and tentioner at the same time etc.. just anything specific to punto's you know of??

also any ideas on how i can get the part of the snapped bleed screw out as its plastic!! i was thinking a small FH electrical screwdriver to try and put a groove on it and turn it out but theres always the danger of it going in the pipe!

yeah they're nice and easy, most awkard bit is the left hand side engine mount is on the head so you need to support the sump with a trolley jack, to tension the belt i just use a crowbar to lever the tensioner.

give that a go, if not you could always get the pipe from a scrappy with the bleed screw in.
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Old 16-09-2011   #5
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Re: head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

I think the the bleed screw thread is M6 Try a stainless screw.

You also need to find why the HG has failed. There is probably be a leak or the water pump or thermostat have gone.

When you fit the new head gasket be sure its the correct way around. Fitted upside down it will block the cylinder head oil feed. You may as well fit a new timing belt etc. Parts are cheap and have to be a good selling point.

Always skim the head joint face or it will come bouncing back. If its a 16V the valves need to come out.
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Old 16-09-2011   #6
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Re: head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

yeah my plan is to get it skimmed, but as you say there has to be a reason!! i would be changing the water pump and thermostat anyway as a matter of precaution also while its apart it would be ignorant of me not to.

fiats are quite foreign to me i can hand on heart say ive never had a problem with one before! usually come in one day and sold the next!!

i know from past experiances that BLUE antifreeze rots the gaskets on rovers and as a rule i now do not buy any freelanders that have it in only buy them if its pink antifreeze however i don't know if this affects other gaskets! i presume its because the rover manufactures gasket is part silicone and you replace with a uprated steel gasket

can you get an uprated gasket for the punto?? or is it just suprisingly cheap for the kit?? eg 19.50 inc bolts from ebay AMAZING!!

also it is single cam 8v
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Old 17-09-2011   #7
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Re: head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

Quote Originally Posted by gavinreadman View Post
yeah my plan is to get it skimmed, but as you say there has to be a reason!! i would be changing the water pump and thermostat anyway as a matter of precaution also while its apart it would be ignorant of me not to.

fiats are quite foreign to me i can hand on heart say ive never had a problem with one before! usually come in one day and sold the next!!

i know from past experiances that BLUE antifreeze rots the gaskets on rovers and as a rule i now do not buy any freelanders that have it in only buy them if its pink antifreeze however i don't know if this affects other gaskets! i presume its because the rover manufactures gasket is part silicone and you replace with a uprated steel gasket

can you get an uprated gasket for the punto?? or is it just suprisingly cheap for the kit?? eg 19.50 inc bolts from ebay AMAZING!!

also it is single cam 8v
freelanders have head gasket failure guaranteed in the sales brochure
you had to sign up for at least 2 headgaskets before the failed dealers let you buy one
as for fiats then if you can get a full h/g set and bolts for under 2o notes then you have to ask yourself is this chinese dumping or inferior parts
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Old 17-09-2011   #8
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Re: head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

exactly what i am asking myself!! haha i wouldn't buy off ebay anyway we get fair rates off andew page for warrented parts

of course a timing belt has to be warrented not so much on an 8v fiat but i have known the cheapies off ebay snap on a 16v renault within a year!!
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Old 18-09-2011   #9
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Re: head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

I use Shop4 Parts or EuroParts for things I cant afford to go pop.

You make an interesting point about blue antifreeze and Rovers. My mate has a Lotus Elise with K series 160 engine. Last winter it froze up and ripped his water pump and cambelt to bits. The coolant was fitted by his local Lotus garage only 18 months before.
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 18-09-2011 at 20:03.
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Old 20-09-2011   #10
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Re: head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

Quote Originally Posted by WhiteSei View Post
I use Shop4 Parts or EuroParts for things I cant afford to go pop.

You make an interesting point about blue antifreeze and Rovers. My mate has a Lotus Elise with K series 160 engine. Last winter it froze up and ripped his water pump and cambelt to bits. The coolant was fitted by his local Lotus garage only 18 months before.

cheers for the advice! should have read this before i started a new thread!

i can't say for definite about the blue antifreeze its just that ive owned loads of k-series with head gasket faults and the only thing in common i can find is when its blue they go when its red/pink they don't, haha i'd probobley end up getting sued by comma or something for slander just my general theroy/opinion, what colour was it when lotus changed it??
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Old 20-09-2011   #11
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Re: head gasket??? or other??? general advice needed

eurocarparts seem quite expensive for parts compared to others! are you finding this aswell
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