Technical punto mk1 head gasket hell

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Technical punto mk1 head gasket hell

nicky estambul

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Joined
Jan 24, 2010
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19
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Washington
hi, ive been registered on this forum after buying my mk1 punto in november, and have had some good advice on the few problems i have had so far. well it has finally reached a climax.. the head gasket has gone.
the car only cost 350 quid, cosmetically quite good for year (1998) so i was thinking i had got myself a bargain. now not so sure.
the first problem i had was overheating / cold air from heaters, turned out to be an airlock in the coolant. i bled it and got it fixed, the heater which wasnt working started to blow out hot air again so i assumed i was all sorted. wrong. water level kept dropping very very slowly but none the less it needed topping up now and again.
out driving on sunday and the car started to misfire, maybe i should have looked at it sooner but with no garage and the weather we have been having i couldnt be arsed, kept putting it off. so anyway i have decided to take it off the road and after discovering loads of creamy gunk in the hose from rocker cover to air box face the fact the head gasket needs changing.
i found a guide on here to change head gasket, im no mechanic and am learning as i go but quite mechanically minded and willing to try so am gonna give it a go myself and see if i can fix it.
yesterday i made a start, took injector, rocker cover off and slackened the inlet and exhaust manifold nuts off ready for when i get there. tonight i did a bit more, put it up on axle stands, took off drivers side wheel and took off coil pack. turns out plug leads 3 and 4 were fried which prob (or def) caused the misfiring. then i stupidly broke one of the clips that fasten the wires to the coil pack, of the 2 looms running to\from it its the one closest to the front of the car that broke. without sounding stupid, i am hoping there is a decent way to refasten this securely without renewing anything>?? any suggestions greatly appreciated??
cant do anymore till friday afternoon now due to work commitments, which walking there and back is already pissing me off so am hoping to have it done for next week. maybe as a novice thats wishful thinking, but i work in an engineering factory and boss is off on sat morn so am hoping to get head off friday and milled on sat. then i can start putting it back together...... any tips / suggestions greatly appreciated to help me in my quest. cheers!
 
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nicky estambul

New member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
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Location
Washington
thanks for link was great help that... well iv finally got head off (took yest afternoon off work cos i need car asap) and i dont think the head gasket has been my problem after all. at least not initially, it looks a bit dubious around piston 1 but all the metal rings are still intact. im gonna bring it into work today anyway and get it checked for flatness and possibly skimmed, depends how it looks. a few of the ports were blocked solid with crap, hardened right up which i would imagine has stopped the coolant getting around. i'll unblock all the ports... could this have been my problem all along? a previous owner topping up with water???
 

Noddy

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Generally I replace the water pump and the themostat at the same time and flush the cooling circuit. Also re grind the valves as i always find a load of carbon on the valves (wire brush thing in a drill works best).

The headgasket itself is normally ok I always find its the head that has the problem so if you can skim it yourself i would do it. and definatly clean out all those blocked ports.

If the connector itself isnt broke then the only thing i can think of is to cable tie it in place. Not sure if you could cut the connector of another loom and join the cables?
 
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nicky estambul

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Jan 24, 2010
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ok thanks for that, well i have ordered myself a new water pump so should have that tomorrow. i changed the thermostat just a couple of weeks ago so that should be ok, and i'v brought head into work, will get a skim taken off today / tomorrow. new timing belt / tensioner and oil filter goin on too, so it better not bloody overheat when it all gets put back together or i may cry - it's left me fairly skint!

yeah will clean up valves and flush cooling circuit etc and hope for the best. thanks for all the tips, will let you know what happens when i turn the key.........
 

Noddy

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Feb 24, 2008
Messages
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Location
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As youve done everything else might as well do plugs and air filter will be like a different engine.
Let me know how much carbon there is built up on the valves, just curious to know if its just the ones ive brought or if its a common problem.
 
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