Taking the car engine to bits - 11th April 2004

Vehicle "A", the faithful Astra 1987 Mk.2, blew a head-gasket on the way to work, just 5,000-odd miles short of doing the magic 200k (320,000 kilometres). Rather than spend tons more money on it, Nosher decided to cross a part-time car-mechanic's rubicon and do the head-gasket himself. After all, it's kind of a "shit or bust" thing: 195k from a car that only cost £600 can't be bad, but two-ton is within tantalising reach...

next album: Diss Tandoori - 12th April 2004
previous album: The Easter Bunny Bike Ride - 10th April 2004

The unmolested engine, minus the air filter: a 1300 OHC with Weber 37 DMTR twin-bore carb

From the 'timing' end, with the cam-cover removed

Cam (rocker) cover removed, with distributor top-right (showing the 'hat' thing that is the vacuum advance)

Front view of the cam

Cam case removed, showing the hydraulic valve lifters and springs

With the head removed, the old gasket still in place, showing the four pistons. The third piston from the left is the one that was burning the oil, which can be seen pooled on top of it

The cylinder head removed, along with the inlet manifold and carburettor

The underside of the head, showing the 8 valves. The slightly larger ones are the exhaust valves, the smaller ones the inlet valves.

MC Marcey-Marc came round to help stick the whole lot together again

Having cleaned the underside of the cylinder head...

...and the cleaned main block. Considering this engine has done 140,000 miles, there's not a lot of carbon about, and there's very little play in the piston rings

The new gasket in place makes the rest of the engine look like a rusty hunk o' shite

The cylinder head (valves 'n' stuff) returned

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The unmolested engine, minus the air filter: a 1300 OHC with Weber 37 DMTR twin-bore carb