Its the Head gasket :( - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2012, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Its the Head gasket :(

Well following on from one of my first posts which I cannot link to yet as I dont have enough posts... soon

"Hiya Guys

Ok brought a Mini Cooper S JCW 2003 today, it had a flat battery a week or so ago and it hasnt been driver for about three months the owners been away

So, Orange Engine sign is on

Guy I got it from said it had come on yesterday when he took it for a spin, its only just had an MOT so all levels etc checked at time by his BMW Mechanic

He said his mechanic thinks its because it hasnt been used and is a fuel sensor or CO2 sensor that needs replacing??

It drove fine.... until I got on the motorway... 65mph and it started to cough and splutter, fine at lower speeds

Any ideas guys please?? Im really hoping its an easy fix as the car itself is near mint!

Cheers"



I had the car in today, and its the head gasket

2003 with only 43k on the clock, gutted and

Guy I brought it from is Policeman in the MET as well, quite high up, so its even worse!

Looks like it was gone when I drove it home, all I can hope is that the damage isn't too severe, being as I drove it close to 100 miles, albeit in temperatures of 5 deg on Saturday thank god it was cold!

All that showed up was the engine management light though, no water temp light and all the heating was working properly as well

So, next questions... please help if your able

This is a Cooper S WORKS Mini, so can the head be skimmed on these? The guy at the garage has told me 900.00 inclusive for the strip down, head sent away to be skimmed, then it all putting back together with the relevant gaskets and fluids and filters

I read somewhere that the heads cant be skimmed? is this true or can they be on this, and if not, what is the part I need please?

Also, should there be anything else I should be looking to have done at the same time?

any help or advice appreciated guys, im truly gutted
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2012, 07:33 PM
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Not sure about head skim but water pump change would be good and a thermostat.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2012, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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ok mate great

If I have to get a replacement head how much is that likely to set me back
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2012, 09:01 PM
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You could skim the head, theres normally a few thou you can remove it is distorted to get it flat again and also the block face needs checking too.
You have to bear in mind skimming the head increases the compression ratio and if you go too far can cause the new gasket to go prematurely and depending on the valve/piston head design the valves can get closer to the pistons with the risk of contact between the two.
BMWMINIparts Cooper S Head, RRP 1000 their price 200 according to their site
But then yours is JCW modded? so add a bit
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2012, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Ok mate well I have a few avenues to explore now, can you tell me, is there a PART no. for the Cooper S JCW Head do you know I cant seem to find any??
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2012, 09:33 PM
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2012, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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thank you sir
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2012, 11:39 PM
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To compensate for skimming a head a thicker head gasket can sometimes be used to maintain the same compression ratio:

"All Cometic MLS head gaskets are available to order in 17 different thicknesses from 0.027 to 0.140. Some of the larger sizes are also ideal as decompression plates or for correcting compression where heads have been skimmed."
Cometic Multi-Layer Head Gasket - BMW Mini Cooper:
https://www.vecchio.co.uk/index.php?...mart&Itemid=55
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2012, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Well thanks guys for all the help and info so far!!

Ive taken Mab01UK advice and phoned JCW in Shoreham, there literally a few miles from me, and spoke to a really friendly guy on the phone who has told me to bring it over today so they can hook it up and see whats going on

I have read sooooo much since this happened about different scenarios and things happening, also I have found out the guy has had the head gasket go already on this, 4 years ago, and was done at a Mini Garage at a cost of 600 so I wouldnt have thought for that money the head was replaced, if its been skimmed that would make it worse I would think so we will wait and see

Thanks again guys will post when I have news
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2012, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Had a text from the guy I brought it from, basically in a nutshell its "so what do you want me to do about it??"

No apologies, nothing that you would expect a genuinely sorry guy to say, all he said he would do was "Ask my mechanic and see what he says" but money wise, he isn't interested, and I also think judging by the reply that he knew something was wrong, he just wasn't saying, he hasn't taken ANY of my calls, just texts and he knew how it was with me and the money side of things as I have been saving for ages for one of these cars, I was straight with him, and with him being in the Metropolitan Police I honestly thought he would be someone I could TRUST

How wrong you can be..............
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2012, 01:30 PM
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Ive heard it mentioned a few times coppers are just as bent as anyone else is and not to be trusted, seems its right then?
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old Nov 21st, 2012, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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yeah would seem that way

I have now taken the car to a guy in Shoreham that used to work for John Cooper Works and he seems a really decent chap, lets hope he can fix her
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