Mini One D... head gasket replacement - Page 2 - MINI Cooper Forum

First Generation MINI One D MINI One Diesel 2003 - 2006

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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by JamesofKent View Post
That's great advice thanks Mike. I'll speak to my guy before I buy anything. I've seen gaskets up to 5-notch for sale.
its very important that the notch is correct for the machining,, as if raise the compression ratio to high will cause pre- ignition, also can cause increased piston ring blow past causing high crankcase pressures that will push oil out the oil seals etc, on diesels will cause diesel knock from pre ignition and a lot more load on the crankshaft and the gasket its self... that all said they do go so much better for a short while until the extra stress sinks in


Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Ha ha, it could do with a little more ooomf but for now I'd settle for not having to top up the coolant every 2 days! 😄

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2019, 07:07 AM Thread Starter
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Just to update this again, the car is now back together and running.

Re. the head gasket thickness, it is actually governed by piston protrusion, and skimming the head will not change this. The head is totally flat, so compression ratio is not changed if you have it skimmed, hence you use the same thickness gasket as you took off.

However, the problems start if you skim the head because then the valves will effectively now sit lower and there is only so far you can go before they risk touching the piston crown. In theory you should have the same amount removed from the valve stem length as you did the cylinder head face- adding much more time and expense. You can fit a thicker head gasket which would then put the valves back into the same position as before, but then you'd be down on compression...
In practice, I think you could probably get away without skimming the valve stems in most cases, but something to consider.

So, back to my head.
I got lucky and the machine shop said a skim wasn't necessary. It was totally flat and not damaged by the gasket failure- good news.
With that, I bought a BGA 3-notch head gasket, FAI head set and FAI head bolts.

The head cleaned up well but unfortunately, there is viable damage to the cylinder block-

20190428_094538 by David James, on Flickr
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2019, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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You see those marks on the cylinder liner above? You can feel them with your finger nail and basically they follow the pressings on the 'fire ring' in the head gasket. What can you do about this? Nothing. At least, nothing short of removing the engine, dismantling it to a bare block and have the face 'decked'.
In short, on a 1500 banger, you have no option but to clean it up and hope for the best

I cleaned the block face and head face really well, spending a good hour on each. You've got to give it its best chance! I also cleaned the bolt holes and ran an M12 tap down the threads. Most were fine but there was oil in a couple of holes that needed removing.

With that done, I tentatively started to re-fit the head. It was really awkward on my own because I'd left half of the turbo in place, along with the downpipe etc and the manifold. The other side of the turbo was on the manifold, still attached to the head. I eventually managed to wiggle the (not inconsiderable weight) head into place without damaging the head gasket.

Now just to assemble the rest of it.

Chain timed up-

20190428_111937 by David James, on Flickr

20190428_111922 by David James, on Flickr
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2019, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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The cam shaft went in fine, remembering the small caps that go on top of the valve stems, the roller cam followers and camshaft itself drop into place with no issues.

The timing chain is actually very straightforward and the guides and tensioner and easily fitted into place. The timing cover is a fair bit of work because it has no gasket, only goop and needs a really good clean, along with its mating surface on the block.
The timing cover also houses the oil pump and has two rubber O-rings that need to be in place correctly.

With that on, you then have everything else to do- the turbo and exhaust brackets (very awkward), the entire fuel system (lots of cleaning injector seats, fitting new injector washers), the high pressure pump, lines, fuel rail etc etc.

My glow plugs were cause for concern. I removed them when the head was off because I thought if they pulled the threads out now, I could have them fixed, rather than when the head was on the car.
They came out 'ok' but their threads were not in very good shape. I cleaned them up with a die- M10x1.75 (metric fine) and fitted the plugs with lots of anti-seize. They went back in fine.

The Mini One D has a belt driven PAS pump, not like the others in the range. It has a thin belt from the crank pulley that seemingly has no adjustment- you just have to 'walk' it into place by applying pressure and turning the crank pulley.
The main auxiliary belt is a pain due to lack of space (even with the entire front end removed!) but straightforward enough.

20190428_160112 by David James, on Flickr
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2019, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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That's the engine basically built up now, alternator, EGR, water pump, tensioner, cam cover, vacuum pump, wiring loom, air inlet valve assembly, heat shields are all back in place. This stage of the job was the most enjoyable/ easy.

At this point, I plugged the air mass meter back in, fitted a new oil filter and fresh oil and attempted to start the engine.

Battery reconnected, I turned the key and waited for the fuel pump to prime. Took a brave pill and turned the engine over. It turned over and over with no sign of life. This was because there was no fuel in the entire system. The injectors won't even fire until the ECU sees sufficient fuel pressure. After a few goes, and more cranking, the engine fired into life, seemingly like nothing had happened. No smoke, no rattles, no miss firing. The advantage of common-rail systems I suppose.

Anyway, I only ran it for a few seconds as there was no coolant in the engine, but all lights went out, it sounded fine. Result.

Now it was time to put the radiators/ front clip back on. I hate doing this. The water radiator, electric fan assembly, intercooler, air con condenser and oil cooler pipes are like a puzzle. They all go together in one way, and you have to build them into the front panel in a certain way- no short cuts!

First, the rad attaches to the intercooler. Then the fan unit attaches to them both. Then you squeeze that lot into the front clip.

20190429_115936 by David James, on Flickr
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2019, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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With that all together, you can then place the assembly on the car. The fan wiring needs to be threaded along and to the wiring plug on the nearside. The intercooler hoses can be connected, as can the water hoses.
Your next challenge is threading the oil cooler pipes under the engine, along the side of the radiators and out through the top. It's awkward.

After I'd struggled with all this, it suddenly occurred to me that I could have left the entire front end together, in one piece and removed it all as a lump Even the oil cooler pipes disconnect under the engine. Oh well, maybe next time!

Now just the front cross member and bumper, after you've threaded the wiring through the front panel and refitted the o/s wheel arch liner.

20190429_151109 copy by David James, on Flickr

And you have a complete car again!
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 30th, 2019, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention, the AC condenser goes on last, before the aluminium crash bar and bolts onto the pipework on the n/s front. It doesn't work on this car so I wasn't especially careful with it.

Anyway, the car now runs fine and I've driven it a few miles. Temperature stays just below half, the heater works constantly and best of all, virtually no pressurising of the cooling system. When it's hot, you get just a short 'hisss' when you remove the cap, compared to the erupting geezer and gurgling of air previously.
I've not done a long trip in it yet and am still babying it a bit, but it seems generally ok.

I'm not sure how long the repair will last; there is damage to the block where the gasket failed, but I think it will be ok for a while, finger's crossed! It's a big job on your own, in a crappy single garage and I've no desire to do it again. I am pleased I caught it before it got worse though. Much longer and the block and head wouldn't have been salvageable I reckon.
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