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

First Generation MINI One D MINI One Diesel 2003 - 2006

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2019, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Mini One D... head gasket replacement

Hi all.

My other half has a 2003 Mini One D, with the Toyota 1.4 d4d engine.
It has been fine for many miles and never given any problems, until recently.

It uses coolant, the level drops maybe a cm or so over a few days of commuting 30-ish miles a day.
The heater is becoming more and more intermittent, not the blower, but the actual heat coming out of the vents fades to nothing, then randomly comes back warm again.

Otherwise it starts/ runs perfectly. It doesn't lose water externally. It never goes past 1/2 on the gauge. No oil mixing.

However, I fear a head gasket fault. Anything I can do before condemning it? The car has done 100k ish and is in near enough perfect condition otherwise!



Last edited by JamesofKent; Apr 30th, 2019 at 08:09 AM.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2019, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesofKent View Post
Hi all.

My other half has a 2003 Mini One D, with the Toyota 1.4 d4d engine.
It has been fine for many miles and never given any problems, until recently.

It uses coolant, the level drops maybe a cm or so over a few days of commuting 30-ish miles a day.
The heater is becoming more and more intermittent, not the blower, but the actual heat coming out of the vents fades to nothing, then randomly comes back warm again.

Otherwise it starts/ runs perfectly. It doesn't lose water externally. It never goes past 1/2 on the gauge. No oil mixing.

However, I fear a head gasket fault. Anything I can do before condemning it? The car has done 100k ish and is in near enough perfect condition otherwise!
not really best way but have used this a few times and to be honest sealed what ever it went in, must use glycol blue anti freeze and follow instructions to the letter
below link worth a look at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxkmHTy_Omk


Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2019, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Mike, looks like it is worth a go. The amount of antifreeze I'm using every week is stupid. I suppose if I let it get too low, it would bust it good 'n proper.
Worth paying out to replace the head gasket or not worth it on a 2004 Mini?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2019, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JamesofKent View Post
Thanks Mike, looks like it is worth a go. The amount of antifreeze I'm using every week is stupid. I suppose if I let it get too low, it would bust it good 'n proper.
Worth paying out to replace the head gasket or not worth it on a 2004 Mini?
i've got a few cars being driven around 2 years after having that stuff added to them,, just must use correct antifreeze, and must mix it with the anti freeze and water before adding to a cold engine, then must run car for a good hour at running temps and leave to go cold, its the go cold bit that forces it in to the cracks of a leak and reacts to the air and going cold,

would be looking at a £500 bill i would say from garage for head gasket with risk it could be cracked head, that stuff loves cracked heads

Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2019, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again Mike. It's running on the blue ethy-glycol antifreeze thankfully and is still perfectly clean.
I am actually able to do the work myself but my concern is that the fault is not necessarily the head gasket- maybe the head or liners like you say and it would be just a waste of time.
Sounds like the Steel Seal is worth it.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 2019, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesofKent View Post
Thanks again Mike. It's running on the blue ethy-glycol antifreeze thankfully and is still perfectly clean.
I am actually able to do the work myself but my concern is that the fault is not necessarily the head gasket- maybe the head or liners like you say and it would be just a waste of time.
Sounds like the Steel Seal is worth it.
those d4d toyota engines are fairly good do get the od gasket fail on them as do with any engine

Albert Einstein: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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I decided to do an update for anyone interested.

Basically, I 'bit the bullet' and removed the head. I think the K-seal/ Steelseal etc would have fixed the problem, at least temporarily but as it's my partner's car and we wish to keep it a couple more years, I thought a proper repair would be appropriate.

First off, this is a big job in the Mini. So much needs to be removed before you even have chance to get at half of the fixings. I'm sure a pro in a warm, well equipped workshop can bash this job out in no time! But for me, working alone in a crappy single garage 30 miles from home (and my tools); I found the dismantling very time consuming.

As it looks currently...
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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And here's some pictures of (what I believe to be) the fault-

If you look at the top left of the picture, you can see where the coolant has been getting into cylinder no.1. The head has been steam cleaned on this pot, compared to the black carbon on the adjacent one.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Here's the block. Again, cylinder one, look at the bottom left-

There is unusual marks in the same position. I really hope this isn't damaged as this will mean the end for this engine!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Here's the head gasket itself, in the trouble spot. Really not much to see here... but there's that weird heat mark again (the black crescent shape also seen on the head). The gasket is perfectly intact but I'm sure it's failed.

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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Overview of the block-
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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And the head-

All I've got to do is fix it now!

I'll give the head to a machine shop I've used in the past and ask them if it should be skimmed. Also, two glow plugs wouldn't undo so left them in place and will have another go now the head's off. I can spray lube from both sides now! The block, I will clean up as well as possible and hope there's no damage to the liner/ bore where the gasses have been leaking.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 08:30 AM Thread Starter
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Regarding the thickness of the head gasket... the one that came off the car had 3 notches. If the head is skimmed, would the gasket need to be replaced with a thicker one? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 01:02 PM
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Regarding the thickness of the head gasket... the one that came off the car had 3 notches. If the head is skimmed, would the gasket need to be replaced with a thicker one? Or am I barking up the wrong tree?
they start off 1 notch and then increase depending on much has been skimmed off the head, would need to speak to machine shop if having it skimmed again as 3 notch might be as big as can go.. they will be able to tell you as would have the info or max skim and gasket sizes.
i would check with straight edge ruler and a laser pen see if any distortion i've done loads of heads off that just needed cleaning up and new gasket.. ie i use seafoam and scotchbrite pad to clean both surfaces , then just before putting head on i use thinners or panel wipe on both head and block to ensure totally clean so gasket has something to bond to

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2019, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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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.
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