JCW Head Gasket/Head/block URGENT help - MINI Cooper Forum

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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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JCW Head Gasket/Head/block URGENT help

Hi,

Im hoping that somone can shed some light on the disastor im having with my 2003 JCW Mini.

6 weeks ago my coolant dropped out my engine due to a cracked expansion tank which lead to my engine overheating and the head gasket needing replacing.

This work was carried out by a mini specialist and the work included sending the warped head off to an external company to be skimmed and it was also crack tested. The total bill came to approx £1300

Four days after getting my car back my heater matrix was screwed. A year previously they had replaced my my heater matrix and said it was under warrenty as it was obtained from direct from BMW, so I took the car to BMW and it was fixed for free.

However, 3 weeks later my coolant dropped out again and water was mixing with the oil and was the same symptoms as with my original head gasket issue.

The mini specialist said they would only know what was wrong with the car if they took my head apart but at the moment it seems they will not do this free or charge which I think is totally wrong because I had already been charged £1300.

Should the garage take full responsibilty for any labour or parts required to fix whatever the issue is whether it would be head gasket, a new head or even the block? If not what do you think they should do?

They said if it was the head then that would cost £1000 +VAT for a complete second hand JCW head.

Alternatively they said that the BMW garage would look at it and if its the head gasket it would be replaced under warrenty however if its something different I could potentially be hit with a massive labour bill and my car still not being fixed.

Any idea of where I stand legally on this? Any help would be much appreciated. I have no car, its stuck at the mini specialist and ill be speaking to them tomorrow.

Thanks in advance for your help.....

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Old Dec 13th, 2011, 08:32 PM
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Hi
Sorry to here you are having a nightmare

It sounds like the head gasket has gone again, but really the only way to find out is to take it to bits again.
If it turns out they have messed up they are liable for the repairs but be carefull they will try to wiggle out of it.

There are tests you can do buy checking the coolant for fuel and oil then you can narrow it down and pressure testing the system, and compression leak down tests, and block leak checks they need to work out if it the head or block.
It can be tricky to machine a warp out of a aluminium cylinder head. if you clamp it wrong you can take some of the warp out before you have even machined it. so you have to be very careful , you can also make it worse as well.
The other problem is the cam shaft runs in the head so if the head is warped and machined flat the cam will not run properly with in it's bearing faces in extreme cases.
There is only a little difference in the jcw head to the standard head. from what I know its a light bit of porting work to inlet and exhaust nothing major.
If you need a second hand head get a standard one, you can get the porting done or not depending on the money

BMW Mini Cooper S Cylinder Head Complete, with Delivery Mileage only | eBay

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mini-Coope...8#ht_500wt_922

I would speak to citizens advice they will be able to tell you about your rights and give you advice.
It may also be worth trying to get hold of some one like tony franks or another mini engine specialist and ask if it is possible for the block to give these symptoms, it may not be possible due to the design but I don't know, in which case it would aim you at the head and gasket.
Sorry I cant be more helpfully it's hard to say with out seeing it. keep us up to date and I am shore someone here at mini2 will be able to help on way or another.

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Old Dec 14th, 2011, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the quick reply.....

From what I have read on the forums its only the exhaust thats ported. Any idea if I will get a drop in performance if I go with a standard head? I have read a couple of posts that say it makes no difference.

I'm going to look into how much it would cost to get a standard head ported.

Thanks again
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Old Dec 14th, 2011, 04:58 PM
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Hi

From what i have seen on the jcw heads compared to standard its only Exhaust and inlet work but a light clean up nothing special. I know guys that have 220 to 250 HP with standard heads no problem. I don't think you will really notice it if you put a standard head on.
There are places that will port them for you. I have seen some work done by cnc heads.co.uk and it was very good but lots of dosh, try speaking to GT tuning, lohan, 1320 mini, minicraft that's just a few names to try.
First thing is find out what the problem is. my money is on head gasket or cracked head.
Mini matt is also a good guy to talk to if you need stuff for your mini new and used parts
Hope thing work out keep us up to date may be some one can help
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