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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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!
::frown::
 

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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!
::frown::
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
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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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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
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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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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
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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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Discussion Starter #8
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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Discussion Starter #9
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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Discussion Starter #10
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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Discussion Starter #12
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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Discussion Starter #13
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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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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Discussion Starter #15
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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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 lol
 

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Discussion Starter #17
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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Discussion Starter #18
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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Discussion Starter #19
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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Discussion Starter #20
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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