Cylinder Head Removal and inspection - Nissan Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old Aug 27th, 2007, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Cylinder Head Removal and inspection

Greetings-
I blew the head gasket on my ALtima last week. Luckly I noticed it way before the car over heated so I doubt its warped. So before I go ahead and replace the gasket and install everything back I want to have it inspected. So my question is what does an automovie machine shop do to inspect the head? I know they need to check for warpage and cracks, but what else and doea anyone have a ball pack figure on the costs?


Thanks
Frank
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post #2 of 9 Old Aug 28th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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As long as it didn't overheat then you will likely not have any real damage but deffinatly have a machine shop look it over. It has been a while since I last had any machine shop work but with todays costs I would think a basic check for warping would be less than $50 not inclueding resurface if needed. Also you want to determin what caused the gasket to blow.

A few things to consider: Ecessive spark knock will detroy the metal ring at the combustion chamber sealing surface. A leaking water pump can creat an air pocket and the engine overheat without the gauge going hot due to no water on the sensor. Bad sensor or gauge along with most any problem in the system such as a stuck thermostat.

Also, it would be a good idea to have them check the valves for any issues.

Just be sure to dry it out if you don't do anything right away or you could end up with an engine like the one I just bought. http://www.nissanforums.com/u13-1993...ebiulding.html

It's much easier to travel through a maze when you have a map!

Spat
Former Nissan Tech
14yrs ASE all but AT it's a bitXX!
New career - HandyMan/Electrician - Freedom at last!!

86.5 Nissan HB D21 234K Miles
94 Nissan Altima GXE ? Miles
97 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8L 132K Miles
64 Chrysler 300-K 2-door Convertible 63K Miles

Last edited by spat; Aug 28th, 2007 at 05:47 AM.
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post #3 of 9 Old Aug 28th, 2007, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Last week the oil light came on for 5 secs and then went off when the engine warmed up. So I figured it was because my car was do for an oil change. Then the next day I looked at the dip stick and it was milky and sluggy. So I knew that antifreeze was mixed in with the oil which means the gasket failed. However i did not see this sluggy mix inside the radiator which I don't know if it should or should not be there. It was my stupidity and inexperience for not doing a compression test first before I removed the head.
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post #4 of 9 Old Aug 28th, 2007, 06:00 PM
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Do you have any Hi-res pictures you can post of the gasket and/or head/block? Still, you should try to determine the reason for the head to blow. Look to see if water pump is leaking. Here is an example of a leaking water pump.




As for the oil/water mix. I don't recall ever seeing the oil getting into the cooling system on the older altimas though it really depends on where and how they meet. With an overheating issue it is less likely to happen in the early stages due to the cooling system keeping a positive pressure.

Though a leaking head gasket is most often the cause of water in the oil it is not the only possibility. A cracked head or block can also be the issue respectively. Plus other items depending on engine design and design of exterior components.

It's much easier to travel through a maze when you have a map!

Spat
Former Nissan Tech
14yrs ASE all but AT it's a bitXX!
New career - HandyMan/Electrician - Freedom at last!!

86.5 Nissan HB D21 234K Miles
94 Nissan Altima GXE ? Miles
97 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8L 132K Miles
64 Chrysler 300-K 2-door Convertible 63K Miles

Last edited by spat; Aug 28th, 2007 at 06:04 PM.
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post #5 of 9 Old Aug 29th, 2007, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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Spat I'll PM you some pictures

Frank
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post #6 of 9 Old Aug 29th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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I doubt machine shop will do any sophisticated warpage test for 50$. maybe they will. you use steel ruler and a gauge to see how the head is warped. I also had overheated engine. the head and block were warped. it was just inside the spec. I did not feel like taking engine block out and taking it to machine shop. I replaced water pump, thermostat and used nissan coolant. so far I drove 5k miles and don't see any coffee looking oil or oil in the coolant.

valves fail very very rarely. they can bent if your chain gets torn. other than that... I don't know what else can do serious damage to valves.

you can replace valve seals yourself. just make sure you mark which valve went into which valve stem. in other words you will need valve job if you mix up valves.
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post #7 of 9 Old Aug 29th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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$50 maybe, maybe not. I don't know for sure. I used to get it done for $35 but that was like 10 years ago. Yes the strait edge and feeler gauges is the standard way of checking but I don't trust any strait edges that have been tossed around in the average garage. However the strait edges in a machine shop are usually treated carefully seeing their reputation is at stake based on the accuracy of their strait edges.

You are correct valves are not very common to fail on Nissans. However it depends on your definition of valve failure. In my opinion it would be a shame to replace a head gasket and just a few months or a year later learn that you have a heavy carbon build up or burnt valve when a simple inspection at the machine shop could have pointed that out to you. If you have the tools and knowledge you can check all that yourself even, but bottom line is I would check it or have it checked while the head is off.

It's much easier to travel through a maze when you have a map!

Spat
Former Nissan Tech
14yrs ASE all but AT it's a bitXX!
New career - HandyMan/Electrician - Freedom at last!!

86.5 Nissan HB D21 234K Miles
94 Nissan Altima GXE ? Miles
97 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8L 132K Miles
64 Chrysler 300-K 2-door Convertible 63K Miles
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post #8 of 9 Old Aug 30th, 2007, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spat
$50 maybe, maybe not. I don't know for sure. I used to get it done for $35 but that was like 10 years ago. Yes the strait edge and feeler gauges is the standard way of checking but I don't trust any strait edges that have been tossed around in the average garage. However the strait edges in a machine shop are usually treated carefully seeing their reputation is at stake based on the accuracy of their strait edges.

You are correct valves are not very common to fail on Nissans. However it depends on your definition of valve failure. In my opinion it would be a shame to replace a head gasket and just a few months or a year later learn that you have a heavy carbon build up or burnt valve when a simple inspection at the machine shop could have pointed that out to you. If you have the tools and knowledge you can check all that yourself even, but bottom line is I would check it or have it checked while the head is off.

Okay boys, I need to fessup to something, the car is not an Altima, but a 96 Sentra GXE 1.6L I posted it on that section but never get any response, so I figure since I know alot of you on the ALtima site I would get a better response, which I have.

Well I called a place in Londonderry, NH called R&R machine and they will pressure test the cylinder block for $60. The block has to be clean clean, so tonight I'll be spraying some Simple Green to clean out ports. I was looking at the engine block and I noticed that where the collant flows around the cylinder walls is not mixed with oil plus I inspected the gasked over and over and I could not see anything that would hint it failed. However the machine shop wants to see it as well.
I guess the first step is to get an inspection done. However, if it passes then I'm hestatant to reassemble and purchase a new gasket and bolt set. Because I still don't know that reason why it water and oill mixed. Because there is nothing worst than putting everything back together and it fails out again. Any suggestions on what else I can do to trouble shot this?

thanks
Frank
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post #9 of 9 Old Aug 30th, 2007, 08:52 PM
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Well I will have to do a bit of research on the sentra engine. I didn't do much engine work on sentras at the dealership. I assume that has a little to do with the fact many sentra owners are on a tighter budget, no offense intended. If the head is warped then it is rather difficult to see on the gasket where it leaked if it leaked at all. I will look at the manual if I can find it. What I am looking for is all possible points of oil water mixture. For example on the KA24 engines if the timing chain guids break and are ignored the chain can rub a hole into the water pump housing then the water just pours into the timing cover and mixes with the oil in the oil pan. On the old L24 engines if I am not mistaken there was a component somewhere that had oil and water that flowed through it and a seal failure would allow them to mix, I remember seeing that on an old inline of some sort if it wasn't the L24. I will try to look that up in the next day or so.

It's much easier to travel through a maze when you have a map!

Spat
Former Nissan Tech
14yrs ASE all but AT it's a bitXX!
New career - HandyMan/Electrician - Freedom at last!!

86.5 Nissan HB D21 234K Miles
94 Nissan Altima GXE ? Miles
97 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.8L 132K Miles
64 Chrysler 300-K 2-door Convertible 63K Miles
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