Author Topic: Headgaskets 'n' stuff  (Read 296 times)

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Offline Mister_T

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Headgaskets 'n' stuff
« on: Nov 13, 2018, 10:43PM »
Hi folks,
I'm not overly concerned about my CA20E headgasket yet, but after reading a bunch of threads here I'll certainly keep it in mind.
Actually, I was a bit surprised there is an issue. I know of a CA20E R31 manual wagon that had the 4cyl diff swapped for the 6cyl diff and it pulled a small caravan around without any problems.

Anyway, are there any preventative measures to take regarding the headbolts, such as regular retorquing or even replacement (like EL Fords)?
I've never had to use a FSM-spec angle wrench before so this would be a learning experience.
I see ARP do not make any stud/bolt sets for CA20 which is a bit of a surprise.

I don't have any service history on this Pinty but just from looking down the oil filler hole I can tell the head was done at some time, it's just too clean in there. The extractors are a giveaway as well. No white deposits in the filler cap so the head/headgasket might be ok for a while.

The cooling system could use a flush and I'll need to figure out why it's not holding pressure. It doesn't seem to use water but I want to get it sorted for summer. At the rate it warms up, I assume the thermostat is stuck open or not there. Probably not there.
At least the fans kick in and the temp has barely gone over the second dot in the middle while in slow traffic.

The odo shows about 179,000km but that was when the odo still worked. I guess eBay is the place to get a cog or two for the odo.

[Previous Owner/Maintaner Rant]
Whoever adjusted the kickdown cable really needs to re-read the section on this job in the Gregory's manual that came with the car.
Geez, it was holding gears way too long and and was pretty harsh going D1->D2 when cold. It wouldn't even go into OD at 100kmh at light throttle. To get into OD and lockup I had to get it up to speed and back the throttle right off to coax it into OD. Didn't anybody notice?
After getting over my surprise that a 1991 car actually had a kickdown cable, I reset the cable and it's much better. I might back it off another half turn and see how it goes.
I suspect it was maladjusted when the head was done which makes me suspicious about the quality of the whole job.
[end Rant]

Which leads me to the auto tranny. Ok, so flipping an auto upside down so the pan is on top makes the valve chest easy to service, but who services them these days or even back then?  So now the filter is inaccessible unless you pull the tranny apart. Nitwits.
At least it is still possible to change the tranny oil. "Fillled for life" my arse. "Filled for short life" maybe.

It was a cheap car so I expected it would need some things done. I don't mind a bit of fiddling.

Offline Mister_T

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Re: Headgaskets 'n' stuff
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 01:46AM »
Just a little follow up on the auto tranny.
I have drained and refilled the tranny with some Dexron III. At least the tranny has a drain plug and a dipstick/fill tube unlike most newer cars.
The old (original?) oil was obviously old but not really terrible. The new oil noticably improved shift quality. Win!

Since I had some Dex III left over I emptied the power steer tank and refilled that with new oil. No difference noted but peace of mind improved a bit.