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Mark, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1504
Experience:  Qualified City & Guilds
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My 1986 Mazda E2200 (2.2 diesel) has the head gasket

Customer Question

My 1986 Mazda E2200 (2.2 diesel) has blown the head gasket - no other obvious damage (I pulled over before the engine was overheating but it had already blown the cap off the radiator.)

I've had a couple of opinions: first the mechanic who's had a look at it is convinced that the head is beyond hope and needs replacing but that a replacement would solve all ills and would hold up for years.

Second opinion is that yes, replacing it would fix it for now but if at all possible avoid it because due to the age of the engine the bottom end is likely warped from heat over the years and fitting a new head on would end up with the entire engine needing replacement in a few months time.

This may be academic as the first mechanics response to the suggestion is that there's no way sealing it would take due to the level of damage (without the cap on starting up the engine with the radiator full of water shoots water out, not just bubbles out). But if I'm likely to have to replace the whole engine anyway, would I not be better off doing that now instead of paying for a new head and then replacing the whole thing a few months down the line or, given that the rest of the engine seems to be working fine, would a new head most likely fix the issue?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Mark replied 4 years ago.

Mark :

Hello, my name is Mark and I will try help you with this.

Mark :

I would advise you first remove the head and have it inspected.

Mark :

Depending on if it is cracked or warped it might just require to be skimmed.

Mark :

If it requires to be skimmed, then you can fit an oversize headgasket to compensate any reduction in volume.