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Clio DCI head gasket gone ? How bad to repair ?

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Old 17th December 2010   #1
ultimatequinoxe
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Clio DCI head gasket gone ? How bad to repair ?

Greetings !

This is my first post on this forum. And the problem is regarding my fiancé Clio which is an 05 plate 1.5 DCI with 60K on the clock.

I noted it had a squeeky Aux. belt for some time and that it seemed to take ages to warm up inside the car. But seeing as it had been serviced ( by an independent garage ) I assumed it was just a duff thermostat and knackerd belt. Apparently though, the belt only starting making any noise immediately after the service to which the garage said " it was already doing that when it came in love".

Anyway, going along the motorway at 60mph, the temperature gauge shoots up by 6 bars from 2 bars to 8 bars roughly. Then drops back to 2. Then we smell a sort of burning rubber smell. We assumed it was the lorry in front.

We head down some country lanes, cars driving fine. We stop to check the map book, and I noted smoke or steam coming out the bonnet. I carefully open it ( being sure it was not a fire going on ) and the header tank was totally covered in a grease like gunk, it was all down the tank, and all around the area around the header tank. Once cooled I pop the lid off and stand a stick in the gunk. Amazingly the car could still run ! ( had to for a few seconds to get it parked off the road ).

Head gasket I presume ?

and how bad is it to fix as I assume the entire coolant system ( including the water ways in the turbo ) will need to be thoroughly purged and cleared out, head gasket itself replaced, etc. How bad is all that and how costly could be ( I'm thinking on terms of can a competent mechanic do it or is it a renault only job from hell ? ) ?
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Old 17th December 2010   #2
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Re: Clio DCI head gasket gone ? How bad to repair ?

hiya i did my g/f clio head gasket when the cam belt snapped fairlet sraight forward tho i would recomend a haynes manual for info like thightening sequence and other info. first phone renault to find out which engine you have so you can get the correct gasket set,


its not a really bad job if you are competent enough. i have done several head gaskets in the past so i was confident to do it. a local garage quoted us around £1000 i did it for £200 plus a couple of days of my time.
after getting the wrong gasket set 1st off .

the 1st head gasket i did was my old 3.5 rover v8 sd1 which was like doing 2 heads which i buggerd up because i didnt use a manual to follow directions but its all a learning curve but that was 20 years ago

follow instructions in the manual, pop on here for any advice and you wont go too far wrong
good luck
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Old 17th December 2010   #3
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Re: Clio DCI head gasket gone ? How bad to repair ?

Thank you very much for the response !

I figured garage fee's would be around the 1-1500 mark, just a guess really. I'll look into doing the work, though first I'd have to haul the car from Daventry to Lincolnshire which will cost a fair bit unless I can hire a trailer or something. But all in it sounds like its worth a shot rather than junk the car as to uneconomical to repair ( it has a couple of other gremlins as well, leaking windscreen and funny headlight faults ).

I've done a fair bit of work on various TVR's, so I've got a sort of soft spot ( I think ?? ) for the rover V8 lumps.

Would I be right in thinking its best getting the head skimmed and new head bolts etc as well ? I really have a negative view on french cars ( sorry but its true ) and so I have always tried to avoid working on them

Many thanks again !
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Old 17th December 2010   #4
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Re: Clio DCI head gasket gone ? How bad to repair ?

hiya i did take the head to be pressure tested but not skimmed maybe it didnt need it ?,

i didnt use new head bolts tho it is recomended in the book but i think its getting on 2 years since i did the gasket, all i did was to put some holes in some cardboard and number them so the bolts went back in the same thread,

you may need 1 of those angle finder (not grinder lol ) things as there was no tourqe settings for the head bolts in a book,

if i can be of anymore help just message me
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Old 17th December 2010   #5
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Re: Clio DCI head gasket gone ? How bad to repair ?

Cylinder head bolts should always be renewed as they are once-only stretch type bolts - once stretched they loose their elasticity so re-use runs the inherent risk of the gasket going again.
Also remember it is advisable to renew the timing belt and again the crankshaft retaining bolt is the one-use type.

When fitting the new head bolts it is essential to begin torquing them before you start the angle tightening sequence otherwise you risk either under or over-tightening them - guess what happens if one breaks.

It is not recommended to skim the diesel cylinder heads so have it checked that it is both level and flat. If it needs skimmed then you should fit a thicker head gasket.
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