Blown Head Gasket :-(

O.K., I’m still in shock, so will post the details later. In short, was driving from my house to a nearby 'burb to the bank when Superblue suddenly started missing on what seemed like one or two cylinders. By the end of the day, and after having been worked on a bit by two mechanic friends in a nearby store parking lot on other potential areas, she was pronounced to have a blown head gasket. :cry:

As everybody is probably wondering, how did said mechanic friends arrive at that conclusion?

And this is your AJ6 engine, correct?

How many klms/miles has the engine done?

Yes, 130K or so miles … :slightly_frowning_face:

Wow that sucks :pensive::pensive::pensive:

Sorry to hear. I remember reading that the aj6 engine is prone to head gasket failure after 100K miles? Is that right?

Swap in used engine? Or say goodbye?

Yes mine went at 160,xxx klms
I did mine right at the time I sold my workshop, managed to utilise a 2 post hoist, while the head was being pressure tested and I think it might have been skimmed, I went over to Aus where the wife was working at the time.

I thought I had read that sometime back, Gregmatic … Never did know if that was true for sure or not. :thinking: I’m hoping to just get by with a new gasket … I don’t think it did any engine damage (didn’t see any coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant), but to make sure I probably need at some point to do a compression test on each cylinder to see what it shows, as far as where the gasket failed (i.e. if between 2 cylinders). :pray: I had planned to do that before trying that Blue Devil head gasket sealant additive that I have heard so much positive news about, but will probably do it afterwards, to make sure the product really did what it claims (i.e. permanent repair of blown head gasket). :crossed_fingers:

I would do the compression test first if it was me. Sealant additive? doesn’t sound good, I would just get the head redone while you are replacing the gasket, I believe this a six and not a twelve cylinder car.

Gents …

The head gasket failed on my '89 XJ40 3.6L engine about five years ago, right around 150,000 miles. I’ve owned the car for 30 years and was always very “gentle” with the engine (no boy racer here :smiley:).

Piston with blown head gasket

Here’s where it failed on the #1 cylinder. Repair took me about 3 days working alone and everything was very straight forward. $500 to have the head rebuilt to like new specs and about $300 for gasket, head bolts, and odds and ends.

Engine has run like a dream ever since.

These can be reused twice, as long as there isn’t 2 centre dots already on the heads, one centre dot indicates that they have been reused once already, so long as the tech did his/her job.

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Years ago people were lucky to get 100,000 out of any car…they were considered done for then…think about it… with fuel injection and other improvements engine life and in the
medical field human life has been extended … of course the theory of that would be since we live longer so therefore our car should serve longer… everybody can’t afford to keep a museum piece going so maybe it’s time to modify or get a fresh vehicle and chalk it up to fun and experience.

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But off topic (Head Gasket), but as to last post: Completely agree as to most cars now serve most drivers longer than past. Assuming no wrecks… Big “BUT” is that cars are Much less affordable now! Using USA #'s , last I checked , pre recent inflation, an average car costs an average worker about a years pay. For decades that # was about 1/2 years wage per car. I recall for a time that was even down to 20 ish. weeks/ car. (mid/late 1960’s?) Wondering: given (USA type market) would not most drivers prefer spending 1/2 years wage for 10 years of car ownership, then 1/2 years wage again for the next decade verses the years wage and watching your car become more and more dull as it serves up to 2 decades… Now, back to our regular schedual, and sorry to hear about the gasket. Your fight, I say- have a drink and pull the head. Little real downside for a post comp. test look see.

Worth doing a compression check just to confirm.

I would never put in head gasket repair additives! Think of what they’re doing to your entire cooling system.

If you really like this car, and the rest of it is in decent condition, I’d have someone redo head. Sounds like it’s much simpler on these straight sixes.

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Agreed, you go down that snake-oil salesman road you’re only asking for trouble. It creates so much other issues. Pull the head and do a proper job or move on.
My two cents.


No snake oil!!

double ditto.

firstr learned of them as a young guy.

Relearned decades mlater as an “adult”.

Rook a while, but, i got it.

fix it right, fix it once. O’wise…


Robin …

Yes, I saw that you could reuse the head bolts one time while doing research before the job. But once I went through all the trouble and expense of removing the head it seemed to me a bit of false economy not to pay the extra bucks and use new bolts.
Not that expensive :cowboy_hat_face:.

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Sorry, but I don’t have $5K extra just laying around to do the repair (and don’t have the area or tools to do it myself). :cry: Per all the positive videos for the B.D. product on YouTube (only ran across 2-3 negative ones) It’s definitely worth a shot for only around $35 or so. :crossed_fingers:

Dang, I’m in Dallas now (off 2nd Avenue near Fair Park), Groover. Wanna give it a go again, but this time with Superblue? :smile_cat:

Problem with Superblue’s is that PO apparently got a little carried away, either loosening them or tightening them back up (didn’t use a torque wrench, maybe?). IIRC, like 3 or 4 of them have the heads twisted off. :angry: His fix was apparently to just go with washers and nuts on the remains of the bolts. :no_mouth: I remember trying to use a bunch of PB Blaster, vice grips and some other tools to try to turn the “studs” back out, but couldn’t budge them. So, went with them like they were.