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Thread: Help needed

  
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    mikeinvan's Avatar
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    Help needed

    Hi I need to seek information about my dual fuel astra van.
    Emulsification sludge at the oil filler leads me to suspect the haed gasket is leaking (no loss of water, power or overheating.). The engine runs annoyingly cool or is it a poor heater? Returns 28mpg on LPG (aprox 7.5p/mile).
    I have been advised to have the head hot tanked and sealed and wondered if there are any reccomended locally to me. Also advised to use a stainless steel head gasket (never heard of one before).
    I would welcome also any advice, are there any complications with the Vauxhall LPG dual fuel system (not covered in the Haynes manual).
    What parts must I get (part numbers and contacts).
    What special tools do I need & where can I get them (water pump adaptor, cam sprocket).
    Its overdue 40k service at 45k (oil & filters done) but putting off timing belt until I do the head which is pressing and nagging me.
    Please help an Astra owner in need.
    Thanks
    Mike mike@mgiles1.freeserve.co.uk

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    Ruperts Trooper's Avatar
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    If it's a 1.6 8v engine, they're overcooled and known for forming mayo because of this. Try blocking the lower radiator grill in winter.
    Maintains:- Vectra Design 1.9CDTi
    Drives :- Hyundai Santa Fe


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    Head ache or migrane

    Thanks for response.
    I had a test done by garage with some magic liquid that changes colour.
    It is supposedto turn from blue to yellow, it took a while and if you squinted held it to the light you could make out a shade change. So I dont know whether to risk plodding on and just change the timing belt orgothe whole hog?
    Mike

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    I am running with the drivers half of the rad covered at present.

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    Please don't spam yout questions accross the board, In the future just be patient and your questions will be answed

    Jon
    Vectra GSi SeatsHella Headlights
    17" alloysPiper 3" rolled exhaust
    GSi Bumper & skirts
    Dropped on Coilovers

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    Thermostat replacement.

    Thanks to Ruperts Trooper who took the trouble to reply, you have given good advise and reassurance.

    I have changed the thermostat, water pump, altenator belt, timing belt and tensioner crank and cam locating bolts.
    Other useful and necessary purchases included 9 piece Draper Wobble Extension Bar Set and 14 piece Torx Sockets, Water pump tool.
    Overall, I found the Haynes manual confusing having to jump from one section to another, I should have trusted my own abilities. Confusion was also caused by the lack of alignment maks on the crank pulley, these are found on the timing gear and only visible when the pully is removed.

    Compression test fell within specification adding to growing confidence that headgasket was sound. Removal of cam cover revealed no hidden sludge adding giving further confirmation and the ability to hold the camshaft in place with a spanner on a square section. Accessable breather pipes were cleaned.
    I worked with 2 trolley jacks 1 to lift the car (wheel removed) and 1 to support the engine (engine mounting removed).
    The old thermostat was checked in hot water on the stove along with the replacement. The original was slightly open prior to testing and after. It opened fully at 85', the replacement opened at 97'.
    The engine started first time I have removed the covers from the top grill area but have retained the airdam over the main air intake.
    Local runs look promising with the temperature gauge getting close to the 90' mark and a heater that maintains its output.
    The work is not for the faint hearted or without a comprehensive tool kit, I imagine expensive if given to a garage.
    Cheap solution is to block the radiator progressivly until desired result achieved and live with it.
    An awkward place to put a thermostat makes for a long winded and expensive job but I do like the alternator belt tensioner. Hopefully I will not need to revisit for 80,000 by which time I will have forgotten how to do it.
    Parts were obtained from local Vauxhall dealer (because they were local known to be helpful and potentially a good source of information), alternatives were considered from internet searches but not much cheaper when postage considered and big hassle factor if wrong parts were ordered or supplied.

    Total parts £68.15 Tools and sundries aproximately the same.
    Peace of mind ....Priceless!
    What went wrong; The water pump tool (bought from Ebay with the intension of reselling) had unknowingly been modified by the previous owner so a spacer had to be made and therefore resale unlikley. Bits of plastic timing belt cover broken but not serious or obvious.

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