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Author Topic: Head gasket  (Read 1059 times)
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mwredit
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« on: September 26, 2017, 01:47:33 AM »

I did a partial teardown of my 1800 in my '77 HPE with removing the head.  I discovered that it may have the original head gasket.  It has "Alto" printed on it.  I also noticed that inside the intake ports is covered in oil, which leads me to believe that the valve guides/seals are at fault.  This seems to concur with the smoking problem it had.

Was ALTO the OEM company that Lancia used back in the day?  If it was, then this head has never been off the engine.
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Mike R.

1968 Mercury Cougar XR7
1961 MG Midget
1974 Ford Mustang II Ghia
1977 Lancia Beta HPE
WestonE
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2017, 06:15:52 PM »

Hard to say this without seeming a smart ass, but Alto means top in Italian and is a direction to fit the gasket the right way up. When changing the gasket use new bolts and clean the threads out in the block with a tap to avoid disaster later. Also buy a top quality gasket. They were a high failure item in the earlier design.

I hope this helps a bit.

Eric
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 08:22:56 PM »

WestonE- Thanks for the clarification and advise.  My Italian leaves little to be desired Wink .  The gasket may be a replacement, as I've noticed finite scratches on the tops of the pistons after I wiped them off assuming the head was off many years ago for a decarbonizing job.  The bores look great, no scoring, no wear ridge, but could use deglazing.  The piston tops have no markings, so I assume they are standard size.  I'm going to do a re-ring job while the head is off and hone the cylinders.  The challenge will be getting the oil pan off and clearing the subframe.  The bolts I intend on replacing too.  What head gasket do you recommend?  I've used Felpro for many years, but if you know of a better one.  This is primarily a street car, city and highway driving intended.  Thanks again.
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Mike R.

1968 Mercury Cougar XR7
1961 MG Midget
1974 Ford Mustang II Ghia
1977 Lancia Beta HPE
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 09:46:39 PM »

Hi

I managed to get the oil pan/sump off with the engine in the car, but you need to release the bolts in the mount at the cam belt end and jack up that end of the engine to give it enough clearance to remove it.

Peter
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2017, 01:19:00 AM »

peteracs- Thanks, I'll give that another try.  Last year when I did a reseal/oil pan gasket, I was only able to get the engine up 4"-5" with the right and front mount, front exhaust pipe and driveshaft disconnected.  I used a 2x4 with a bottle jack under the right mount.  With much more room to maneuver around, I'll see what happens this time.
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Mike R.

1968 Mercury Cougar XR7
1961 MG Midget
1974 Ford Mustang II Ghia
1977 Lancia Beta HPE
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2017, 06:11:55 PM »

Hi Mike

My Head Gasket choice would be one from Guy Croft with his 12.9 bolts as it comes with a full sheet of useful advice and years of experience. If you were tuning the car I would mention the Cometic MLS gaskets I had made for my highly tuned Montecarlo, but I think you do not need to go that far for your use of the car. GC has a reputation to protect and Formula 1 engine building experience to back his choice of gaskets. In fact he commissioned higher standard gaskets for the whole engine in disgust at the low quality of so many of the gasket sets on the market.

For honing use a Flex Hone if you can get hold of one, but check the bore sizes against spec with a bore gauge before re-ringing to save disappointment.

Good Luck

PS I would change the Valve Stem oil seals whilst you have the head off and GC sells the superior later spec kind.
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2017, 07:23:45 PM »

WestonE-  The valve seals were the main reason of pulling the head.  It started smoking on hard acceleration from stoplights and quite a bit under deceleration.  Just before I tore it all down, it would smoke in my driveway after idling for 5 minutes.  I revved it to see if it would clear up but it got worse.  The compression test I did showed even compression, averaging 160 dry and 180 wet.  I just figured with half of the engine apart, I may as well do the rings and possibly bearings in situ.  I wont be tuning it for race or anything or even hot rodding it, but want it to be reliable.  I'll look into those that you recommended.  Thanks.
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Mike R.

1968 Mercury Cougar XR7
1961 MG Midget
1974 Ford Mustang II Ghia
1977 Lancia Beta HPE
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 09:07:00 PM »

peteracs- Thanks, I'll give that another try.  Last year when I did a reseal/oil pan gasket, I was only able to get the engine up 4"-5" with the right and front mount, front exhaust pipe and driveshaft disconnected.  I used a 2x4 with a bottle jack under the right mount.  With much more room to maneuver around, I'll see what happens this time.

Sorry I should have added the engine had the exhaust and top mount disconnected.

Peter
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 12:22:13 AM »

peteracs-  I managed to drop the pan out today by raising the engine with the front and side mounts disconnected, along with the other stuff I removed after the head.  I had to remove the oil pump, lay it in the pan and the pan then was able to come out.  Maybe the US spec subframes are a little different on the right side?  I also found a lot of debris inside the oil pump pickup after I removed the pickup screen.  It's a wonder it even had any oil pressure.
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Mike R.

1968 Mercury Cougar XR7
1961 MG Midget
1974 Ford Mustang II Ghia
1977 Lancia Beta HPE
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 09:08:28 AM »

Hi

Well done and yes my pump was similar had to remove the strainer and give it a good clean. This was a serious issue on some Saab engines made around 2000 if I remember correctly where the strainer would clog resulting in no oil pressure and broken engine.

Peter
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2017, 03:24:55 PM »

peteracs- Strange, but the oil pressure was enough to cause the engine to smoke badly, which mainly was due to deteriorated valve stem seals.  The carnage I found inside the strainer mainly old RTV, bits of carbon and bits of valve stem seal material. It was 80% filled with this stuff. I pulled the pistons and they appear to be the original Mondial pistons in good shape. I measured the skirt with my caliper and it came out as 84mm, which I assume is standard. Do you think I'll be alright with a standard ring set?
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Mike R.

1968 Mercury Cougar XR7
1961 MG Midget
1974 Ford Mustang II Ghia
1977 Lancia Beta HPE
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