Head gasket change. TU3JP(KFV) engine

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My Name: Ozvtr

Posts: 1079
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 47 times
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Frankly I would not recommend attempting to change the head gasket unless your are prepared for second best and the fact that the gasket may fail again in an unreasonable amount of time.
What am I talking about? Well there may be some nasty surprises waiting for you between the block and the head and it's too late to hand it over to a professional when you have torn the engine apart. Well not too late, but added expense of scooping up all your stuff and having the car towed to a professional.
You might also have to make the decision to continue with the replacement of the head gasket when the head or the block are less than perfect. Knowing that repairing or replacing those components might be uneconomical. I.E. the head or the block!
The engine can still run and have an "acceptable" life span if everything is not perfect. But you should be aware of what's acceptable and what the consequences of things not being perfect might be! All of the youtube videos seem to show heads and blocks that come up looking like a million dollars...what if they don't?

Unfortunately the little TU3JP engine seems to have a disproportionate amount of head gasket failures. Fortunately it's a manufacturing defect in the gasket and not the engine block or head. The OEM gasket tends to fail at a little over 100K kilometers, which is not a long time at all! Don't be tempted to buy a cheap no-name-brand head gasket, it will fail sooner rather than later.

Head gasket failures:
There are a number of things that can cause a head gasket to fail.
"Blown" head gasket. Most people say they have a blown head gasket when they have head gasket problems but a blown head gasket refers to damage to the head gasket between the cylinders. This is probably the worst case possible. Gasses flow backwards and forwards between the two cylinders and the cylinders get very hot. This causes engine over heating, warping of the cylinder head and potentially the engine seizing up. BAD.
Typically this is caused by the engine being abused. Over revved and/or over loaded!!
Other damage to the gasket. The gasket can deteriorate and break down causing leaks between the coolant jacket and the oil galleries and between the coolant jacket and the combustion chamber. This can cause coolant in the oil. Oil in the coolant and/or a mysterious loss of coolant.
The cylinder head. Another thing that causes coolant loss is damage to the head. If you don't look after the coolant in the engine, the coolant itself may "eat" away the passages in the head and leak under the head gasket and into the combustion chamber. This looks like a head gasket failure but the gasket is intact, it's the head that is damaged. This will require repair or replacement of the head!
As you will see, my engine suffered damage that caused me to perform a less than ideal repair. How will it pan-out in the long run? Don't know!
As much as possible I have stuck to the service manual, but sometimes that's not possible for practical reasons. So as a disclaimer, this is how I serviced the head gasket and is only a guide. Service your car at your own risk.

So let's get on with it.
You will need to remove the exhaust (I left the manifold on but disconnected the catalytic converter) Link HERE, O2 sensor, the air filter box, the inlet manifold, injectors, the coil pack, link HERE the upper radiator hose and the timing belt, link HERE. I think you will find all of those procedures here in the "Tips and tricks" area. DO NOT TAKE OUT ANY OF THE LOCKING PINS USED TO REMOVE THE TIMING BELT! It's very important that the CRANKSHAFT does NOT turn before the cylinder head is back in position at the end of the gasket installation!! The liners could be disturbed and that would be bad!
The CAMSHAFT locking pin must stay in place while the rockers are on the head. When the rockers are removed the CAMSHAFT locking pin can be removed, but I will get to that later.

Remove the heater hose at the thermostat housing. Remove the bolt holding the plastic water pump inlet hose to the head. Disconnect the blue electrical connector from the sensor under the thermostat housing.
head_gasket 001.jpg
Remove the rocker cover and the baffle plate. Note the 2 spacers on top of the baffle plate.
head_gasket 001a.jpg
head_gasket 001b.jpg
Remove the 10 head bolts. "Crack" them, then undo them one by one in steps. The bolt head uses an E10 torx socket.
head_gasket 001c.jpg
Remove the rocker assembly.
head_gasket 001d.jpg
You can now remove the CAMSHAFT locking pin.
head_gasket 001e.jpg
Remove the cylinder head. Be careful not to damage the lower face and combustion chambers of the head. Place it on cardboard if possible.
head_gasket 002.jpg
Remove the head gasket. Use a plastic scraper to pry it off the head or block, whichever it is stuck to.
You will now see what you are dealing with.
head_gasket 002b.jpg
head_gasket 002c.jpg
Inspect the block upper face. The liner bores. The piston crowns. The the cylinder head face and the combustion chambers.
head_gasket 006a.jpg
head_gasket 006b.jpg
head_gasket 006c.jpg
As you can see, my engine has suffered damage and the piston liners are less than ideal. A replacement head, liners and piston would require a complete engine tear down and I have determined that is too expensive at this point. While it's not good..It's not that bad either. You might not have much of a choice. I will clean it up as much as I can and move on.

Inspect the water jacket holes on the face of the cylinder head. Ensure that they are not eaten away or encroach into the fire ring area of the combustion chamber.

It is at this point that you may need to make some expensive decisions! If the head or block are damaged what are you going to do?
This does not look like it was the OEM gasket, so how long ago was it replaced? How long did it take to get into this poor state? This particular engine has done a little more than 150K kilometers. The gaskets never come out looking pristine but if this has not been in that long, it's not good. I believe that no corrosion inhibitor was used in the coolant and the head gasket was of poor quality.
head_gasket 002d.jpg
Now the clean up phase.
The crusty deposits of the old gasket need to be removed from the faces of the cylinder head and the top of the block. I use a box cutter blade in a scraping motion to scrape off the residue. Caution: you run the risk of scratching and/or gouging the soft aluminium surfaces by using steel tools!! I did it this way but it is not recommended!! What is the best way? Don't know! The recommended way is with a PLASTIC scouring pad and some engine oil for lubrication. This way takes hours! It takes hours my way but the plastic pad takes even longer! So just using the scouring pad would take an interminable amount of time! So officially clean the surfaces so that they are smooth and undamaged! Right! Easier said than done. Any type of abrasive is a no-no.
Feel the surface for any imperfections as you go.
head_gasket 007.jpg
The dark areas you can see around the outside of the combustion chambers is staining from the coolant penetrating the head gasket material and distorting it. It is just discoloured and stained. Not pitted and still flat.
head_gasket 007a.jpg
head_gasket 007b.jpg
At this point you would run your strait edge along the face of the head and the top of the block.
The bow in the cylinder head or block faces can not be more than 0.05mm.
The block is measured along the 4 edges of the of the top. Front, back, left and right. You can not measure diagonally, across the tops of the liners.
The cylinder head face is measured front and back, front-to-back at multiple points and both diagonals.
I do not have a straight edge and can not check the flatness.
As a DIYer you need to decide if you should have the head and block checked...or decide if it's "good enough". If the gasket only leaked oil or coolant and never over heated, Its unlikely that the block or head are warped. If the gasket was damaged between the cylinders (blown) and the engine over heated the head and/or block may be warped. Don't put your head in the sand, get the head and block checked.

One thing you can check is if the liners sit proud of the block face. You can see the specifications in the picture. Yes, the top of the liners must be higher than the edge of the block. The clamping force needs to be highest on the metal, compressible fire rings of the head gasket. However it's not much...less than 0.1 of a millimeter.
head_gasket 007c.jpg

Next up... part 2.
User avatar
My Name: Ozvtr

Posts: 1079
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
Has thanked: 47 times
Been thanked: 314 times


Clean the head bolt holes. I used brake cleaner. It evaporates and washes out any oil.
head_gasket 009a.jpg
clean the head bolts. Ensure the threads are clean and and there is no build up of dirt or whatever.
head_gasket 009b.jpg
The Head bolts.
The head bolts are torque-to-yeld type bolts. That means they are stretched into their "plastic zone" when tightened up. This increases clamping force for a given size of bolt. However if they are not torqued correctly they may stretch beyond their plastic zone. This might cause the bolt to break. Maybe not when the bolt is in position but it may break the next time it is installed. It is possible to re-used the bolts and you can measure the length to see if you can re-use them. But you always run the risk of breaking a bolt if it is a used bolt. The best policy is to use new head bolts. But it's your decision.
head_gasket 009c.jpg
Run one of the bolts down one of the head bolt holes. The bolt should run down the threads smoothly and not bind. Wrap a bit of tape around the shaft when the bolt has bottomed out. Now unscrew the bolt and inspect the threads of the bolt. The threads should be clean and oil free. Now run the bolt down all the remaining head bolt holes. The result should be much the same. If you are happy all the bolt holes are clean and the bolt goes all the way to the bottom of each hole, remove the tape.
head_gasket 010.jpg
head_gasket 010a.jpg
head_gasket 011.jpg
If there is binding of the threads you can run a tap or thread chaser down the holes. The thread is M10 X 1.5mm. The head bolts must have nothing to resist them turning in the holes.
head_gasket 014.jpg
Now the moment you have all been waiting for, the installation of the head gasket! If you are sure you have done the best you can so far, install the head gasket on the top of the block.
head_gasket 015.jpg
Ensure the gasket fits correctly. The TU3JP has a fairly long lineage, the engine has been in use for a while. Taking this fact into account, make sure you have bought the correct head gasket. The block of the "TU" engines has not changed much over the years...but it has changed! Most notably the cylinder head. There are fuel injected and non fuel injected heads. The coolant passages are different and so the head gaskets are different!
Ensure the holes in the gasket fit over the dowel pins in the block.
head_gasket 015a.jpg
Now it's time to install the cylinder head. Be careful, it's heavy an awkward. Ensure it lines up on the previously mentioned dowel pins...on both sides, left and right.
Inspect the head-to-block mating. Make sure the head is sitting down all the way around the top of the block.
head_gasket 019.jpg
Check the oil holes in the head over the camshaft journals. They should be clean and open. You should be able to see the journals spinning inside if you turn the camshaft.
The other holes (yellow arrow) are the holes for the locating pins in the bottom of the rocker shaft supports. They are not as critical, but they should be free of blockages.
head_gasket 020.jpg
Clean the milled surfaces of the head.
head_gasket 021.jpg
While you are there, turn the camshaft over and inspect all the lobes. Look for scratches and galling of the surface.
head_gasket 022.jpg
Inspect the rollers on the ends of the rockers. Make they spin freely and there is no damage to the rolling surface.
head_gasket 024.jpg
Check that there are 5 locating dowels in the bottoms of the rocker shaft supports. Check the oil holes (yellow arrow). If you look down those holes in the supports and rotate the supports backwards and forwards, you will see there is an adjacent hole in the rocker shaft. The rocker shaft is pressed into the support on the far right but the others float free. So when installed, all the holes in the rocker shaft will line up with the holes in the supports. This is important because it's part of the oiling system.
head_gasket 025.jpg
Pin the camshaft sprocket in the alignment hole.
head_gasket 025a.jpg
Install the rocker assembly onto the cylinder head.
When you install the assembly, be careful that the rocker adjusters do not get caught on the backs of the valve stems.
head_gasket 026.jpg
You may find some of the rocker shaft supports "stick up" a bit. This is OK it's the valve springs pushing against the rockers and forcing the supports up. They will come down when the head bolts are torqued down.
Make sure the adjusters sit on the top of the valve stems.
head_gasket 027.jpg
Lube under the heads and the threads of the head bolts. Use engine oil or I used a copper based anti seize compound.
head_gasket 029.jpg
Carefully install the bolts into the cylinder head through the rocker shaft supports.
head_gasket 029a.jpg
Tighten the bolts to 20NM. Use a spiral pattern starting with the center bolts. See the diagram following the next pic.
head_gasket 030.jpg
Once the bolts are tightened down to 20NM they need to be tightened down a further 240 degrees. It's advised that it's done in two steps of 120 degrees.
I used an angular dial gauge. Twist all ten bolts 120 degrees, then tighten them 120 degrees again.
This is a bit nerve wracking. That 240 degrees is a long way! Will the bolts snap?
head_gasket 031.jpg
Here is the order in which the head bolts are to be tightened. Typically you will get basic tightening specs on a piece of paper supplied with the head gasket. I put marks against each of the numbers to indicate that I had completed that tension job. one mark for 20NM. One mark for the first 120 degrees. One mark for the second 120 degrees.
head_gasket 032.jpg
At this point the timing belt should be re-installed. The alignment pins should be removed as a normal part of the timing belt installation. They are no longer needed.

Next, check the clearance between the rocker adjuster and the top of the valve stem. The spec is 0.2mm on the inlet side and 0.4mm on the exhaust side. If necessary, undo the retaining nut, set the adjuster then lock the adjuster with the retaining nut.
You will need to rotate the engine to get the cam lobes away from the rollers on the rockers. But you should know that.
head_gasket 033.jpg
Temporally install the baffle plate, spacers and retaining nuts over the rocker assembly.
head_gasket 033a.jpg
press down on the edge of the baffle and see if it's hitting on the top of the rocker adjusters.
When I first started the engine after doing the head gasket, there was an horrendous clacking noise coming from the upper part of the engine. I narrowed it down to the rockers bashing on the baffle plate!
The plate is thin metal and can be bent easily.
head_gasket 034.jpg
Remove the cover nuts from the top of the spacers and re-install the rocker cover. Install the cover nuts.
head_gasket 001a.jpg
That's the end of the actual head gasket replacement phase. You now need to replace all the ancillaries that you pulled off.
Ensure you remove the alignment pins used to set the timing belt. Before you attempt to start the engine, turn the engine over by hand to make sure you have not left anything in place that may lock the engine up!
Because there is no fuel in the fuel rail, it might take a bit to start the engine and it might be a bit hard to start. Just persist. However if the engine wont start or run after a while, stop and investigate!
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