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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. This is not for my Saab (fortunately!), but for a Clio 16V I just got, supposedly with a head gasket problem. Almost 130k on the clock. The car doesn't run. All cylinders indicated a very low compression (2-4 bar), while the addition of oil only improved those readings by 1 bar or less. Cylinders 1 and 4 had slightly more than the other two, but I don't think this makes a difference if the compression is so low.

Am I really looking at a head gasket (or cracked head as the worst case scenario), or could the piston rings be on their way out as well?

Thanks in advance.

Harry
 

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If you have acess to an air compressor, pump air thru the spark plug hole into each cylinder when it is a TDC. it will either come out of the exhaust or air inlet, indicating valves. If not it will be the rings. Hope you did not pay too much for it as either way it is going to cost a bob or two
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I haven't paid anything for it yet, although the asking price is £600. The rest of the car is excellent, full exhaust, induction kit, bucket seats etc. and it is even the right colour, same as my saab, Le mans (or Williams) blue. Seeing that these go for around 2k, wouldn't a replacement engine (£800-£1000 fitted) be worthwhile? Plus, if it just the top end, I could save lots as I will be doing it mostly myself.

Argh... Decisions, decisions.......

Let me know what you think!

Thanks

Harry

PS. I forgot to mention there is no oil in the water or vice versa. Strange....
 

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Harry,
Sounds like a lot of work,like its one of these cars which has been driven hard,induction kits,seats etc. do you know any history of the car?
i'm thinking gearbox,suspension etc. engine could be the tip of the iceberg
ok so i dont like french cars (tinney little things) but i'd check it on a saab too
happy hunting
G.
 

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I would agree with Gilbert, it sounds as though the car has probably been thrashed. Do you know any of it's history. Even with a replacement engine you could still have expensive problems in other area's. However saying all that. if you think it is worth spending the time, trouble and money, then go with your instincts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know you are probably right. I haven't had a chance to talk to the previous owner, I just know that he is young (around 20) and he used to spend all his money on the car. The thing I liked about the car is that it is totally original, no tacky mods or anything. All I need to find out is whether he spent any money on mechanicals or just induction kits and exhausts, and whether there is any history.

The devil on my right shoulder says "Go for it, it will be fun", while the angel on the other side says "130k? Boyracer's car? You 're asking for trouble".

On the plus side, I got plenty of free time at the moment and I'd like a little project.

Maybe I'll propose he waits till I take the head off and take it from there, as for now it's all assumptions.

Thanks for the advice

Harry
 

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Don't know the engine, but if it's one with the rubber drive cambelt, that could have broken at speed and all the valves hit the pistons
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Or if a hose went and the engine was run dry till the head warped and the pistons seized

Needs head off and a good look inside first.
 

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From what you say about the compression test, I'd say the head has a problem. Head gasket and you'd probably have two cylinders down, next to each other. If the rings were gone, adding oil to the cylinder would make a big difference to compression. I would almost favour the suggestion of cambelt failure to put all four cylinders down like that. If that's the case you need to look at the pistons, if they are heavily marked by the valves I'd probably throw the engine away, if not they should be ok. Best to try and speak to the owner as they may be able to shed some light on this.

Good luck

Neil
 

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Ah, here is a valid case methinks for resurrecting an old acronym we used to use at uni to describe a piece of kit that had seen better days, namely FUCT

I don't think we ever defined what it's precise derivation was, but it was something along the lines of Final Use Completely Trashed.

We used to write it with big marker pens on any piece of equipment suffering that particular ailment...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree it must be FUCT. I'm probably FUCT as well. A friend visited last night and talked me into a complete rebuild (if necessary)!

Thank you all guys for your replies.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Now, I got to tell my girlfriend

Harry
 
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