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Thread: Z30DT Cylinder Head Gasket failed

  1. #1
    Regular Member ph67's Avatar
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    Default Z30DT Cylinder Head Gasket failed

    It's been drinking water for a month or so now and the header bottle always has pressure in it when I open it - I've just had a test carried out and there is exhaust gas in the header bottle so one of the head gaskets has failed - it's only done 88k miles and it isn't hammered, I look after the engine quite well so I guess it's just one of those things.

    Have any of you had a failure of this type on your Z30DT? If so what was the cost and time needed to carry out the repair please? I'm beginning to think the engine will have to be taken out to do this job..........

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    It's not so much about the mileage, but a combination of age and mileage

    However, for a diesel it is more common for the original gasket to fail around 80K miles / 4 years in a petrol and 140K miles / 7 years in a diesel

    The most common cause is the failure of a seal in the coolant system, the usual symptom is having to continually top up the coolant on cold mornings
    Equally, how often have you checked the gravity of the coolant?

    As for the repair, the engine shouldn't need to come out
    However, it will take a considerable amount of time
    I suggest you contact a dealership for the labour time required

    My previous Vectra B 2.0 (petrol) had a cylinder head reskim carried out at 110K miles under warranty, and indication the head gasket was nearing failure
    I was without the car for a full week, as the dealership did not carry out this type of repair
    Sadly I didn't ask about the labour time, but I know it took them best part of a day, before and after
    My previous Mondeo 2.0 (diesel) had to have the engine stripped down, and that was 10 hours, with a further 10 hours to rebuild it
    Last edited by m8internet; 29th October 2012 at 14:39.

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    Regular Member Critch's Avatar
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    I bought my y30 with head gasket failed due to last owner not being able to afford costs.

    its approx 15 hours labour plus parts.

    if you can do it yourself its only a few hundred in parts.

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    Regular Member ph67's Avatar
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    Wel, it is 7 years old now (55 plate). I've had to top the coolant up 2 or 3 times in the last month or so (maybe 6 weeks) - the level would be right down at the bottom of the tank, each time i opened it there was pressure in the header tank when it was cold and the water would rise 3 or 4 cm, then I'd top it up to the KALT mark. At the weekend I parked up at home after a day out and there was steam coming from under the bonnet, the water was up to the top of the header tank and some was being blown out landing on the turbo heat shield and boiling off.

    I must admit I don't check the gravity of the coolant.

    I'm waiting for a costing for the job at the moment, I'll have the Cam belt changed at the same time. The owner of the garage also mentioned that removing the heads could cause an issue with the injectors, i.e. he's seen before where an injector would just give up the ghost.....anyone ever heard of that before? - somewhat frightening to have to replace any of those at 400-500 quid a shot....

    I think it would be too big a job for me to do, this engine is far to complex for me, last time I worked on my own motor was when they were a bit simpler - i.e. 1.8E 8 valve engine in the mark 2 astra GTE.......yep, that long ago......!!

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    I caught the cylinder head gasket failure in my Vectra B
    On switching off I could hear a gurgling noise, as air entered the system under pressure, with steam visible on cold mornings
    The dealership performed a test, but found nothing wrong
    Four weeks later it started consuming small amounts of coolant such that the warning light (which was more sensitive in the Vectra B) was activating
    The oil was still showing no signs of contamination

    From the symptoms you have described you missed the early signs of failure, with the visible signs of steam in the engine bay
    If you had to top the coolant, you should use 50:50 mix
    If you simply used plain water this dilutes the solution, hence the gravirty check
    Oddly, mine consumed some coolant a few years ago, but no issue could be found

    During cylinder head gasket replacement the cambelt has to come off anyway, so it is prudent to replace it anyway
    This will be quite useful for you, as it would be due shortly anyway

    There shouldn't be any issues with the injectors, providing they were working correctly prior to the failure
    I would be more concerned about the valves and liners
    I would recommend having the valve clearances checked and liners measured (if the liners are out of tolerance, then the engine is sadly for the bin)
    Equally, the liners are easily damaged by water

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    Regular Member Critch's Avatar
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    Injectors shouldn't be a problem.

    Having belt kit fitted is a good choice. Make sure both heads are removed pressure tested an skimmed.
    an replace all gaskets an stretch bolts

    As mentioned above make sure liners are checked. Valve clearance due at 100k so may aswel be done too. But should be ok

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    Regular Member m8internet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critch View Post
    Valve clearance due at 100k so may aswel be done too
    Valve clearances are only a service item on the Y30DT, at the same interval as the cambelt (listed on TIS as both items at same time)
    However it would be prudent to have the clearances checked anyway

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    Regular Member Celes's Avatar
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    It's in German, but it's a good read.

    http://technikfreun.de/2011/10/08/zy...lber-wechseln/

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    Regular Member ph67's Avatar
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    M8internet, you're right, I did miss the early signs, I never heard any gurgling sounds at all, though now I think back I did have a problem about 10 weeks ago where I noticed the expansion tank a little higher than usual and the water temperature gauge not running in it's normal 86 degree position, I put that down to a small air lock and ran the heater full on for a while which seemed to cure the problem for 3-4 weeks until I noticed the level drop again, from which my earlier post in this chain then picks up the story.

    I've had a quote back from my local garage who I've found to be pretty good (the owner really knows what he's talking about) of £1600 + vat to do replace both head gaskets, he'll also get the heads checked for any slight twisting or mis-alignments as well as replacing the cam belt with the proper kit (i.e. followers, tensioners etc.) - as you point out M8, this does work out good as the engine will already be in bits so he can just change it. He's actually going to take the engine out completely as it will make it easier and be quicker to do the work opposed to if he left it in, which makes sense to me. So it's booked in next week, it'll be off the road for a week which I'm fine with as I know he'll do a good job, I'd rather he took his time and did it properly and did it once.....

    Thanks for the advice on the valve clearances - I recall seeing that was part of the scheduled work on the 100k cam belt change, and thanks for the reminder about the cylinder liners, this is the one that scares me the most....I'll be giving the guy a call to ensure he's picking up both these points......
    Last edited by ph67; 31st October 2012 at 14:15.

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    Regular Member ph67's Avatar
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    Well, it's still in the garage (my local independent), the engine is out, the heads have been pressure tested without issue, the delay is down to Vauxhall!!! - it seems Vauxhall ordered the parts which went on to back order and the dealership didn't tell my garage. The problem was only found when my garage chased up Vauxhall who said the parts would be in about 7-10 days - totally unnacceptable response, no offer to use a next day courier in the interests of customer satisfaction, just a rubbish attitude of 'they'll be here when they're here' - in the meantime my garage has a ramp (they only have 3) out of action as my Vectra is taking it up and I have to wait till end of this week for the parts to come in.....I moved away from going to Vauxhall dealers because of their cost, inept mistakes and terrible customer service......ho hum - rant over - just want it back.....

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