Head gasket

So the mighty Audi came to me with a cold start problem.

Having spent a long time around EFI engines, particularly the Cossie, I knew there was a few basics that needed to be checked out first.

  • Fuel pump -> OK
  • Crank position sensor -> replaced -> OK
  • Coolant temperature sensor -> replaced -> OK
  • Phase sensor -> OK
  • Spark plugs -> replaced -> OK
  • Coil packs -> OK

The cold start problem manifested itself as and engine that would crank but not fire after it had been left for a few hours, or would misfire and run on 3 until something had cleared.  Eventually

In the meantime the water pump failed, either due to the underlying problem, or separately, it’s not clear.  The pump did appear to have received some damage to the impeller though, which was odd.  Replacing that was a mission in itself too!

Back on topic, the gasket failed in the weirdest way – Cylinders 2 and 3 turned out to be blowing out of the exhaust side of the gasket and into the coolant jackets, and then drawing coolant into the bores after the engine was shut down.  This left an engine that wouldn’t start when it had been left for several hours without first depressurising the coolant system.  When the engine finally overheated and the head was removed a few weeks later, the cause was found, along with two bores full of coolant.

After mopping out the coolant and re-oiling the bores, the head was taken to the folks at Headline MK in Woburn Sands, near Milton Keynes to be rebuilt and cleaned up.  They’ve done a bangup job for a perfectly resonable price, including:

  • Skim
  • de-coke
  • minor repair to a water jacket
  • New valve stem seals
  • Resurfaced valves
  • reset cam timing

Now comes the  semi-daunting task of putting it all back together.  Hoping all the screws and nuts I removed go back where they came from!


My Audi Obsession

Many years ago, as well as the Cossie, I promised myself something else with a bit of racing pedigree – an Audi.

As some of you will know, Audi’s name became huge in the ’80s with the boxy Audi 80 Coupe Quattro, also known simply and affectionately as ‘The Quattro’.

I won’t go into massive detail about it here, but in 2018, the time finally came following the demise of the mighty Mondeo, may she rust in pieces. Continue reading “My Audi Obsession”

The Blue Pill or The Red Pill?

When I was about to buy my Cossie in 2003, I felt much like Neo from The Matrix.  I could hear Morpheus in my head:

This is your last chance.  After this there is no turning back.  You take the blue pill: the story ends.  You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.  You take the red pill: you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Which pill did I take?

Continue reading “The Blue Pill or The Red Pill?”

The game’s afoot

So after a bit, well, actually, a lot of worrying and dithering, I’ve decided to get on with stuff.  It’s the only thing that particularly matters to me, and being without it for so long has broken my soul, so the time’s come.

A friend from work pointed me in the direction of Retro AutoWorks Ltd in Northampton.  They’ve graciously accepted the Cossie as a slow-time job with reasonable labour rates, and high quality work from the photos on their Facebook page.

Before they come to collect the Cossie next week I’ll be battering the brakes to unsieze them and try to clear them up to allow it to move a little easier.  I’ll also be looking to put the semi-assembled engine in it as well.

In the beginning…

For those of you crazy kids brought up on a regular diet of Twitter, Minecraft, and Instagram, the 1980s may be a bit of a mystery to you.  You may think of the 80s as a ‘retro’ period, if you think of it at all, from which old people sprang.  The entire 20th century may be simply a thing that ‘happened’.  In your defence though, even to some actual adults who saw it the first time round, the 80s is still a bit of a mystery.

Whatever you might think though, the 80s were great.  They even made a film about it.

Continue reading “In the beginning…”