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Discussion Starter #1
Please help me!

I'm attempting to rebuild the engine in my 86' MR2 AT NA. It has a blown head gasket. At least that's what the repair shop thinks it has. They ran a test on it and they were able find exhaust gas in the radiator hose with some test thing they have.

Anyway, since I don't have the grand or so to pay to have it done, I'm attempting it myself. I have a factory service manual for it, and I've got to the point where I'm ready to take the AC belt off, set the engine to TDC and remove the timing belt. Which really scares me. Everything else has gone well so far, but the timing belt and further seems a bit...I don't know maybe intimidating is the right word for it.

Can anyone give me any words of advice? Or give me any suggestions of anything I can improve while I got it torn this far apart? The vehicle has 96,000 orginal miles and has had a new timing belt put on in 1995 at 67,000. Up until the head gasket went bad, it ran like a top. I'd like to give it a little more ummph though because last summer I joined the SCCA and started auto-crossing. There's this V6 Fiero I'm so close to beating in my class, and I want to get it so bad.

Thanks,
Andy
 

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Shadetree mechanic
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You are taking the right steps so far by buying the Toyota Service Manual (BGB = Big Green Book) and checking this board.

Take good notes or take pictures as you disassemble the engine. You can use the pictures on Mike Choi's site for reference:
http://64.26.1.50/go/MR2/aw11/photos/head_gasket/index.htm

Also attach labels on vacuum hoses and parts to help you remember how/where to put the parts back together. It doesn't hurt to buy zip-lock bags for some parts.

DO NOT turn the cylinder head over when you remove it from the block or the shims and other parts will fall out of the head.

Before you get to each step, fell free to ask questions. Others on this board can tell you where to get the best prices for the cylinder head gasket set..
 

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since its torn down mine as well go ahead and get a new timing belt agian. the nice metal headgasket would be nice too. if your racing scca your not going to be able to touch much of the engine if you want to stay in your class wiether it be stock or sts. so i would just consintrate on a good healthy rebuild and keep an eye out for parts showing age/wear. you dont want to have to take it apart agian. hope that helps.
 

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Yeah, good luck. Go for it! Don't worry so much about the timing marks just now, they can always be moved back later if you move everything a little. You're more than likely going to have to adjust the cam gears anyway after you put everything back together. It really is helpful like Ron says, to label everything and put it in a bag the first time out. And, don't make the mistake I did the first time and take all the valve buckets out and just put them in a bag----they have to go back in the same cylinder!
 

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drivesfast said:
the nice metal headgasket would be nice too.
Do NOT get a metal headgasket, just go with a stock Toyota jobbie (like $25 or so). There is absolutely no need for a metal headgasket on even most turbo 4AGE's, let alone a stock NA. Besides, MHG's require special head and block preparation by a machine shop that knows what they're doing.

-Winston
 
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Are you just looking at replacing the gasket? If you've already got the head off, why not have it rebuilt, milled a couple 1/1000ths, ported, and polished? That fiero will be wondering what you did...
 

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toasted! said:
Are you just looking at replacing the gasket? If you've already got the head off, why not have it rebuilt, milled a couple 1/1000ths, ported, and polished? That fiero will be wondering what you did...
Not sure if that would be legal in your class? You might want to wait until ITA is back in town next week and ask him (he's an SCCA official)--and ITA racer. You want to beat the guy fair and square :)
 

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im looking at the '04 car mod classification sheet and if you change your valves, the ontly class you will be able to run in fairly will be SM.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm running E-Stock right now. And I do want to beat the guy fair and square. And I don't really want to jump to another class, because I'd have to update pratically everything else to be competitive in a modified class.

As long as the parts I replace are OEM, I can remain in E-Stock correct?
-Andy
 
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So, according to drivesfast, you CAN mill the head a little to bump up the compression, you just can't change valves.
 

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i dont know if you can do that, but iv only had one headgasket ever go out on me and both the mechanic and my dad said that you should almost always get the head checked or machined to make sure there wasnt any warping i guess. and we put a metal HG on my civic. as far as i know there was no machining done specificaly so it would work properly. and i never had a problem with it.
 

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Ron,

Your HG job pictures were very helpful! I took my throttle linkage apart to have it powerder coated and couldn't remeber exactly how it went back together!

I should really take the time to document my work better!

Paul
 

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In stock classes: You can mill the head and block enough to make it flat, no more. You can't do anything to the intake or exhaust manifolds or port the head. Use ONLY a Toyota OEM head gasket (to prevent problems in the future).
 
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