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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright so I’m taking apart my 1.8t as you can see. The coolant is disgusting and so is the pistons. I have no experience working on cars so I’m kinda stuck as to what my next move should be. I’m going to include some pictures below, can anyone with a little more knowledge help me out and point me in the right direction

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Car had white smoke coming out of the exhaust on startup and idle so I assumed it was the head gasket after doing some research. Do any of these pictures help point that out
 

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I can safely assume the head gasket was toast. Indication of that is how clean the pistons are. Coolant got into cylinders 1 and 3 and upon combustion basically steam cleaned them. Unlike cylinders 2 and 4 which have very visible carbon deposits. Depending on how badly the gasket blew out and what the oil looks like oil and coolant likely mixed after the head gasket failed. Drain all of the fluids before putting it back together. Clean up cylinders 2 and 4, reassemble with new gaskets. Just be extremely careful when doing the timing. New belt, tensioner, and water pump are recommended if you don't know the last time it was done. Be CAREFUL especially since it'll be your first time. Setting timing improperly in these cars is dangerous and will lead to more heartache than anyone wants to deal with. New head studs/bolts will also be needed. Do not reuse the ones that came out, they're torque to yield (one time use) and will have an exponentially higher chance of causing more issues. Headgasket replacement kits are available, as are timing kits. Replace spark plugs, and fill with fresh fluids before you try to start it. Good luck

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can safely assume the head gasket was toast. Indication of that is how clean the pistons are. Coolant got into cylinders 1 and 3 and upon combustion basically steam cleaned them. Unlike cylinders 2 and 4 which have very visible carbon deposits. Depending on how badly the gasket blew out and what the oil looks like oil and coolant likely mixed after the head gasket failed. Drain all of the fluids before putting it back together. Clean up cylinders 2 and 4, reassemble with new gaskets. Just be extremely careful when doing the timing. New belt, tensioner, and water pump are recommended if you don't know the last time it was done. Be CAREFUL especially since it'll be your first time. Setting timing improperly in these cars is dangerous and will lead to more heartache than anyone wants to deal with. New head studs/bolts will also be needed. Do not reuse the ones that came out, they're torque to yield (one time use) and will have an exponentially higher chance of causing more issues. Headgasket replacement kits are available, as are timing kits. Replace spark plugs, and fill with fresh fluids before you try to start it. Good luck

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God bless you! I have all new head bolts and gaskets, and I also set the timing to TDC and marked the belt before taking it off. Am I able to crank the engine to get 2-3 up so I can clean them, what’s the procedure there for keeping it in time if I do that. I have the coolant drained for the most part but there’s still some in there would I be able to get away with assembling it and then just doing a coolant flush? I’m going to be cleaning them with brake cleaner is that okay? If I do that will I have to live the cylinder walls?
 

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Turn it back to cylinder 1 TDC and make sure the mark on the crank pulley lines up with the one on the block. There's really only 2 positions for the crank to be in so at the very least that should be extremely easy. Fluid flushes are easy and I'm sure you'll be fine after doing one. Just make sure that by the end the coolant that comes out looks like the coolant that went in. When you do the final system fill, raise the coolant bowl so it becomes the highest point in the system. It'll make bleeding the air out of the coolant lines a hell of a lot easier. Drain every bit of oil out that you can and replace the filter as well. If coolant got in the oil that can make for one disastrous time as well

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Purchase a Bentley manual for Golf/Jetta 4.
 

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Take the head to your local machine shop, have them check the mating surface is flat, check for cracks or other defects and have the head cleaned.

Make sure you buy a decent name brand head gasket not the ones from china. And make sure you torque correctly, not sure on yours but most have a 3 step torque process in sequence starting from the middle out.

Clean the block mating surface also.
 

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That deck looks really good in general and around the failure area.

It will probably clean up by being scraped with a BRAND NEW razorblade that you just unwrapped. As soon as you catch it on a burr and it starts leaving a scratch, you throw it away and open another new one. Hold the razor at a very shallow angle, the point being to have the bottom side of it's edge flat against the surface. Clean the cylinder head surface the same way.

If you don't have a proper precision straightedge, take the head to a machine shop like rezz said (after you clean it) to have it checked. More than 0.003" of distortion requires machining to be a permanent repair. More than 0.001" is questionable if it's for high performance use. You can get away sometimes with 0.007ish if the pedal will never be put to the floor and you're alright with doing it again in a couple years. Scrape it, then scrub it good with shop rags and non-chlorinated brake cleaner so it's clean and feels smooth. Don't get hung up on stains that don't come off. It needs to be flat, clean, and smooth. Anything else is a problem.

Here are some crap videos I've made that address these areas a bit, but I don't expect you to be doing this kind of thing unless you feel compelled to. You should try to clean the pistons and combustion chambers up as best you can, but DO NOT go in there with power tools or any kind of ham-fisted chiseling operations. At least wipe off the loose carbon flakes if you don't want to go in with a torch and tools.


 

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Every time I need to rebuild a 1.8t I get a gasket set from this seller. Elring everything with Victor Reinz head bolts.

 

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Every time I need to rebuild a 1.8t I get a gasket set from this seller. Elring everything with Victor Reinz head bolts.

I bought the same kit when I rebuilt mine last year, havent had an issue yet!

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^^^^Yeah man. Fair price and quality parts 🍻
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Every time I need to rebuild a 1.8t I get a gasket set from this seller. Elring everything with Victor Reinz head bolts.

Thank you everybody for the reply’s and knowledge. This is the gasket kit I bought with my head bolts. I’ll deep dive into the reply’s tomorrow when I’m working on her. 👍👍👍
 
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