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Which head gasket did you use? 200tdi

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I measured my piston protrusion with feeler gagues today and it is 0.53mm. According to haynes, this means I need a 1 notch gasket, ie the thinnest. Are these common? And what is the consequences of using too thin a gasket? Surely the valve to piston tolerance arent that tight, seeing as the difference between a 1 and a 3 notch gasket is .2 mm?



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Afternoon Roly,

What was the gasket that came off? How many notches? I was told that most gaskets fitted were the 3 notch, someone on here may correct me on that!

I had the head skimed as you never get a flat head really! it has been known to fit the head back on without skimming but generally leads to blowing again soon.

As i had the head skimed i put in the 4 notch gasket to compensate.



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I doubt very much that there will any noticeable difference by using the next notch up - the difference is only 10th of a millimetre. If you have had a head skim, then it's possible that quite a bit of material has been removed, in which case the piston protrusion would be the same if you were using the old pistons, but the valve stand down may be greatly reduced. This is why the piston protrusion and valve stand down should be checked - the protrusion for the correct thickness head gasket, and the valve stand down to maintain valve clearance. You may think that just using the next thickness head gasket will be fine, but it's possible that this isn't enough for the work you have/had done to the engine. It doesn't take much time or effort to check protrusion or stand down and it could save you a lot of grief/wasted money.


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I read before (I am fairly sure on this forum) that the valve faces to cylinder head face have to be a particular clearance and obviously if the head is skimmed should be checked.

Also that if a lot of material is removed and hence the valve seat/head face gap isnt enough then the valve seats can be recut (the valves would then sit further inside the head) to give sufficient clearance.

Incidentally how did you measure the piston protrusion? Les has a great thread on checking this.

With regard to head gaskets and compression (this is my own personal opinion) I would go for the same thickness you took off (or greater if needed) rather than going thinner. Its not a performance engine and being turbocharged may possibly stress it more than it needs to be with a higher compression ratio.

From my petrol head days I remember skimming the head on normally aspirated petrol engines gave an increase in compression ratio to gain more power from the engine but that turbod (petrol) cars had to have a lower compression ratio to allow for the larger mass that the turbo charger produced without blowing head gaskets.

If you feel it isnt powerfull enough once its rebuilt, fueling and adding more boost (and larger intercooler) is quite a common upgrade but thats another one for the experts to advise on.




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