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300tdi Head Gasket

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Hi Everyone.

Firstly just want to say hi, i have been watching this forum for a little while now and the info on here has been very helpfull and you all seem a very friendly lot.

I am hoping you will be able to help me with regards to the head gasket on a 300tdi.

I have looked through the tech archive and found the post on changing the head on a 200tdi engine, will it be the same as doing it on a 300tdi?

Im not the most mechanicly minded/able person and to be honest have only ever dared to do the simple stuff but i thought i would try to do this myself, being one of the many reasons i bought a defender.

How difficult would you guys say it is to change the head gasket? Should i reconsider and give it to the garage?

What is the most likely thing to go wrong? Also do i need any special tools for the job? I was also told that i have to grind the valves in... is this true?

Thank you very much for any help and guidance, it will be much appretiated.



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Are you sure it's the head gasket? 300TDi heads are known for cracking, so it would be wise to get the head crack tested and maybe skimmed if necessary. The valves may have to be ground if the head is skimmed - they have to be seated a certain distance 'down' from the gasket face (this is known as valve stand down). You will need a dial guage of careful use of feeler guages to check the stand down. Also a torque wrench and a degree plate to tighten the head bolts properly. The head gasket will have either 1, 2, 3, or no holes (or notches in), and as long as you aren't replacing the pistons or having the deck of the block skimmed - use the same gasket thickness as the old head gasket - regardless if the head is skimmed or not. The job itself isn't particularly difficult, but it does take some care in order to do it properly. Apart from the price of a torque wrench - feeler guages, degree plate, or even a reasonable dial guage won't cost a lot of money. If you were to 'just' change the head gasket, then perhaps 4-5 hours for someone with little experience.


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