So a couple months ago, two words that every petrol head fears was in the back of my head.
Consider me triggered, fam. For those of you reading this without a single mechanical inclining in your body – the head gasket is a thin piece of metal sandwiched between the block and the head of the engine. It seals those two important parts of said engine, to prevent stuff from leaking out or between each other. Simple enough, yeah? Well, when that thin piece of metal breaks or begins leaking, it’s bad for everyone involved.
Especially one’s mental stability.
Long story short, I did some testing and determined yes, the head gasket in the TT is probably shot. Smell of coolant outside on cold starts, slow loss of coolant from the reservoir, brownish deposits in the coolant, inability to hold pressure when a vacuum is applied, etc. I was in denial for a while till I ran a sniff test, which sealed the deal for my psyche.
Air from the coolant reservoir is pulled through a special liquid that reacts to exhaust gases (hydrocarbons, to be exact). In the presence of exhaust, the liquid changes color from blue to green or yellow. I ran the test twice and both times the liquid turned bright yellow. No bueno.
So from there, the decision came down to this:
Do I fucking send it for the next 1.5 years, and hope the leak doesn’t get worse? Or do I pull the engine, fix the head gasket, and have a fun project for Winter 2018?
Obviously the choice was to pull the engine. I’ll try to blog the steps taken, with pictures, of the entire process. There’s no real how-to on the internet for pulling an engine. It seems daunting when looking at the mess of pipework, vacuum lines, and components, but I’m finding that by focusing on one thing at a time it’s not too bad.
A lot of internet gatekeepers will try to say, “If you need instructions on how to pull the engine, you shouldn’t be pulling the engine.” I say fuck that, everyone needs to start somewhere. Prior to doing the timing belt on the TT, I had never done a timing belt before. Prior to doing the exhaust, I had never replace an exhaust system before. So fuck the haters, and their inability to help the noobs. By all means, use these coming posts as a starting point for your engine pull. It’ll be more than I’ve got currently.