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X 16 XEL Engine problems

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Hi, my mk3 with a X 16 XEL engine started spluttering and running rough like someone had flicked a switch on the way home from work on Sunday. Fearing the worst I pulled over and checked it over it. No oil in the water, no mayo on the oil cap, nothing tapping so drove it steadily home. Took it to my local garage and they did a compression check and found no compression on either pot 1 or 2 so looks like the head gasket has gone between those two. also they have had a look inside the engine and found that pot one looks suspiciously clean and they believe that there maybe a valve problem there as well. So the question is should i be looking to strip the top end of the engine down and find out what going on? How hard is it to strip this engine down? I have never been that far down inside a engine.

Or should i just buy a new second hand engine? would i have to replace with the same engine or could i put a different lump in it, if so which one and how much more would need to be changed? I love the car i bought it with 21000 miles on the clock and it now has 62000. there is no rust on the body and has never been welded. I really don't want to see it scrapped but is that the most practical option. any help or advise would be great.
 

Andy_Mk3

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With no compression on 1 & 2 that would suggest more than head gasket failure. Even if it had failed, you would still get some compression there, so valve damage is likely. Personally I would at least get the head off to inspect, it's not too bad of a job. Timing belt off and manifolds off and you're most of the way there to getting it out. Whether it's worth repairing is debatable as bent valves can damage valve guides which soon starts to become an expensive job. If you can source a cheap engine and put a new timing belt on for piece of mind it could end up being a much cheaper option. But there's no harm in stripping it down to see the damage and weigh up your options.
 
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Two adjacent cylinders with zero compression is indeed a head gasket fault. I had it on an X20XEV Cavalier CDX. The repair is straightforward enough but I'm afraid if you limped it home, the head will almost certainly be damaged where the gasket has failed and the hot gases have been passing through. I've seen them burn a 2mm deep ridge in an aluminium head before, which is obviously too much for a repair. Thankfully the block doesn't suffer because it's cast iron.

I'd remove the head as you have nothing to lose but expect to replace it with a good 2nd hand one.
 
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Oh bugger. I knew my car was over due a service and had a penciled it in for my long weekend next month to give it a quick once over. So didn't really think much of it when it started running rough. Luckily my girlfriend isn't driving at the minute so I can borrow her car whilst I decide what to do with my car, which takes the pressure off.

I agree my next step is to whip the head off and find out what's gone on inside. Am I going to have to lock the cams on this head given there is a high chance I might have to source a new head. Are there any good guides on how to strip down this engine and is there anything that I need to think about before jumping in with both feet. I dont want to be sat here in a week thinking I wish I had done something simple that would have saved me time in the long run. I have got nothing to loose in taking it apart
 

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