after head gaskets fitted sport track,advice


ello folks ive just fitted a head gasket on a sportrak 16vi,i had a mechanic put the timing belt on
and i put the rest back today,thing is i cant get it started.
and it sounds different when turning over as if its spinning.
the mechanic stopped buy today and said thats normal when you,ve just had a head gasket done theres no compression in the engine and that it has to build up
also said when he worked for a garage some cars after a new gasket were a bitch to start and some would have to be dragged round the block.
what do you say?have any of you had the same trouble do i just keep turning it over till it go,s cheers daz.

head gasket

hi, your engine doesnt sound well at all, i did the head on my sporty on monday and it fired up straight away. as for the advice that you should expect there to be no compression when first starting, i have never experienced that in doing over 50 heads on different cars. yes they can be a pig to start but you should have compression there. i would advise you to try a compression test with a meter to check that you havent still got head problems, also have you checked the valve clearences Unknw if there is no clearence, then the cylinder wont compress as the valve will be always open a fraction. the valve clearence will be affected after doing a head gasket as when you torque the head down, this can very very slightly change the shape of the head, thus making the tiny tolerences of the valves be out of adjustment. if all these things have been checked, i would advise getting a can of easy start from your local garage and giving the air intake a sniff of it to try and get the engine started (alot of people condem using easy start as it can take the natural glazing off the cylinder bores if used too often, but when you have just rebuilt an engine and just want it to initally fire up i see no problem with it, just dont use it more than you have to. hope this is of some help

i am always in shit, its just the depth that varies

i am always in shit, its just the depth that varies


cheers steve

I agree with using a can or e

I agree with using a can or eezi start to get it going.
If it still wont go after a few minutes get ya mechanic and give him a huge kick up the arse!!!!!
Did my fourtrak HG about 2 weeks ago and it churned for about 5 seconds then fired up running rough then cleared after 15 seconds or so - wouldnt expect for sporty to be any different! Esp as its a petrol not a diesel!

check to see if it is firing

check to see if it is firing on the compression stroke
nomber 1 if the dizzy is 180 out it will be firing on
the downstroke

Dizzy my elbow

Whats a 'dizzy'. Is is some new world description for a distributor? Get real and post the correct term.


Hi Mace sorry to upset you, but yes dizzy is a term used for distributor, If you don't like it, well deal with it!

well i dont know lol

me an a mate have been towing it around the block this afternoon and it doesnt even try to start.
im not a mechanic and know nothing about timing but i have the manual on my pc and the fella who put the cam belt on wouldnt even look at it
(scared of computers i think)all i know is he lined the crank mark up
and the cam pully dot up with the rocker case mark i think it is and put the belt on as far as he,s concerned thats it and i have to keep trying.its left me hateing cars lol.
after towing it a few laps i got back and noticed the air boxes and pipe have a lot of dirty coloured petrol swishing around in them.
im also not sure which way round those two thin hoses go that fit below the distibuter on the advance thing theres one above the other
thanks for all your help daz

Compression stroke.

I hope you have not damaged the valves towing the lump of metal around the streets. You mechanic needs certifying. What he told you is utter crraappp.
Remove the plugs [starkies = its my new dictionary] and put your finger over number-one cylinder spark plug hole [cylinder nearest the radiator]. Keep your finger covering the hole. Turn the engine [out of gear] with spanner or push whilst in gear. If the cambelt is set correct you should feel the cylinder go into compression [not suck but compression] - note every second rev is compression. Whilst your finger feels the maximum compression look at the top-dead-centre aignment mark on the flywheel and adjacent fixed plate. If both are approximately in-line then there is a chance the cam belt is set correct. If the timing mark on the fly wheel/fixed plate are 'way out' the cam belt is not correctly fitted and needs refitting.

If you have compression ... the distributor is probably set 180 degrees incorrect. Its firing/sparking on the inlet stroke and not on compression. Remove the distributor. Align the fly wheel timing at tdc on compression stroke for number-one cylinder [cylinder nearest the radiator] and refit the distributor making certain the rotor points to number-one plug lead.
When the engine gasps into life and if you have a strobe light accurately set the distributor's timing - assuming you know the method !


cheers mace, since my last post ive been out and took the cam belt off.
set up the bottom mark and the top one where the f should be and the dot at around 3 o clock as above.
when i suggested this yesterday the mechanic said F means front lol lol he set the dot on the cam wheel with the marker on the rocker cover.
as i said ive changed it all according to this manual and its just started first time puffed out white smoke for a minute but seems to have cleared only problem now is its revs are high and its reving up and down rapidly on its own any ideas folks


Revs going up & down[hunting is the correct term]suggests the petrol mixture needs adjusting or the distributor timing is not precise and is either too advanced or too retarded. If that fails to steady the revs then check the distributor's time advancing mechanism is working.
Unless you have a strobe light you can set the distributor to the correct timing with use of a 12v bulb. Turn by hand to match up the timing marks and use a 12v bulb in parallel into the distributor's low tension circuit. Undo and twist the distributor until bulb just goes on/off. Tighten distributor.
I assume you know the correct degrees before tdc for the timing.


thanks for all your help folks ive changed a head gasket and cam belt for the first time in me life,scary stuff for me but all sorted and running spot on,couldnt have done it without the site cheers;)

Re- Head gasket

Hows it going mate, if your valves are set correctly as suggested I would suspect and bet money that the mechanic has not fitted the timing belt correctly, as setting the valve timing out by even one tooth will stop these motors from running and you will have no compression due to the incorrect vlave timing, also the dizzy on those engines can only be put in one way, so it wont be the dizzy.
Hope this helps.
To set timing there is a mark on the camshaft which should be set at about 3'oclock on the head, and the crank pully has a mark which lines up with an index mark on the block which should line up at about 5'oclock. This is where the engine is at TDC.