Sportrak Head Gasket


Well, the head gasket has gone. Sad

I noticed the temperature gauge going up on the way home today, and fortunatley it was just under 3/4 when I got home.

While idling the engine was putting small amount of white smoke from exhaust, some bubbles in expansion bottle, and it had lost some water.

A local mechanic said he would change the gasket, skim the head, re-seat the valves and give the engine a general check-over for £150, which I didn't think was bad.

I'm not going to drive it until its done, as I don't want to damage the engine.

Are there any special precautions to take after the gasket has been changed, ie. to run it in?


Things i would do at the same time, as the head gasket.

To be honest if it were me id change the cam belt and tensioner too. As they have to come off anyway. As they could go due to being removed, tensioners go with age. Change the headbolts too, as they stretch. And you dont wanna have to redo it all, due to crappy old bolts!! Also consider thermostat, as that coulda caused the head to leak.
Yes that would cost a little more but your engine would be sorted for a few thousand to come then too.
When you get it back, start her up leave her for 5 mins idling before you drive. Warms her up nicely. Then when driving keep below 3000/4000

Mud makes excellent Toothpaste.

Got it back

I have got the Sportrak back today. The gasket had gone on the third cylinder. This also caused some corrosion on the head, so it was cleaned, welded up and machined down, which saved having to get a new head.

The whole job of changing the gasket, repairing the head and re-seating the valves etc came to £200, so I am well pleased.

I've got to take it to Cardiff (around 120 miles) next week, so I'm glad its all finally sorted.

Thanks for the advice.


It had done 114,000 miles when it went.