My 1991 Toyota Starlet, EP81, 2E was run into the red and the radiator exploded. The head gasket was actually blown long before this point, but I only realised the symptoms after this catastrophic event occurred.

I've stripped the engine down to the block now and am attempting to change the head gasket, machine the head, clean everything up and put it all back together again. However, before I do any of that I want to know whether it's worth it. I've cleaned up the block sufficiently to put a straight edge across it, see photo. There are no gaps in all other directions except when placed horizontally as in the photo. There appears to be a gap between the 2nd and 3rd cylinder, at 16cm in the photo.

Does this mean the block has warped and that there's not a lot I can do about this? Or is this normal and the head gasket will expand to fill that gap? Also, does the block look clean enough or is more work needed there?

Any tips welcome. Cheers

enter image description here

  • 1
    What's the gap measure and what's the max spec for the engine? You should use something that spans the length of the block as well. What other measurements were taken? – Ben Dec 18 '17 at 22:20
  • Lay a straight edge the length of the engine then use a feeler gauge to determine the amount of distortion . . Then try to find out if that is permissible. I had a 4 cylinder Audi that had been badly overheated. I pulled the head and had it milled. The block looked good so I did not do anything to it. However it was an aluminum head and an iron block. – blacksmith37 Dec 18 '17 at 23:15
  • Need to get hold of a feeler gauge but so far a rough measurement, you can slide a standard sheet of A4 paper under it. I don't know what the max spec is for the engine, will run a longer straight edge across the whole length of the block soon. – Scarlet Starlet Dec 19 '17 at 10:58
  • Bought a feeler gauge at last, helpful tool! The block seems fine after all, I couldn't get a 0.05mm feeler under a straight edge, so I guess that's ok. Thanks all – Scarlet Starlet Dec 20 '17 at 16:22

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