Stripped down the 2e engine of a 1991 Toyota Starlet EP81 after the headgasket blew in great style. Checked the block and it seems ok, checked with a feeler gauge and a straight edge on the cylinder head and can get 0.10mm feeler under there between cylinders, so I guess this will need to be ground down. However, whilst cleaning the head I noticed some of the head had melted in one of the coolant holes, or at least that's what it looks like. If you see the attached photos, one without the gasket, one with the gasket over it so you can see how the gasket warped, and then a wide shot to see the whole head.

Is this worth going any further with? My fear is that I grind it down, take all the pistons out, clean them up, lap them etc, then after fitting a new head gasket, that defect creates another leak and I'll have done all that work for nothing.

with gasket

without gasket

whole head 2e

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    You don't even have the head cleaned yet, how can you assume anything about its flatness? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 20 '17 at 16:40
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    Ok, but the melted hole? – Scarlet Starlet Dec 20 '17 at 17:55
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    To me, it looks like a casting defect more than it being melted. if it is actually melted, you need to have a machine shop evaluate it, not a web site. – CharlieRB Dec 20 '17 at 18:28
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    Thanks both, that's the confirmation I needed to continue – Scarlet Starlet Dec 20 '17 at 21:50

The cylinder head is rather badly corroded it seems around the edge of at least one of the cooling jackets. Firstly though it will need a thorough cleaning and checking at many points for flatness to see if a skim is necessary.

All valves will need to be checked for damage & that they're closing & sealing properly. The head will also need to be tested for cracks and pressure tested for leaks. Only by doing this work will you have a better idea of the condition of this cylinder head.


It could be.

You will need to do a few things before you will know.

  1. Completely disassemble it. Take the cam out. You have the valves hanging open. You have increased chance of setting it down on something and bending a valve or doing damage to a valve that you probably don't want to do. Decrease risk and take it completely apart so you can clean it and get any pieces of metal or carbon completely gone from the project.

  2. Get all the gasket material gone. Make all of that go away, it's terrible. You'll never be able to measure a thing on the surface with all of that detritus.

  3. Clean it with solvent after you get as much of the gasket material off and follow it up with pressurized air. Get every little oil galley completely free of obstructions. Make sure your compressed air gun as a nice rubber tip on the end of it so you can jam it up into holes nice and good to expel the badness.

  4. Use a low grit rubber gasket remover on the end of a drill. 3M makes a great one. Here's a vid. Live by it. It's good.

Here's a pic of the bit. Nothing better on an aluminum head, you still need to be thoughtful though.

I use the 3M Roloc. Not an endorsement, just what I know.

enter image description here

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