Head gasket. Should I pay or have a go?
  • Sorry to start with a question but...

    After many years of wanting a Cube SO MUCH we got one and I think we were sold a plum. :(
    Looks like I have a blown head gasket/warped head and as we all know we're talking big money here.

    We're not giving up on it and I've contacted a couple of local garages
    who were not much help (even on asking for a compression/pressure test)
    so I'm considering having a go at it myself.

    I don't mind doing stuff myself but I'm no mechanic and come from an
    air cooled background and the absence of a workshop manual scares me a
    bit (a lot).
    Has anyone on here done a HG job on your own Cube and if so is it as scary as it seems?

    I'm thinking of fitting a new timing chain at the same time so I'm
    looking to find the correct parts in the UK for a 2004 Cubic.
    Would a Micra K12 manual be of help?
    Alternatively, anyone know of a decent garage in the Chesterfield area of the UK?
    Any advice or thoughts would be most appreciated as it doing my 'head' in.
    See what I did there?
    I made a pun.
    It's not funny.

  • That's unlucky. I should start by saying I've not done this job before, so I don't know how bad it is etc. However, I would say that these engines are really cheaply available, especially if you only need a good head off one. You could just swap the whole thing out for a lower mileage one and be done with it.

    The Micra manual is pretty good. There isn't a whole lot of information as regards tearing the engine apart, but it is the same engine at least. The main issue to my mind is that it's aluminium, so you need to be careful with torque and cross-threading.
  • What is the problem with the car to make you go this way Mate if you are looking to do it yourself price it up first head gasket chain kit sump of the chain alone is a big job for a none mechanic. I have done chain look for my thread it may be easier to get a low miler out of a note cr14de and the work is done .unless you're one is a low miler
    http://forum.cubeownersclub.co.uk/discussion/6220/update-gen2-cr14-de-timing-chain-replacement-data-p0340p1110#Item_25
    K12 micra CD workshop Manuel ebay.
    Head gasket not to bad .
    I guess it is overheating and the red light is on ?
    Is your fan cutting in
    Have you considered a new stat ?
  • Red light came on whilst on a run.
    Topped the coolant up but was still losing it and later found the system was pressurising and pushing the coolant out of the expansion tank.
    We'd only had it for a few weeks too. :(
    The fan does cut in.

    It seems it's easier and cheaper to drop in another lump but I don't have access to a lift so that could be a tricky DIY.
    Would the engine need to be from another Automatic?

    The garages I've contacted don't seem too helpful either and just tell me to take it to Nissan but that'll be top dollar.

    Feel kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment. :(

  • Hi the engine dose not matter both will fit. The cooling fan will need to be looked at first just in case the car is just not stay cool .how ever if your driving around the fan would be cutting in as it cool at mo .
    when is it looseing the water when I sit their till the red light comes on
    are you getting a lot of air in the system
    Have you check the thermostat for what they cost.
  • Started with a "swhoosh" in the matrix but I thought I just needed to burp it.
    Red light was coming on on a drive but now it's coming on after idling for a while.

    Drove a mile today and the light was on and I had to top up and drive back with the heaters blowing.

    Good to hear about the manual fitting as there seem to be a lot more of them.
    I was told on out FB page to look out for the "spacer" behind the "skeleton flywheel" on an auto.


    It's not a happy puppy. :(
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  • Definitely check the water pump if you're keeping your engine, and the radiator either way. I had a car with a blocked up, rusty radiator and it used to overheat very quickly, despite the fan working perfectly.

    I'm told the engine is relatively easy to remove - it fits through the gap fairly easily, and as it's aluminium the weight isn't such a big deal. I've even heard of one being lifted in by hand...
  • I'm going to check those suggestions off the list before booking it in.
    BTW. Is the thermostat the same as from the K12 Micra?
  • I've just checked something after being advised to by a neighbour.

    He told me to compare the temp of the top and bottom hoses once warmed up.
    I noticed that the top one was hot and the bottom one was barely warm.

    Also I noticed the system wasn't pressurising and pushing out coolant until the engine was right up to temp.
    I'm thinking of taking the thermostat out tomorrow to try running it without and checking the stat in some boiling water.

    Does this sound like the symptoms of a stuck stat?
    Might not be the entire problem but it could have been the cause.


  • Yes
    Like I said in early message try stat ..if it work pls replace with new as with out stat the engine can get hot spots .
  • Thanks @toaster :D

    With cars I do tend to assume the worst. O_o
    (Not saying that the HG hasn't gone)

    I was just going to run it up to temp to see if it overheated and pushed out the coolant without the stat in.
    I'm assuming that if the stat stays closed the coolant is just circulating around the engine and not through the rad and hence overheats and boils.

  • that correct then you can test the old one at home in  water
  • The radiator should stay stone cold and unpressurised until the engine is up to temperature - then the stat will open and the top pipe on the rad suddenly becomes warm. Warm on top and cold on the bottom sounds like good news though :-)
  • Stats can get stuck shut due to bad practice like none anti corrosive anti freeze this will corse rust/ corrosion.
    stat dewaxing were the state is unable to open.
    The other way is stuck open broken return spring --obstruction--corrosion not in your case
    But it a a cheap try before you get deep