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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1997 2.2l manual trans. 165k

So recently my head gasket blew out due to a bad radiator that I didn't notice immediately and it overheated. After a change I thought all was peachy and thought I had fixed the radiator problem with a new hose and clamp. Not so. The radiator entirely gave out and lost11 all coolant on the drive home after work. I realized it halfway and pulled over to let it cool down. Upon removing the radiator cap it blew off and I noticed the coolant was dark. After letting it cool I added water and drove it home but it stuttered and smoked white smoke. The tell tale signs of a gasket gone bad in between a cylinder and the coolant channel. So I slugged it home and tore it apart again. Now however, I am stumped. Upon inspection of the head gasket, it looks fine to me, and to the best of my ability the head itself does not appear cracked or able to dump and entire radiators contents out the muffler in a few mile drive (which it did).
So I have a brand new radiator, but I am stumped on whether to change the gasket and reassemble or if I should get a new head as a safety just in case. There are no shops near me that will inspect the head for cracks or warping.

Will include pictures. Any and all advice is welcome. I am extremely new to this level of detailed maintenance and I really want my little 4 banger to bang again. Lol.
350592

Upon removing cylinder head this is the water inside the cylinders.
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Right side is front. Headlock okay to me, a layman. There is a scratch (not a crack) between 1 and 2 where the silver coloring is.
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Closeup of scratch. However I am convinced it's unrelated since water was collecting mostly in the 3 and 4 cylinder, and this isn't between a coolant channel and cylinder.

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Close of head gasket on 3 and 4. The gasket material didn't come off cleanly and looks damaged on upper corner. Not sure if this indicates a failure of the material.
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Close of 4 cylinder with residual gasket material left behind. Could this separation indicate a failed head gasket? This head gasket has only been on for a month.
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum ! I don't know much about 4 bangers, and know nothing about the 2.2l. But myself I would not put it back together again until I had the head checked for warping and Magnafluxed for cracks. You said there is no shop close, I get that, but good chance you could have a warped head or a cracked head imo.
 

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If you don't have a machine shop near by it could end up biting you in the end.

You can do the straight edge method and see if the head or block is warped but that doesn't tell you anything on if it is cracked or not.
 

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Have that head pressure tested. I see three places that look suspicious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So after cleaning off alot of the carbon on 3 and 4 I found a crack on each at the valve to the spark plug hole.
So there's that. Lol. New head it is.

Thanks for the input guys. Any recommended places for new or remanned heads online? Would prefer it come with springs and rockers and all the good stuff.
350606
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Months later I have managed to get a new cylinder head after several remans came to me with cracks still in them. Finally putting it back together and finding it hard to remember everything. Ive looked a bit but wondering if anyone know a good step by step on the forums or a video of reassembling.

Haynes manuals are good for basics, but not a detailed walkthrough.

I hope I can get it back together. Lol. Poor thing has been sitting for months.
 
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