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Unread 03-23-2010, 12:08 PM   #1
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Default 200sx Head Gasket and Compression

I'm looking at a 98 Nissan 200sx with the 1.6L GA16DE. The car has 83k miles (vin check confirms) but the guy says the head gasket is bad and compression is too low for the car to run.

How likely is that scenario? Head gasket going at 83k seems a bit odd. If that were the scenario, how much am I looking at to get a new gasket in?

Should I go for it?

Edit: Here is the link:'
http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/cto/1654970003.html

He said he'd negotiate with me on price.
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1996 Nissan Sentra | i4 1.6L | 122,000 miles |Black |
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2010 Toyota Camry | i4 2.5L | 5,500 miles | Silver |
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Unread 03-23-2010, 12:50 PM   #2
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it could happen. and eew. Sycamore.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestEcull
He may have ruined his cylinder walls and compression wings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wierdo124
Yeah. Should hold up fine, long as you don't drive like a primate.

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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:03 PM   #3
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I had a '96 with a SR16. At 165K or so, it had a dud cylinder. No compression rings left.

Still ran okay, though.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:07 PM   #4
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I'd ask the owner if it had overheated. Aluminum heads tend to warp easily, which may have resulted in the head gasket going out.

Drive it yourself and see if it feels like all 4 cylinders are working fine.

EDIT: Snow can cause the car to overheat. Snow in the grill blocks airflow to the radiator, causing the engine to overheat.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legoman786 View Post
I'd ask the owner if it had overheated. Aluminum heads tend to warp easily, which may have resulted in the head gasket going out.

Drive it yourself and see if it feels like all 4 cylinders are working fine.

EDIT: Snow can cause the car to overheat. Snow in the grill blocks airflow to the radiator, causing the engine to overheat.
but the guy says the head gasket is bad and compression is too low for the car to run.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestEcull
He may have ruined his cylinder walls and compression wings.
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Originally Posted by wierdo124
Yeah. Should hold up fine, long as you don't drive like a primate.

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Unread 03-23-2010, 01:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cluffenstein View Post
but the guy says the head gasket is bad and compression is too low for the car to run.

A little ether in the intake oughtta coax it to fire off. That stuff is so easy to ignite and quite energetic, it won't need to have much compression and should ignite the fuel/air mix within the chambers.

Edit: Retro, from what I remember working on my 200SX(Nothing but routine maintenance), a head gasket job is quite trivial. No more difficult than the one I did on my F150. There's absolutely nothing in your way, everything's fairly easy to get to(Exhaust bolts right there infront of you, for example). Shouldn't be a difficult driveway fix if you want to attempt it, and the labor charges won't be too high if you decide to buy it and have a shop fix it for ya.
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My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

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Unread 03-23-2010, 10:04 PM   #7
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What test said. You should be able to shoot some ether into her and get it firing.
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Unread 03-23-2010, 10:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestECull View Post
A little ether in the intake oughtta coax it to fire off. That stuff is so easy to ignite and quite energetic, it won't need to have much compression and should ignite the fuel/air mix within the chambers.

Edit: Retro, from what I remember working on my 200SX(Nothing but routine maintenance), a head gasket job is quite trivial. No more difficult than the one I did on my F150. There's absolutely nothing in your way, everything's fairly easy to get to(Exhaust bolts right there infront of you, for example). Shouldn't be a difficult driveway fix if you want to attempt it, and the labor charges won't be too high if you decide to buy it and have a shop fix it for ya.
I got quoted 500 bucks for the job. I'm not sure, I might go for it. Is the only way to check that the engine is functional with ether? I don't want to screw anything up.

I was advised to not run it anyhow, so that I wouldn't get coolant in the engine.
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Family Cars: (Bold is mine).

1998 Nissan 200sx SE | i4 1.6L | 83,000 miles | Green | Running 100% |

1996 Nissan Sentra | i4 1.6L | 122,000 miles |Black |
2001 Nissan Maxima | V6 3.0L | 94,000 miles | Black |
2010 Toyota Camry | i4 2.5L | 5,500 miles | Silver |
1993 Toyota MR2 | 2.0L i4 560HP | 26psi Boost | Unknown Mileage | White| Scary to drive

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Unread 03-23-2010, 10:44 PM   #9
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Retro, I'll help you replace it if you buy pizza :P
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestEcull
He may have ruined his cylinder walls and compression wings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wierdo124
Yeah. Should hold up fine, long as you don't drive like a primate.

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Unread 03-23-2010, 10:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrospekt View Post
I got quoted 500 bucks for the job. I'm not sure, I might go for it. Is the only way to check that the engine is functional with ether? I don't want to screw anything up.

I was advised to not run it anyhow, so that I wouldn't get coolant in the engine.
Lol, dude that's how you get diesels to run in the cold. It won't hurt it unless you're dumping it in as a replacement as gas normally. A squirt isn't gonna do any damage. It's just to check to make sure you're getting spark, and if it'll start with ether you might get lucky enough to keep it running off gas. May not run good, but it's better than flying blind.

Just wondering, why don't you do your own mechanic work?
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