Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Brackenfel
Dear all,
having found "Honest John" very useful in showing that my problem is not unknown I'd like to ask a few questions..
Background: Fabia 1.4 8V, 2000, 6K miles from new!
Skoda deny that cars were shipped with incorrectly tensioned "stretch bolts" as detaiiled on this site. I have signs of a head gasket on the way out - the car has never overheated. I bought it at 5yrs old with 1300 miles on the clock..!!
This looks like a Felicia motor to me but no manual is available.
Does anyone know the torque settings for the head bolts and stretch bolts? Can I use Felicia ones?
Am I likely to get away with simply toquing down?

As a side issue the rad appears to be leaking at the bottom by the lower hose (have been quoted an outrageous amount to replace and the head gasket estimate beggars belief!). Does snyone have a parts list with diagram as I need to know what fits to what at the bottom of the rad?

Sorry it's long..

Thanks,
Adrian
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Aprilia
I sympathise, its very disappointing to get this sort of trouble on a relatively new and low-mileage car.

The engine is surely a VW one? It will have a three-letter engine code starting with the letter 'A'.

The stretch bolts and head bolts are the same thing (the head bolts 'stretch' as they are tightened). You cannot really re-torque them. You need to remove the head, clean the mating surfaces and replace the gasket. Use new stretch bolts. Have the head checked and possibly skimmed. A previous owner may, somehow, have overheated the engine - I am suspicious of the fact that you also have a leaking rad.

For the rad, take it to a radiator specialist rather than the dealer. It will be a lot cheaper.

Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - SjB {P}
Not often I would disagree with Aprilia, but I think the original poster is likely to be correct; the 1400 8v engines in each of the many rental Fabias we've had in the Czech Republic looked nigh on idential to the jobbie in the back of my wife's father's mid eighties ?koda 105 ("Estelle" in the UK).

The 1400 16v engines are however true VAG motors.
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - SjB {P}
In other words BTW, this engine is the ?koda equivalent of an A-Series: Prehistoric and usually bullet proof.
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Aprilia
Ah, so it could be the old 'Estelle' block with a new alloy head - as used on the Felicia? If that's the case then its OHV and has a short timing chain to the cam. I though they'd phased these out by 2000.

Anyway, the other comments above still apply - stretch head bolts and you can't re-use them. 'Retorquing' is not really an option since to do them up you set them to a low torque (about 20Nm IIRC) and then do two stages of tightening through 90 degrees.

I once rebuilt one of these engines after HGF (it had been drastically overheated - driven 8 miles by a bodyshop technician without any coolant - they repaired some body damage and wrecked the engine!) - I was a bit surprised how expensive the Skoda parts were though.
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - bell boy
well im shocked now ,so the 1400 in the later fabia is still the archaic skoda unit, well i never knew that ,i thought it was a polo engine.Reapraising purchase of these cars now.
As said get radiator sorted by a radiator specialist,engines are old but straightforward to work on i would have thought? but may have wet liners so ideally wants sorting sooner than later.
--
\"a little man in a big world/\"
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Aprilia
You're right to be shocked, Oldman. I just had a look in Autodata and this old engine was used up until 2004! Like you I'd thought it was the VW 1.4 8V.

Anyway, they are a wet liner engine so sort it out ASAP. Doing the head should be very easy (no cam to disturb).
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - adverse camber
The old skoda engines are famous for head gasket problems. I seem to remember that on some installations the direction of water flow is from the top of the radiator to the engine, so that any fluid loss rapidly causes problems.

for old skoda parts try Butts www.jhmbuttco.com/ and there is a company called S4 or something, cant find the details at the mo.
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Brackenfel
Thanks Aprilia (a biker? - I have Laverdas and A Gilera, but that's another story!!)
What is the significance of a wetliner engine please? was hoping to limp it on until Easter...

Adrian
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - SjB {P}
>What is the significance of a wetliner engine please?

To my understanding, the cylinder bores are sleeves dropped in to the engine block and are in direct contact on their reverse face with cooling water. Or at least they would be if there was any cooling water; if there isn't, or isn't enough, they can overheat and distort more readily than if the cylinder bores were machined directly in, say, an iron block.
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Brackenfel
Thanks for the reply - much appreciated. I've owned both Favorit and Felicia so I know the engine layout. Peripheral bits have changed (gearbox housing and crank pulley castings are different) but the head looks very similar. The 1.4 16V are VW motors, the 8V a Skoda...
Ta for the tip re the bolts, saved me making a mess re-using the old ones. I might buy another Felicia manual (geve the other one away with the car , damn!) to give me a rough idea of the process..
Had thought of radweld, any thoughts on this??
Thanks again,
Adrian
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Aprilia
Wouldn't use Radweld.

The trouble with the old Skoda engines (imagine this would apply to yours) is that the wet liners sat on copper rings at the bottom and protrude a certain amount at the top of the block (to seal against the head gasket). If the engine overheats the copper anneals and so goes soft - this allows the liner to sink down, lose its protrusion, and the head gasket blows. So the moral here is **check the liner protrusion is within spec**.
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Brackenfel
Thanks Aprilia,
No manual seems to beavailable (deliberate VW ploy I think), anu idea waht the specs(liner protrusion, headbolts torque etc) are or would it be safe to use the old Felicia ones??
Thanks,
Adrian
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Peter D
You say you have signs that the HG is on it's way out. What signs. ??? Regards Peter
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Brackenfel
Hi Peter,
The first sign was the coolant low level alarm coming on(irritating bleeps followed by a flashing warning light) when cold even when level correct. Local dealer mechanic ( a good guy)said this might be gasket trouble.. Some discolouring and slimy deposit in neck of expansion tank also.
Prescence of "mayonnaise" (yellow gelatenous material) on underside of oil filler cap... I accept that this could be (rampant!) condensation but I doubt it... I would be delighted if anyone can confirm condensation is an issue with these engines...
Adrian
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Aprilia
Thanks Aprilia,
No manual seems to beavailable (deliberate VW ploy I think), anu
idea waht the specs(liner protrusion, headbolts torque etc) are or would
it be safe to use the old Felicia ones??
Thanks,
Adrian


I wouldn't like to say - might be wrong!

Have you looked on Ebay for a Skoda service manual CD?
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Brackenfel
Aprilia,
Nothing on Ebay or anywhere else on the web.. There are rumours that Haynes are working on a manual for the Octavia but nothing about the Fabia..
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Galaxy
I don't think you've had a propper look!

Try:

cgi.ebay.co.uk/skoda-workshop-manual-on-cd-free-p-...m
Skoda Fabia Head Gasket problem - Brian Tryzers
Found this while I was looking for something else. Our 2000 W Fabia 8v has shown most of the same symptoms for more than four of the five years we've had it and the combined efforts of two Skoda dealers, supplemented by input from Skoda UK, have failed to fix it. It's had a new head gasket, a new expansion tank, the cooling system has routinely passed pressure tests, they've even tried putting dye in the tank to see where the stuff is escaping, all to no avail. Even when the coolant level shows normal, the Low Coolant alarm goes off a few seconds after a cold or warm (but not generally a hot) start. (I'm pretty sure the sensor unit has been replaced too.)

That's the bad news; the good is that provided you don't mind sloshing in a little G12 coolant every couple of months, and can learn to ignore the beep (which I can hear from inside the house as my wife sets off) and the flashing red light, it seems to run fine. The temperature gauge has never risen above halfway and we've never found any coolant on the garage floor.

Curiously, one of those Skoda dealers wrote to us this week to remind us of the importance of replacing the cambelt. Now, I make my living in computers, not cars, but I'm fairly sure the 8v engine has pushrods and a timing chain. I wonder whether this explains their lack of success with the coolant problem!
 

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