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Head Gasket Manta 1.8S


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Hi All

Has anyone had to have a head gasket replaced on a 1.8s (1983) Manta recently?

if so how much would I expect to pay at an independent garage and how long would it take?



At a guess i would think between 250-300 quid, make sure the garage has the haed checked to see if it needs skimming. Can be done in a day.

Also make sure that the water pump is either checked or preferably renewed as its a cambelt off for that job as well. Worth the extra 30-40 quid in my opinion.


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As above, head skim about £40ish, if needed, would also advise water pump as driven off cambelt, new cam belt, thermostat, oil & filter and anti freeze obviously, couple of days if it needs skimming as most independent garages don't skim in house but take to machine shop, drop off today collect tomorrow.

(Depending on past history you may find the top of the block around the coolant passages corroded to the gasket line and this could be causing the problems) Will more than likely need new head bolts as they are stretch bolts so could be in the region of £350 ish.

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If you have a half decent tool kit, it's quite easy to do DIY other than head skim (if needed)

For what it's worth, I have found my 1.8 pretty resilient when it comes to overheating, I cooked it three times last winter (long story, dodgy gauge, dodgy water pump and an airlock) and it didn't even do the gasket never mind warp the head.

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I changed the head gasket on my 1.8, recently. As stated previously it's not a difficult job and can be done easily in a day it the head doesn't need skimming. I changed the water pump, cambelt, thermostat, oil filter & oil at the same time.

The most expensive thing was the head skim at £30, I got all the parts from ebay and the oil, filer & anti-freeze from Vauxhall.

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here in london for a proper head job .. £500+

cam belt + dizzy drive belt

w pump




headset and bolts


without removing valves .

6 hours labour £300

parts probably only about £100 trade but the garage will add on 50% then put vat on the whole lot to take it upto 500+

you might find like on my old 18s that the block face is pitted around the water jacket edjes and will not form a good seal with the new head gasket .

you might get 10,000 before it goes again . unless you skim the block face also (engine out)

and it will go again sooner if you dont use a lower temp thermostat (opens at 82 not 92)

payen seem to be good gaskets , thats what the engineers reccomend anyway

Edited by dynamytedan
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