<<In the 17th hour of surgery this weekend, the head was finally removed
from my VR6 (Yeah, it's a long time, but I've got 17 pages of notes and
3 rolls of film for future reference.)
To be blunt, the results are not good. The factory headgasket has
turned shitty in one spot in particular. I went to scrape some of the
crud off, and a screwdriver almost went through it. The head surface in
this area is the worst. I scraped off the old gasket, and then
wet-sanded the head with some 600 grit sandpaper and brake cleaner.
There's an area about the size of a quarter which has "pitting." I feel
it's quite significant, and in any event should not be present in a 5
year old car with 25,000 miles. There are two other places which are
corroded to lesser extents.
Yes, it actually gets worse. Examining the block in the same coolant
passage area reveals additional corrosion. Not as bad as the head, but
still significant enough to feel with a finger or a pointed awl.
I was ready to post my experiences with the head removal, and all in
all, it really wasn't that bad. I almost left NY for DC convinced that
the head was okay. I even cleaned the first two cylinders' coolant
passages, and all was well. By chance, I happened to start removing the
gasket mat'l from the cylinder in question, and that's when I saw it.
Well, we'll see what happens now when I call VW. Should be fun. Feel
free to ask any questions. Yes, I have about 3 rolls of film from this
whole thing. I'll be leaving for California early tomorrow, so I'll be
here until about 1:00 pm or so. I've seen better Mondays...
'93 Headless SLC
Corroded Head and Block>>
Chin up, it's not that bad. The corrosion you describe is fairly common on
the VR6 head, and is not a problem *as long as it does not extend far past the
boundary of the coolant passage*. This *is* the corrosion that everyone talks
about, yet the idea behind the G12 switch is to prevent the rot from spreading
so far that the head gasket cannot seal. A quarter sized spot is not a
problem if it resides between the large and small passages of the coolant port
interface of the block. This area is constantly bathed in coolant trapped
behind the gasket, and eventually corrodes. If in doubt, have the head decked
to get a clearer picture with the gasket discolorations removed. Sounds like
you're in the clear, even with the block corrosion (normal, too).
Keep us posted,
Air & Water
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