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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all - looking forward to receiving your valued advice!

After several months of searching, I recently bought a stock standard '98 2.8l TD which had done 160,000km for $12,500. The pre-purchase mechanical check indicated a possible problem with the head (potentially gasket, but also possibly a crack). It drove well and didn't blow any smoke so I took the punt and bought it anyway. I sent it straight in for a full service/investigation and the upshot was that the head had two cracks (annoying, but expected worst case) and there was corrosion in No 6 cylinder (ouch!). The other cylinders also had vertical score marks, though they didn't seem severe. The mechanic also said that the head had previously been removed, though the solder tell-tales were still in place indicating it hadn't since overheated. Most likely was the head was cracked previously, but only gasket replaced, which lead to constant coolant ingress and then corrosion. No compression test was done, and the corrosion appears only evident in the carbon line above the ring travel (ie within approx 15mm from top of cylinder) of no 6.

I have been recommended a full recon long motor for $13,900 + gst. This includes recon fuel pump and turbo ($1,500 + GST each). Motor is $6.1k + GST. Option 2 is $12,900 for a sleeved bore and rebuild, again including pump and turbo. Final option is head and turbo only for $6k. All prices include $1k for the initial full service (brakes, fluids etc). Head price alone is $2,188 + GST.

Apparently the turbo shows signs of ingestion of something and it also had some side to side movement of approx half mm in the central spindal. There was no sign of oil leakage nor any abnormal noise/whining when driving. Is it critical to get this replace/rebuilt now to avoid collateral damage to other components, or shall I just replace it when/if it fails later?

My fuel pump (electric) has been date stamped as being o/hauled in '01. Similar to the turbo, is this a critical thing to replace/rebuild if it isn't showing any indication of any problems yet?

I don't really want to spend the extra money straight away if possible, provided that if just by doing the head replacement only, I am not risking serious damage at a later date. I don't mind burning some oil/blowing smoke, but dont want catastrophic failure, particularly if I am doing a trip.

Should I just bite the bullet and be done with it, or can I postpone the inevitable and save some cash up to do it at a later date? How long is my piece of string (ie how long will I get out of the block given the damage already done?)?

Ideally I would like to keep the vehicle for 5+ years and am planning to do some longer trips (once every 12-18 months).

Not interested in upgrading the motor to anything but the original 2.8TD

Looking forward to your expert opinions, but please keep the sarcasim to a minimum (given the benefit of hindsight) - I am getting enough from the wife.....

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