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Old 11-15-2009, 09:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cylinder Head Gasket Replacement

Hi Guys,

Does anyone have any DIY info on this repair? I have a leak that I would like to tackle next weekend and wanted to know what parts, tools, accessories and procedure I should use. I'm especially looking for a "How to." Alos, are there other gaskets and/or seals I should replace when tackling this?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

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Old 11-16-2009, 03:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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They sure raise them brave in Smyrna. This is not your run of the mill head job. The labor hrs. for a shop that has everything, full set of tools, lift, oxy/acetylene torch, torque wrench and the like to handle every problem imaginable, is 13.5 hrs.

The head or heads will have to be resurfaced by a machine shop before the gaskets are replaced and the biggest problem is getting the timing chain and sprockets synchronized exactly right.

I'm providing the instructions as a discouragement.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Head.pdf (255.6 KB, 782 views)
File Type: pdf Timing.pdf (136.0 KB, 444 views)
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Brave or stupid. It was a lot easier when I had a VW. Well, since stupid is as stupid does, let me call my indie to see how much he wants to do this job. I can't see me making it through this project with screwing something up and probably doubling the cost of the project.

Thanks for the info.

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Old 11-16-2009, 09:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Are you certain that you have a leaking cyl head gasket??? thats very unusual for this engine unless its been overheated. Was much more common on the old MB straight sixes.
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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TG - are you sure that it is the c/h where the problem is, and not the c/h covers? Those gaskets much easier to get to than the c/h gaskets.

Is there oil in your coolant? Or maybe a lot of oil surrounding the engine. If so clean it right off, and then determine exactly where the source is.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Head gaskets on SOHC engines like ours is a challenging job but is can be done by the DIYer. First I have done so many head gaskets over the years I can't even count them and have never needed an oxy acetaline torch to do the job. You do however need a good set of tools and a torque wrench air tools are nice but not required. You should also have a shop manual for the proper torque specs and timing marks.

Now before doing a head gasket job you should consider the cause and how long the gasket has been leaking. If the engine overheated to the point of head gasket failure then you may need a lot more than a head gasket. If there is corrosion from a water jacket then you may have other costly problems. Also if you are going that far then you should change the timing chain, gears, and possibly tensioner and you will need a gasket set. Like 43sqd noted you will need to allow time for machine work and I don't know what it's like where you are but where I live you could wait a few days to have the heads surfaced the machine shops here are real busy... Well the only one I trust is...

Sometimes it is much more cost and time affective to install a low milage engine, it is also much easier...
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rudedude View Post
Head gaskets on SOHC engines like ours is a challenging job but is can be done by the DIYer. First I have done so many head gaskets over the years I can't even count them and have never needed an oxy acetaline torch to do the job. You do however need a good set of tools and a torque wrench air tools are nice but not required. You should also have a shop manual for the proper torque specs and timing marks.

Now before doing a head gasket job you should consider the cause and how long the gasket has been leaking. If the engine overheated to the point of head gasket failure then you may need a lot more than a head gasket. If there is corrosion from a water jacket then you may have other costly problems. Also if you are going that far then you should change the timing chain, gears, and possibly tensioner and you will need a gasket set. Like 43sqd noted you will need to allow time for machine work and I don't know what it's like where you are but where I live you could wait a few days to have the heads surfaced the machine shops here are real busy... Well the only one I trust is...

Sometimes it is much more cost and time affective to install a low milage engine, it is also much easier...
The torch was for difficulty in removing 11 yr. old exhaust.
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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HELP !!! I was on the Freeway driving my car at like 70mph, then a hill came up and my car down shifted as normal to keep the speed. Then it started acting weird (high rpm and wouldn't shift) my mph fell to 40 and wouldn't speed up. I have codes for miss fire on 4 5 and 6, so i toke one of the spark plugs out and the spark plug was a little wet. The oil cap also had a lot of mud like stuff under it(the same side valve cover as the miss fire) and coolant is a little low...could it be a Blown HEAD GASKET? When everything was happening, i don't remember seeing if my car temp was high nor was my coolant light on. Thanks ahead of time...
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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HELP !!! I was on the Freeway driving my car at like 70mph, then a hill came up and my car down shifted as normal to keep the speed. Then it started acting weird (high rpm and wouldn't shift) my mph fell to 40 and wouldn't speed up. I have codes for miss fire on 4 5 and 6, so i toke one of the spark plugs out and the spark plug was a little wet. The oil cap also had a lot of mud like stuff under it(the same side valve cover as the miss fire) and coolant is a little low...could it be a Blown HEAD GASKET? When everything was happening, i don't remember seeing if my car temp was high nor was my coolant light on. Thanks ahead of time...
That might be a record for a non sequitur to an original thread.

The gook under the oil cap is pretty common.

The misfires were bad enough the ECU shut down the cylinders, that's why it felt so weird. That will reset when you restart, but the next time you stomp on it it will likely come back.

You don't mention miles or any maintenance you've done, so it's anybody's guess. But you could have something as simple as a failing O2 sensor or as expensive as a clogged cat. Or any one of several other things.

Good luck.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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PS. my car is at 200,000 miles and Their were many more other codes(8 total) but already fix them with all the DIY Threads. (water pump, thermostat, Belt, EGR valve
200K miles. Have you tested the ignition wires? Changed the plugs? How about the O2 sensors?

If this issue developed after the work you did, retrace your steps. 200K miles, that's a lot of brittle, dried-out rubber vacuum lines. I'd change all of those, too.

Good luck.
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