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Old 08-10-2013, 08:16 PM   #1
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Should I buy this 9-5?

I have an opportunity to buy a 2004 9-5 for $1000. The car is in great shape body and interior. It is an automatic with 200K on the odometer. I'm told the engine has a blown head gasket. It does run but you have to crank the heck out of it - a minute or so, can smell gas while cranking and when it finally starts, it runs rough and blows smoke out the tailpipe. It quickly evens out and stops smoking, but idles a little rough. There was no coolant in the reservoir and while the oil doesn't look chocolatey, it does have a white glob of something on the ball at the bottom of the dipstick, even after running a few minutes. After 10 minutes or so, the temp gauges starts climbing towards the red. I am mechanically inclined and look to a head gasket job as an interesting challenge as I've never done one. How can I get more assurance that it is a top end job and not something more serious like piston rings? Not sure the owner is going to let me pull the DI and plugs and do a compression test. Thanks for your help.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:17 PM   #2
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If you have the ability and knowledge as well as tools to possibly rebuild a motor or swap one, then yes! If not point me towards the ad .
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:30 PM   #3
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Well, I do have a ceiling mount chain hoist that could handle an engine swap but I'm not up to something that involved. I am leaning towards rolling the dice and getting it. Sounds like I already have a buyer! Car is in the deep South, kinda far from SoCal.
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Old 08-10-2013, 09:50 PM   #4
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Well, I do have a ceiling mount chain hoist that could handle an engine swap but I'm not up to something that involved. I am leaning towards rolling the dice and getting it. Sounds like I already have a buyer! Car is in the deep South, kinda far from SoCal.
Well good luck, hopefully the seller will let you at least pull the spark plugs to inspect the pistons, I have seen a few of those lift heads from the headbolts loosing their torque and melt a piston or two... Hopefully it is just a simple head job! Good luck man! Oh yeah, that is a bit far lol .
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
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Fill the tank with water pull the fuel pump fuse and the di and crank it - if water shoots out the tank and/or bubbles the gasket is fubar. If you fill up the tank and cap it then crank it a few times pull the sparkplugs out and look inside with a light if the cylinders fill right up with water the head is likely warped too and you'll need it skimmed... If you only get small amounts of water in the cylinders after creating pressure in the coolant system then try retorquing the headbolts and see how that fares. I recently did headgasket on a 95 and it wasnt that difficult. The white mayo looking crap is moisture in the oil if its had a bad gasket its probable they drove on it as long as possible refilling the tank with water... I would go into it 100% expecting to get the head skimmed and check the timing chain tensioner if its 15mm extended replace the chain or you'll be asking for major headaches after reassembling and running it

Double check triple check and quadruple check you have the cam sprockets and chain 100% where they were use a sharpie or something and make sure the lines line up perfectly on chain and sprockets you do not under any circumstances want to F that up

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Old 08-11-2013, 12:28 PM   #6
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Oh and I'd start at offering 750 cash (once you are there) ... Reminding him its like 1300$ or somethin for a head job (if taken somewhere) + the machine work on the head
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bobthebuilder View Post
I have an opportunity to buy a 2004 9-5 for $1000. The car is in great shape body and interior. It is an automatic with 200K on the odometer. I'm told the engine has a blown head gasket. It does run but you have to crank the heck out of it - a minute or so, can smell gas while cranking and when it finally starts, it runs rough and blows smoke out the tailpipe. It quickly evens out and stops smoking, but idles a little rough. There was no coolant in the reservoir and while the oil doesn't look chocolatey, it does have a white glob of something on the ball at the bottom of the dipstick, even after running a few minutes. After 10 minutes or so, the temp gauges starts climbing towards the red. I am mechanically inclined and look to a head gasket job as an interesting challenge as I've never done one. How can I get more assurance that it is a top end job and not something more serious like piston rings? Not sure the owner is going to let me pull the DI and plugs and do a compression test. Thanks for your help.

If the seller won't let you do a simple compression test, tell him to pound sand.

Don't go into this project unless you've got at least another $1000 available for parts.
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Old 08-12-2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by bobthebuilder View Post
Well, I do have a ceiling mount chain hoist that could handle an engine swap but I'm not up to something that involved. I am leaning towards rolling the dice and getting it. Sounds like I already have a buyer! Car is in the deep South, kinda far from SoCal.
Where at I'm pretty deep in the south...
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:06 PM   #9
 
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If the seller won't let you do a simple compression test, tell him to pound sand.

Don't go into this project unless you've got at least another $1000 available for parts.
Bingo...a compression test is a must.

If you can borrow a borescope, even better, so that you can check the condition of the pistons.
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