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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a car i am looking at needs a new head gasket. how hard of a job is this. could i do it myself?
thanks
 

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see my post here: http://www.saablink.net/TSL/saabforum/viewtopic.php?t=2559 has pictures - get a Service Manual - makes it easy as changing a light bulb - but be prepared to make this a few day task - as one SHOULD have the cylinder head machined. If you have any questions further more - don't hesitait to ask! Good Luck! (took myself and DeLorean about 13 hours due to a 3 hour binde on a mis-threaded exhaust stud in the NEW head)
 

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It is not that bad of a job. if you get a bently service manual it lays it out rather well.

Only problem I had with the bently instructions were:
It said to remove the exhaust manifold THEN remove the pass side engine mount.
I found that removing the exhaust manifold was not possible unless you FIRST removed the engine mount.

this was on a C900T a NA might be different.

Ian
 

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Hey Turbokick, it's lucky for you that Burns runs through head gaskets like other people run through lightbulbs! :twisted:

Seriously though, it's not a tremendously difficult job, especially on a C900, but head machining is pretty critical. The tiniest flaw, or shred of old gasket , can cause you to blow it again....(Uh, I did this on my 86 900T...)

Once its out, you might as well have it ported and have the valves re-ground...
 

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mike saunders said:
Hey Turbokick, it's lucky for you that Burns runs through head gaskets like other people run through lightbulbs! :twisted:
Actually - I run through lightbulbs like ppl who own Neon's run through headgaskets. This is my first headgasket I'e ever had to do on a car - the ng will be the second. 8) :p
 

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actually I rather like the haynes manual for headgasket replacement. IMHO, the bently is over detailed and a little too tricky to follow.
 

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You sure that was only two?

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: (Just yanking your chain!)

I've only done two....The first was because of my own stupidity, gunning it down I-95 to Rhode Island. The second time was like a month later, after NOT having the head machined. Scraping it with a putty knife doesn't count, I learned!

Only tips I have are these:

Sometimes a little dab of permatex will help it adhere to the curved parts
Follow the torquing pattern religiously....
 

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This i'm sure will bring up some more disscussions....

I suggest re-torqueing the head between 500-700 miles after the job. By this I mean in the correct pattern, 1 bolt at a time. Back it off, then retorque it according to spec.

Sports Car Service tries to do this on all the HG jobs, about 75% of them come back to get it done. I think they notice less chance of another blow.

The down side-breaking a bolt. My dads 1 friend broke a bolt while doing the re-torqueing. I did mine in 45F weather (warmest day i could get) and did not break a bolt.

But I know delorean never did this, and BS either.......they are still going fine. It's up to you.

Ian
 

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well here is part of it. if you clean the threads of the bolts and are doing a head gasket with a freshly machined head, you are putting 2 100% flat surfaces to 2 flat surfaces. they don't specify a head re-torqueing with new cars, why would you need to after a job like that?

a counterpoint here is if you have NOT had the head machined and are just doing the gasket you probably will need to retorque it in about 1000 miles to get a good seal out of it, only because the head may not have been 100% smooth and threw off the torque readings of a couple of the bolts. that in itself could lead to an early head gasket failure. and that IMHO, is really the only reason to re-torque a head.

I think I'll stick to paying the extra $60 to have the head checked out and machined before I put it on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for all the help but the car has been sold to someone else :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yep for now anyway :cry: :cry: :cry: but i may have found another potential saab this one with a blown auto trany insted of a head gasket
 

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Dude, what's your budget? You can find something decent for a grand or so, and not have to spend big money and loads of time....

Give us a dollar figure, and we can try to find something for you. There's a 9000 Aero that's going for about $2K on Ebay now....

The NG900 autobox is really sturdy, so if it's blown I'd suspect it was driven by someone without a clue. Check for evidence of a tow hitch....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
mike saunders said:
Dude, what's your budget? You can find something decent for a grand or so, and not have to spend big money and loads of time....

Give us a dollar figure, and we can try to find something for you. There's a 9000 Aero that's going for about $2K on Ebay now....

The NG900 autobox is really sturdy, so if it's blown I'd suspect it was driven by someone without a clue. Check for evidence of a tow hitch....
actually im looking for c900T not ng so the blown autobox is pretty common. as for a dollar figure around $600 or less i also dont really mind spending time working on a car because it is a learning experince and as i will be doing all repairs to the car i get.
how can is get in contact with SMOKINSPG where can i see the car online?
 

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BurnsSide42 said:
mike saunders said:
Hey Turbokick, it's lucky for you that Burns runs through head gaskets like other people run through lightbulbs! :twisted:
Actually - I run through lightbulbs like ppl who own Neon's run through headgaskets. This is my first headgasket I'e ever had to do on a car - the ng will be the second. 8) :p
Burnside you must go through a hell of alot of lightbulbs then becuase Neons average 4 to 6 head gaskets in there lifetimes!!! Speaking from personal experience on this one!!

I did the HG on my 86 C900 and I never retorqued my bolts either. I did however not use the bolts that came out of the car but chose to invest in a new set of bolts for it. Thats something I always do that alot of people say is a waste but I would rather make sure that I dont have to do it again or have leaks than to not spare the extra $40 bucks on the bolts.
 
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