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DIY head gasket or pay to get it done? 

 

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 Post subject: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:51 pm 
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Hey guys, I have a little bit of white smoke coming from the exhaust alone with a bit of water so Im guessing the head gasket is on its way out... I've been quoted apx. $1000 to get it gone at the shop, but is it something that's worth doing myself? there no way I could get $1000 any time soon, and I can get a gasket set for about $180 so any help would be great cos I don't know what way to go!
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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:58 pm 
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If you ain't got the know-how, a w/shop manual, or tooling required, cheaper to get it done by someone that knows how.......mechanic's.

 

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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:59 pm 
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Run a compression test first, the tool is pretty cheap. Or borrow one from a garage/get them to do it.

It probably is the head gasket, but there's no point in doing anything unless you know it's definitely the problem.

If you do DIY them make sure you get new head bolts, but for $180 I would assume that kit includes them.

 

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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:15 pm 
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ranio wrote:
Hey guys, I have a little bit of white smoke coming from the exhaust alone with a bit of water so Im guessing the head gasket is on its way out... I've been quoted apx. $1000 to get it gone at the shop, but is it something that's worth doing myself? there no way I could get $1000 any time soon, and I can get a gasket set for about $180 so any help would be great cos I don't know what way to go!


does white smoke and water happen when it is cold or all the time?

As cjh said. If you don't have tools, a manual or some idea, then it is best to give it to a professional to have a look and fix. However if you're game enough to give it a shot...by all means make sure you have good tools and a manual.

Ranio - for $180, it'll just be the gasket kit, which includes all gaskets required when pulling a head out. Head bolts are sold separately as far as I know.

Bring it to a workshop and let them have a look before you start forking out money for something that may not be the problem. Don't say anything, just ask what the problem is and sure as hell don't mention that it may be a head gasket, because for all you know, they can agree with you and try and get you to pay for the head gasket change instead of looking for some other problem.

 

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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 1:24 pm 
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i can get the gaskets with the bolt for $180, ill get ultratune to have a look so i might do a compression test too. i have a cert 1 in automotive and a few years working with and around cars, just never done a head gasket befor, as far as i know the smoke is there all the time and the water only really spits out when I rev it.
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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:57 pm 
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ranio wrote:
i can get the gaskets with the bolt for $180, ill get ultratune to have a look so i might do a compression test too. i have a cert 1 in automotive and a few years working with and around cars, just never done a head gasket befor, as far as i know the smoke is there all the time and the water only really spits out when I rev it.


Well since you have some mechanical knowledge, it should be pretty straight forward. I had no clue and still manage with the help of FM members and Gregory's Manual.

Have a look at this thread

fordmods-technical-documents-diy-f38/head-gasket-doco-started-t22726.html

I uploaded the guide in pdf format which sums up what the thread was about. Pretty pictures and all :).

 

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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:17 pm 
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Are you using that E10 crap in your car. Cos the bi-product of ethanol is water. You see alot of cars going around blowing water cos their using the cheaper fuel. Is it using water. What are the plugs like? Definitely do a compression check before pulling the head off.

 

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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:00 pm 
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White smoke on startup is usually just condensation in the cat and exhaust system, takes a bit to clear.

HOWEVER,

Check your fluid levels, if your coolant reservior is constantly needing refilling or your oil has turned to a funky caramel colour with all the flavour of water and oil, then yeah your gasket is rooted or your head has a crack in it.

Its only when gaskets or heads go right through and allow the 2 fluids to mix that you will get water in the oil.
It is common however for a gasket to go and let water into the bore resulting in loss of water in your coolant system.

But that was not your question.

I would suggest you do it yourself. even for $500 -$600 you could buy all the tools you need and gaskets to do the job correctly yourself. I would however recommend gettig a skim on your head or atleast a machine shop to look at it to see if it needs a skim.

If its your first gasket, I would allow a solid day to achive completion. Have the Missus on hand as well as there is sometimes stuff that needs an extra hand to make it a touch easier. But mechanically minded mates are the way to go.

 

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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:48 pm 
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when you say water do you mean coolant? or just water. as someone said before good chance the water and smoke and just from the condensation. but i comp test will tell.

 

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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:38 pm 
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Smoke on start can also be worn valve stem seals. Not that much more work when the head is off. If you buy a VRS gasket set they come with it, whereas a Head Set gasket set they do not. How many K's are on the engine. And do not even think about not machining the Head, should be about $100.00, money well spent then you know it's right. A good shop will also tell you if your water ways are corroded & need welding. If you have coffee colored oil then also get the head pressure tested for cracks. They crack from exhaust seat to water jacket. Get a 10mm ratchet head spanner they make taking off the inlet manifold a lot easier. PM me if get stuck Regards TPVM.

 

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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:58 pm 
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lee lee le bonk wrote:
Are you using that E10 crap in your car. Cos the bi-product of ethanol is water. You see alot of cars going around blowing water cos their using the cheaper fuel. Is it using water. What are the plugs like? Definitely do a compression check before pulling the head off.


i was leaking coolant pretty bad lately but i tightened all the hoses and its slowed right down... i am running off a half tank of straight E10 s**t as i had $20 for the week in fuel...fkn E10, i got the car warm and the smoke and water went away.... sooo i am starting to wonder about the head gasket... theres a squeaky noises on the intake side but goes as the car gets warm... i know the dizzy needs replacing.
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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:44 am 
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ok well i found the squeaky noise, it looks like the power steering tensioner pulley's bearings are on there way out, the sound happens on intervals and when it done i can fell a nasty vibration if i touch the axis bolt the pulley sits on. well im filling her on premium 98 today, should i put any additives in the tank to try and help undone the E10 e.g. injector cleaner, valve saver, engine clean, octane booster :)
thanks for all the help guys!
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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:03 am 
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Won't hurt to put some Nulon injector cleaner in it.......maybe replace the fuel filter if it hasn't been done in the last 12 months.
Have you checked the tension of the bolts that hold the intake manifold on???

 

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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:11 am 
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yeah everything is still nice and tight, I did the fuel filter about 5-6 months ago.
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 Post subject: Re: DIY head gasket or pay to get it done?
Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:52 pm 
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Have you cleaned the throttle body too????...hows the aircleaner???

 

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