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Old 05-29-2004, 12:26 AM   #1
akaterr
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Unhappy Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

I need help fixing a blown head gasket in a 1992 Geo Storm.
Definite diagnosis. Water in oil, over heating, white smoke/steam from both the exhaust and under the car.
I have a Haynes manual, and in reading and looking at the diagrams I have to disassemble from under the car. I thought it was on top or am I confusing the tappet cover and the head gasket.
I've done minor repairs my self changing the oil, spark plugs, wires, installed rebuilt tranny and it's no doubt that I will need help with this one because I know it's not minor.
Pep Boys (local Garage/Natíl chain) said that it would be around $1000 bucks for the job including $250 for parts. Is it really that difficult to warrant $750 for labor?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-29-2004, 10:51 AM   #2
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

your boys at the garage are having you on.

A new head gasket costs about £50-80 tops. (about $80-100)

the difficulty in changing it is the hard part, not something for a newbie, unless very confident and have a spare car just in case. Takes some time and the problem is that you may need the head skimming.

The Head gasket is at the top of the engine. You are confusing it with the sump gasket.

Hence there is no need to get under the car to do the repair.

I would look around for the best possible quote you can get. Your local mechs are trying to take you for a ride, which is a fairly common trick for a female customer.
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Old 05-29-2004, 10:55 AM   #3
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

Your local mechs are trying to take you for a ride, which is a fairly common trick for a female customer.......

This is the thing that's PISSING ME OFF the most, because I have T&A they automatically assume I'm stupid. Thanks for all the input, keep em coming.
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Old 05-29-2004, 11:48 AM   #4
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

basically if its just the head gasket that needs replacing then i wouldn't pay more than about $200 tops, including labour charges.

Try going to a car spares trade shop. Prices there are usually cheaper and they won't take the piss.
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Old 05-30-2004, 08:27 PM   #5
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Just think of your car engine as a large size lawn mower engine. I've got one sitting on my garage floor now as a rebuildable spare. How many engines do you know that one person can pick it up and put it on the floor? It's a simple engine. Don't be scammed by the "professional mechanics" or high priced repair shops. I was a line mechanic for 5 years then became an engine machinist, and finally an airplane mechanic. Now I'm something else, but the lessons of the past remain filed away in my brain cells.

Your engine is easy to work on. Just make sure you have it clear in your head how you want to proceed. Things become clearer once you start taking that engine apart. It's a self-learning experience. The trick is to have a nice clean area to work in. Have containers in which to put the parts as you remove them because without doubt any parts just just laid around will disappear! I would suggest using the cheap plastic bins found at any hardware store for storage. Have a lot of rags handy too. Also have an instruction pamphlet or manual giving you the torque values and the sequence for tightening the head bolts, or you may warp the cylinder head. You may also need a putty knife to scrape the old gasket material off various parts, and some fine emery cloth with something to use as a sanding block to clean mating surfaces. A bit of solvent helps too. Go for it! What have you got to lose? You'll have the satisfaction of saving money and learning a lot more about your vehicle. Just think, if you do your own repair....and I know that you can once you get started...you can go back to that repair outfit and tell them you did it yourself. I wish I could be there to see their jaws drop open.
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Old 06-03-2004, 06:44 AM   #6
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

Can you afford a qualified tradesman?
How urgent is it?
Do you have another vehicle to use?
And are you confident in changing the head gasket?
Answering these questions will decide what you want to do.
Do what you can afford to do!
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Old 06-08-2004, 10:49 PM   #7
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

A Blown Head Gasket Is A Major Problem, You Shuld Not Tr To Change Ityoursel If You Hae No Experience Because That May Cause More Problems Down The Line, Also Geos Have Very Thin Head Gaskets So If You Do Change It Use 2 Or 3 Gaskets And Lots Of Silicne, The Mechanics Are Having You, This Job May Be Costly But Only About $600 Including L;abor, These Cars Are Very Simple To Work On, Its Just A Big Snowmobile Engine.
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Old 06-09-2004, 12:47 PM   #8
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One gains experience by doing something new. If one doesn't try something new, one never learns to do anything! Re: The head gaskets. Install the head gasket exactly per the instructions. Adding more head gaskets will increase the probably of a leak or a warped head!
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Old 06-09-2004, 01:32 PM   #9
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

Not True. It Will Decreae You Chances Of A Leaky Gasket,and Will Prevent The Hea From Warping, Im Very Muc Qualified And Knowledgable.
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Old 06-09-2004, 04:44 PM   #10
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What you're saying is to NOT follow the engine manufacturer's instructions? Where did you get the information about adding head gaskets? I'd like to go read-up on it, if for nothing else than to satisfy my curiousity. However, it makes no sense to me.
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Old 06-09-2004, 04:49 PM   #11
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

That's Not What I'm Saying At All, Im Saying As A Mechanic Who's Preformed The Work Many Times, I Have Realized That Many Gaskets (especially Head Gaskets) Are Made Thinner Than They Should Be, For Example; Dodge Mechanics Will Recommend 3 Gaskets B/c They Are So Thin, And Geo's Gaskets Are The Same, You Also Have To Look At It From The Angle Of The Mechanic You Talk To, He Wants Your Money So He Won't Tell You This, But He'll Get Your Money When You Go Back For The Same Work, Year After Year, All I Tryingto Say Is That I Knwo For A Fact That It Will Decrease The Probibility Of Warping The Head And Minimize The Chances Of A Leaky Gasket Down The Road.
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Old 06-09-2004, 04:58 PM   #12
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

I am looking at this from the angle of a mechanic and engine machinist. If I had my way, all gaskets would be thin. In fact, if someone could design a gasket made out of thick aluminum foil, that would be ideal. Theoretically, if the two surfaces were perfectly flat (but it never is), one could just paint permatex on the surfaces and bolt them together. Maybe one of these days I'll experiment with the aluminum foil idea and see what happens.
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Old 06-09-2004, 05:02 PM   #13
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

Good Luck With The Aluminum Foil Theory, But When Gasket Is Cork It Can Become Brittle And Crack,ex.when Torqued To Tight, But When The Are Multiple Gaskets It Will Help Prevent Seepage, And Leaking Will Be Minimized Or Eliminated. Let Me Know What Hapens If You Do Try The Aluminum Foil Gasket Thing. - Good Luck
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Old 06-10-2004, 12:13 AM   #14
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I concur with Doug. If the surfaces are flat, no gasket is needed! Not even sealer. I have worked with too many "get it done cheap" mechanics to stand by and let multi gasket theory get passed on (usually run into with carbs and water pumps). Best scenario for akaterr is to follow a decent manual and take the head down to the local trusted machinist to be checked for flatness. While the machinist has the head, I usually stuff the cylinders and file the block with a smooth or extra-smooth bastard file to clean up risers. Don't take much metal off, you're not trying to mill the engine by hand. Not may blocks warp that far without major damage/issues showing up on the head first. Vacuum the cylinders, pull the rags and clean everything with laquer thinner and place the gasket per factory procedure. Take your time and check-recheck your work and you should have success. If there are any real issues ie: visable cracks, severe scratches, busted pistons, get a long block and start fresh.
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Old 06-10-2004, 06:20 AM   #15
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Re: Blown Head Gasket.....Female needs help

monty120 >>> exacly how many head gaskets have you changed (and on metros)? in all actuallity, my favorite brand of head gasket for stock/oem swaps is felpro. the felpro gasket is about .010" thicker than the stock on a metro. installing more than one head gasket is a practice done on older engines that have had modified compression. and then only copper head gaskets are used. too much clearance at the block and head will throw off cam to crank timing, decrease compression and hence power and effieciency, and also increase the chance of detonation by extending the distance the flame front has to travel to reach the piston. an advancement in ignition timing will also be needed to compensate for the extra distance to the piston. three gaskets are three times more likely to aquire leaks. einstien said it himself..... the fewer the parts the better the machine
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