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4th Generation Camaros 1993-2002

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Old 11-21-2008, 03:29 PM   #1
D1BADZ
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head gasket change hard or just ok?

Anybody ever to a head gasket change themselves.

I have some mechanical skills but never gone this far, Feasible or not?

I also have friends and lots of tools and time?
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:08 PM   #2
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I have done a few, I can change both head gaskets out on a carbed SBC in about 2 days, thats going at a normal pace about 16hrs. For someone who hasnt ever done it before, set aside 3 days to get it done. Make sure you use the proper bolt torquing technique on the heads, and yes get a book, it will make it easier for someone new to doing it. Use Felpro head and intake gaskets if you want to keep the car for along time and to make sure the gaskets last.
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Old 11-21-2008, 05:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D1BADZ View Post
Anybody ever to a head gasket change themselves.

I have some mechanical skills but never gone this far, Feasible or not?

I also have friends and lots of tools and time?

yup.

yup.

yup?

here ya go.

http://www.afrashteh.com/guide/install.htm


let me know if you need any extra advice
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:09 PM   #4
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Changing the head gaskets was my first "big" task on an engine. I did it on a Cadillac 472 big block by myself and it took about 3 days of solid work. The damn heads weighed 80 lbs a piece and the intake manifold wasn't too far behind.

Words of advice:

- Make sure you can get replacement head bolts. I found out after taking my heads off that they don't make head bolts for Caddy 472/500 blocks anymore so I had to use the streched originals...not best choice.

- Use high quality gasket...Fel Pro is OK, but there are better ones than that. I used a super heavy duty racing gasket (blue in color...don't recall name).

- Make sure you have everything you need (i.e. valley pan seal, front/rear intake manifold seals, etc.)

- Might as well replace those valve guide seals since you have the heads off since sooner or later they will leak oil anyways. It's pretty easy to remove valves...just depress springs and remove the keyway from valve spring retainer.

- Torque to proper specs and in proper order. My Caddy heads had 8 or 10 bolts at 180 ft/lbs!

- Make sure the new head gasket is on flush before torquing.

I also blasted off all the carbon deposits from my heads and piston tops, but that's up to you.

Also, just in case you are trying to fix a water in block issue you should exhaust every other option first. I changed my gaskets and it turned out the backing plate behind the water pump had a super tiny hole in it that fed into oil routing. I ended up putting a new motor in and found the hole afterward...DOH!!!
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Old 11-21-2008, 07:42 PM   #5
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get ARP bolts if you can. Felpros are also nice.

the way I did mine to stretch them properly was to torque (in sequence) to 25 ft lbs, break them loose, torque to 45lbs, break loose, then torque again to 65 lbs.


for the actual gaskets themselves, get the Impalla LT1 head gaskets, they are slightly thinner and will give you a bump in compression after install.
all total, when I did mine, I think I spent around $150.00 for every thing save for the fee to use a stall at the hobby shop on base.


here's when I did mine

http://www.z28.com/forum/showthread....ht=head+gasket


other things to keep in mind

The gaskets go on serial number up. If you get Felpro's, they're marked.

don't forget the bolt that holds the ps/ac pump and alt bracket to the riders head. Matter fact, you'll probably have to loosen the whole bracket

you have to take off the intake, y-pipe, exhaust manifolds. You can leave the fuel rail on the intake but its easier to get the intake off with the rails off. You will have to get all the top wiring out of the way for removal and cleaning. Make a template out of cardboard and place your intake manifold bolts in the piece of cardboard just as they came off the intake. This will help you when your reinstalling all of your stuff As said there are torquing sequenses and patterns for both the intake and the heads so you need to follow those to the T, and putting the sealant on the bolts are a must. I have always used ARP head bolts and since you cant get back in there to retorque the head bolts I always torque them down and then loosen them all back up a total of twice and then torquing them down for the third time usually will stretch the bolts enough that they will not work themselves loose. Also depending on what bolts you use for the heads at least use engine oil as a lubricant when your torquing them down or you wont reach the correct torque. cleaning the threads out on all the areas is a must. You can just go buy a thread chaser to do this which isnt too expensive. Its a tedious process but definitely worth it for sure. As for the passenger side head, you will need to take the accessory bracket all the way off to give you enough room to pull the head off easily. Dont forget the crossover bolts for the steam pipe in the back of the heads. They are 15mm and if you can get your hands on a ratchet wrench they work wonders I cant stress enough that while your in there at least put new lifters in there. They are easily accessible while in there and you really only want to do all this once lol. Make sure you get all the surfaces clean before reinstalling the parts and try to keep your hands off the clean surfaces
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Read that link that Spike posted, it'll tell you everything you need to know.
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Quote:
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But not all people were born awesome like you, Spike.
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