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Thread: Blown HGs......how will I know?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    38

    Talking Blown HGs......how will I know?

    When the day comes.......and we all know it's out there somewhere down the road.......... how do blown head gaskets manifest? ....... coz I haven't seen a blown head gasket light on the dash and I'm probably gonna need some sort of sign short of lightning striking the supercharger.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    2,062
    It will usually start with an unexplained loss of coolant from your overflow tank. You may (not always) notice your oil level rising with a milky substance on the bottom of the dipstic. White exhaust (somewhat sweet smelling too) will also indicate it. There is a chemical test that tests your coolant for the presence of oil. That is a sure-fire way to tell. And just work to the wise, if you notice the first thing starting to happen (unexplained loss of coolant) get the car tested. It may not show anything the first time or two, but dont stop testing it until you find it. I had mine ('92 LX at the time) tested 4 times before it came back positive. If you catch it early, you can prevent damage to the bearings. If you let it go bigtime, you could very well be looking at a complete rebuild.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    38
    So..........007...........if you do catch it, we're talking getting the engine pulled and tuned, right? What do you figure the cost on that is?

    thx

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    471
    How will it effect emissions?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lincoln, NE
    Posts
    2,062
    If it is caught soon enough, you will have no need to pull the engine. Simply (as if anything is on these cars!) pull the heads, have them pressure tested milled and ported/polished ifyou so desire. Then re-install. But if you gaskets go to the point of coolant in the oilpan, then you'd just better count on a complete rebuild. Reasoning is the coolant is heavier than the oil and will sink to the bottom of the pan. The oil pump is down there too. So instead of oil being pumped into the engine, you'll have coolant. Antifreeze does not make a good lubricant at all!

    **You can pull the engine to get the block milled so that you can install the 4.2L copper gaskets, but if you run the Fel Pro gaskets, you do not need to get the block milled.

    The cost is relative. It depends on how much you want to do yourself. I plan on pulling mine when the get to that point, partly to save money and partly to learn more about my car. Having someone else do it, you're looking at somewhere between $1000 and $1500 depending on how much labor is in your area. For any "goodies" you have done to it will add to that. If you do it yourself, you could be looking at as little as $500 for parts and getting the heads checked out. A bit more for porting and polishing if you can find a reputable place that is low on the cost.

    And MN12 Kid, I honestly have no idea how that will effect emmissions. I haven't tried to learn too much about that mainly because I don't have to worry about emmission test in my state.

    *Edit: If you haven't already heard or read it yet, get a better flowing exhaust and you will greatly reduce the chances of blowing a head gasket. That is widely considered the #1 modification that you should do to your car.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    471
    The heads are fine on my car - just gathering info for someone else in my town, who just got an SC.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    38
    Thank you very much 007!

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