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Advice for replacing head gasket?

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Old 07-11-2018, 08:54 PM
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Advice for replacing head gasket?

I'm currently replacing a "blown" head gasket (that's what firestone said because it was leaking a little oil into the coolant) and I've gotten this far but I'd like some advice on anything else I need to replace, bolts and stuff I shouldn't reuse (I have new head bolts and a gasket kit, but that's it) anything I could check, etc. I watched A1's video on YouTube on doing this in a truck with an LT1, but I'm sure there's some differences you guys would know. I'm pretty new and I've learned a lot, but any advice helps.

Also, if someone knows a good way to store the push rods and rocker arms I'd love to know before I go pulling them out and getting them mixed up. (I've heard cardboard is good) ^ this is how far I've gotten
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Old 07-12-2018, 10:01 AM
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Re: Advice for replacing head gasket?

What year is the car? There are subtle differences from year to year.

In the course of diagnosing the problem, was a compression or leak-down test performed?

How many miles on the engine?

Are you interested in performance upgrades, like head porting, more aggressive cam, 1.6 full roller rockers, etc? Is the engine totally stock or has it been modified in any way?
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:18 AM
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Re: Advice for replacing head gasket?

It's a stock 1994 with 83,500 miles.

I rechecked the firestone notes and it said it leaks exhaust into coolant, not oil. I couldn't find what kind of test they did, I only took it in for an alignment.
I don't really know what I want to do with it yet, so for now I'm keeping it stock.
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:02 PM
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Re: Advice for replacing head gasket?

They can use a tool to detect carbon monoxide vapor in the radiator coolant.

Do you have any white smoke out the exhaust? Does the exhaust have a “sweet” smell (ethylene glycol coolant)?

Does the cooling system lose coolant regularly?

Do you have coolant in the engine oil - chocolate milk appearance?

Does the engine run rough when cold?
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:45 PM
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Re: Advice for replacing head gasket?

I believe there's coolant in the oil, ive emptied it 3 times since I got it over a year ago and it's been pretty dirty and milkyish. Not bad, but I think any amount probably isn't good.

I have one head off, but the passenger side doesn't want to come up even with all the bolts out. Do I have to remove the alternator bracket to remove the head? I've taken out the power steering pulley and some of the bracket bolts, but it looks like there's 3 more pulleys I have to remove and if I don't have to, I'd like to avoid that.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:15 PM
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Re: Advice for replacing head gasket?

Also,
No white smoke and definetly no sweet smell XD

The low coolant light was/might have still been on for a while

The engine does pretty good in the cold, never had a problem starting it.
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Old 07-12-2018, 07:39 PM
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Re: Advice for replacing head gasket?

The low coolant light it totally unreliable. The sensor fails when the coolant penatrates into the printed circuit board, and the light comes on and stays on. You have to check regularly, first with the dipstick in the reservoir, and then popping the cap when the radiator is cool. The level should NEVER be below the fill neck. The LT1 does not like air bubbles, due to the "reverse flow" cooling system.

While the reverse flow cooling, along with the aluminum heads are the things that allows the engine to run aggressive ignition timing, without detonation, letting the coolant get low and air to enter the system can be fatal = overheating and blown head gasket. There are two bleed valves to help get the air out when filling the system.

The Corvette LT1 cooling system is much better, featuring a pressurized coolant reservoir and a self-bleeding feature, but GM was apparently too cheap to offer that system on the F-Body.
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Old 07-13-2018, 03:16 AM
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Re: Advice for replacing head gasket?

Check this guy's playlist. Very short vids and straight to the point for a 94 lt1. I'm about to do this after a compression test.

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Old 07-14-2018, 04:49 PM
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Re: Advice for replacing head gasket?

I've decided to take the engine apart and upgrade other parts, but I have not decided if I want to turbo or supercharge it. Once I know more about what I want to do I will post another thread about it and go from there. I work "6 and 3"s (on 6, off 3) so I have lots of time on my weekends, but I need to get my shop crane from 90 miles away and continue disassembling my engine, so it's going to be a while before I get anywhere.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:54 PM
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Re: Advice for replacing head gasket?

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