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Old 05-11-2005, 09:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Internal Coolant Leakage (possible replacement of head gasket, heads, bores)

My girlfriend's car is a 1994 toyota tercel dx. Lately she's been having a problem with internal coolant leakage. Now, checking around the web and in my manual(i've got a haynes auto manual for my 1990 mercury sable gs), it seems that internal coolant leakage is caused by a leaky head gasket, or cracked bores/heads.

Now i'm feeling all great about fixing cars because last week I changed the water pump in mine easy enough, and I gotta change the oil pan soon too. But how hard of a job is it to change the head gasket, or possibly one of the heads? Looking through my manual it seems that you need a few special tools but for the most part, everything is pretty accessible. Any advice? I'll probably buy the manual for hers too, cause these guides seem to be very helpful(based off a complete teardown and rebuild).
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: janesville wisconsin
Its quite a job to replace headgaskets if you arent experienced. I would recommend getting the manual, and take your time. Make sure that you have the head checked while its off, because it sux to put it all back together and still have the problem from a warped head. While you are in there you may as well replace the timing belt.
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Old 05-11-2005, 04:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Grants Pass OR
it's a pretty involved job, but can be done by the average backyard mechanic. Make sure you have the head checked as maverick said, and TORQUE THE HEAD EXACTLY AS THE MANUAL SAYS. Before you put the bolts back in make sure there is no oil in the bolt holes, if there is it will give you falsetorque readings and you could damage the head, or the block.
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
Buffering.........
 
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Location: Wisconsin...
Changing a headgasket usually takes a weekend to do worth of labor, it isn't too bad and i've helped alot of people. Some 4cylinders are harder than some v6's and vice versa. My advice is to get a factory service manual, it might be spendy but it will be way more accurate. Usually the procedure goes as follows (this is just a quick summary)
1.Look and plan first, gather tools and get an idea of how bad of a project (being a toyota they aren't that terribly bad.

2. Tear the head off, while taking apart look for obvious stuff that will be needed to be replaced, fix stuff now while its easy to get at, before it will cost you alot of money down the road.

3.Check the block out, how does the bore look, does it look sludgey? does it look like it will clean up?

4.Take the head into a machine shop. This is why the previous owner of my nissan failed at his gasket change project, a 4 banger head costs about $90 to clean, pressure check, and machine down in my area.

5. Assemble, just remember it doesn't need to go together asap, take your time, do it right the first time.

Good luck. It shouldn't be too terribly expensive to do. Just remember its always cheaper than a new car, unless your fixing up something that is just prone to be junk...
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Old 05-13-2005, 10:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
Insane
 
absolutely, take your time and do everything right, no cutting corners.

I found out when I was 17 what cutting corners will get you when pulling the head/changing the gasket.
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bores, coolant, gasket, head, heads, internal, leakage, replacement

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