Head gaskets are leaking...repair or replace? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 01-17-2008, 11:57 AM   #1
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Default Head gaskets are leaking...repair or replace?

At 133k, my head and valve cover gaskets are leaking. My dilemma is, should I just replace the gaskets, or have new performance heads put on? Either way, I will be paying someone to do it for me because I don't have the time or resources.

The last car I had (93' Thunderbird non */C), the head gaskets were replaced for around $750. I'm expecting that with the */C, it'll be just under $1,000.

Ideally, I would like to put in high performance parts. However, if I go with say stage 2 heads from Intense ($1,699 plus core $200 + gasket + bolts + shipping + labor) I would need to get the exhaust headers to support the mod ($700 + shipping + labor). Additionally, Intense recommends changing out the cam, which is $325 + shipping + labor. If I do all that, then I need to increase the boost by going to a lower pulley (3.0 - I can do that myself).

I'm planning on keeping the car for at least 3 more years. Eventually I'll buy a daily driver and turn this into a street racer. I'd like to eventually get this car into the 12s.

Last piece of information....budget. There is no budget for this. Since this will be going on a credit card, and because I have a house and student loans, I need to keep the cost as low as possible.

Any suggestions?
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Old 01-17-2008, 12:15 PM   #2
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Chances are great that your head gaskets are NOT leaking. Use the search feature at the top of the page and read about it.

I would do the valve covers first and see if that is the source of the oil on the edge of the heads. Also, sometimes the side seal on the block tends to seep down onto the end of the cylinder heads.

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Originally Posted by 99SSEI
There is no budget for this. Since this will be going on a credit card, and because I have a house and student loans, I need to keep the cost as low as possible.

Any suggestions?
Ask the guys here who have done it. Once you start modifying your engine, one thing leads to another, each one costing additional dollars.

Wait until you can afford modifications before you start down that road. Proper maintenance will cost enough, but will be a wise investment in your situation. My $.02.
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Old 01-17-2008, 01:08 PM   #3
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I have also noticed over the past two years that my coolant slowly disappears. I probably put in a quart every two or three months. I suspect since I have no coolant leaks, it may be going into the cylinders. Just an after thought.
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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Technically, I can't really afford the repair either! LOL. If they are the problem, I figured since I have to take the heads off, why not put in some performance parts now rather than later?

Maybe I should ask, what mods can be done to the heads without taking them off (rockers, cam, springs, etc.) ?
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:08 PM   #5
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95% sure it'* your lower intake gaskets leaking, NOT your head gaskets. I never remember seeing a single case of that on here relating to the heads. Get some new aluminum framed LIM gaskets - I bet your current ones are toast. It'* a relatively cheap and easy job if you do it yourself.

If you do a cam you have to take off the supercharger and lower intake anyway. Rockers/springs and cam are done with the heads in place.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:58 PM   #6
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Any sure way to find out which one it is? I'd hate to tell the mechanic to pull the LIM, then find out it'* the head.

EDIT: I'll try to take some pics this weekend for everyone to see.
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Old 01-17-2008, 09:11 PM   #7
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You have to pull the LIM to get the heads off.

I'll bet you my car against yours that it'* the LIM gaskets and not the heads. But I'm basing my odds on my experience and observation over 5 years on this Forum. I think we've seen MAYBE one or two failed head gaskets in 5 years here, and one or both wasn't completely confirmed.

http://www.zillamotorsports.com/DEX

^^^^^^^^
Print that and show it to your mechanic. It'* the LIM gaskets. And the beauty is you don't even have to pull the SC or fuel rail. Pull it all out as one big piece. Very little work.
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Old 01-18-2008, 11:22 AM   #8
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Wow, that'* really detailed information! I was looking around other sites and everything I read supported your suggestion that it'* the LIM gasket. Based upon what you said, this may be a project I can do myself and save some $$. I couldn't find any tech info for step by step instructions to replace the LIM gasket. Does anyone have that handy?

Also, does anyone suggest making any other mods such as getting the LIM ported while I have it off? I'd like to kill as many birds with one stone.
Thanks again for the help!
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:08 PM   #9
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Read this:
http://www.bonnevilleclub.com/forum/...e=article&k=38

Just ignore the plastic upper intake part. You don't have that.


There are no step-by-step instructions really posted. Just get a Chilton'* #28200 at your local auto parts store and follow it. The Series 2 L67 lower intake won't benefit much from porting. It'* already matched pretty well to the heads.
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Old 01-18-2008, 12:51 PM   #10
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Thanks!
Because of you, I found the class action lawsuit against GM for our common LIM gasket failures caused by Dex. I've signed up to see what retrobution GM will offer.

http://www.girardgibbs.com/dexcool.html
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