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Old 02-18-2010, 06:23 PM   #1
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Default Blown head gasket in Austin

Hello from Austin, wish I would have found this site years ago. I bought a '96 M-Edition FMI from a friend in 2005 with 70k miles (40k of that on the turbo). It's a great car now with 113k miles and I won't give her up, especially since the repair would cost more than the car is currently worth. After several months of a gurgling overflow tank, several blown cooling hoses and overheats, I'm undertaking a head gasket job. Hoping the Felpro gasket will hold up better than the original '96. The repair will cost well over $500, imagine if this were being done by a shop...

Here's the before... the after will come sometime this weekend.




Last edited by hovermike; 02-18-2010 at 06:40 PM. Reason: More specific to noob
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:50 PM   #2
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I just replaced my head gasket a month or so ago. I used an OEM gasket, because there seems to be a lot of hysteria about using aftermarket head gaskets.

You should consider doing a reroute while you have the head off.
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:38 PM   #3
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I keep that same jack with the matching stands in my trunk.


why is this HG job costing you $500?
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:13 PM   #4
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$355 for the head work - machine work / pressure testing, complete valve job, HLAs cleaned / inspected, seals replaced - it was a shock especially when I was expecting $100... If I had known this, I would have searched more diligently for a '99 head.

Also:
$100 steel turbo oil drain upgrade
$80 wastegate actuator (diaphragm melted during the overheat - everything else survived!)
$60 timing belt
$100 gasket set
$50 for the roloc bristle pads and drill accessory
$100 various vacuum and fuel lines


The coolant reroute would be a good idea - time to start looking up the procedure.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:31 PM   #5
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I am a little too embarrassed to post how much I overspent on mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hovermike View Post
The coolant reroute would be a good idea - time to start looking up the procedure.
I wound up getting the spacer from begi, and am putting the rest together myself.
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Old 02-19-2010, 12:52 PM   #6
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If I had the time, I would try to build up the kit from the spacer... My buddies and I are going to put it all together tomorrow (on a wing and a prayer) after I run to Spring Branch to pick up a reroute kit.... Having that thermostat on the back should make reassembly a hell of a lot easier (especially the turbo plumbing.).
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:16 PM   #7
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FMU was rebuilt on Saturday morning by Corky himself - even after having been bitten by a brown recluse. His comment on the 9 year old FMU was that the gasket looked as bad as he'd seen. Had a good learning experience about how to calculate compression increase after head machining. 0.015 shaved means going from 9.03 to 9.06 - not as much as I would have thought.

Once back in Austin, the only things we got done were replacing the timing belt (difficult as we didn't have the right tools - used an extra actuator bracket attached to the crank hub to lock itself against the water pump.); and installing the new actuator. I also attempted to install the coolant reroute kit and turbo drain upgrade. The flange was incorrect and Stephanie is sending a new one. Also will need to use lower-profile plugs on the thermostat spacer that won't interfere with the tap for the intake connection.

Need to take a day on my own to get the head prepped w/ the exhaust manifold studs, reroute kit, and getting the turbo drain fittings installed... everything *should* go smoothly after that. Unfortunately lost two of the fuel rail spacers, how do they disappear?
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Old 02-22-2010, 12:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hovermike View Post
Unfortunately lost two of the fuel rail spacers, how do they disappear?
You didn't take the extra caution in not letting them drop...that's how.
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