Head Gasket Replacement for Dummies Procedure - Page 4 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #46 of 113 (permalink) Old 07-12-2011, 07:55 AM Thread Starter
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Vin,
Thanks

I will bring the head to an Alfa guru for a complete rebuild, etc.
I am thinking that I can leave the cams installed and he will set the shims, etc. to original specs.

Thanks for the quick response!


Best Regards,
Joe
Sounds perfect!

Vin

1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
1987 Spider Quadrifoglio - Red on Grey - Rosa - Sold
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post #47 of 113 (permalink) Old 08-15-2013, 05:46 PM
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This is great. Mine just blow a head stud today. This will help a a lot. Also thanks for the pictures
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post #48 of 113 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 04:56 PM
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Hey guys just a quick question: how hard is it to do all this? Im 16 and pretty mechanically inclined, I dont have a ton of tools, but I could get them. Do you think I could do this? I would take the head to a shop to be machined. After looking over all the pictures I think I could undertake this task, I just dont want to hurt my car.

Ok maybe not so quick of a question... Also what is a realistic price range? I have a '82 Spider.

Any input would be awesome. Thanks!

"You can't be a true petrol head, until you have owned an Alfa Romeo" -Jeremy Clarkson
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post #49 of 113 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 07:21 PM
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This is not a particularly difficult job but it is not very tolerant of mistakes either. Take your time and make sure you don't have to have the car driveable by a specific date. Cost is dependent on what you do "while you are in there". The head should definitely be checked for flatness but if it doesn't need to be milled, then don't do it. Just milling the head is probably $150-$200 on the low end. Unless valve guides have been replaced in the last 50-60k miles, you should check and if necessary, replace them. If the guides are replaced, then you should probably have a machine shop cut the seats to maintain the relationship between the valves and the seats. Definitely hand lap the valves and replace valve stem seals. I did a low budget valve job three years ago at a cost of about $400. This included tig welding two small corrosion pits and then milling the head 0.008 in. Depending on what the head needs, the costs can approach the price of a rebuilt head from one of the suppliers. Just something to consider.

Rich Hanning
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post #50 of 113 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BRock View Post
Hey guys just a quick question: how hard is it to do all this? Im 16 and pretty mechanically inclined, I dont have a ton of tools, but I could get them. Do you think I could do this? I would take the head to a shop to be machined. After looking over all the pictures I think I could undertake this task, I just dont want to hurt my car.

Ok maybe not so quick of a question... Also what is a realistic price range? I have a '82 Spider.

Any input would be awesome. Thanks!
Hi Brock,

16 and own your first Alfa? Pretty good!

If you are mechanically inclined, you should be ok. The thread shows you step by step with pictures.

As you can see, just some basic tools.

What price range are you asking about? The car or the head gasket replacement?

If its the head gasket, I think a shop will charge between $1,000 and $1,500, including the machining of the head.

Have you tried to re torque the head to see if that will stop the leak? Cheap and easy and you might just get lucky.

Good luck,

Vin

1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
1987 Spider Quadrifoglio - Red on Grey - Rosa - Sold
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post #51 of 113 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 09:12 PM
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Hi Brock,

16 and own your first Alfa? Pretty good!

If you are mechanically inclined, you should be ok. The thread shows you step by step with pictures.

As you can see, just some basic tools.

What price range are you asking about? The car or the head gasket replacement?

If its the head gasket, I think a shop will charge between $1,000 and $1,500, including the machining of the head.

Have you tried to re torque the head to see if that will stop the leak? Cheap and easy and you might just get lucky.

Good luck,

Vin

Well i guess i left one part out, my head is cracked and i need a new plus a gasket replacement. He said he could get me the stuff for around 300$ that sounds pretty good to me, i was just not sure.

And yea, my first car is an alfa and i still love it even though right now it is getting soaked outside in the pouring rain. I would do almost anything to get back amazing driving experience. Alfa knows how to make them dont they?

"You can't be a true petrol head, until you have owned an Alfa Romeo" -Jeremy Clarkson
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post #52 of 113 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 11:35 PM
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Thanks! This is a great post and I certainly appreciate all of the input! I was going to ask what kind of risk am I taking by having 125k miles on my '85 with the original head gasket... but it looks as though it should have been replaced already. The gasket is not leaking as far as I know, but my valve stem seals are toast, and I need to adjust the valves. The guy I bought the car from 6 years ago took it to a moron mechanic (it needed motor mounts/trans mount because the drive train sank - he replaced the transmission and clutch; and when it still slipped out of reverse and 2nd, they heated the shift lever and bent it...) and hopefully didn't do anything major to the engine. So, should I remove the head and check the guides, etc.?
Thanks!

'85 Spider Veloce
'78 Spider Veloce
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post #53 of 113 (permalink) Old 08-25-2013, 11:49 PM
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Great write up.
I have to replace my head gasket again (something went wrong on the first place, I don't know what exactly, but my spider loses coolant and got pressure in the radiator )
I would use that write up soon...

Thanks,
Saar

Restoring Spider 88
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post #54 of 113 (permalink) Old 12-14-2013, 01:50 PM
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Thank you for this step by step changing head gasket procedure!!

I have an 2300 brazilian Alfa, and guess she was not running since 2008. the car is in pretty good shape, but the engine is a mess. lots of oil, dirt and the engine oil is mixed whith coolant. well, we have another better shape engine and this week I decided to try make it work again. Some gas, nemw oil and battery. to my amazement, only God knows how, it worked!!!!

So I decided,encouraged by this "how to" , to change head gasket and give a new chance to this engine.

Some pics of the fun of this morning:



I have not the slightest idea of how it was still working in these conditions
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post #55 of 113 (permalink) Old 12-14-2013, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Hello Felipepat,

Tudo Bem?

I am happy you enjoyed my thread and I hope it will help you.

Are you planning to do any work to the bottom of the engine while the head is off?

Um abraco,

Vin

1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
1987 Spider Quadrifoglio - Red on Grey - Rosa - Sold
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post #56 of 113 (permalink) Old 12-14-2013, 07:05 PM
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Hello Felipepat,

Tudo Bem?

I am happy you enjoyed my thread and I hope it will help you.

Are you planning to do any work to the bottom of the engine while the head is off?

Um abraco,

Vin
Vin,

hope it needs only a cleanup service, the engine ran very well
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post #57 of 113 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 06:51 AM
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sealant and block prep

Hi Vin,

I'm a complete novice and am half way through my head gasket replacement thanks to your post. I have some questions. I am having the head milled but how did you prepare the block? i used maroon scotch brite pads, Simple Green and brake cleaner to clean the block. The block isn't super shiny but i believe its clean. Is there anything else i should do?

Also, what sealant did you use with the new head, valve and intake manifold gaskets? I ordered IAP Reinz gasket set. They suggest no sealant for head gasket and optional for other gaskets.

Changing the motor mounts was a snap at this stage!

Thanks for the help.
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post #58 of 113 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Vin,

I'm a complete novice and am half way through my head gasket replacement thanks to your post. I have some questions. I am having the head milled but how did you prepare the block? i used maroon scotch brite pads, Simple Green and brake cleaner to clean the block. The block isn't super shiny but i believe its clean. Is there anything else i should do?

Also, what sealant did you use with the new head, valve and intake manifold gaskets? I ordered IAP Reinz gasket set. They suggest no sealant for head gasket and optional for other gaskets.

Changing the motor mounts was a snap at this stage!

Thanks for the help.
Hello,

What year are you working on? You should add that to your signature. The year makes a difference when it comes to sealant.

You are doing the same as I did for the block.

As for sealants, I get in a bit of trouble around here for my use of sealant.

I used Hondabond HT for this job, but the trick is to use a thin layer of sealant. As papajam always tells me, you should be able to see the colour of the gasket through the sealant.

One of the most important items for the headgasket not to leak is the o rings in the block. See post 13. They have to be there. I even bought some pins to keep them in place. But as long as you have the roll pins and o rings you should be good.

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Good luck,

Vin

1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
1987 Spider Quadrifoglio - Red on Grey - Rosa - Sold
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post #59 of 113 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 08:09 AM
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Gasket

It's a 91 spider veloce (White, Automatic).

So to be clear (again i'm a novice), did you put sealant on the head gasket?

For the other gaskets, does it mater which side you put the sealant on or do you put a thin layer on both sides?

I'm going out to check the o-rings and roll pins now (i assume they will come with the engine gasket set i ordered). touch of oil on the ring before I insert it?

Thanks for the help.
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post #60 of 113 (permalink) Old 03-30-2015, 08:11 AM
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Thanks

It's a 91 spider veloce (White, Automatic).

So to be clear (again i'm a novice), did you put sealant on the head gasket?

For the other gaskets, does it mater which side you put the sealant on or do you put a thin layer on both sides?

I'm going out to check the o-rings and roll pins now (i assume they will come with the engine gasket set i ordered). touch of oil on the ring before I insert it?

Thanks for the help.

1991 White Automatic Spider Veloce
1991 Black Manual Spider Veloce
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