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Discussion Starter #1
how difficult is it to change a head gasket in an alfa romeo 164l?
how long does it take?
what are the proper directions?
should i just get it fixed by a mechanic?
 

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If you have a V6 engine there are two head gaskets. Why do you think you need head gasket(s) and if just one which one?
 

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I guess if you have to ask such a non-specific question about the head gasket job, then you probably need a mechanic. If you were asking questions that showed that you knew something about doing a head gasket job, I might give a different answer. What do we have to go on, to know what your experience and/or skills are? I mean, if your serious, you would pop the hood and take a look at what you need to do to remove both heads, anything not obvious would lead to a specific question. eg: Is the rear head hard to remove with the engine still in the engine bay? Answer: Yes, you have to roll the engine to the front of the car you get the rear head off. Come up with a better set of questions and answers will be forthcoming. Not trying to give you a hard time, just how things work on a tech forum like this.
Charles
 

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What is your experience level working on your 164? What are the symptoms? Need more info!

Hey Chaz, how do you like your xc70? I love mine!
 

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A bit of a thread hijack here on the XC70. I always feel like the idiot who bought an AWD and never needs it in the South... ;) NOT TODAY! :D 6 inches + snow and it is awesome driving the XC70! Really the first time driving it in deep snow and it really does the job. No trouble going up the step hill that is our road. We really do like the car even in the summer, it has a very comfy ride and plenty of passing power. Some 164 in the snow pics to show you what we got today. ;)
Charles
 

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So the brick is blocked in?

Snow here this time was a non-event on Saturday. It snowed sideways like we were having a blizzard for about 15 minutes and just whited up the lawns and tops of cars and then the sun came back and took it away.

As for my white 164B I drove it hard today bouncing off the rev limiter in 1 and 2 a couple times. Sure felt good to be driving a 5-speed again.

Some mayo under oil filler cap though. Need to drive it for 50 plus miles I guess to see if it will clear up.

Coolant level seems to be where it was the other day.
 

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Many times the initial cause of mousse is because the PO or original mechanic never got around to retorquing the rear (toward the firewall) head after doing the front head, it being more of a struggle to get to under the intake collector box. When I checked the 91S at 100k miles a few years ago because of a little mousse showing up, the front head was generally at about an average 65-70 lb-ft remaining torque, while the rear was an average of 55-60. I suspect the front head had been retorqued before I had bought the car at 40k miles, but rear head had not. Took both heads to 80-85, no more mousse now for 55k miles.

I firmly believe that the 91-93 (I don't know about the 94-95, they being a little different) v-6 engine heads should be retorqued at least every 70k miles or so for best gasket results.

With an undertorqued head gasket and/or bad o-rings and cold engine start, the oil can leak everywhere, in and out when the engine is running, the leaks slowing or stopping when the engine reaches the proper higher temperatures (one good reason to avoid running a colder thermostat and engine, engine should be normal 195-210F IMO). Same for the coolant, and then when the engine is shut off but still with hot pressurized coolant, the coolant can continue seeping because of that residual pressure, which will slowly go away as the engine/coolant cools back to ambient.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ok look i know enough about cars to know how to do head gasket job. its a v6 3.0. the car is losing a little bit of antifreeze every time the alfa is driving (10 miles) i can see a little fluid on the block itself not sure what it is yet (cant get far enough down) all i wanted to know is how long it took. as for my (skill) for working on alfas i dont have much. is that enough info?
 

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From Alfa flat labor rate manual:

Operation 0110 200 R&R 164 12v V6 heads time 7.20 hours (way low time estimate for doing both heads)
Operation 0120 102 R&R front 164 head time 5.80 hours
Operation 0130 102 R&R rear 164 head time 6.50 hours

Even having the proper tools and having done it a couple times I doubt I could even come close to these times.
 

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Try retorquing the heads first before tearing onto them. Could save yourself a great deal of time, as it did for me. Worth the effort anyway, since there may be nothing wrong except low torque values allowing seepage.
 

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It may sound extreme, but I would pull the engine to do the head gaskets and do whatever else needed doing while it's out such as replace steering rack, shift bushings, rebuild starter, motor mounts, etc. Like Del, says though, do a retorque first and see what happens. That's only about a 3 hour job or so and see what happens. Do a valve adjustment while at it. Likely the exhaust valves will need adjusting.
Charles
 

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It would be nice to have more information on the engine/car, such as mileage and year. That might determine whether or not you should take the extra time to do things such as resetting valves, which at this point in time, you might not be prepared to do.

Lol, Charles (ChazzyD) is correct, that you might do some extra things while you are accessing the heads (he loves to work on engines); however, I suggest just doing the retorque at this time. Don't get too involved. A valve adjustment is not critical at this time I spect.
 

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If the valve adjustment job scares you than... maybe the head gasket job is not a good idea to even think about. IMHO. ;) That's going to take an addition 20min tops while doing the retorque.
Charles
 

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I agree, if you do need to replace a gasket, pull the engine and do al you said, plus it's a great time to do a timing belt.
Oh and to the OP, hi fellow Alfa/Volvo owner!


Regards, Andrew.


It may sound extreme, but I would pull the engine to do the head gaskets and do whatever else needed doing while it's out such as replace steering rack, shift bushings, rebuild starter, motor mounts, etc. Like Del, says though, do a retorque first and see what happens. That's only about a 3 hour job or so and see what happens. Do a valve adjustment while at it. Likely the exhaust valves will need adjusting.
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks all i will try the retorque on the heads, how bad can the heads loosen? I have antifreeze dripping out of the exhaust when running can it be as simple as a loose head? and the car is a 1991 alfa 164L with a 5 speed and it has 130,000 miles.
 

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Thanks all i will try the retorque on the heads, how bad can the heads loosen? I have antifreeze dripping out of the exhaust when running can it be as simple as a loose head? and the car is a 1991 alfa 164L with a 5 speed and it has 130,000 miles.
Are you sure you have antifreeze in tail pipe and not just condensation? Does tail pipe continue to have steam even after engine warmed up?

Did somebody recently do a head job on engine if so retorque of heads may help?
 

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At 130k miles, the engine is clearly ready for a retorque regardless if anything else might be wrong. As I mentioned before, my 91S, at 100k miles, had low head torques spanning 55-70 lb-ft, clearly inadequate, with some mousse showing.
 

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Andrew- I'm digging that 90! ;)
Charles
 

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Discussion Starter #20
yes, im sure and i dont know if it continues after it warms up because it wont run long enough. once i start it the car will run rough for like 5 minutes then stalls and when i try to start it up again all it does is crank. About 5 hours later i can start it and then it happens again dies in 5 min
 
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