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Replacing a head gasket

Joined
18 March 2005
Messages
10
So the dealer tells me I have a blown head gasket. I have no reason to doubt them but I don't want to pay the estimated $6000! How hard is this to do? More specifically, do I need to pull the engine to do it? or can I do it with the engine in the car. I do have the service manual and I can turn a wrench. Car is a '97 T.

Thoughts? Suggestions?
 
Gringoqueto said:
So the dealer tells me I have a blown head gasket. I have no reason to doubt them but I don't want to pay the estimated $6000! How hard is this to do? More specifically, do I need to pull the engine to do it? or can I do it with the engine in the car. I do have the service manual and I can turn a wrench. Car is a '97 T.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

Man that seems high...what exactly is going on with the car? Maybe another quote and opinon. Someone else here on Prime I think had that done and I swear they paid $1500 from the Acura Dealership.
 
Yeah, I have already made a few phone calls and it does seem to higher than necessary. Mark Basch said he could do it and probably a lot cheaper even havign to ship my car to him from LA. Same with Nick in San Diego. Even Ron Tonkin Acura in Portland thinks they can do it far cheaper (shipping included). Plug for Ron Tonkin - they have always bent over backwards for me and I didn't even buy my car from them!

General consenus, so far, is that I could probably pull the heads without pulling the engine, but it is far easier to do the head work with engine out. And I certainly don't have the means to drop the engine.

So, I guess I'll have to have someone else do it - hopefully for a lot less than $6000!
 
replacing a headgasket is an expensive task.

If you have a service manual and some mechanically inclined buddies, it can be pulled off. Just be sure to get some tips from someone who has pulled the NSX head themselves.
 
It is a _big_ job, you gotta R&R the following:
1. Intake
2. Headers/exhaust manifolds
3. Coolant+hoses
4. Timing belt

Along with backbreaking joy of detaling your engine.

Personally, I would probably drop the engine (involves dropping the subframe, axles and harness).

Here are some nice photos and a description:
DanoLand DIY's
 
Why do you think the head gasket has to be replaced?

Pretty rare for this to be required, unless you are running boost or overheated the engine.

Drew
 
Fair question. I don't really know that the head gasket needs replacing. That is what the dealer told me. They did a leakdown test and discovered exhaust gases in the coolant. Other symptoms include fouled plugs, loss of coolant and serious misfires (which is why I took it in to the dealer in the first place). Another dealer suggests that the leak down test is not necessarily conclusive.
 
Good enough.

Somebody needs to "read" the gaskets to make sure that is the problem. If the gaskets show good seal: I would have the heads disassembled and magnafluxed.

Is there a pair of pistons that are fouled? That would be a good indicator that the gasket (only) is bad.

Get it fixed though...the coolant can be corrosive on AL parts....causing you to have to mill down the block or heads (either expensive or impossible on the NSX...dunno.)

Drew
 
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