Mechanics

HEAD

1993 Pontiac Grand Am • 100 miles

I have water in my oil. It is a milky color and when I start the car it blows white smoke out of the tail pipe. I think it is a blown head gasket. If so do I have to take out the hole motor to replace the head gasket or can this been done with it in the car? Please help and send repair instructions. Thanks.
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Chris6911
October 8, 2013.



Head gaskets are done in the car, but GM is famous for making cars that go together quickly on the assembly line. There's little thought toward future service. That is especially true if you have a V-6 engine.

You'll want to take the head to an engine machine shop to have it checked for flatness and cracks. Cracks are pretty rare but if the head is warped it will need to be machined. On engines with the camshaft in the head, those warped heads have to be heated and straightened. Machining the sealing surface will leave the camshaft journals out of alignment. It's less expensive in that case to just buy a remanufactured head.

Caradiodoc
Oct 8, 2013.
I understand that, My next question to you is this, do I have to take the timing cover and the vibration pulley off to get to the head. I do have the power steering pump off. If at all possible can you send me a diagram of the head block.

Tiny
Chris6911
Oct 8, 2013.
I'd love to send a diagram but I've never been able to get into the Mitchell site. Something on my computer is blocking it. If you plan on keeping the car a while and doing your own work, by far the best resource is the manufacturer's service manual. You can find them on eBay. I bought a lot of manuals from "lorieandjeff". I think their new name is "blackhatauctions". Just type in your car year and model in the search box.

Which engine do you have?

Caradiodoc
Oct 9, 2013.
Thanks, and I have a 2.3 q 4 overhrad

Tiny
Chris6911
Oct 9, 2013.
There's two versions of that engine. Do you know if you have the single camshaft engine or dual cam engine? Does the camshaft sit on the top of the head right under the valve cover?

Caradiodoc
Oct 10, 2013.