Hi pros! Im thinking of overhauling my cylinder head, and probably inspect piston rings and bearings. Car is running good but I noticed more black soot on the tailpipe just this month. No smoke can be seen coming out though. No overheating also. No concern for labor cost coz im planning to do it myself (i'll practice and learn). Only concern is the cost of parts to be replaced. I dont want to wait for the engine to be so bad before I fix it. Can I use the old head gasket? What are the parts I need to replace immediately(even if it looks fine)? Im planning to keep the car for at least five more years or 150,000 miles.
First, if it is running good, I would let it go. The black soot you see usually indicates a rich fuel mixture or you make a lot of short trips.
As far as parts, none of the gaskets are reusable. In parts, I would estimate 500.00. As far as the head, if you plan to rebuild it, you require valve grinding equipment like a machine shop would have or engine repair (may have). Usually, that work is sent out.