CAN'T TAKE HEADS IN FOR INSPECTION!!!! HELP!

  • Tiny
  • Norcal
  • 2001 Chevrolet Malibu
  • 160,000 miles

Ok so I'm at the halfway point of a head gasket replacement on this car. As much as I have STRESSED the fact that the heads NEED to be taken in for inspection, the lady I'm doing this for is just flat broke. I already had to loan her money to get the gasket kit. Problem is the car has to leave my driveway within 72 hours and she doesn't get paid for 2 weeks. I visually inspected the heads for cracks and cleaned them with a grinder/aluminum head attachment as evenly as possible. I used a straight edge metal ruler to check for any major warping and all seems fine however I can't heat the thing up to really see nor do I have any micro-measuring tools. I'm using Felpro gaskets and my thought was to use a copper gasket sealant to help with any minute problems however I believe you're not supposed to use anything on these gaskets. Is there anything else I can do besides cross my fingers to help ensure a successful replacement?

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Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 AT 10:23 PM

6 Replies

  • Tiny
  • hmac300
  • Expert
  • 43,570 posts

Nor cal I inspected heads as well as engines for many years at GM. If you take a.010" shim on each end of h ead and use a feeler gauge as long as you are within.003" you should be ok. If you get a.009' feeler in that would be +.001" if you get a.011' feeler in that would be-.001" and so on. Measure it on both edges and in center then do it accross like from inside to outside. It should take you about 30 minutes to do both heads.

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Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 AT 10:34 PM
  • Tiny
  • rasmataz
  • Member

-You don't use anything on the headgasket for additional sealant-Bring it to a machine have them checked out the head if you're not sure about your work-

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Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 AT 10:35 PM
  • Tiny
  • Norcal
  • Member

Hey thank you I'll give that a try. I'm just being cautious. Don't want all this work to be in vain lol.

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Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 AT 10:41 PM
  • Tiny
  • ASEMaster6371
  • Expert
  • 25,556 posts

Why are you replacing the head gaskets? Did it overheat? Was either gasket broken?

Roy

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Thursday, August 16th, 2012 AT 3:16 AM
  • Tiny
  • Norcal
  • Member

Yeah the head gasket blew from overheating. However I just came across another problem that's going to require new heads. When I took out one of the rocker arm bolts I noticed metallic stuff in the threads of the bolt. I thought maybe it was thread sealant of some type and forgot about it. Now as I started reinstalling the rocker arms, the bolt would even begin to tighten. Come to find out. It was the threads themselves from the head. So. Where do I find the best price on new heads for this car. Do I go to a pick 'n pull? This is turning into a nightmare.

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Thursday, August 16th, 2012 AT 10:58 PM
  • Tiny
  • hmac300
  • Expert
  • 43,570 posts

Look around your local area for heads for best price. You can always usea heli col if the rocker doesn't require to much torque.

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Thursday, August 16th, 2012 AT 11:07 PM

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