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Head gasket kit which one to buy?

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posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 02:43 PM
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I need to replace head gaskets on my daughters 1998 s-10 Blazer 4.3L vortech 6 cylinder.

I`m going to replace the lower intake manifold gasket also since they are known to fail and leak.

it`s a big job so I want to buy a good quality gasket kit that will last because I don`t want to have to do this again.

Obviously I`m not going to even consider buying an AC Delco gasket kit since that`s what is on there now and they failed at only 135,000 miles

I`ve heard good things about Fel-pro for the intake gasket so I`m thinking of going with them for all the gaskets.

any suggestions are appreciated.




edit on 25-1-2017 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 02:47 PM
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I have had good luck with Fel-pro in the past. I usually get gaskets from local auto parts stores and most of them used to stock Fel-pro.



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 03:07 PM
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Fel-Pro is the standard,it all I use in my shops



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 03:11 PM
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I`ve heard that victor reinz is good too but I think they are mostly for non American made cars so I don`t know how well they would work.



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 03:31 PM
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a reply to: Tardacus

+1 on the Fel-Pro that's what I use...



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 04:03 PM
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Fel-pro is what popped into my mind first. It has been awhile since I have undertaken a head removal but pretty sure you would take the intake off first... maybe not.

But if I remember right, back in the day a small block Chevy recommended some liquid silicone type sealer on the intake front and back... I think there was a 4 piece gasket.

You tube it up and get the good stuff.



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: Tardacus

I work part time at an auto parts store. Fel-pro is the best we have.



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 04:41 PM
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Small block V8, where the heads and block meeta reply to: tinner07




posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 04:41 PM
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i would get a fel pro head set. that way you get the head gasket, intake manifold gasket, and valve cover gaskets in one kit. i would re use the push rods as long as you make note of where each went. i would use new head bolts as well. dont have to but its what i do



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 05:51 PM
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Felpro R.A.C.E. kit. And get the metal 90° elbows for your water pump if it's similar to the gm 3.8 setup. The only rings fail, then the elbows fail. Most importantly is the fact your motor uses the spider fuel rail. They are garbage and the poppet valves fail.
It's a nightmare design. If you see a "washed clean" side of your intake, change them! And clean the EGR pine hole in the intake.



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 05:56 PM
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a reply to: TinySickTears

if it`s at all possible to leave the push rods and distributor in place without removing them that`s what I`ll do,but if they have to come out I`ll remember to mark everything.
I seem to remember that the exhaust manifold bolts always want to break off,that`s the part of the job I`m dreading the most.


edit on 25-1-2017 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 05:59 PM
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a reply to: Natas0114

I think it has throttle body fuel injection so maybe it has no fuel rails.

it has had white smoke (steam) coming out of the tailpipe since I bought it 2 months ago and I had to replace the catalytic converter and muffler because the insides of them had rusted out and were rattling around. I was pretty sure it had a head gasket leak then but I figured I`ll keep driving it until the head gasket completely goes out,well that happened yesterday.
it sprung a big leak at the back of the engine by the firewall on the passenger side. I can`t see back there but there`s a lot more white smoke (steam) coming out of the tailpipe and it`s leaking fast from somewhere on the back of the passenger side engine.


edit on 25-1-2017 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)

edit on 25-1-2017 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 06:09 PM
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a reply to: Alien Abduct

I`ll get the fel-pro,the local auto part store should have a set in stock for this engine, I don`t like buying on the internet and having to wait too long to get the parts.



posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: Tardacus

If the head gasket is gone, your losing compression. Buy a cheap compression tester from harbor freight and chevk. Dunk your threads in oil to ensure good seal.. and the throttle body meters air, not fuel.
When you take your upper plenum off the lower intake, you will see the spider. If no spider, it's cpi. Central port Injection. Looks like a carb with 2 injectors. I've been through quite a few 4.3. Some vortech some not. If you need some specs, ju st ask, I have the manuals. Also. Get a real torque wrench, don't buy cheap. If you do. You're wasting your time, and money.
Forgot to say, orient your gaskets correctly. There's an upside and down side.
edit on 1252017 by Natas0114 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 03:46 AM
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a reply to: Natas0114

why bother running a compression test when he sees white smoke?
white smoke is antifreeze going through the system. it exits the tail pipe as white smoke.
thats also what ruined the converter.


to the OP.
the head gasket replacement is not crazy hard but it is a good deal of work. take your time. you will be fine.
another thing to remember and this is huge is there is a torque sequence to the head bolts. the bolts have to be tightened in stages in a specific pattern.



posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 11:31 AM
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a reply to: TinySickTears

I`ll find the torque sequence and the torque specs on the internet.

I did a head gasket on an inline 4 cylinder Nissan about 30 years ago that was very easy, I expect this will be the same in theory and practice only with a lot more stuff to remove to get the heads off and it`s a V-6 so 2 head gaskets instead of one.

I`m going to get new head bolts but do I need to get new intake manifold bolts too?

correct, the outside of the cat and the muffler had no signs of rust but the insides of both of them were rattling around, they were rusting from the inside out.
I had to top the radiator off everyday with 3-4 cups of water,there was no water leaking on the ground so at that point I was pretty sure the head gasket was leaking. I was hoping it would last until the weather got warmer,to work on it.

I suspect the gasket failed between the cylinder and a water passage first and then from continuing to drive it the hot combustion gases finally destroyed the outside of the gasket which is causing the big leak from the back of the head.

when I bought it there was a lot of stop leak in the cooling system that had clogged up the heater core, I was able to flush the heater core out but I had to replace the radiator, water pump and hoses because there was so much hardened stop leak in them.


edit on 26-1-2017 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-1-2017 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 05:40 PM
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originally posted by: Tardacus


I`m going to get new head bolts but do I need to get new intake manifold bolts too?




no you dont. old ones will be fine.
you need to clean the surface of the block and the heads very well. i used to take heads to the machine shop to get them shaved. nice clean, even mating surface for the block.

inspect the block really well for cracks. it is always possible that the block could be cracked since it was being run with a blown head gasket. not the most common thing but it happens.

and yeah...this will be a bit more work than the inline 4 banger but it is the same principle.



posted on Jan, 26 2017 @ 07:11 PM
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a reply to: TinySickTears

I got it in the garage and started taking it apart today and I can already see that the intake gasket is wrecked without even having the intake off yet.
there`s globs of sticky brown stop leak at spots along the edge of the manifold, in some spots I can`t see the edge of the gasket there are gaps, I slide a thin screwdriver between the manifold and the head where there was a gap where the gasket is suppose to be.

If the gasket is as bad as I think it is I`m going to just replace the intake gasket and put it back together and see if that solves the problem.
my neighbor came by to help (apparently watching me work, smoking my cigarettes and talking is his idea of helping) he said a leaking intake gasket could be letting water to get sucked into the cylinders and that could be what`s causing the white smoke ( steam) that`s coming out of the tailpipe.


edit on 26-1-2017 by Tardacus because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: Tardacus

possible. worth trying. an intake gasket does not cost much.
bust it out and then run a compression test. that would be the way to do it.
not good to diagnose just off of a leak or smoke.

replace the intake then run a compression test. if you have good compression then youre all fixed. if you dont have good compression then take it back apart and do the head gasket.

if there was really that much liquid in the cat i would lean towards the head gasket being blown but its not for sure.

i hate when people use that stop leak # in their cooling system. never been a fan of it.

you dont need an expensive compression tester either. harbor freight or autozone probably has one for 20 bucks.



posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 03:10 PM
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a reply to: TinySickTears

once I get the manifold off I will be able to have better access to see the back of the head with a mirror.

if I see any obvious problem with the head gasket or old water stains on the back of the head, I`ll go ahead and pull it.



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