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Hi,

I am a reasonably,emphasis on the reasonably!, proficient at car diy but by no means expert. I can follow instructions exactly and I want to have a go at replacing the head gasket. I know some members have already done this and I would be grateful for examples of those problems that arose that were no doubt glossed over or not mentioned at all in the Haynes manual. Where and what were the difficult points in the dismantling and reassembly that I should be aware of. Is the removal of the exhaust manifold as bad as it looks? In other words how can I balls it up IF I am not careful. I'm on 3 weeks leave at Christmas so I was intending to tackle it then. I wonder if that's enough time...?

Thanks.


Colin
 

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go for it!.i turned mine around in a weekend.i dont really remember having any trouble with it.i just followed the book.you might need a hand lifting off and on with the head though.goo luck
simon
 

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I haven't read the Haynes on this procedure, but when I did a head gasket on another car the main thing that was pointed out to me by those that know is the need to work cleanly, and not to get any crud into the bores. The gasket faces need to be spotless too.

Oh, and watch out for things that need be undone in a specific order! As an amateur, I was aware that things had to be tightened up in a specific order, but I didn't know about loosening in order too
 

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I have not done a 9000 head gasket but have done other cars. The only one I had to do twice was a 1.3 Vauxhall Astra. One of the head locating dowels had come out slightly from the engine block and prevented the head from fully seating causing antifreeze to leak - I found the cause on the second go requiring a new gasket, head bolts (stretch type), oil and water changes. Now I check the head sits flat on the block without the gasket in place using feeler gauges before final installation.
 

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I've done 3 9000 head gaskets, two 2.0L turbos and one 2.0i. The one without the turbo was much easier due to far less plumbing. The job is easy enough if you take your time. Most awkward bit is undoing the nuts on the inlet manifold. I recommend a 1/4 drive socket set with lots of wobbly bits but you'll stil get skinned knuckles. If possible don't remove the exhaust manifold, the studs have a bad habit of shearing. Just unbolt the turbo and leave the manifold attached to the head.
 

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Derek just beat me to it! Quite right, you don't need to remove the exhaust manifold, just unbolt it at the downpipe. It makes life a lot easier.

Have a look at the Townsend site, too. It fills in a lot of the bits that Haynes skips over.
 

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hi
what is the reason 4 doing the head gaskit?
if the car is overheating or mixing oil with water it maybe worth getting the head skimmed or at the worst a presure test too just to be safe and if you do remove the manifold from the head and bolts do snap thay cost about £10 to drill and helecoil...........
 

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When you get the head off, you may find the block is pitted slightly - there is a Saab bulletin about this which recommends using JB Weld on it.

I did my head gasket two years ago and I used JB Weld on the pitting on the head itself ( 2 days before Xmas, no time to get it skimmed). I've had no subsequent problems.
 
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