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Old 09-04-2003, 23:36   #1 (permalink)
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EA 3.9 CFI head gasket or block

Well hears my story or is it a novel. I have a EA 3.9 CFI 89 Wagon I was loosing water but couldnt find where and thru this group found out it was probablely a head gasket.
Well dancing water temp gauge , didnt notice it was low on water untill I pulled into a servo for petrol and had trouble restarting checked water level and it was empty refilled and gauge went thru the roof to red hot.
Bought a reco head for $480 and new bolts and head gasket kit for $100
fitted the head and changed the oil and added water inhibitor.
Ran engine and it started smooth with a slight miss so new plugs and a set of new leads added another $70 to the bill.
After a half hour running and still missing found water in the sump oil.
AHHHH just been told it looks like its cracked a bore so now i need a new block and its cheaper to get a full rebuilt engine for $1800
If theres ever a next time I will definately get head and block presure tested and recomend this to others.
So in next week or so I might be selling a reco head only used for 1/2 hour and buy a complete reco engine and get a guarantee with it.
Hope noone else has this much fun i have had.
Wally ( dont be a wally with head water )
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Old 09-04-2003, 23:45   #2 (permalink)
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Re: EA 3.9 CFI head gasket or block

welcome to the forums to start with :)
sad to hear u had such bad luck with ya car.
atleast once the new ones in you can pretty much end up with a as new engine.
wonder how u'd go with installing MPFI at the same time as the new engine
might be worth the extra bit of hassle
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Old 09-05-2003, 00:21   #3 (permalink)
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Re: EA 3.9 CFI head gasket or block

Bad luck man.
Why is a block so expensive? It costs me roughly $700 in parts to recon a motor, assuming it needs no boring or crank balancing, and you seem to have an idea what you're doing - why not get a tired but still OK block from the wrecker and rering it?
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Old 09-05-2003, 03:16   #4 (permalink)
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Re: EA 3.9 CFI head gasket or block

$1800 for a full reco sounds cheap to me, on quotes ive had. $480 for a reco head is expensive, but $100 for head bolts and gaskets is cheap! go figure! anyway, maybe you can swing the head to the engine builder or get a bit of work done on it in the meantime to put it on the new donk.

once you get the new donk in youll hopefully have some better luck :)

Jase

ps: if you have $300-$400 spare, convert it to MPFI. definately worth it.
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Old 09-05-2003, 05:02   #5 (permalink)
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Re: EA 3.9 CFI head gasket or block

Dood, you need to go to the wrecked car auctions.

www.fowles.com.au
www.pickles.com.au

Went there just yesterday and in the wrecked section, an AU falcon with a busted front end and smashed roof, with a perfectly fine motor and gearbox went for $1000. Don't give a rip off merchant/local wrecker your hard earned dosh when you can pick up a complete car with a good motor for cheaper.
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Old 09-06-2003, 05:53   #6 (permalink)
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Re: EA 3.9 CFI head gasket or block

Hehe just don't make the mistake I did and try to splice the AU computer onto the EA loom - if you want SEFI, put the entire AU engine bay/dash loom in and then make it fit your instrument cluster....
Otherwise the AU motor is a bolt in job to run with the EA computer. Just remember to shave a mm off the front of the sump.
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Old 11-20-2003, 22:24   #7 (permalink)
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Re: EA 3.9 CFI head gasket or block

yeah i had the same symptoms in my mpfi but my head had corroded a hole through one of the water galleries into the oil tracks. Just found a reco head - tested and shaved off the rack for $125 :) stuff $400 - $500 as i was quoted from the guy that tested it... its amazing what you can do with the yellow pages!

Last edited by silicoon; 11-20-2003 at 22:28.
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Old 09-13-2005, 06:49   #8 (permalink)
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Re: EA 3.9 CFI head gasket or block

There is only one way that I know to stop the engine running outta water. Fit an electronic water level indicator. I recommend the Bell Electronics (Brisbane) as absolutely fail safe. When my radiator drops 20mm or so alarms and flashing lights go off. This is a must have. These come standard on Ghia and Fairmonts but not on the stock standard falcons. Only costs about $90 to $130.00. to fit yourself. Best engine insurance you can have.

Lets face it, there are so many ways on an engine to lose water....Radiator, lower or upper hoses, transmission fittings, water heater hose, welsch plugs, head gasket, thermostat gasket, the list goes on. I have had about 8 cars in my lifespan so far and almost every one of them I have lost water somewhere.

Incidently, who watches the temp gauge alllllthe time. It only takes a few minutes to boil an engine and anyone who says they watch the temp gauge all the time is a bloody fool or a liar. I would rather watch the road and listen for the alarms.

I am now looking into fitting a electronic water temp alarm and flashing lights.
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