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Old 04-11-2004, 01:21   #1 (permalink)
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EF/EL Head gasket... or not?

I recently got my EF fairmont back from a dynotune and was told by the mechanic he had found a small amount of moisture in cylinders 3 and 5. which indicates possible head gasket trouble. considering the head gasket was replaced at 200,000 (according to the last owner) i wouldn't think it was time for another one only 17000 down the track. i checked it out today and it is blowing a fair bit of steam out the back. If i put my hand to the exhaust at normal operating temperature my hand will get wet pretty quickly. and it's visible when i slap the accelerator to about 3500rpm.
I was told today by a good friend and an ex-ford mechanic that about 8 times out of 10 (on the EF/EL) it's not the head gasket at all but the bolts on pots 5 or 6, usually the exhaust side. these bolts become warped and loose their attachment from the head and end up just sitting there. but he said it was amazing how many times they could sting people for a new head gasket. He said it will take about 2 hours to completly remove the rocker cover change the bolts and put back together with a new rocker gasket. Costs them $4 a bolt retail and they charge $800

can anyone verify this? and suggest what i should do about it. I'm not too confident on pulling bits off my engine and tinkering around. how much would it cost for a mechanic... to "only" change the bolts over, or would they try to sting me for that too?

cheers!

Steve
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Old 04-11-2004, 01:28   #2 (permalink)
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Re: EF/EL Head gasket... or not?

bolts are $2.14 each at repco, tell a mechanic what you just said, and once he sees you know what your talking about he may charge you alot less, i change my head gasket and it cost me $190, mates rates, hehe. get your ex ford mate to check it out, its well worth trying to change the bolts and seeing if it fixes your problem instead of changing the whole gasket. although i beleive its recomended you change all 14 of the bolts, not just the ones which you think are damaged.
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Old 04-11-2004, 01:33   #3 (permalink)
 
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Re: EF/EL Head gasket... or not?

Well once the gasket has been put on and bolts installed, once the bolts are loosened, immediately the gasket is void.
And you cannt reuse headbolts.
So if you take one bolt out, its recommended to replace all 14 of them, and the gasket.
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Old 04-11-2004, 01:37   #4 (permalink)
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Re: EF/EL Head gasket... or not?

BOSXR8 thanks for the quick reply. Yeh i was going to get them all done at the same time. I'd hate to have the 2 replaced then 3 months down the track having the replace another few.

Cheers!
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Old 04-12-2004, 09:10   #5 (permalink)
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Re: EF/EL Head gasket... or not?

You'll need to do the gasket by the sound of it.
Bolts cannot be replaced individually, nor can they be reused, which is probably what your mechanic did if he thinks you can replace individual bolts. A set of bolts cost me $35 from Veales, and a head gasket about $70. So I can't see $800 at all! That's like $700 labour, no bloody way. Try somebody else. But you can DIY very easily, you know. The bolt torques and the tensioning sequence come on the packet of the head gasket, and all you need is a torque wrench and a few sockets.
While the head's off, check the block and head mating surfaces. These can warp and are the usual cause of gaskets blowing constantly. A steel ruler is fine if you do go the DIY route.

But $700 for labour is ridiculous, it's not a 14 hour job :/ More like 2 or 3.
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