Originally Posted by J__Peter
Tell me guys, am I immune?? from this dreaded head gasket problem.
Looking at a 1998 EL Ghia, with 34,000 km. Well should I be worried, full service history, stunning condition, it hasn't been driven by a lunatic and will get tlc from me with nothing to spare - no short cuts here, all to the book to say. I mean I won't buy, if this (gasket fault) is a random thing. I'd much rather my other choice av X300 Daimler Six - ok, a top line Jaguar - (1996 or 97) if its to be this way (prices here for Daimler are not much more than a excellent EL Ghia, something to think about).
Head gaskets are common - usually around 150,000 to 250,000. It is usually a result of poor maintenance of the cooling system (overheating an engine with an iron block and alloy head will always lead to trouble) . If you dont cook the engine, use quality coolant, replace leaking hoses etc you will get a lot of life out of the car.
When people have repeat head gasket problems, it is usally because the last gasket wasn't properly installed. Mating surfaces have to be CLEAN and FLAT, and head bolts must be done up to the specified torque settings. New head bolds should be used as they are TTY bolts and are made to stretch when they are first installed.
They are not a big deal to replace, if you own a torque wrench you can do it yourself.