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Old 01-31-2012, 03:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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First of all I own a 2005 impala with 128,xxx miles. I have posted several overheating threads. I am almost sure now that i have blown head gaskets, but i would like your fellow opinions. My car loses coolant really fast, no apparent leaks. Also when i take the radiator cap and rev the engine the coolant goes down as if there was suction then when i release the throttle the coolant comes up as if it were boiling and spills out.

From 1-10 how difficult is it to change the head gasket plus all the other gaskets that are near it. Im not too experienced but ive changed my water pump, thermostat, and radiator. Compared to those how much harder is it.


Last edited by kingnutin; 01-31-2012 at 04:41 PM..
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Old 01-31-2012, 04:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you want to know if indeed your head gaskets are blown, take off the water pump serpentine belt, then start the car. Open your rad cap and check if there is movement. If so, they are blown.

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Old 01-31-2012, 04:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Its probably not that much HARDER, but its going to be a lot more work. Stephen has a very nice write-up done on the whole procedure with pictures.

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Old 01-31-2012, 06:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you have some tools and a good place to work on it and plenty of time you should be able to do this yourself. It may take you a little longer but I think that taking some time and doing things right the first time is the only way to go. You will need a torque wrench that reads FT lbs as well as one that reads IN lbs. You can buy a cheap FT pound wrench for about 15 to 20 bucks. You can rent a IN pound wrench from autozone and when you are done with it you can take it back and you get all of your money back. I would recommend getting the haynes manual for 20 bucks. You will need some extensions for your sockets as well. Some of the torque settings are a little different on a 2005 than on my 2003 but most are the same and they are all in the book. I think the overall hardest thing and most time consuming was cleaning all of the old gasket material off and taking off the rear exhaust manifold cause you have to go at it from underneath the car. Let us know what you plan to do!

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Old 01-31-2012, 06:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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never reuse your old head bolts, get new ones,and timing belt,water pump to why u have it part, if the motor really over heated u could of warped the head,u could check it out with a good flat edge, change the oil /filter when all done before you even think of starting her up..in case any antifreeze got into the pan when taking it apart

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Old 01-31-2012, 06:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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If you have some tools and a good place to work on it and plenty of time you should be able to do this yourself. It may take you a little longer but I think that taking some time and doing things right the first time is the only way to go. You will need a torque wrench that reads FT lbs as well as one that reads IN lbs. You can buy a cheap FT pound wrench for about 15 to 20 bucks. You can rent a IN pound wrench from autozone and when you are done with it you can take it back and you get all of your money back. I would recommend getting the haynes manual for 20 bucks. You will need some extensions for your sockets as well. Some of the torque settings are a little different on a 2005 than on my 2003 but most are the same and they are all in the book. I think the overall hardest thing and most time consuming was cleaning all of the old gasket material off and taking off the rear exhaust manifold cause you have to go at it from underneath the car. Let us know what you plan to do!


If it aint much harder then i plan on working on it myself.. Where do i get the step by step instructions with pictures from.. And i do plan on buying the haynes repair manual.

From what ive described it does sound like the gaskets are gone right?

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never reuse your old head bolts, get new ones,and timing belt,water pump to why u have it part, if the motor really over heated u could of warped the head,u could check it out with a good flat edge, change the oil /filter when all done before you even think of starting her up..in case any antifreeze got into the pan when taking it apart
I plan on buying all the gaskets with new head bolts. You saying to change the timing belt and water pump to? How do I check if i warped the head?


Last edited by kingnutin; 02-02-2012 at 08:20 AM..
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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you gotta take the heads to a shop to get em checked. i think you can check em your self with a straight edge.

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Old 01-31-2012, 07:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I went ahead and changed everything while I had my engine apart. head gaskets, exhaust manifold gaskets, lower intake gaskets, thermostat, water pump, plugs, wires, valve cover gaskets, o rings on the injectors, plenum gaskets, etc etc. everything I could replace I went ahead and did it while I had it apart. You can check the block and the heads with a straight edge.

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Old 02-01-2012, 10:11 AM   #9 (permalink)
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There is NO TIMING BELT, don't worry about it.

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Old 02-01-2012, 02:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I went ahead and changed everything while I had my engine apart. head gaskets, exhaust manifold gaskets, lower intake gaskets, thermostat, water pump, plugs, wires, valve cover gaskets, o rings on the injectors, plenum gaskets, etc etc. everything I could replace I went ahead and did it while I had it apart. You can check the block and the heads with a straight edge.
I seen the diy you did, wow that looks like alot of work. How many days did it you to fiinish that. It looks like alot but i still plan on doin it myself. What should i pay the most attention so i dont mess it up.

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Old 02-01-2012, 02:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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if you follow his write up and bag and tag everything you should be good. lay everything out and make sure all surfaces are clean. and don't drop anything into the engine while its apart lol

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Old 02-01-2012, 02:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Some people say they can do this job in a day.
I took about 3 off and on but I took my time and taped up all of my electrical connections and labeled everything and placed everything in order so it would make the reinstall easier and quicker. Plus I wrote all of the steps down as I went along and took a bunch of pictures. I wasnt worried about doing it fast. I was worried about doing it right.
First thing you need to do is get a haynes manual.
On the fuel rail you do not need to disconnect the fuel rail from the fuel lines. You can move it to where your air box would normally be, just release the pressure first. Buy or rent the Torque wrenches. Store your rocker arms and pushrods like I did on that shoebox because the pushrods need to go back into the right spot. Once you get the lower intake off I would recommend covering up the valley so nothing gets down into the engine. When you get the heads off I would recommend sticking paper towels into the cylinders to keep debris from falling down in there. Pretty much plug any hole where shit can fall in. Make sure every gasket mating surface is clean and clear of any and all of the old gasket material. I cannot express this enough when it comes to the heads and the engine block.
Get a can or two of either PB Blaster or State Pen penetrating oil or some kind of penetrating oil. I used both together and individually. Use them on stuck bolts and on all of the exhaust bolts/studs. Spray them and let it sit. Doing this will help prevent breaking the exhaust studs on your heads and help the nuts break loose.
Use all new parts and gaskets. New head bolts, and clean everything good. Hell, if you have the time, get you some 500 degree paint and paint some stuff.

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Last edited by Stephen; 02-01-2012 at 03:42 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-01-2012, 03:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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you da man Stephen

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Old 02-01-2012, 04:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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A few more things:
A list of parts I replaced and recommend replacing;

Plenum gaskets - Lower Intake gaskets - Valve Cover gaskets - Head Gaskets - Spark Plug wires - Spark Plugs - Thermostat - water pump - Upper Fuel Injector O-rings - Head Bolts - Antifreeze - Oil and Filter - Lower Intake Bolts - Exhaust manifold gaskets - serpentine belt

This is mainly a list of parts I replaced as most of my parts were still the factory parts.
I think you mentioned you just put a new water pump and thermostat in so you can bypass them if you wish. If the fuel injectors stay in the intake when you get the fuel rail off then just leave them in the intake and replace the upper o rings. If they come out with the fuel rail then replace both upper and lower o rings. Lightly coat them with some oil when you put the fuel rail back on. I reused my original lower intake bolts but if you can get some then I would go ahead and get them.
Check everything and replace what you can.
Keep all of the nuts and bolts with the part you take off.
I used a roll of blue painters tape and just taped the nuts/bolts/washers/etc.. to the part.

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Old 02-01-2012, 08:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
A few more things:
A list of parts I replaced and recommend replacing;

Plenum gaskets - Lower Intake gaskets - Valve Cover gaskets - Head Gaskets - Spark Plug wires - Spark Plugs - Thermostat - water pump - Upper Fuel Injector O-rings - Head Bolts - Antifreeze - Oil and Filter - Lower Intake Bolts - Exhaust manifold gaskets - serpentine belt

This is mainly a list of parts I replaced as most of my parts were still the factory parts.
I think you mentioned you just put a new water pump and thermostat in so you can bypass them if you wish. If the fuel injectors stay in the intake when you get the fuel rail off then just leave them in the intake and replace the upper o rings. If they come out with the fuel rail then replace both upper and lower o rings. Lightly coat them with some oil when you put the fuel rail back on. I reused my original lower intake bolts but if you can get some then I would go ahead and get them.
Check everything and replace what you can.
Keep all of the nuts and bolts with the part you take off.
I used a roll of blue painters tape and just taped the nuts/bolts/washers/etc.. to the part.


You been nothing but helpful stephen i appreciate it. I will most likely start this project in a week or so. Yea i replaced my radiator, water pump, thermostat, spark plugs n wires, less than a year ago. The only thing that bothers me is not remembering how everything goes back lol....but i will label everything to make it easy, good thing i have a good memory on how things go. Do i need to drain the engine oil and the coolant out before hand.

Also what parts can i paint.


Last edited by kingnutin; 02-02-2012 at 08:23 AM..
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