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Old 02-20-2012, 09:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Blown head gasket

05 Impala 3.4 146,000 miles, had the intakes replaced at 105,000. I was driving to visit my grandpa, about 2.5 hours away from home and all the sudden strong antifreeze smell in the cabin, what the f***, tell the wife to pull over and while pulling over car begins to overheat so I have her kill the engine. I get out and look underneath and antifreeze is pouring out the rear of the engine, couldn't get a real good look from the side of the highway. Look in the overflow tank and its full of foamy bubbles.. After about 10 minutes I have her start the car, white smoke and dexcool pouring out the tailpipe. Called for a tow to the nearest auto repair I can find. Upon arriving I tell the mechanic what happened, and we looked over the engine, intakes were good, oil was still clean. He could tell that I took care of my car which I have. Just got a call this morning, it's the head gasket.. $1500 to fix it.

Why would the head gasket just go all of the sudden? I've not lost any coolant, absolutely no warning signs of a problem. I just changed the oil about a month ago and looked at all the gaskets and saw no leaks, everything was clean as a whistle.. WTF!! I hate this car.

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's really hard to say why, sometimes s**t just happens. If you have tools and some mechanical inclination you can do it yourself for much cheaper. Stephen has a very nice write up with lots of pics on the procedure.

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Old 02-20-2012, 11:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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heres the walkthrough jshow, any questions just ask!

http://www.impalaforums.com/diy-do-i...s-3400sfi.html

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Old 02-20-2012, 01:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sometimes shit happens. I attribute it to the cheap gaskets they used from the factory. I did all of my gaskets and everything for less that 300 bucks. IF you have it fixed by a shop, make sure they use good quality gaskets.

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Old 02-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would have done the work myself since I tackled the intakes already and have a nice set of tools, but my tow bill back home was going to be $500, so I figured d I'd let a mechanic take do the work..

Drove 2 hours last night to pick up my car from the shop, my heads were plained at the machine shop saved some $$ since they were not cracked. I'm now $1500 dollars poorer. I smelled antifreeze on the way home, thought it was just left over from him bleeding the system since she was running fine with no check engine light. Drove her today and realized that I am in fact leaking a bit of antifreeze, turns out that $1500 dollars didnt include new clamps and the coolant bypass behind my water pump was seeping.. Replaced that hose and now I think it's leak free..

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Old 02-23-2012, 04:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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nice!! just monitor the coolant levels and watch for leaks!

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Old 02-24-2012, 01:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds good, except for the price, could have saved half that doing it yourself, tow included.

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1978 Caprice Classic Landau
350 2-bolt, stock 4bbl
Stock rebuilt TH350
Edelbrock performer cam + intake
Dual 2 1/2" Flowmaster exhuast (waiting to be installed)
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4 wheel disc brakes!
16x8 American Racing Baja's with 225/60/16 Pirelli P4's

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Old 07-13-2012, 06:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the post. I think I will be needing it in the near future. My ck engine light was on with a code about number 3 cylinder, the other day my son was driving it and it over heated. I really don't know what to do since I like the car and prior to this it ran nice and smooth. I had a feling this would happen since the light went on. Last time I did this type of work on a car I was a lot yonger and cars seemed a lot simpler...

so pissed right now

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Old 07-13-2012, 03:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Putting on new head gaskets is fairly simple on these cars, especially the 3400's.
It is, however, a bit time consuming.
Just take your time and and get everything clean, especially the heads and block.
Follow the steps either from my DIY post or by using a haynes manual.
You will save a lot of money.

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Old 07-14-2012, 08:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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this walk through also has alot of info also, its basically the same thing just in a different car, i used stephens and this one

How to: LIM and Head Gasket Change Walkthrough/FAQ - Grand Am Owners Club Forums

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Old 07-14-2012, 12:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Stephan

Can't thank you enough man. Last time I did something like this was my old small block chevy about 30 years ago. After studying your pictures and reading your walk through steps I figured...WTH. The mechanic wanted 1700-2000 to do it with new heads (I wasn't going to take a chance) I priced out new heads, gasket kit, oil, filter, thermostat, hoses, anti-freeze and it came to a little over 500 so I figured worse I can do it screw it up and then I'll sell it as is...lol. Well 8 hours later after all your help I have everything disassembled, labeled and cleaned. The part about ratcheting the block forward to assist with getting the maifold bolts off in the back was key, thanks.

Now the new heads should be here for next weekend and I'll let everyone know how it goes.

Again guys thanks for all the pictures, posts, tutorials, help and most of all confidence. Thanks

Sab

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Old 07-14-2012, 01:40 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Glad your getting it taken care of.
Just make sure all the old gasket material is cleaned off and follow the torque specs and sequences when assembling.
If you have not already done so, now would be a good time to do your spark plugs.
A little paint on a few parts wont hurt either.
Good luck.
If you have any questions feel free to ask.

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Old 07-14-2012, 04:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I found a place online called cylinder heads international that has the heads for $150 each...anyone have any experience with this place ? or can anyone recommend a good place. I checked out my local advance autoparts and they were like $260 each...any thoughts guys

thanks

Sab

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Old 07-20-2012, 05:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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gasket questions

noticed coolant leaking from the engine. my guess is it is the head gasket. I'm not an expert on cars. i was looking up prices for gaskets and seen individual gaskets and packs. my question is....is it necessary to change all gaskets along with the head gaskets? And what is a good brand for gaskets.

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Old 07-21-2012, 09:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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it is quite possible that you are leaking coolant due to a bad lower intake manifold gasket.
Try to find where the leak is coming from first off.
Any shop should be able to do a pressure check if you cannot locate the source of the leak yourself.
IF, it is your head gasket I recommend doing all of the gaskets and everything at that time.
Fel-Pro gaskets are the only gaskets i use and recommend.

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