Engine Head Gasket replacement

Discussion in 'Sound Off' started by Bear Buster, May 6, 2020.

  1. Bear Buster

    Bear Buster

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    Sorry but I suspect I am posting this in the wrong sub forum but I did not notice a "Campfire" sub forum for basic discussions.

    I have a 2004 Nissan Murano and it has been diagnosed with a head gasket leak. The shop manager that diagnosed it said that he tested for combustion gases in the coolant system and that is how he determined the head gasket leak. I am inclined to believe him. The car occasionally overheats and loses some coolant but no coolant leak has been detected.

    My question here has to do with the replacement of the head gasket. The shop that said it was leaking quoted what seemed to me to be a very high price so we have not done that yet. The car has 192,000 miles and the guy suggested putting in a used engine at an even higher price but we have not done that yet either. I am considering trying to do the head gasket replacement myself. I have done a fair amount of work on cars many years ago when they were simpler to work on so I am not sure how complicated this job would be. Does anyone here know if it would be necessary to drop the engine to do this job?

    Or does anyone know of a mechanic that does side jobs in the Niles, MI area that would charge a more reasonable fee to do the job? Thanks, Brian
     
  2. Rasher

    Rasher

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    Sounds like BS to me, thats a first for hearing that phrase. Here are 2 ways you can check it yourself. 1 put a pressure tester on it, if it wont hold pressure and you see NO leaks- its most likely leaking into your cylinders. 2. Start it and let it run, you WILL know if there are leaks outside the engine, if its going thru the cylinders it will start steaming out of the exaust, like one of those cars you see every so often going down the road that looks like a army smoke grenade.
     
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  3. wmmichael20

    wmmichael20

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    I know quite a few that check the same way you described and usually they are correct, if you want to check it just top off the radiator and start the vehicle,if there's bubbles constantly coming back up through your radiator then the gaskets bad and what it's doing is preasureising your coolant system and forcing it out through your overflow bottle and on to the ground, and prices will vary from shop to shop,I had it happen on a jeep v6 a year ago and the first place I went to wanted 3500 bucks min, and another wanted 1600 for everything new heads and all took them one day to fix once parts came in and he warrantys all his work. So I say shop around
     
  4. ESOX

    ESOX Staff Member Super Mod Mod

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    Worst case scenario, you get someone to do it for only 2grand, they get it all apart and then discover the head needs to be flattened. (Aluminum heads and overheating, not at all out of the question). So you either pay the machine shop, buy a used head, or you buy a new engine. To bolt up to a drive train with 192,000 miles on it. I'd just buy a different vehicle.
     
  5. 6Speed

    6Speed Premium Member

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    Someone needs a new ride...I'm betting the mechanic is right...
     
  6. boomer_x7

    boomer_x7

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  7. Gamekeeper

    Gamekeeper

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    It's really about no one wanting to do "heavy work" (read that as get dirty) anymore.

    They can pull the heads, make a determination, and you are no worse off, other than some shop time.

    Look for a Murano motor on line. But a used one.
    Now you know where you'll be if it's actually toast.

    I've had 4 Subaru 2.5's with bad head gaskets. Stole every one of them.
     
  8. Bear Buster

    Bear Buster

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    Thanks. I will look into seeing how complicated it is for me to do the work myself.
     
  9. FREEPOP

    FREEPOP

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    Many times the spark plug on the leaking cylinder will look brand spanking new because the coolant/water will remove all the carbon.

    As Esox eluded to, you may have a warped head too and should consider that it may need to be milled flat or replaced.

    Getting exhaust bolts out will not be fun.
     
  10. boomer_x7

    boomer_x7

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    It could also be the intake gasket and not the head gasket. A pressure would be my first move


    Sent from my iPhone using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
     
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  11. 22 Chuck

    22 Chuck

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    Had a GM diesel 5.7 converted engine in 81 wagon.
    Noted the radiator over flow FULL and much gas being exhausted thu the overflow container.

    Putting the fluid back into the radiator, letting engine cool then restarting resulted in the container filling w/in about 3-4 min.

    This was found to be blown head gasket which was a problem w/ those engines.
     
  12. big show

    big show

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    You can probably find a youtube video of the repair procedure.
     
  13. taizer

    taizer

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    generally if it loses alot of coolant that cylinder that the coolant leaks too will be very clean so check plugs for irregularity. you can do a leakdown test or a cooling system pressure test.
    always do the diagnoses yourself. unless you trust that mechanic
    a leaking head gasket will do many things. mix coolant and oil either in rad or engine oil. it can also pressurize the cooling system. it can overheat. it can lose coolant. this all depends on how bad the leak is.

    if its a v6 you can diagnose which head and just fix that side. generally wont warp unless it got very very hot. the job is not hard and with youtube I can almost guarantee there is a step by step guide
    I would not replace the engine if it just needs a hg. But id also not spend too much on that car. if you spend 3k well you might as well invest in a new car
     
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  14. Bear Buster

    Bear Buster

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    Gents, I appreciate the feedback.
     
  15. GIDEON

    GIDEON

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    Never did one that didnt need the head milled, toss in overhead cams, then your fighting timing belts, tensioners. If a v-6, do both sides. get ahead of another problem that way, your half way there anyways so might as well do it right Give me the old Detroit iron engines any day of the week. But screw the Tritons.