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$2,100 for a blown head gasket?

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by Mickthe1stgenX, June 30, 2011.

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    1. Mickthe1stgenX

      Mickthe1stgenX New Member

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      So I took my recently purchased '91 in cause the check engine light kept turning on and off. other than a rotten battery the mechanic told me that I have a blown head gasket and that it would cost about $2,100 to fix...that sounded like a bit much to me...so I brought her home and now I ponder.

      To fix or not to fix? Should I get it reappraised?

      edit: I paid $2,600 for the truck, so this is pretty frustrating
       
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    3. bluebeast

      bluebeast Member

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      wow....

      that is extremely high considering the gasket only cost 40 bucks at the most call around in the phone books and ask for prices on replacing a blown head gasket if so buy ur own gaskets brand new and tell them u just want them put in
       
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    4. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      IIRC, "book time" is about 11 hours to r&r the heads, which is what you have to do to change the gaskets.

      Also, the chances of it being just head gaskets is pretty remote. Most likely, you have at least 1 cracked heads.

      I believe alabama cylinder heads has a pair of heads (with valves etc) for around $500 or so..

      So, with 11 hours + heads + new head bolts + full gasket set you could be upwards of $2k..

      If you have a place to do the work etc, its not "that hard" of a job. Torque wrench and a t55 torx bit are the only "special" tools I can think of for the job. The 1st time I did heads on the X it took me about 19 hours across 2 days, and I was learning as I was going.

      oh yea, I'm assuming that your not in the rust belt. If you are, you may have issues getting the exhaust manifolds off the heads etc.. not to mention anything else that is rusted in place.

      ~Mark
       
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    5. Pollarican

      Pollarican Active Member

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      That price is not surprising - pretty standard. Manik broke it down pretty well.

      The head gasket itself might be $40, but you need to take apart several others to get that deep into the motor. Go to www.Rockauto.com, and check the price on a engine gasket set made by Felpro. Most of the cars I've been working on are asking around $120 for the full engine gasket set (Not usually including oil pan/ timing , but everything you need for a head gasket job). You will need this gasket set, as well as a new set of headbolts, which usually run from $20-$40. Add on a set of new spark plugs, couple gallons of antifreeze, and an oil filter/ oil, and you pretty much have all the parts gathered that you will need to get that motor back running (provided the heads aren't cracked.)
       
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    6. mr cribb

      mr cribb US Army Retired Elite Explorer

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      I know this is kinda off point but you can get a reman or rebuilt motor for 2k. I don't remember where right off the top of my head, but I'm almost certain I've seen it for that price.

      For a shop to charge 2k to do the job, this prob explains why a decent amount of forum members do their own head gasket jobs.
       
    7. Mickthe1stgenX

      Mickthe1stgenX New Member

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      thanks guys for all the help, I've decided to definitely fix it with the help of a buddy rather than shellin out a couple grand to a shop. should be an interesting learning experience. cheers to being ride-less this weekend
       
    8. Ranger379

      Ranger379 Well-Known Member

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      my 95 had to have that done....t-stat stuck open, over heated and blew head gasket...unfortuneatly i didnt have time to do it myself so the local ford deal did it....i think it was around 1700 IIRC...im lucky the heads where good and didnt warp or it would have been more!

      i would suggest doing it yourself. good luck!
       
    9. 2000StreetRod

      2000StreetRod Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      repair cost vs vehicle value

      Unfortunately, except for exotic cars, if a vehicle is more than 10 years old and has a major failure (engine or transmission) the shop cost to repair approaches the value of the vehicle. However, the cost of parts will frequently be less than a third of the total repair cost. That is an incentive to become a home mechanic. This forum has helped me significantly in that regard.
       
    10. Mickthe1stgenX

      Mickthe1stgenX New Member

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      I agree with both of you, being a home mechanic is definitely on my horizon...I need to get one of those engine crane things and some tools.

      I was on the way to my buddies to replace those head gaskets today and the explorer died on the side of the 8 smokin like cheech and chong. had to get towed home.....so I went and picked up a Specialized Camber mountain bike for like $1,600 to ride around until I find a new motor for the explorer.

      I'm gonna do a SOHC swap if I can find the right junkyard:roll:
      I read that I might need a tranny to go along with the SOHC?
       

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