Replacing head gaskets, what else?

RSchanz

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Both head gaskets need to be replaced. When the engine is out do you all suggest that I do anything else? I’m assuming that a valve job might be a good idea, thoughts?
 

G. Mann

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Rebuild and reseal the oil cooler ! While you have the engine out.
Valve guides and seals, along with checking the seats and heads for cracks.
Front and rear main seals.
 

riphip

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Right Stuff RTV on oil pan. Maybe check a rod/main bearing or 2 while pan is off. Check oil pump feed line for possible stress cracks. Replace block coolant plugs with drains. Replace block heater if not already done. Check all lifters/push rods/rocker arms for wear. If you have the bucks, replace these. Will be glad you did. Check for flywheel cracks.
 

Bradd Barmettler

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Ditto on above - Go through heads, if needed surface, and replace all the seals while the engine is out. (Front and rear main seals, oil cooler seals, exhast manifold gaskets, etc.)

If you have higher miles (Over 200K) just look at your cylinder walls, pistons, perhaps pull a piston and check your ring gap. As mentioned above pull a main bearing to check for wear issues. If you are burning a lot of oil good time to address.

If anything looks troublesome better to deal with it all at one time. It would not be that much more work to do the bottom end while the engine is out and appart.

Some other ideas to shore things up and make your truck more reliable while appart.

1) Test your injectors.
2) Test your glow plugs.
3) Test your alternator.
4) Replace your hoses, water pump, and thermostat. (Engine killers!) Remember on the water pump to use sealant on the bolts that go through and into the crankcase to avoid coolant getting into the crankcase.
5) Replace an aging mechanical lift pump if you have one.
6) Also you may want to upgrade your head bolts to ARP, many members have suggested they were glad they did so.
7) If your freeze plugs look marginal you may want to replace those too.
8) Put on new belts while your at it.
9) Almost forgot, if you have a turbo, check the bearings and for coolant leaks.

Post some pics during your project!

All the best.
 

RSchanz

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Thanks for all of the great feedback. I'm debating having the mechanic do it because of just space and experience but also realizing that if I do it I can address a lot of other issues that I know they won't especially not free of charge. My neighbor can remove the engine for me in his shop but I need to arrange a space to work on it since the property is all gravel everywhere I would need to lay plywood to roll the engine hoist around... I also want to see if he can give me an idea of cost based on some of the other issues that might be hiding
 

Slicknik

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What’s your budget ?
Are you N/A or Turbo’d?

Everyone above has your basis covered for the rebuild I just want to add one thing....

You need to do a LEAK DOWN TEST before pulling the motor

the heads need to be decked also

Super deluxe package

studs , type4 cam, exhaust
 
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Bradd Barmettler

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RShanz,

Some food for thought.

As you look at costs perhaps do the following.

Local shop-

1) Find out what your local shop charges to R&R, machine, and replace the heads. (Ask if they remove the engine, which should mean less money to do the other things like the rear main seal.)
2) How much for a R&R and a full rebuild. (Also what is their warranty???? Then you are one and done for a while.)
3) How much more to do the extra's like oil pan, front and rear seals, oil cooler etc.

Machine shop-

1) How much to rebuild your motor if you bring it in stripped to the basics. (No water pump, ps pump, a/c pump, oil cooler, etc.) You bring it enclosed, they give it back to you rebuilt the same way. Note you may have to help them figure out things like the IP pump timing.

Then you can figure out how much you are saving doing some or all the work. Then figure out realistically if you have the time or if you prefer to spend less by doing some sweat equity. Or if the savings is not worth the potential delays getting your truck on the road and if the occasional frustration of a busted knuckle here and there is worth it to you.

As you point out it sounds like your neighbor has a shop, but perhaps its outside. (Or once the engine is out, you got to move outside.) It would not be recommended open up and work on the engine outside in the dirt and dust. So if you do not have somewhere to take the engine (Like your garage) and work in a semi clean area, you do risk complicating the repair. But no issues if you pull the engine out in the open yard, strip off your accessories, and take to a shop from there. Question you need to answer based on your situation is how much will you save and is it worth it to you.

Let us know what you found to be the right call for you!
 

Garbage_Mechan

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I might add to the good advice above that if it still has the original factory installed stainless steel frost plugs (freeze plugs, core plugs) LEAVE THEM ALONE. Most shops and mechanics do not have the correct tools and experience to install correctly. Many people have had them fall out of a new engine ruining it.
 

RSchanz

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Thanks for all of the input. I'm getting a compression tester from a friend today. I know the heads are leaking in both corners, will this affect a compression test? Sorry if thats a stupid question...

In the meantime, I put blue devil in and it's actually helping a bit. I know people have 50/50 thoughts on Blue Devil or the like but since the RAD is new and flows well I wasn't too worried.

Engine is N/A btw
 

Bradd Barmettler

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Rschanz,

If the head gasket is leaking around the top of the cylinder, that cylinder will not create as much compression as air is leaking out of the cylinder past the head gasket. Results will vary based on where the head gasket lets it leak to. The piston with the bad valves will also show poor compression.

You could just be leaking coolant out but the head gasket could be good around all the cylinders.

Slicknick also had a good advice, do a leak down test to see if you have ring wear before you take off the heads.
 

RSchanz

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The head gasket leaks are both back corners same place either side. More or less where the head meets the block on outside back corner. Guess if anything either cylinder closest to the cab would be the issue?
 

IDIBRONCO

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I know the heads are leaking in both corners, will this affect a compression test? Sorry if thats a stupid question...
It's been a while, but if I remember, you were leaking coolant out of your head gaskets. With only a coolant leak, I don't think that you should see much of a difference in your compression readings. The compression is still being contained in your cylinders.
 

RSchanz

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It's been a while, but if I remember, you were leaking coolant out of your head gaskets. With only a coolant leak, I don't think that you should see much of a difference in your compression readings. The compression is still being contained in your cylinders.

I think there is some oil mixed into the leak as well. Oil drops never hit the ground underneath, it's not too bad. I'll just run the test anyway and see what happens. I'll also research how to do the leak-down correctly.
 

RSchanz

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In case it's not obvious, a leak down test and a copres test are two very different types of tests.

I know, my friend gave me a leak down test kit but I'm just not sure how to perform the test - I can research. He gave me a compression test kit but its for gas vehicles 300lbs max PSI haha! So now I need to order one online.
 

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