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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have managed to blow my head gaskets and now i need to change them. i will try to take the engine apart myself to get to them. do you think it's an impossible task and how much are the gaskets on average in price?

daniel.
 

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impossible; NO but it is not ABC neither. head gasket job deserves some experience and hope u got that. i paid $170 for a head gasket set on ebay and ended up buying my right head gasket again( ebay junk), but as of the end result i was glad everything worked out fine with mine. when u are taking the heads off, watch out for the knock sensor cos its delicate and pretty much watch out for everything. i would rather buy a jdm motor unless u have done the water pump recently.
 

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romaniandude86 said:
I have managed to blow my head gaskets and now i need to change them. i will try to take the engine apart myself to get to them. do you think it's an impossible task and how much are the gaskets on average in price?

daniel.
Why go through the hussle of doing a head job when you havent done it before ? I checked out the DIY,and it didnt looked like an easy job.I will rather get a jdm type II,which i did on the weekend,it cost me $1050 cdn cash for engine, tranny and all the goodies.unless you wanna be adventurous and learn how to do a head job,go ahead.

This is my opinion.
 

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romaniandude86 said:
I have managed to blow my head gaskets and now i need to change them. i will try to take the engine apart myself to get to them. do you think it's an impossible task and how much are the gaskets on average in price?

daniel.
A head gasket job is a lot of work and isn't something I would recommend to anyone who isn't a licensed mechanic or at least has a very good mechanical background. It involves pulling out the engine in most cases and I would advise getting it done professionally. There is too much room for error if you're not trained in doing this type of work on a regular basis. Although there are a handful of DIYs posted here, seek a professional's help before you screw your engine for good.

SaGe69
 

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See this thread here:

Head Gasket DIY

I would recommend replacing the head gaskets on your existing engine if it is in good shape. Mine were replaced at 70k miles and my engine is running perfectly at 160k now. The problem with the JDM engines is you have no idea where they've been -- they really are 30-40k engines most likely due to how things go in Japan -- but theyve often been sitting in a junk yard for several years. Due to the fact that the engines are often scrapped after 30-40k miles they are driven excessively hard and maintenance is not a top priority for them. Im not exactly sure of the owner's experiences here with them, but for other cars, specifically the 300zx -- there have been tons of problems with the JDM motors. The consensus now, at least for that car, is that a JDM motor is NOT plug and play, it is only a basis for a complete rebuild. YMMV but it would make sense to do the headgaskets on the JDM motor before you put it in, along with timing belt and water pump. If you engine has been well maintained and you are good mechanically it therefore makes good sense to replaced the head gaskets yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the engine is in beautiful shape. it runs real nice and it looks vewry clean and well maintained. i don't want to change it. i will be changing them myself, since i do love mechanicac stuff. it's a challange for sure, but i will get it done.

i just need to know if i need to a complete head gasket kit or just the head gaskets alone. just the gaskets alone, 70 bucks a piece, the kit close to 700.

ps. never had any problems before, and i haven't driven the car after i noticed the smoke and the engine wobble.
 

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arnach said:
See this thread here:

Head Gasket DIY

I would recommend replacing the head gaskets on your existing engine if it is in good shape. Mine were replaced at 70k miles and my engine is running perfectly at 160k now. The problem with the JDM engines is you have no idea where they've been -- they really are 30-40k engines most likely due to how things go in Japan -- but theyve often been sitting in a junk yard for several years. Due to the fact that the engines are often scrapped after 30-40k miles they are driven excessively hard and maintenance is not a top priority for them. Im not exactly sure of the owner's experiences here with them, but for other cars, specifically the 300zx -- there have been tons of problems with the JDM motors. The consensus now, at least for that car, is that a JDM motor is NOT plug and play, it is only a basis for a complete rebuild. YMMV but it would make sense to do the headgaskets on the JDM motor before you put it in, along with timing belt and water pump. If you engine has been well maintained and you are good mechanically it therefore makes good sense to replaced the head gaskets yourself.
Horsesh!t. Where are you getting your "consesus" info and what's your point of reference? I've done 2 JDM swaps and in both cases, the engines have been in perfect condition, both inside and out. My tech has taken apart the top side of each engine and says he'd be surprised if they even had 30K miles on them. I know of no one on here that has done a JDM swap and had problems. Comparing JDM 300ZX engines to Legend engines is not a valid comparison. I wouldn't want a used sports car engine either because it's probably had the piss run out of it. BTW, with the exception of the PAIR (emissions) system, a JDM C32A is very much plug and play. Bear in mind that the reason the Japanese don't keep a car over 30-40K miles is because the insurance and registration become hideously expensive and the junkyards over there are not like what we have here. You have to be bonded and licensed to even walk in one, much less buy parts.

FYI, I was told by an Honda tech specialist out of Atlanta several years ago that there is no permanent fix to our HG problem. First off, we have aluminum blocks with steel cylinder sleeves that are held in place with a ceramic bonding agent. He said that when the block overheats (usually due to radiator failure), the bonding agent begins to deteriorate and eventually fails, enabling the cylinder sleeve to ever-so-slightly move within the block with each piston revolution. Over time, the movement of the sleeve hitting the head gasket causes the HG to fail, 99% of the time at #3 cylinder, which is the furthest point from the radiator in the cooling system. Unless there is some way (and he said there isn't) to "rebond" the sleeve to the block and stop the movement, the HG will just fail again, usually within 50-70K miles. His advice was to either get a get a completely remanufactured short block (about $3-4K) or a low-mileage junker, either USDM or JDM, becuse the original radiators seemed to fail at 50-60K miles. Therefore IMO, unless you have a Jones to do multiple HG jobs, it's probably cheaper in the long run to do a JDM swap. I've had each swap done for under $2K.

I have no reason to doubt what this guy says and this would explain the multiple HG failures that people seem to have suffered. Bottom line, take care of your cooling system and you won't have any problems. But if your car overheats, eventually you are screwed. Period.
 

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I used the Felpro head set from Autozone($259). It seemed to be a quality set. It was a very tough job being the first time on a Legend but I got it done.

Read MY BHG Story for more details.
 

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stevieray said:
Comparing JDM 300ZX engines to Legend engines is not a valid comparison.
Well that was the comparison I was making, and my point of reference. As I said, I wasn't sure how things went around here. But I have read alot of bad experiences with JDM motors, at least with other cars. I still would not drop a JDM motor of which I had no idea the history of into my car without rebuilding it.

If the man is mechanically inclined, I still believe it makes sense for him to do the head gasket himself and rebuild the motor, as he stated that the engine was in extremely good shape. There is something about having the original motor.

Thanks for posting your experience. It sounds like the JDMs for this car are excellent from what you say. I am debating doing a 180k service on my original motor or replacing with a JDM. Where did you get yours from?

P.S. I was hoping someone would reply and tell me I was full of sh!t. I feel that the guy now has two views to research and decide on.
 

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arnach said:
Well that was the comparison I was making, and my point of reference. As I said, I wasn't sure how things went around here. But I have read alot of bad experiences with JDM motors, at least with other cars. I still would not drop a JDM motor of which I had no idea the history of into my car without rebuilding it.

If the man is mechanically inclined, I still believe it makes sense for him to do the head gasket himself and rebuild the motor, as he stated that the engine was in extremely good shape. There is something about having the original motor.

Thanks for posting your experience. It sounds like the JDMs for this car are excellent from what you say. I am debating doing a 180k service on my original motor or replacing with a JDM. Where did you get yours from?

P.S. I was hoping someone would reply and tell me I was full of sh!t. I feel that the guy now has two views to research and decide on.
LOL @ Arnach. You're right, bro--that's what we're here for, no? I got my JDM from a place in Baltimore called Yoko Imports that I think is out of business now and the last one (for my son's Coupe) came from Enginesrus in Cali. They are actually headquartered in Colorado (Denver, I think) and their warehouse is in CA. Spoke with a gentleman named Paul and he seemed to be very knowledgeable and professional. I bought my Type I from him for $800 and it was professionally packed on a skid and clean as a pin when we got it. Highly recommended.

In both cases, my tech did TB, WP, O2 sensors, belts, hoses, every top-side gasket and o-ring he could get to, rear diff seal, tranny fluid strainer, clean the EGR tube and in my son's case, rear tranny mount. I've put almost 80K on my JDM with absolutely no problems but my son's Coupe will flat walk off and leave my Bayou-chipped Sedan even though the engines are supposedly the same.
 

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Like everyone else said replacing the head gaskets aren't an easy job. You have to be very knowledgeable with vehicles. You have to mark and label everything, especially the vaccum lines. I didn't replace the waterpump at the time I replaced the headgaskets. I replaced everything else, including the timing belt. I got my head gasket set from the machine shop that I had check the heads. I used from Rock Gaskets. I've had no problems with the gaskets at all. Great quality gaskets, and everything went back together like a glove. I would recommend using the OEM gaskets, or Rock Gaskets, or Ishino (Ishino makes the OEM gaskets for Honda).
 

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When and if a headgasket blows on mine I will have a buddy of mine in Boston work on the heads and make a set of copper headgaskets. He has his own machine shop in Cambridge, MA. Hell, if there is enough demand for copper headgasket from the forum, he might be interested in holding the design on his flowjet HD and cutting them out for a price. But he quoted me a price of $300 for everything he's gonna do for me.

This includes:

Shaving the head by .035"
3-angle valve job
porting and polishing intake and exhaust runners (heads and intake)
Repolishing cams and cam seats
opening up water passages in heads
stiffer valve springs (Don't ask cause I don't know)
New valve seals
New hydraulic tappets
and replace any broken or worn parts

He's the one that told me what he was going to do. He's the expert and he's built quite a few engines for domestics and imports. He built up the 2.0L I4 that was in my Beretta. I helped him but he did all the machining and came up with the ideas. I think he said that we went from a 2.0L to a 2.6L with that engine and from 105 bhp to 192 bhp (Dynoed) at the crank. Not bad for a 4 cyl. So I trust what he is doing. I'm just hoping to get the whole car up there before a HG goes, he and I tear the motor apart and go apesh!t on it.

Later!
Lenny
 

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1_Hot_Legend_L said:
When and if a headgasket blows on mine I will have a buddy of mine in Boston work on the heads and make a set of copper headgaskets. He has his own machine shop in Cambridge, MA. Hell, if there is enough demand for copper headgasket from the forum, he might be interested in holding the design on his flowjet HD and cutting them out for a price. But he quoted me a price of $300 for everything he's gonna do for me.

This includes:

Shaving the head by .035"
3-angle valve job
porting and polishing intake and exhaust runners (heads and intake)
Repolishing cams and cam seats
opening up water passages in heads
stiffer valve springs (Don't ask cause I don't know)
New valve seals
New hydraulic tappets
and replace any broken or worn parts

He's the one that told me what he was going to do. He's the expert and he's built quite a few engines for domestics and imports. He built up the 2.0L I4 that was in my Beretta. I helped him but he did all the machining and came up with the ideas. I think he said that we went from a 2.0L to a 2.6L with that engine and from 105 bhp to 192 bhp (Dynoed) at the crank. Not bad for a 4 cyl. So I trust what he is doing. I'm just hoping to get the whole car up there before a HG goes, he and I tear the motor apart and go apesh!t on it.

Later!
Lenny
What'sup with passing out your boyz shop info.?
 

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For the price of a Felpro head set and machine work on both heads you are already at the same price as a Type I JDM w/ 40k miles.

I would get a JDM Type I if you are under a budget. The Legend motor has almost no differences for JDM markets and USDM markets. Unlike most JDM swaps THEY ARE PLUG AND PLAY. You will only need to swap the wiring harness from your old motor to your new motor.

I have installed a JDM Type II in my sedan it was a direct bolt up. I only had to remove vaccum lines for the air injection system, swap passenger side valve covers, and wiring harness (there's a sensor in the pass side valve cover on the type I and I was running the type I ECM at the time). Thats it. 30k later still strong.

If you install the same Type motor that came out of your car all you will need to do is swap wiring harnesses, a very easy 15 min job for an experienced mechanic.
 

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I follow JetDoc's DIY. I got an OEM kit from Ebay($230) for less than the Felpro from AutoZones. I did the vavle job myself, with help of course. You may want to buy the FRONT CRANK SEAL(main) ($15) if you do it yourself. The kit only comes with two sprocket crank seals already.

It is recommended to replace: heater hoses(3) ($40 from stealer)
 
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