View Full Version : Think Northstar headgaskets are expensive??

07-13-07, 01:19 PM
From what I've heard on here Northstar headgaskets are quite a PITA to do, and an estimate from a dealer is anywhere from $3,000-$4,000. Expensive? Yes. The most expensive one on an american automobile? Nope.

Well I found a GM vehicle with headgaskets that are MUCH more expensive to repair, and it's not a Z06.

It's the Duramax.

So last Saturday, I'm at work and I get this phone call from a different repair shop about a possible headgasket repair on an '04 3500 Duramax. They wanted to know if we could take a look at it. I said sure so they dropped it off Saturday, I wrote it up and we got started on it on Monday morning. By Thursday afternoon we had it all apart and we found out the driver's side headgasket was in fact leaking into the #2 cylinder. I wrote up an estimate and called the customer.....$4975!

33 hours of labor at $115.13 an hour and I think around $900 in parts.

So yeah, it could always be worse. :)

07-13-07, 01:29 PM
Is the truck wrapped around the engine so tight you have to drop it out the bottom?

This is why I like older cars. Anything short of a bottom end job you can do in-car.

07-13-07, 02:12 PM
There's always context to anything that seems outrageous.

07-13-07, 03:50 PM
Nope, the engine seems fairly easy to access. I was looking at it and you can just pull the heads straight up. No need to drop anything.

07-13-07, 04:54 PM
If nothing has to be droped how do you estimate $4000 worth of labor.

07-13-07, 05:11 PM
:stirpot: Heads are one thing. The amount of stuff that has to be removed to get to the heads is another..................

07-13-07, 05:15 PM
Correction, you don't have to drop the engine, but you've got to pull a lot of the parts off. Like I said earlier, the MOTOR labor guide we have gives us 33.5 hours to R&R both headgaskets, then there's about $900 in parts. I took some pictures with my camera phone, will post them here in a bit.

07-14-07, 07:07 PM



07-14-07, 07:25 PM
You can tell it's a chrysler/dodge because of the 1/2" layer of caked on grime.


07-15-07, 01:26 AM
It's a Chevy....3500 Silverado, Duramax 6.6L Turbodiesel.

07-15-07, 09:17 AM

I thought the duramax was a dodge LOL

07-15-07, 11:18 AM
Nope, they got the Cummins.

07-15-07, 10:53 PM
So for $115 /hr does the owner get 'serviced' too because that's one of the highest prices I've seen yet for shop labor...

07-16-07, 01:04 AM
No, that's pretty much the going rate for service at a Chevy dealership up in the Twin Cities area. I had to call around to other Chevy dealers one day and see what their labor rate was and they were all in the $105-$120 dollar range.