: Blown Headgasket



olddavid
10-08-07, 08:54 AM
I have a chance to buy a 97 STS w/ 77k miles for $1200. The car is in excellent condition, but has a blown headgasket. Is this something a fairly good wrench can fix? Or am I fooling myself? Any feedback is welcome- even if it includes name-calling for my stupid optimism. You guys have never pulled any punches, so have at it!! Thanks for your input in advance. Dave

dkozloski
10-08-07, 11:29 AM
I have a chance to buy a 97 STS w/ 77k miles for $1200. The car is in excellent condition, but has a blown headgasket. Is this something a fairly good wrench can fix? Or am I fooling myself? Any feedback is welcome- even if it includes name-calling for my stupid optimism. You guys have never pulled any punches, so have at it!! Thanks for your input in advance. Dave
Many forum members in your position have successfully completed their own headgasket repairs. It requires some special tools and some special techniques but it's doable.
Do a search in this section on headgasket repairs and you'll have more than enough information to proceed. I'd suggest that the first thing you do is get a factory service manual for your car. They are for sale at www.helminc.com (http://www.helminc.com) or are sometimes found on Ebay. Come on back if you have specific questions.

misfit6794
10-08-07, 11:39 AM
Unless you've worked on a northstar before I wouldn't attempt it. Its a really involved repair that requires the entire front subframe to be dropped from underneath the car. Then all the headbolts have to be retapped with timeserts. There's a reason mechanics charge between 2500-3500 dollars to fix it.

Mark C
10-08-07, 01:16 PM
Did mine in my driveway with no special tools except the timesert insert kit 2 sets of Jack stands and a 3 ton floor jack. Took about a month working on it when I felt like it. Don't make the mistake I did and try to work on it in the engine compartment, just drop the whole engine/transmission cradle out and work on the engine outside the car. I got mine about half dissassembled before I saw it was not possible to get at the rear head with the engine in the car. Mine is now up and running with the temperature gauge just about pinned at 197 degrees while driving. Mines a green/shale leather 97 STS with 116K on it all options except the sunroof and it cost me $995. Add about another 600 bucks in gaskets new motor mounts, etc and I figure mine so far has cost me about 1500 to 1700 bucks, and maybe 40hrs of my time.

dkozloski
10-08-07, 01:31 PM
Unless you've worked on a northstar before I wouldn't attempt it. Its a really involved repair that requires the entire front subframe to be dropped from underneath the car. Then all the headbolts have to be retapped with timeserts. There's a reason mechanics charge between 2500-3500 dollars to fix it.
It all depends on your own abilities. There have been some notable successes by novices and some resounding flops by so-called experts. A critical point is your willingness to do some research and to accept advice from those who have been there and done that.

Ranger
10-08-07, 05:28 PM
Check the Tech Tips section. I think there is a tutorial in there somewhere. It's doable, but don't expect a weekend project.

jevanof
02-29-08, 04:08 AM
what about a direct engine swap, would that be a weekend project?

zonie77
03-03-08, 02:35 PM
what about a direct engine swap, would that be a weekend project?


Even that would be more than a weekend project...more like a two weekend project.