View Full Version : going to attempt head gaskets

1st time cadddy
04-19-08, 09:22 PM
convinced the headgaskets are done on my 97 deville.
tried and changed everything else.
(waterpump, radiator, t stat,........)

going to attempt this myself.
can anyone give me an idea what i'm in for.
can the timeserts be done with the block in the car?
any special tools required?
any links to assist with the project??

i would consider myself a half a**ed mechanic, most of my work is on big truck diesels though.

any help would be appriciated.

04-19-08, 10:23 PM
Get the factory service manual.

Dropping the cradle is the easiest way to do it. Once the cradle is down it acts as the engine stand and it's easy to insert the block and work on the timing chains.

I would only try to do it in the car if you are a masochist!!! Beside the trouble of getting at the back head you will be working at an angle and it makes it more likely to mess something up.

Here's a link:


There are more links around. Tateos just finished his and his post is full of info also.

04-20-08, 05:26 AM
Couple more links:


04-20-08, 12:34 PM
I tried it with the motor in and while possible, I would NOT recommend it. It all came down to one bolt for me, I managed to round the head of the bolt that goes to a timing chain guide and after that, I dropped the cradle.

It's really easy to drop it, the first time, it took me around 4 hours, now I could drop it in 2. Really the only challenge is to lift the body high enough, I have an A frame engine puller that I used. No special tools except the timesert kit.

04-21-08, 08:28 PM
Right - it is a lot of work, but really not that hard, since you have the fantastic resource of this forum and threads like Zonie's and mine and others. Dropping the cradle is NOT more work - it is LESS.

Drop the cradle, do insert all 20 holes, whether they are stripped or not, and you will be fine.

04-21-08, 08:35 PM
and make sure you use the gaskets and inserts that AJ suggests and you will not likely have the problem ever again.