: Please take a minute and give me your opinion about a head gasket job..

08-21-10, 03:49 PM
Hey guys,

I just bought a 98 STS with 127K miles as a project, beautiful car just needs a head gasket.
I have worked on a lot of cars in my life and did close to 10 head gasket jobs total, from Pontiacs to Camaros and Saturn, mostly GM cars beside one Taurus. I'm saying all that to give you an idea that I am mechanically inclined, however, NEVER worked on a Caddy.

Well, do you think I can replace the head gasket myself? Reason I ask for an opinion is because I found out that in the Haynes book, they said this job requires expensive tools, is that true or would it be no different than a normal headgasket job tools? I never ran into any problem having tools for a head gasket job so far, just trying to have an idea from you guys in order to get enough confidence to do it. (Oh well, if I can't no one else will, it will be sold the way I bought it).

If any of you guys out there experienced replacing a headgasket on this type (98 STS 4.6L) please let me know if it was something way way way out of the ordinary compared to other head gasket jobs on different GM engines.

Thank you guys so much.

08-21-10, 03:50 PM
As far as the car, I picked it up for fairly cheap. Engine is leaking antifreeze from the water sleeve that's connected to the head closer to the firewall, I'm assuming there's a gasket between the sleeve to the head, it's shooting from there. That's the first thing.

Second thing is the water pump tensioner is shot, not sure if the previous owner saw it but when I picked it up I asked many questions and he knew I was going to buy it ANYWAY, but he did not mention the broken tensioner on the driver side very close to the front of the car, so right there I know there's some antifreeze compartment work to be done, whether it's gaskets, tensioner and or water pump.

Now third thing which led me to believe the headgasket is shot : COMPRESSION IS SEVERLY LOW on all cylinders, to the point that car sometimes doesn't have enough "energy" to move in reverse, for that reason I figured head gaskets are shot as a result of the antifreeze leak.

Owner said car was driven twice with an overheating problem, however, in both times he pulled over, second time he towed it till he got a quote of $5000 to replace headgaskets, then he threw it on craigslist, and from there I took it for a fairly cheap.

Did I gamble on this project?!! Maybe yeah, however, even if I decide not to go for it I'll be able to resell it for same price or a bit higher. I'll dig into it and see what happens . If you guys can provide me with links where to find more info I would really appreciate it, I'm mainly looking for someone who has done it before on this model and to tell me if it requires some out of this planet tools to be done, otherwise, my fingernails are so black this job won't make them any worse.

I appreciate all of your comments guys.


08-21-10, 04:55 PM
Wrong Forum - you'll never get an answer here - ask a Moderator to move this to Northstar Performance or Seville.