Buick LeSabre headgasket

roberts3348June 14, 2010

I have a 97 Buick lesabre with a blown headgasket on the 1-3-5 cylinder side. I do a lot of my own car maintenance but have never tackled a job this size. What are the things to remember in doing this job right? Can I simply replace the gasket on one side of this V6 or must I do both sides? Can a do-it-yourself garage mechanic get his done?

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Things to remember? None, you need to follow service information and do a simple step by step process. DIY'ers, good ones are capable of doing work at this level. However just like pro's there can always be a trap laying somewhere and only experience combined with paying close attention to the details will prevent one from getting caught in it.

Some of the things to consider;

Definitely pull both heads, and send them out to a machine shop for testing and plan to have the valves serviced. This may or may not use stretch bolts, otherwise known as TTY, (Torque To Yield). If it does then you must replace the head bolts.

Plan to replace the plastic upper intake manifold, and examine the lower carefully for pitting of the gasket surface by the coolant.

Use extreme care when cleaning the block surface to prevent debris from falling into the lifter valley, which will ultimately make its way to the oil pan.

The block surface should be checked for warp-age while this is apart. You will likely have to have a tech come by and do that for you.

The main thing is, no-one can tell you if this job is within your abilities or not and it was wise to ask first. If you are not sure that you can handle this consider that it might be cheaper to get this to a pro first and have them do it, then risk a mistake that causes you to lose the engine.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 9:45AM
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To start off I agree with John 100%. But lets backup a few steps. Why do you think the head gasket is blown? And the reason I ask is those 3800 engines with the plastic intake are notorious for the intake to crack and cause problems. So double check and make sure it is the head gaskets and not the intake.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2010 at 10:54AM
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