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  #1  
Old 03-26-2011, 01:33 AM
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Default Head Gasket

So I've been posting about the issues I've come across with the car overheating... sometimes it'll overheat 5 minutes from a cold start, and at other times I could ride 200 miles non stop without any hint of overheating. Changed water pump and thermostat. Gave it to an indy Jag guy, he's telling me it's the gasket after having it for a few days.

So... he's asking $3100 for the job. This includes changing all primary/secondary chains/tensioners, guides, rails, valve cover gasket and head gaskets. What do you guys think about the price?

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Old 03-26-2011, 01:48 AM
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I would say that is a little high, how does he know it is the gasket? Might be worth doing a chemical leak test on your coolant for exhaust gasses.

Unless he is going to do a complete head job, including relapping the valves I would of thought no more than $2500
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:23 AM
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around here that would be dirt cheap by at least $1k, probably more
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Old 03-26-2011, 11:28 AM
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Sounds like a bargin and an honest mechanic to me.
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:19 PM
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You guys really do pay through the nose for this kind of stuff, taking heads off and replacing gaskets is a 2 day job max...... fitting new tensioners when doing the heads is no extra labour just parts cost, even if I count for a full 2 days and say its 7 hrs per day, head gaskets are only $30 each tensioner set including all gaskets is maybe $500...

That would be $1800 if I did it... I need to move countries.... and I thought I was being really generous stating 2500
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:43 PM
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I have chased alot of over heating problems. I hardly ever see a bad headgasket. Where it is intermitent, that is one more reason I would say it is not the headgasket. How come the head gasket leaks one day and not the next? You said you replaced the thermostat. Thermostats often times are intemittent. Sometimes they open, sometimes they don't. Are you sure it got replaced? One other thing that is a possibility, which can be itermitent, is a collapsing hose. They sometimes suck flat. If it is possible to wait on the fix, I would drive the car until the problem gets worse. It would be easier to trouble shoot it then. I would have to have more proof that the head gasket leaks "sometimes", before I would spend that kind of money. The other guys have given you some good ideas. Sniffing the coolent is a good idea, if you can find someone to do it. I have found that if it is a head gasket, sometimes you can see bubbles at the filler neck,with the engine running. I have seen big leaks that you could even see smoke in the bubbles You need to fill the radiator right to the top, so it easier to see the bubbles. Even small infrequient bubbles spell headgasket. Please keep us posted. Good luck.
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Old 03-28-2011, 07:34 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I negotiated with him a little in bundling some other work that needs to be done. He said he'll try to keep it as low as possible, but will guarantee a max price of $3500. These other things include:
-Changing ball joint (I have junkyard part to supply him with control arm)
-Do the sway bar/other bushings
-replace clips for dashboard wood grain that had broken
-replace clips for driver side door that has broken and makes door panel feel loose
-Inspect and see if he can fix my driver side seat that rocks a bit when I sit down. He said it's probably the track and is big money because it's sold with the seat motor and other parts. He said no promises but he'll see what he can do.
I confirmed he will install new spark plugs.

What I forgot to ask was if he can change out the lower radiator hose. Is that something he will come across when he does the gasket job?

Martin, I had him change the thermostat originally with the water pump. He said he double checked them when diagnosing.

The a/c doesn't work, and he told me the compressor is going. He said the part itself is approx $700 and total would cost me $1000. I passed on this since I don't really need a/c in this car. I see a Denso aftermarket compressor going for $280 on rockauto.com. I'm gonna ask him what he thinks and then make a determination. Anybody heard of these compressors?

Thanks
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:20 PM
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Denso is a major Japanese OEM supplier to automotive manufacturers.

All of those "I'll try" and "no promises" should make an owner start to feel very queasy.

Now, *why* is it a blown headgasket?

Do you have a written, itemised estimate?
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Old 03-28-2011, 09:36 PM
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I'm no expert, but I don't see how it could in any way possibly be a head gasket. How on earth could a leaky head gasket cause intermittent overheating? Definitely pay for the coolant test before you drop $3000+ repairing something that might not be broken. My guess is that you have a hose that collapses when the engine revs to very high RPMs. The water pump spins in proportion to the engine speed, so it develops more pressure on the positive side and more suction on the negative side when you rev the engine. That could be why it happens after 5 minutes one day, and doesn't happen at all on other days. Drive the car around for a few minutes then accelerate hard and let the engine get near its red line. See if the engine starts to overheat right after that. If so, pop the hood and look at your hoses. If the hose is getting sucked shut it is most likely staying collapsed after it collapses. It has enough strength to retain its shape normally, but it doesn't have the strength to go back to its shape once it collapses.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:23 PM
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if the water pump is new, the t-stat is new, the coolant isn't low...my money is on a collapsing upper radiator hose. Its hard to spot, because it never seems to happen when you go look for it. I'd change the upper and lower, call it good for a while and observe any other problems. While that upper hose is off, definitely make sure the t-stat is new...that's often the most common coolant temp problem, when its partially open, or stuck entirely closed. I'd hate to find you didn't get the new one you were promised.
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:39 AM
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I've already had the upper radiator hose changed as well. I AM losing coolant though. I notice it overheats more often when the a/c, defog, or heat is on. The guy tells me that even when the heat is turned on, the compressor kicks on, putting more strain on the cooling system, making the situation more apparent.

I didn't mention this to him or you guys, but my Cadillac DeVille's Northstar engine had a head gasket failure. It overheated so bad that the whole short block of the engine was cracked and needed replacement. That's kinda why I'm a little sensitive when I heard "gasket" and don't want to take chances with it. I'm sure I'm being a little stupid here, but I already told him to go ahead with the repair. My rationale for this is that I'd already be spending tons for the tensioners I know I need to do anyway, why not get the gaskets when he's deep in anyway for a little more.

Thanks for the advice guys, just because I'm not following all of it doesn't mean I don't appreciate it. He did tell me that he's guaranteeing the symptom, not just the repair, so if by chance it's something else, it's his problem.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:41 AM
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Goodluck exkay, it sounds like he's gained your confidence, and hopefully fulfills his promise. There are some heater hoses that tend to leak in the back of the engine, under the throttle body. He'll at least give you a good flush of the coolant system, and that will relieve any chance there has been some mixing of green/orange/yellow stuff, which often leads to jelly for coolant. If you don't know the type you're supposed to have, we should have a link in the FAQ thread for the xk8 & xkr that goes through the various types and I even think model years and some VIN info.

looking forward to a report when you get the cat back!
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Old 03-29-2011, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverend Sam View Post
I'm no expert, but I don't see how it could in any way possibly be a head gasket. How on earth could a leaky head gasket cause intermittent overheating? Definitely pay for the coolant test
Actually, that is exactly what you will see on a certain factory turbo inline six that is notorious for blown head gaskets. In the early stages, depending on what the engine is doing at that particular time, the temperature gauge will pop the needle up and then settle down. Lather, rinse, repeat. Lots of owners have the coolant tester.

The difference is that the forums for that car are filled with people moaning about it, here it is almost unheard of. Here, the top mechanical concern is the tensioners. Different engine, different weaknesses.

When buying that car, everyone in the know asks whether the head gasket has been done yet. Just like Jaguar and tensioners.

Last edited by plums; 03-29-2011 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:47 PM
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That is not a bad price. I got a quote of around $2200 just for doing the complete tensioners, chains, guides etc. from All Jaguar in Longwood. Thats when I decided to DITY. Pulling the heads is quite a bit more work...TB, cams, intake (supercharger), exhaust manifolds, heater hoses etc., etc. I think you're getting a good deal actually with all the other work he's doing.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:12 PM
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Well looks like things just got worse. Mechanic says that head bolts are stripped (not sure if I'm using the correct terminology) and the engine is no good. He says new engine is necessary, price just went up to $4800 for everything with a used engine with 80k miles. He also showed me the gaskets, and pointed out that the head gaskets have already been replaced on this car, and it was sold to me with the previous owner probably knowing the car was toast.
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:00 PM
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Is he saying that the engine is bad because of the stripped bolts? Because I'm pretty sure you can just re-thread the existing bolt holes and use new bolts. Maybe you need to use a slightly larger bolt, or if that won't work, you can tap the bolt holes slightly larger and insert heli-coils in the holes to size them down to the correct size. Heli-Coil | HeliCoil Inserts | Helicoils Screw Thread Inserts | Emhart Teknologies

What happened to his "guaranteed max price of $3500"?
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:25 PM
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So sorry to hear that. XKRacer and others Techs need to chime in. RevSam has asked a good question. Is the engine deemed "toast" due to stripped head bolt threads? 2000BlackXKR is having his engine recoated with nikasil...about $1600. See site below: You might could have a fresh rebuild for less than what he's telling you.


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Old 04-04-2011, 10:14 PM
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It seems that stripping the bolts is not uncommon on many of the cars including the xk (x100) 1997 – 2006 Vin: 001036 – A48684 # JTB00136

Situation:
Where applicable, damaged threads of AJV6 / AJV8 engine aluminum components may now be repaired in lieu of replacing the affected component by using a 'thread repair kit' such as Heli-Coil(R).

Action:
In the event it becomes necessary to repair damaged threads, follow the instructions provided with the thread repair kit.
PARTS:
Heli-Coil(R) Thread Repair Kit (or similar) Sourced locally

I hope this helps!
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:34 PM
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Sounds like sound advice to me. Many years ago I bought a Sumbeam Alpine that had an engine pretty much ruined by an amateur mechanic. When I was done rebuilding it, I can't even tell you how many heli-coils I ended up using. A LOT. I drove it for about three years before selling. Engine was still running strong. Good luck. Hope you can come up with a less expensive fix.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:06 AM
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EsKay8: Please post and tell us what is going on. I'm hoping to hear a happy ending. I have had cars with hilicoil head bolts. It's a very good fix. Your engine is not toast.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:06 AM
 
 
 
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1998, 2001, bad, blown, cost, deville, gasket, head, hose, jaguar, leak, northstar, overheating, radiator, stage, xk8



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