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Progress on head gasket job

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  • Russ
    Hey all heres my progress on my head gasket job on my 98 Cat. I do want some advice on the timing belt before i decide to start the engine though but i will
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 9, 2013
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      Hey all heres my progress on my head gasket job on my 98 Cat. I do want some advice on the timing belt before i decide to start the engine though but i will come back to that.

      Anyway I did this job behind my house outside in my drive way on jack stands after work and on weekends weather permitting. I bought a head gasket set, head bolts, water pump ,timing belt set with tensioners ,spark plugs and wire set <(180.00 U.S.) wow!! New air filter, cabin filter, serpentine belt and coolant. 675.00$ total for that. I took the wiper cowl and wiper motor assy out to allow for much easier access to rear of engine and this did help tremendously. The heads were pulled with exhaust manifolds attatched but this required all heat shields and air injection tubes to be removed and let me tell ya what a pain but with patience it can be done. Added note: some of these inverted torx head bolts can be removed with an 8mm 12 point socket and the crank bolt can be turned not sure about losened with a 12 point 5/8 socket.

      I would test the bolt head with any 12 point socket to see if it fits because some of the bolts that require removal are very hard to get to. Back to the job I did have the heads milled and pressure checked for 100.00 at local machine shop. Now to the timing belt, I installed the belt with no special tool the marks on the belt help alot and the cams stayed in place for me. I think as long as the engine is No. 1 tdc you should be fine the valves will not touch the piston. My question is this I set all the marks did the initial tension as per direction in kit and i have rotated the engine several times by hand which i recommend, doing this will allow you to know if your off because if a valve will hit the engine wont turn over. Doing this by hand wont hurt anything.

      OK the question will the timing marks ever realign as set or will they be forever off?? As stated I rotated the engine probabaly about 6 to 10 revolutions and hear intake and exhaust noises and I know for sure im not coming into contact with pistons. I feel pretty confident to start engine just want some advice before I do. Thanks...... Russ
    • Kal Somogyvary
      You had the heads milled and the cams never rotated doing that ??  Musta have taken them to Merlin s Machine Shop for the work.   My mechanic has done
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 10, 2013
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        You had the heads milled and the cams never rotated doing that ??

         Musta have taken them to " Merlin's Machine Shop " for the work. 

         My mechanic has done this job a number of times and he still " tows "
        the vehicle to the dealer to use their alignment tool. Just to be safe. 

         Perhaps some lucky owner out there can testify but just think of the 
        time, work and parts you just put into that engine. What is it worth to 
         you ?? My head work on a '97 was $1800 CdnD but that included 
        a coil pack and the exhaust studs had to be replaced. Then shortly 
        there after the coolant gelled and the engine cooked itself. Made it 
        to 183k miles. At least my next Cat, a '98 had the TSB work done on it 
        and I got the car dirt cheap. That made up for the lost expense. 
        And I had spare parts to boot. 

        Cheers,
             K      and play safe rather than sorry

         Link to " Dexcool " class action suit. 
        http://www.girardgibbs.com/dexcool/


        From: Russ <rustyyb703@...>
        To: CateraOwners@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, June 9, 2013 12:14:36 PM
        Subject: [CateraOwners] Progress on head gasket job

         
        Hey all heres my progress on my head gasket job on my 98 Cat. I do want some advice on the timing belt before i decide to start the engine though but i will come back to that.

        Anyway I did this job behind my house outside in my drive way on jack stands after work and on weekends weather permitting. I bought a head gasket set, head bolts, water pump ,timing belt set with tensioners ,spark plugs and wire set <(180.00 U.S.) wow!! New air filter, cabin filter, serpentine belt and coolant. 675.00$ total for that. I took the wiper cowl and wiper motor assy out to allow for much easier access to rear of engine and this did help tremendously. The heads were pulled with exhaust manifolds attatched but this required all heat shields and air injection tubes to be removed and let me tell ya what a pain but with patience it can be done. Added note: some of these inverted torx head bolts can be removed with an 8mm 12 point socket and the crank bolt can be turned not sure about losened with a 12 point 5/8 socket.

        I would test the bolt head with any 12 point socket to see if it fits because some of the bolts that require removal are very hard to get to. Back to the job I did have the heads milled and pressure checked for 100.00 at local machine shop. Now to the timing belt, I installed the belt with no special tool the marks on the belt help alot and the cams stayed in place for me. I think as long as the engine is No. 1 tdc you should be fine the valves will not touch the piston. My question is this I set all the marks did the initial tension as per direction in kit and i have rotated the engine several times by hand which i recommend, doing this will allow you to know if your off because if a valve will hit the engine wont turn over. Doing this by hand wont hurt anything.

        OK the question will the timing marks ever realign as set or will they be forever off?? As stated I rotated the engine probabaly about 6 to 10 revolutions and hear intake and exhaust noises and I know for sure im not coming into contact with pistons. I feel pretty confident to start engine just want some advice before I do. Thanks...... Russ



      • Russ Blumer
        Yes the cams moved after taking them to the machine shop, I never said they stayed where they were. You have to remove the exhaust cam to get to the headbolts
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 12, 2013
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          Yes the cams moved after taking them to the machine shop, I never said they stayed where they were. You have to remove the exhaust cam to get to the headbolts underneath. I think they stayed in place after i put the cam gear back on because the lifters were bled down from cleaning.  The machine shop is called B&R speed shop in Louisville KY btw. I started the engine and she fired right up with no special tools or towing to dealer. I ran it for about 10 minutes monitoring oil pressure and coolant level and temp gauge. The lifters created quite a fuss till they pumped up and then she quited down to a nice purr.
           
               I ran it till the electric fan kicked on and it seemed fine no leaks. I have yet to drive it i just bought four rotors and both sets of pads everything there looks rough from sitting for three years so not taking a chance. So with that being said I will break down what i have in it compared to your 1800.00 head job..... head set, head bolts, thermostat, spark plugs, wire set, water pump, battery, head machining, four rotors, both sets of pads, air filter, cabin filter, serpentine belt,two gallons coolant, oil change......plus what i payed for the car ....................1300.00$ U.S.
           
               And by the way thanks to the guy who said "say a prayer and cross your fingers" not quite the advice i was looking for
        • Kal Somogyvary
          I m glad you reported back with your experience, and it was a  happy one for you I m sure. That $1800 figure included quite a  few parts which are too
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 13, 2013
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            I'm glad you reported back with your experience, and it was a 
            happy one for you I'm sure. That $1800 figure included quite a 
            few parts which are too numerous to list, such as new head bolts,
            oil cooler, serpentine belt, water pump and on. Also the heads 
            were treated to a 3 angle valve grind since the guy preps cars
            for rally racing. The sad part is he did not know about the Dexcool
            gelling while exposed to atmosphere and left the block " open "
            while he worked on the engine. This started the coolant ( fluorescent
            orange liquid )  on it's way to plugging the heating circuit and 
            core. 

            That car went to my mechanic's farm after 3 winters with no heat.
            And, as a result the engine cooked itself. My next Catera was identical 
            except is was sold in Atlanta and had the Technical Service Bulletin 
            work performed properly ( read normal propylene glycol coolant ) 
            and it hasn't skipped a beat. I am at 150k miles and no signs of it 
            slowing down. I picked up that car for $1300 as well with a spare set 
            of winter tires and rims. 

            Once the brakes are installed and the chassis " tuned " I'm sure you 
            will enjoy driving it as I have. Good mileage too. You did make 
            a calculated risk by " eyeballing " the cams but you're that good. 
            I knows fellas who can't align it on a single shaft Hyundai !! 

            Please resist the temptation to do burn outs and you're good to go. 

             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gy4BUiNsLY

            Stay in touch brother. 

            K. 


            From: Russ Blumer <rustyyb703@...>
            To: "CateraOwners@yahoogroups.com" <CateraOwners@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 9:46:58 PM
            Subject: Re: [CateraOwners] Progress on head gasket job

             
            Yes the cams moved after taking them to the machine shop, I never said they stayed where they were. You have to remove the exhaust cam to get to the headbolts underneath. I think they stayed in place after i put the cam gear back on because the lifters were bled down from cleaning.  The machine shop is called B&R speed shop in Louisville KY btw. I started the engine and she fired right up with no special tools or towing to dealer. I ran it for about 10 minutes monitoring oil pressure and coolant level and temp gauge. The lifters created quite a fuss till they pumped up and then she quited down to a nice purr.
             
                 I ran it till the electric fan kicked on and it seemed fine no leaks. I have yet to drive it i just bought four rotors and both sets of pads everything there looks rough from sitting for three years so not taking a chance. So with that being said I will break down what i have in it compared to your 1800.00 head job..... head set, head bolts, thermostat, spark plugs, wire set, water pump, battery, head machining, four rotors, both sets of pads, air filter, cabin filter, serpentine belt,two gallons coolant, oil change......plus what i payed for the car ....................1300.00$ U.S.
             
                 And by the way thanks to the guy who said "say a prayer and cross your fingers" not quite the advice i was looking for


          • Russ Blumer
            Hey K....        Sorry if I seemed a bit hostile with my previous reply. Yes I did take a huge chance with the timing belt I ve done belts on Volkswagen,
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 16, 2013
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              Hey K....
               
                   Sorry if I seemed a bit hostile with my previous reply. Yes I did take a huge chance with the timing belt I've done belts on Volkswagen, hyundai, and many more .  I have driven the car a few times now that I have insurance and tags on it and it seems to be doing pretty good. I have finished replacing the broken rear window regulator, found all the missing chrome and body parts got them installed. The third brake light and rear panel light have been replaced with working non cracked ones also. Headlights have had a restoration buff and polish as well. Going to detail shop in the next few weeks to remove the musty smell and tree sap.
               
                   The check engine light has come on and has set two oxygen sensor codes I'm guessing from crud that may have made its way down the exhaust pipe and from sitting for the better part of three years. So with all that being said I do appreciate this forum and the info and advice I have recieved thus far. I will post from time to time to let ya know of any further work/ problems that i encounter and how this rescued from the scrap heap CAT is doing...Russ
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