What Tools To Use When Replacing A Head Gasket?

A blown out head gasket means that the coolant has started leaking into the combustion engine and the cooling system does not work properly anymore. Without any further delay, you should look for a head gasket replacement so that you do not continue damaging your car. Generally, replacing the head gasket is a task that is best reserved for professional mechanics. However, if you want to replace the head gasket as a DIY job, you need to ensure that you have the necessary knowledge, experience and education to do so. Replacing the gasket is a simple task, but getting to the gasket and replacing everything in place takes a lot of time. It is for this reason that replacing the head gasket is an expensive ordeal.

Head Gasket Replacement

To remove a blown out head gasket and replace it with a new one, you need to remove the intake manifold, exhaust manifold, valve train, and finally the head. Numerous sensors and wires must be disconnected on the way and the ignition system must be disassembled. Even though experienced professionals always suggest replacing a gasket that creates trouble, some may suggest you to repair cracks and warps instead of replacing the whole gasket. Nevertheless, a complete took kit is essential for a head gasket replacement.

Use a good Floor jack and jack stands

Floor jack and jack stands help you to gain access to the engine’s underside. You need to carefully prop up your car and use floor jacks to get to the engine first. A torque wrench with 8.7 ft/lbs to 72 ft/lbs is essential as you have to set the optimal torque settings after replacing the gasket. A torque angle gauge is also necessary to attach the head bolts and maintaining the correct amount of tension. If you make a mistake with torque settings, you will certainly experience performance issues. Some trucks have very serious torque settings and so, you should manage to use these tools properly.

Remove the timing chain tensioner

The timing chain tensioner must be removed for head gasket replacement and you need a 3mm long shaft allen key for that. Some experienced DIY mechanics use hammer and punch, but without experience, you can’t get it right with a hammer and punch. ¼” and 3/8” socket sets are necessary as you have to deal with different types of nuts and bolts while gaining access to head gasket. To go with the socket sets, you need the corresponding socket set extensions. Screwdrivers and needle nose pliers always come in handy when you get down and dirty for a mechanic job. The number of car parts that must be accessed, removed and assembled varies depending on the make and model of the car.

Always use a repair manual

While dealing with a head gasket replacement, you have to always use a car repair manual which details every single component of the car. The manuals can explain to you in detail about car assembly and you can follow the manual to remove and replace gasket. You should always have a few sticky notes and marker pens handy as you have to take a note of the positions of the wires, sensors and bolts while disassembling the cylinder. If you are a run-of-the-mill mechanic, it is best not to mess around with the combustion engine assembly and disassembly because of the intensive and precise labor required to replace a head gasket.

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