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OT - head gasket on old liberty
7:15:17 PM
Hey guys, just done a head gasket...... bugger.

Wondering if anyone had been through it before - Ive got a 94 liberty wagon, like everyone else haha

How far into the thousands will it run?

I expect it to be more than the car........ but live in hope hahaha

Cheers guys, Steve

7:42:14 PM
Honesty, it does'nt have to cost that much. I did a head gasket in Mozambique, 300kms to the nearest place that could help me. Got some gasket paper for 80 bucks, traced and cut it myself. Took 3 hrs to cut the stencil and 2 days pull the engine apart and put it back together.

You could buy the gasket paper here off the shelf and do it yourself. Just remember where everything goes, :)

7:53:11 PM
Hey Steve...
I just took my 93 liberty to subie. they said head gaskets are farked. $9000...!!!!!
massive price due to the fact that i took it to subaru dealership, and also subies have 2 heads due to the horizontalkky opposed thing. this means theres twice as much labour as other cars.

pretty big job doing it yourself... If its a DOHC, Ie your timing belt runs around four (2 either side) camshafts. If Its An EJ22, It's probably an interference enjine, which means if any of the spring loaded cams spins when the timeing belt is off, It'll bend the cars and you'll need to put a new enjine in....

Which is probably cheaper than gettin gaskets replaced :)

Subarus... GREAT to drive... shitheads when they break down!
8:42:17 PM
yeah..... at my place this is subi number 13 i think..... never was expecting good news haha - why put the important, fiddily bits in the most hard to access parts of the engine bay? great while they are running though, cheers

9000 is crazy though!!!!!!!!
9:03:55 PM
Also, you will need to check to see if the head is warped.
When it comes off, take it to get pressure tested to see if its fine. If the head is warped, then replacing the gasket will only be good for another few thousand before the donk gives up the ghost.

To be honest, 9K is a stupid amount of money to pay - if you paid that, your looking at almost the cost of a brand new small car, or almost new bigger car.
Most reputable mechanics will do the work for around 2 - 3K (labor only) plus parts. Usually a lot cheaper on older motors which don't have overhead cams.

The gasket itself will only be between $50 to $300 depending if you have to go genuine, make, etc. Subi will be a bit more than something like a commodore/toyota/falcon - which go for the cheaper end of the scale.

Pressure testing head will be around $400.

If you have to get a new head, then it may be a better option to cut your losses, or buy a complete motor.

- Shortman, most head gaskets are more than what you can make out of a paper gasket. This is because they need to allow for expansion of different metals at different temps. Alloy head and cast block expand at different rates. The head gasket will have something similar to the paper gasket your referring to on either side of something like copper/soft metal. I would be interested to see how long your paper gasket lasted, as it would have fried pretty quickly being exposed to the combustion part of the engine....

Head Gasket:

Rocker Cover gaskets on the other hand can be made from a paper gasket, caulk, or rubber (more common in new motors). The rocker cover gasket only stops the oil leaking from out the top of the rocker cover/cam cover. I have made one of these out of a beer box before to get me home. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone, unless it was a last resort.

Rocker Cover Gasket:

Dr Nick
10:10:33 PM
$9k is a joke considering you can pick up a *car* that's 10 years younger than yours for about that. Parts are under $50 from ebay (plus shipping from the US), about $300 locally. If you're reasonably handy and have the time it could be worth getting a Haynes manual and the parts and DIY, for a total outlay of about $500 (assuming you have a reasonable selection of tools already).

Otherwise you need to find a mechanic you trust who doesn't charge the Earth. Subie aren't really interested in the job, hence the silly price. Ask around work or your mates for the number of a mechanic who they use. I can't offer any suggestions for the 'Gong, sorry.

10:25:34 PM
Gasket lasted longer than the ute did, so I never will know.
It was one of those 4cyl mid eighties Toyoya utes (bacci). In the 100 days I was with the car, 10 were spent under it, :)

Not the best buy of all time. The selection of second hand cars in Sth Afica redifined the term. They were #@$%ed.
8:35:14 AM
If you are not comfortable working on cars, then I wouldnt suggest replacing your head gasket yourself.

You need to ensure that the head is tightened down in a specific order, timing needs to be re-done, and you need to be able to diagnose a shift in cam/s if they are moved whilst the timing belt is disconnected.

You also need to ensure that the head is bolted down and torqued using new head bolts, as they are a one off item. If you reuse the same bolts, then you run the risk of snapping a bolt off in the block, since the threads are designed to stretch once torqued (re-using them means there is very little give left in each bolt).

Also, if you do it yourself there is no warranty….and when its something like a head gasket, there is little margin for error when replacing. You’re basically putting the risk of your entire motor in your hands. Incorrect torquing means you will probably warp the head, get hot spots and end up with small bits of molten alloy dripping on to your pistons before the engine finally packs it in. Basically, the engine will be a throw away.

IMO, if you can afford it, this is a job that should really be left to the professionals. That way if something goes wrong, they have to fix it and you are not out of pocket even more money.

9:21:17 AM
Subies have a flat 4 - so basically the engine has to come out to get access to the heads. I'm not familiar with the early liberties but I'm assuming its a SOHC on each bank. It is a bigger job on these cars than most others.

But, $9K!! No way. You could buy a rebuilt WRX engine and bolt it in for that price! Shop around - sounds to me like that mob just didn't want to do it!

10:27:38 AM
Check for 2nd hand engines from these guys:
Jappo Donks & Cog Swappers
(02) 6056-2144 (Wodonga)

They looked after me a few years ago when the gearbox started to die on the Outback. Seemed to have the best prices and I was happy with the service (and the gearbox they sold me worked a treat).
12:20:25 PM
Dont worry guys - not gonna bust it open my self...... whole can of worms that I dont want to deal with, I know enough about cars to know that I would get it done after a week of oil and filth and toil, start it and it all goes to peices again haha

Just got a quote for a worst case senario of 2000 for a recon'd engine, but will be a fair bit less if mine is still in good nick....expect it to be, hasnt overheated or been to far gone yet i think, so fingers crossed for no warping or cracking...... That was through R&C motors in Wollongong, been through them a few times, all good blokes!
2:17:25 PM
On 27/07/2011 sleake wrote:
>Just got a quote for a worst case senario of 2000 for a recon'd engine,

That sounds far more reasonable compared to 9000!
7:59:26 AM
On 27/07/2011 dalai wrote:
>On 27/07/2011 sleake wrote:
>>Just got a quote for a worst case senario of 2000 for a recon'd engine,

but how long will that last?

i reckon $3000 is the normal quote, which often is the same as buying a new one, least in NZ

I'm staying away from Suby wagons now...just some not so nice experiences and the low clearance...get a real 4WD is my personal preference though it is nicer to sleep in the old suby!
9:24:46 AM
How many k's on the engine with the blown head gasket? There's no point doing the bottom end if its under 200K I reckon, since you should get at least another 150K on the engine (presuming you do your oil changes nice and regular like). My mate has put over 450K on his liberty and has quiet lifters and doesn't burn oil at all, though I think his case is a bit unusual.

On 28/07/2011 dmnz wrote:
>but how long will that last?

Provided that the rebuild is done properly, it will last exactly as long as a brand new engine, since that's effectively what you get when you rebuild an engine. $2000 sounds about right to me.

You might also be able to grab a low kilometer (sub 100K) engine out of Japan and have it fitted for probably less than $2000.
9:47:22 AM
not been my experience, as the rest of the car will probably break down before then

but good luck with it eh
9:57:45 AM
On 28/07/2011 dmnz wrote:
>not been my experience, as the rest of the car will probably break down
>before then
>but good luck with it eh

Well obviously that's a possibility, but it doesn't have anything to do with the new motor. I think most people realise that new engines don't magically fix your shagged diff/CVs/gearbox/whatever else might be fuked about the car, and so will take these things into account when deciding on whether to fix or replace their cars.

There are 16 messages in this topic.


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