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Replace Head Gasket, Heads, or Entire Engine?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 350k5, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. 350k5

    350k5 1/2 ton status

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    Hi, I've got a 1984 K5 Blazer that I bought for about $1300 that had a "new" engine in it with about 40K miles on it. I've had it for about a year and it blew a head gasket. I've had a mechanic look at it and he said that the head gasket was blown and it would be about $600 to replace that.

    However the problem is that when the "new" 350 was put it they reused the 305 heads. Now also the truck had been sitting for a while and the cylinder walls are pretty rusty. So here are the options I was given and I'd really appreciate hearing what you guys think about the situation. All prices include labor.

    - Replace Head Gasket, reuse same 305 heads & hope for the best -> $600

    - Put the correct heads on and replace head gasket -> $1000

    - Put in brand new 350 GM factory crate motor With 2 year parts waranty -- $1600

    Well those are the three options that I have, tell me what you think. Personally $1600 for a brand new GM crate motor with a waranty is a really really good price and almost a no-brainer. But any input would help. Thanks
     
  2. Mad-Dog

    Mad-Dog 1/2 ton status

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  3. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    600 to do a head gasket ?! holy damnnnnnnnnb batman! screw all that do it yourself, id tell whoever told you those prices to go screw themselves

    i always charge less than 100 to swap heads/do gaskets on chevy v8's
    they are easy it only takes a few hours lol

    or go buy a crate 350 for about 12 or 13 lol but like 90% of us cant just go and do that, thats alot of $, so,,


    but a head gasket job can be done yoursel,f just grab a friend and get them beer or something they want or need and go to town on it, yank the carb intake exhaust manfold and head bolts and clean up and install gaskets yourself

    it aint that bad just take your time

    you will save lots and lots of $$

    and be proud :D

    it aint hard to do heads on a chevy, at all, for real

    hell you could find AND swap in a good running 350 or something for way less than 600 even(like half that) yourself,
    this isnt hard to do either,
    someone you know has an engine hoist, if you dont, that you could use for cheap,
    start asking around, start putting feelers out there, bugs in ppl's ears out there, go to shops, busniesses asking around, someone knows something you just gotta find them :D thats half the fun :D its how to get to know all the businesses and tech ppl near you, how to get hookuyps and find vehicles, engines and such, you would be really surpsied what you can score often when you stop and talk to ppl and places near you, if they are firendly and will take a a little time to do so, if not then try again some other time, no biggie
    :P

    if yore truck is not a show truck and isnt one that needsa to get you reliably across state or farther, or something liek that then a good running used engine would be the way to go

    seriously

    if the cylidcner walls are rusty, then just how rusty are they ? will the engine still spin 360 degrees by hand ? or does it lock ?
    put penetrating fluid on all the cylidners soak them all real good and rings too,
    for like a day, then try, if engine will spin 360 then there you go, youre fine, go put heads on and be done :D i wouldnt give up on the engine jsut cuz its got some cylinder rust, unless it was REALLY super bad for sure
    you would be surprised what turns out being great after looking like crap, it happens all the time :D

    good luck :D
     
  4. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    2 roads to travel...

    Randy is right in many ways..its MUCH cheaper to do it yourself--at todays prices,even if you screw up something,you'll probably still spend less than having someone else do it for you..but if the motor is real rusty in the cylinders,it could cause problems with oil consumption if the rings dont seat again..

    Many motors I've done head gaskets and or heads on started to rap a few weeks later...anti-freeze gets in the oil,and it eats the bearings....many shops in my area wont do head gaskets alone,they insist on having the heads pressure tested and for straightness,and many wont gaurantee the motor wont develop a bearing knock shortly thereafter...so most of them just swap in a good running used motor from a junkyard with a 90 day warranty..

    If you have the money,I'd say a crate GM motor makes more sense--its actually easier in my opinion to pull and put a motor than to bend over it for a day or two to do head gaskets..your back will thank you,and you can drive anywhere with confidence that your motor wont start knocking 100 miles from home... you could lose a lot of cash if the head gasket job does not pan out....:doah: :crazy:
     
  5. 350k5

    350k5 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the input, I think I'm going to go with the new GM crate motor. The motor itself is only $1000, and another $600 to take out the old and put in the new. To me, that is a pretty good price for all of that.

    I'm only 18 and to be honest I know a few mechanical/engine related things, but I simply don't have the experience or the time to do it myself. I'm heading off to college in a few weeks and I want my truck to be good for the drives too and from school. Also having a lawn care business I simply could not find the time to do this even if I really wanted to. Unless someone could take out and replace my 350 with a brand new one from GM that has a 2 year waranty I'd go with that. But to be honest I don't really think anyone else I know could come close to matching that. Thanks so much for the help.
     
  6. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    ..........

    Its not that hard to pull and put a chevy small block in an older GM truck--I know you say you are too busy,etc--but you could KEEP that 600 bucks for other things if you could do it...I did my first motor swap all by myself when I was only 16,but I had helped do many before with my brother...but unless you have a garage available,an engine hoist,and a good set of tools,it probably makes more sense to have someone else do it...

    Too bad you aren't closer--I'm out of a job and need cash--I could put in a motor in a day or two in a GM truck--done so many I could do it blindfolded...I usually spend more time drilling out broken exhaust studs,and swapping all the accessories from the old motor to the new one,making all the cables and linkages work,etc, than it takes to actually bolt it in there...

    I cringe when I hear folks spending 1000 bucks or more just to put another engine in an older truck...I cant blame garages for getting that kind of money to do a front wheel drive car,but I feel thats a steep price to do a GM truck (I'm talking 73-87 vintage here)....wish I could do them all!!.. :crazy:
     

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