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footndale

Head gasket repair

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footndale

I have a friend that just found out he needs a new head gasket on a Merccruiser 6.2L engine. He was told $1900 to replace both of them by the marina. Seems a little high but don't know. They are going to check for further damage too. The computer shows running hot about 200 hours ago, before he purchased it.

Personally I would do it but it is not my boat.

Dwight

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Big Jay D

If he is not willing to do the work him self then he is looking at about $2k. Shop around. Do it your self for about $300.

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Baddog

How involved is that repair?

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Falko

I'd figure at least a full day for the mechanic. Pull the exhaust manifolds (new gaskets), pull the distributor, pull the intake (new gaskets), lift each head and replace the head gaskets (probably $100 a piece), re-install everything, set the valves, check the ignition timing, etc. Much more in labor than parts, that's for sure.

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Baddog

I'd figure at least a full day for the mechanic. Pull the exhaust manifolds (new gaskets), pull the distributor, pull the intake (new gaskets), lift each head and replace the head gaskets (probably $100 a piece), re-install everything, set the valves, check the ignition timing, etc. Much more in labor than parts, that's for sure.

If you are just removing the head and putting it back on, not touching the valves at all why would you need to re-set them?

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vette-ski

If you are just removing the head and putting it back on, not touching the valves at all why would you need to re-set them?

That was my first thought too but since head bolt torque is pretty important, to do the job correctly you would ideally not want the pressure of the valve springs (some open, some closed, some half open) affecting how the head seats down as you go through the torque sequence. However there are a lot of things you can do to speed it up and not have to worry about adjustments. Loosen them all 5 turns, then tighten them all 5 turns when you are done. Same for the distributor. Depending on the engine setup, you could most likely get the intake off without touching the distributor at all. Worst case you put a good scribe line and would never need a timing light when done. I would never pay $2k for that job, but thats me and I DIY everything.

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Big Jay D

Will need ex. manifold gaskets. Head gaskets. Head bolts. A tube of RTV. That's it. The intake gasket on the LS/vortex engines is reusable. If it were my engine I would take the heads to a reputable machine shop and have them checked and decked. If the heads are decked slightly the rockers will need to be shimmed.

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happypappy

With a good manual like Chiltons or ?? and some basic tools, you can borrow or rent the high tech stuff like TQ wrench to torque the heads, most folks with minimum mechanical skills can do it in a weekend.

Helps if you uncle or best bud is a mechanic, but can be done by the non professional types.

Just depends if you want to save 1000-1500 vs watch college and pro football all weekend.

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zone 5

If you are just removing the head and putting it back on, not touching the valves at all why would you need to re-set them?

when you pull the head you need to loosen the rocker arms and remove the push rods.. Then when you replace the head, you will have to readjust them.

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zone 5

I have a friend that just found out he needs a new head gasket on a Merccruiser 6.2L engine. He was told $1900 to replace both of them by the marina. Seems a little high but don't know. They are going to check for further damage too. The computer shows running hot about 200 hours ago, before he purchased it.

Personally I would do it but it is not my boat.

Dwight

$1900 for ONE engine? thats stupid crazy overpriced. If no one is mechanically able to do this, get some more estimates.

Why do they think this motor needs a head gasket? or are they guessing? overheating does not mean its a blown gasket.

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Woodski

To zone 5's point, what are the symptoms? What data are they using to convince the owner a head gasket is bad? The one area that is sensitive is the section between #3 / 5 and #4 / 6 or the narrow section between the center cylinders due to the adjacent exhaust valves. I would demand to see the leak down data before going forward.

As noted, if only a cylinder head gasket, they can be purchased for ~ $15 or up to $35 at Summitt Performance or Jegs, etc. It is not that difficult a job & a great learning experience for a young teenager. A lot more time than $ as a DIY project. A few small tricks, mainly sealing the head bolts so they don't leak after assembly.

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Falko

That was my first thought too but since head bolt torque is pretty important, to do the job correctly you would ideally not want the pressure of the valve springs (some open, some closed, some half open) affecting how the head seats down as you go through the torque sequence. However there are a lot of things you can do to speed it up and not have to worry about adjustments. Loosen them all 5 turns, then tighten them all 5 turns when you are done. Same for the distributor. Depending on the engine setup, you could most likely get the intake off without touching the distributor at all. Worst case you put a good scribe line and would never need a timing light when done. I would never pay $2k for that job, but thats me and I DIY everything.

Is this a 383-6.2 or LS? I was thinking 383, in which you need to take the distributor off to get the intake off. I would agree though, $2k for that job is a lot of money, but I can see where in hours the cost adds up.

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Falko

To zone 5's point, what are the symptoms? What data are they using to convince the owner a head gasket is bad? The one area that is sensitive is the section between #3 / 5 and #4 / 6 or the narrow section between the center cylinders due to the adjacent exhaust valves. I would demand to see the leak down data before going forward.

As noted, if only a cylinder head gasket, they can be purchased for ~ $15 or up to $35 at Summitt Performance or Jegs, etc. It is not that difficult a job & a great learning experience for a young teenager. A lot more time than $ as a DIY project. A few small tricks, mainly sealing the head bolts so they don't leak after assembly.

I paid about $80 a piece last time I bought marine grade head gaskets. Are they that low now?

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Michigan boarder

I removed the heads from my engine a week ago in about 3 hours, learning as I went. Taking pictures of wiring locations to answer any reassembly questions, marking the distibutor, laying push rods and rockers out on a bench, really taking my time. Assembly would certainly take longer, but even if it took twice that time, big deal. Buy your materials during the week, start on Saturday early and you're done with the removal before the first kickoff. Put it back together Sunday before the first pro kickoff. Even if he has no tools, he could buy everything he needs, including the leak down tester, compression guage, timing light, ratchets/sockets/wrenches and chest for $2k and still come out ahead.

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Sixball

I removed the heads from my engine a week ago in about 3 hours, learning as I went. Taking pictures of wiring locations to answer any reassembly questions, marking the distibutor, laying push rods and rockers out on a bench, really taking my time. Assembly would certainly take longer, but even if it took twice that time, big deal. Buy your materials during the week, start on Saturday early and you're done with the removal before the first kickoff. Put it back together Sunday before the first pro kickoff. Even if he has no tools, he could buy everything he needs, including the leak down tester, compression guage, timing light, ratchets/sockets/wrenches and chest for $2k and still come out ahead.

No need but if you pull the lifters out put them back in the same hole.

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Michigan boarder

No need but if you pull the lifters out put them back in the same hole.

Good point. In my case I suspected my whole engine was coming out regardless.

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Woodski

Head gaskets on a non overhead cam engine is not too difficult, you really are only doing removal and replace tasks with the exception of making sure the distributor is indexed correctly and the rocker arm nuts are returned to the same location as when removed. One of the bigger concerns might simply be to keep the carpet stain free!

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footndale

$1900 for ONE engine? thats stupid crazy overpriced. If no one is mechanically able to do this, get some more estimates.

Why do they think this motor needs a head gasket? or are they guessing? overheating does not mean its a blown gasket.

I believe they did a compression or leak test. Last time out it was back firing and running really bad.

It is a Merccruiser 6.2L used on Sanger DX II boats(2004).

I would do it myself, but no my boat. I've replaced a few engines in automobiles, so not that hard. Plus I have a backup. Brother-in-law builds engines.

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zone 5

I believe they did a compression or leak test. Last time out it was back firing and running really bad.

It is a Merccruiser 6.2L used on Sanger DX II boats(2004).

I would do it myself, but no my boat. I've replaced a few engines in automobiles, so not that hard. Plus I have a backup. Brother-in-law builds engines.

leak down or compression would maybe possibly give them an idea if it was a head gasket. Guessing on head gaskets on a non closed cooling system is hard. Where he may have an issue is if they pull it and it did blow the gasket and their is damage to the block, I've seen none, and I've seen a lot. Heads are not a big deal because cutting them is easy if there is damage.

As you clearly know how to do it, I'd volunteer for say $1200 and call it good :)

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zone 5

I paid about $80 a piece last time I bought marine grade head gaskets. Are they that low now?

Fel-Pro Marine (SS core) are about $35 each.

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zone 5

I removed the heads from my engine a week ago in about 3 hours, learning as I went. Taking pictures of wiring locations to answer any reassembly questions, marking the distibutor, laying push rods and rockers out on a bench, really taking my time. Assembly would certainly take longer, but even if it took twice that time, big deal.

You did great! 3 hours for a 1st time is awsome!

My guess by someone who has done it multiple times is between 5-7 hours total. R&R. Parts cost is around $150 for the gaskets depending on if you need to replace the intake. I have no idea what shop time costs, but give them $150 per hour.. Thats $1050 in labor and $150 in parts. Course I'm sure they are quoting Merc prices, and I'd bet they are 2 or 3 times what the rest of the world charges.

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