Best guide to replacing blow head gaskets for a new DIY'r

jimmy conway

New Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2013
New to the forum and to turbo buicks. I have an 84 Buick Regal T-type that I recently purchased. Unfortunately when I took the car out cruising I decided to floor it and ended up probably blowing a head gasket or 2. The car had some issues before I blew the headgasket(s) (car would idle rough, shut down intermittently while driving). So now I have to replace the headgasket(s) and trouble shoot as to what caused it in the first place. To get to my question, what guide or manual would be the best for me to get to walk me through the process of replacing the headgasket(s) and/or troubleshooting the problem that caused it. Any tips would be great too (I used the search function to look for any previous posts on guides and couldn't find any). Also, I'm not especially mechanically inclined and do not have any experience working on turbo buicks (did minor work on dodge 318 and chevy 350). Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
same as any other headgasket job...use the proper torque specs depending on what head bolts your using and seal the threads on the part of the headbolt that goes into the block with some loctite 567...torque the heads in the factory recommended torque pattern and your good to go...although make sure to have the heads shaved at your local machine shop to make sure there not warped.....
 
Thanks for the quick reply. Any guides or books you would recommend for disassembling the everything (i'm a newbie)? Also, Any suggestions on other things to replace while I have everything disassembled?
 
Jimmy, I think the first step is to get it apart and post some pictures of what you find along with some information about your engine, budget, and goals. If you are going to reuse you pushrods keep track of where they went. I use a box that I poke holes into and number its basically a homebrew solution to something like this:

F14602928.jpg
 
Take the engine out and do it. It is much easier. Or you can bring the car to me and I will have you back on the road less than 8 hours. I am a pro at them now.LOL I have head studs and have to remove my engine to replace them. After the first time its a piece of cake.
 
Take the engine out and do it. It is much easier. Or you can bring the car to me and I will have you back on the road less than 8 hours. I am a pro at them now.LOL I have head studs and have to remove my engine to replace them. After the first time its a piece of cake.
Sounds good are you near the los angeles area? I just started to tear the engine apart. Got the radiator hoses, and up pipe removed from the car, next will be trying to remove the turbo, down pipe and intake. I'm finding a lot of mickey mouse work on the car now that i'm taking things apart. will show pictures soon. My downpipe looks welded to exhaust, would I have to remove the down pipe to take the heads off?
 
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That was the spark plug for #3 cylinder. Not a mechanic but pretty sure it's not supposed to look like that.
 
take stuff apart- keeping track of what goes where- until you get the blowed head gaskets out..
clean everything up.
reverse procedure when putting back together, making sure to use the proper torque specs on the head bolts.
 
A little late but... 1. get a Helms book and as Novaderrik said, "take stuff apart." That spark plug had damage so I would pull the motor. You could have scored the piston wall with plug debris. Get an engine puller and go to town! The Helms book will give you all the specs you'll need. That's how I learned. I marked everything with tape and a marker. If you get stuck, ask questions on here. Many guys know how to put theses motors together with their eyes closed! Good luck.
 
Thanks for the reply. I bought a chiltons book, would that be enough or would I also need the Helms book? making some progress but taking it really slow because I get frustrated and start doing dumb things with the wrong tools. Thanks again! With post my progress. Found some coolant in the throttle body.
 
Chiltons book not enough. Get Helms, it's like the bible for these cars. It has step by step, diagnostic, all wiring, and trouble code instructions. Go to gnttype.org and VortexBuicks. Read everything in these websites. Explore all the tips and tricks that we do with these cars. Take your time and make sure you have Metric tools. Make sure the intake to throttle body hose isn't connected. We bypass this hose connection. Good luck.
 
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