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  1. #1

    Default Head gasket blown or worse?

    I had trouble starting my 1999 k 1500 suburban. Thought it was just the starter. Well while changing the starter I noticed coolant coming from the exhaust donut. When I started the truck it came out pretty heavy. So I either have a blown head gasket, intake manifold gasket or possibly a cracked head. A few months ago I put a cat converter in. When I did it I did not notice that it was touching the metal coolant lines running down the fram rail to rear unit. Well lost coolant and it overheated to about 245 degrees. Well then last week I lost the thermostat. The bottom of the thermostat plunger actually fell of the thermostat body. Over heated again to about same temp. So I am going to change the head gaskets, intake manifold and exhaust gaskets. I think I will also use new headbolts and intake manifold bolts. I know that I have to be very careful removing the distributor. So a couple of questions. First am I looking for trouble trying to do this head job while the engine is in the truck? My concern is being able to get a torque wrench in there to accuratly torque the bottom head bolts. Second do you have any tips for removing the distributor to ensure I get it back in correctly? Thanks for any help you can lend to make this easier. Tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Ron

  2. #2
    Sr. Apprentice cedicol's Avatar
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    I'm started to do a partial rebuilt of my 1996 suburban as well. I dont really know why you want to change the headbolts. The are not stretch bolts so i dont see the point of it. You can messure them to see if the are in good condition but saying you are going to change them is a bit soon i think.
    It is possible to do the job with the engine in the car but it is not all that easy. romoving the engine is not a easy job as well, so leaf it in ther and go for it. If you going to change the gaskets check out all the rest you come acrosse. Everything what looks worn or damged, change it. Now you have the oppotunity to do so. Good luck with the rebuilt.
    life sucks, but i love it!!!!

  3. #3
    Sr. Apprentice BoneHead's Avatar
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    You shouldn't have to worry about the bolts. Save that money and use it to take the heads to a machine shop and have them check out for cracks while you have them off. There may be a crack hidden on the inside.

    As far as your questions:
    1. Shouldn't be too much trouble doing the job with the engine in the truck. It would be easier than pulling the whole engine, however, how many miles are on the engine? Only reason I ask is if you're gonna pull the heads, might as well pull the whole engine and replace the bearings and rings.
    2. Only tip I know of for the distributor is to mark the position of the rotor using a paint pen or a flat head screwdriver and hammer to make a small indention. This way if you don't get in to the bottom end of the motor, the dist should go back just the way it came out. You could even make a mark on the shaft and manifold so the shaft goes back into the same spot to make it easier to time the engine.
    1998 K1500 Suburban
    1977 Chevelle Malibu

    "I'm proud to defend your right to be an idiot!" From a friend in the military.

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