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Old 03-26-2014, 09:33 PM
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
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I drove a VW Fox...with a blown head gasket and very badly sludged-up engine oil, for a long time...with little problem.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:53 PM
Location: Prosper
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Originally Posted by quoss View Post
I'd rather have a pair of $800 cars (that I've been driving and up-keeping) than any ONE $80,000 car. :-) ONE of of my 2 cheapies is far more likely to start, run, stop, or be NOT stolen or wrecked, guaranteed.
I think I'd put more money on the $80k car being more likely to start, run, stop, or be not stolen or wrecked.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:32 AM
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In short, it depends on the rest of the engines condition !!!
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Old 03-27-2014, 09:10 AM
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The odds are that you have a leak between a water jacket and the outside of the engine.

The first mechanic is likely right.. You're not going to have an immediate major issue from that, so long as you keep the coolant topped off. You'll have lower pressure from the coolant system, which means that the vehicle will likely run slightly hotter than normal, but, not overheat so long as you keep coolant in it.

Eventually... That minor leak will probably develop into a major leak which will necessitate replacement of the head gasket. Which is a big job, but not in the grand scheme of things. 7 to 8 hours of labor is a good rule of thumb. Pending on the engine.. Costs var wildly for a head gasket replacement. On a 97 Chevy, I paid about $600.. If one went on my '05 Colorado.. Looking more towards $1500. On an 87.. I would ballpark (Depends on the engine, etc) probably around $1200, assuming it's a V-8 engine.

Head gasket kits generally contain a new head gasket, new head bolts, intake manifold gasket(s) and various other gaskets/pieces/parts pending on engine/model.

I haven't seen bad 'additional' advice here.. I replaced head gaskets on 2 Ford Escorts (84 and 86) myself, both times I took it to a machine shop to check the head for any warping.. It was fine in both instances. A shop that replaced the head on my 97 S-10 didn't have it checked, since it never overheated. No problems after replacement.

Doing a valve job while the head is off isn't a horrible idea. Not required, but.. Hey, if you have a valve fail, you've gotta pull the head again, so..

What is going to happen, eventually, as I mentioned. The small leak will become a big leak. As the water flows through the hole in the gasket.. Just like the grand canyon was made by water flowing over time.. Same thing will happen to the gasket material. So, you'll have to have it done eventually.. But.. Of course, you could blow out something in the lower end of the engine before that happens.. Not because of the head gasket leak, but just because something else went out before it got bad enough to be replaced.
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