Changing head gasket on 2.2 Pontiac..any tips?

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1,992
Location
Windsor,Ontario
My sons 95 Pontiac Sunfire,2.2 OHV basic pushrod, is leaking coolant from the back of the head gasket so I guess I gotta change it.Any tips?A mechanic told me not to remove the intake or exhaust manifolds just pick the whole thing up the way it is...saves lotsa time.I have a book with all the torque settings and stuff just wondering if anybody has any tips?
 
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10,060
Location
Central Washington
Well, I guess you could do it that way, but it seems like it would make it unnecessarily hard. Just think of trying to lift the head off and reinstall it with that cast iron exhaust manifold hanging off one side. I would also take the head to a machine shop and have it checked and then milled for flatness. On the OHV setup, make sure you keep the assemblies separated from each other and marked as to where they go, so the pieces are not made to break-in again to each other.
 
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Messages
110
Location
Katy, TX
Get a manual of some type and make sure you understand how to insure the crankshaft and camshaft timing relationship is maintained when you remove timing belt or timing chain from the camshaft sprocket. good luck
 

Greaser

Thread starter
Messages
1,992
Location
Windsor,Ontario
Well I've decided to remove the exhaust manifold.There is no timing belt or chain up top, it's push-rods and rockers.I've used a sealant (iron tight) all winter and it held up untill spring then whoosh!I've done this before on an ole' 250 straight six Chev and it ran great for many years.I'll go by the book most ways and I'll let you know if it lives or dies.
 
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35,963
Location
ME
These are easy! Pull the exhaust manifold, leave the intake attached. I had issues removing all the bolts from a power steering pump bracket or something, so I left it alone. Had to bend it (eek) as I lifted the head and only had 1/2 inch in the tightest corner between head and block. Enough, though. Pretty sure I left most of the fuel and wiring hooked up and just slipped the new gasket in from the front. Tip: the rockers have these little half balls they rotate on, don't lose 'em!! Impossible to find/buy... finally got one next day from advance auto parts.
 

Greaser

Thread starter
Messages
1,992
Location
Windsor,Ontario
The power steering pump was a [email protected] to get off but I did.The head is off anyway.It was pretty straight-forward except for two front head-bolts that cost me a couple of 15mm deep sockets that split with a breaker bar on em'.Tomorrow we clean everything up then re-assemble with new head-bolts and gaskets.I got the gasket set from NAPA and the gaskets aren't Fel-Pro.He said they are made by Rold or Roll or something like that.Later....
 
Messages
520
Location
FL
ROL gaskets aren't as common here in the states, but the exhaust gaskets of theirs I have used seem to be of very good quality.
 
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Messages
1,967
Location
Sudbury, ON, Canada
New bolts all the time. You can physically "feel" the new ones stretch when you torque them, I promise the old ones would be no different from the factory. Don't let them crack from fatigue. Taking the remains out of an iron block does not sound like too much fun to me!
 
Messages
1,225
Location
SW Michigan
Some head bolts are Torque to Yield AND SHOULD NOT be reused. I did the headgasket on a 97 2.2L OHV cavalier. Wasn't that bad. Worst part was putting stupid intake manifold back on because we couldn't get the fuel lines disconnected.
 
Messages
1,967
Location
Sudbury, ON, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Buffman
Some head bolts are Torque to Yield AND SHOULD NOT be reused. I did the headgasket on a 97 2.2L OHV cavalier. Wasn't that bad. Worst part was putting stupid intake manifold back on because we couldn't get the fuel lines disconnected.
I had the same problem. Ended up taking out the fuel rail as a whole.
 

Greaser

Thread starter
Messages
1,992
Location
Windsor,Ontario
Well we got it back together after a real good clean-up.Little 4 banger fired right up and runs great...NO LEAKS!I let it run for a while to operating temperature to make sure everything was Kosher, then shut it down and changed the oil & filter with 10W-30 Pennzoil.The power steering pump was the biggest PITA to get off and on.The Rol gasket set said to use "new bolts only" and I bought them before I read that...always use new fasteners.The cylinders had no noticeable ridge at TDC and the insides were very clean after 260,000km.Anyway my son is happy to be back on the road with his heap!
 
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