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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok so there is white smoke coming out of my exhaust and my coolant level is low. Im pretty sure i need to replace my head gasket. i can get the gasket so i was wondering how tedious/ hard is it to replace a head gasket? like how hard is it to take the head off and what else should i look out for. im handy and have every tool needed, i was just wondering if its doable.
 

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where's lo bux?

anyway, for me, i would just take that into the ol dealership. that is a bit more than i would ever want to try to do. unless, i had damon at my side and lance by the phone.

just saying.
 

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It is NOT a job for every guy out there. It involves A LOT of work and is NOT easy. I would do some more testing before jumping into head gasket repair time. Leak down test or comp. test would be good easy tests that don't involve 10+ hours of work.

Eric
 

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Check the oil and see if it's mixed in there as well if it is do not run it anymore. Check the plugs if you see a wet one bingo, shouldn't take long to diagnose unless it's very small. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined it is not as hard as it seems. The most daunting to most is all the wires etc seen underhood. 99% of the time they only can go one place so don't let them scare you. A cheap haynes manual can and a little tool handiness and it shouldn't be a problem. You will need to replace other gaskets such as intake and exhaust. Easiest way is to start disconnecting everything going to the engine such as wires hoses etc marking them as you take them off. Then go for the harder items such as intake/exhaust manifolds, front accessories (don't disconnect the AC lines just unbolt it and lay it to the side) Turn the motor over to TDC and mark if need to and remove the timing assembly. Lastly the head bolts IN ORDER! <---important and is usually found in the haynes manuals. Remove all traces of the old head gasket being very careful not to nick the surfaces. voilla reverse order torquing everyting to spec and specifically the head bolts in the proper sequence. This is a general procedure for a 4 cylinder in general so the might be a small step here and there as I haven't been inside one of these yet but to give you an idea that is a basic outline. I can do 2 on a v8 in less than 10 hours being quite inclined so an average joe on a 4 cylinder with decent access shouldn't take that long.
 

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See when people like this ^^^ get on here and start saying a head gasket is easy, it makes people think they can do it when in fact they can not. The headgasket isn't a simple job, nor is it easy. It involves a lot of work and is not easy. With the 2az-fe you are looking at removing the entire intake tract (Filter to intake manifold), exhaust manifold, valve cover, accessory belts along with some acc. that run off the belt, front T-Chain cover (not as easy as a T-belt cover as it is siliconed on there pretty nicely), T-chain tensioner, T-chain (this entire procedure is done with what? about 2-3 inches of room on the front side of the engine), THEN you can finally start unbolting the head (which has to be done in a certain order since it is aluminum I believe) and then its off. Once its off, you have to make sure not to make even a knick on either surface or you will be getting it machined. Then its re-install and you better know how to get your cams in time or you will be pulling the front cover and valve cover off again. Yes I basically repeated everything he just said but once again he made it sound simple. I can make anything sound simple. To drop the engine and tranny all you need to do is take off the engine mounts and take all the electrical plugs off and its out.

It is a very in-depth procedure and again, is not for your average work in the garage tech. Am I saying its not do-able? NO. Am I saying it is A LOT harder than what the guy above made it sound like? Yes.

I can't be a judge of what you can and can't do, only you can.

Hope this helps,
Eric
 

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For someone who has done more involved engine work, it is not that complicated if you follow the procedures. IF you have not, then you are probably going to feel a bit overwhelmed. I would do it without hesitation, but I have had the heads off of plenty of cars in my time


Bottom line, if removing the intake, both manifolds, the head and the timing parts makes you feel a bit uneasy, then dont try it unless you have someone else there to help you that knows what they are doing.

If you do it though, I would send the head to a machine shop to have it checked out once it is off to be sure you dont have a cracked head. If it is the gasket, you should see signs of where it was leaking if you know what to look for.

But whether or not you or someone else is going to look at it, you need to do it somewhat soon. If the leak suddenly gets terrible enough, there is a risk of hydrolocking the motor at worst case.
 

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I would also do it in a heart beat. But I have experience, on top of that I had a seized 2az-fe at my disposal at work and got to do everything I wanted to it. Basically bare block, head etc. etc.

Eric
 

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QUOTE (buderic @ Feb 16 2008, 09:08 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=371802
I would also do it in a heart beat. But I have experience, on top of that I had a seized 2az-fe at my disposal at work and got to do everything I wanted to it. Basically bare block, head etc. etc.

Eric[/b]

Guys, lets not forget to mention the tools... a 12 piece craftsmen ratchet set won't do the trick....

Find out fo sho that you need a new one. Did you overheat? if it was bad enough, you may need more than a gasket
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ok the reason why i think its my head gasket is because my coolant levels were just below the "low" level and i have actually never really paid much attention to it otherwise. I USED to be told there was white smoke coming out of my exhaust but there isnt any more. If my engine is "using" coolant, wouldnt that mean i have a bad head gasket? just wondering. If any of you guys have any other ideas just let me know. i prob wouldnt be the one doing it now so i dont wanna have to pay mad money if everything is fine. btw, i havent touched my coolant level until yesterday and i have had the car for 2 years now.
 

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Just losing coolant doesnt mean you are needing a head gasket. A very slow leak in the right place will burn off and possibly not make an obvious mess on the ground. Or, it can be dripping on the splash gaurds. If it is small enough, that alone may cause you not to notice it right off. Top off the coolant and watch it closely to see how fast it is dropping.

If it isnt smoking when you are watching it, or it has just happened once in the past, I would not start tearing it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
yeah, i panicked (sp?). i looked up online what a loss in coolant means and just panicked more. thanks for all the help guys. ill keep an eye on that ish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok well there is def. a leak. I havent looked at my exhaust, but i just filled it up like 5 days ago and it has gone down at least 1/4 of an inch. should i take it to a dealer and see what they think? its winter up here so i can start tearing it down exactly, i dont live here either, my tools are all at home in virginia. (im in buffalo, ny right now).
 

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Check your splash guards to see if coolant is dripping underneath... since you are turbo'd my first instinct is check the coolant lines going to the turbo.
 

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You HAVE to measure the coolant at the exact same temp. or it voids all coolant losing tests. Coolant expands when hot, thus you will have a higher reading when the car is a operating temp than when it is cold. 1/4 of an inch is well within the area if you measured when hot one day and cold the other. I would wait till you see a drastic decrease (from H to below L) to worry about anything. My coolant fluctuates between H and L (H when fully warm and L when freezing and below).

Eric
 

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Get a cooling system tester, pressurize the system and see if it holds. If it does not, you have a cooling system leak. If it does hold pressure, then there is nothing wrong with your cooling system.

FWIW, pulling the head on this car really means dropping the engine first. You don't want to do this in the car, that timing chain cover will make you want to tear your hair out.
 

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Get a cooling system tester, pressurize the system and see if it holds. If it does not, you have a cooling system leak. If it does hold pressure, then there is nothing wrong with your cooling system.

FWIW, pulling the head on this car really means dropping the engine first. You don't want to do this in the car, that timing chain cover will make you want to tear your hair out.
 

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Check the oil and see if it's mixed in there as well if it is do not run it anymore. Check the plugs if you see a wet one bingo, shouldn't take long to diagnose unless it's very small. If you are somewhat mechanically inclined it is not as hard as it seems. The most daunting to most is all the wires etc seen underhood. 99% of the time they only can go one place so don't let them scare you. A cheap haynes manual can and a little tool handiness and it shouldn't be a problem. You will need to replace other gaskets such as intake and exhaust. Easiest way is to start disconnecting everything going to the engine such as wires hoses etc marking them as you take them off. Then go for the harder items such as intake/exhaust manifolds, front accessories (don't disconnect the AC lines just unbolt it and lay it to the side) Turn the motor over to TDC and mark if need to and remove the timing assembly. Lastly the head bolts IN ORDER! <---important and is usually found in the haynes manuals. Remove all traces of the old head gasket being very careful not to nick the surfaces. voilla reverse order torquing everyting to spec and specifically the head bolts in the proper sequence. This is a general procedure for a 4 cylinder in general so the might be a small step here and there as I haven't been inside one of these yet but to give you an idea that is a basic outline. I can do 2 on a v8 in less than 10 hours being quite inclined so an average joe on a 4 cylinder with decent access shouldn't take that long.
Hayne doesn't make a Scion tc manual. You get the factory manual .pdf from ebay for $12.90. I ordered one, I tell you how is when I get it.
 

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Hi all! I have a 2009 Scion tc, started making some awful noises in the engine compartment....louder than usual. I was told not to drive it and check for any engine leaks....nothing significant enough to see any puddling, but an occasional sign of some oil around the area where you pour in oil...I took the valve cover off and the gasket seems to be in good shape. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. My son also stated that "it started making the noise while driving and then the squeaking noise the more i drove it"
 
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