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Head Gasket and resurfacing the heads

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Old 05-09-2012, 06:52 PM   #1
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Head Gasket and resurfacing the heads

Hello, I have a 96 tacoma V6 4X4 with 160k on the clock and I have the symptoms of a blown head gasket:

Milky slime under the oil cap
White smoke from tailpipe
Cold idle runs like crap but after a couple minutes it seems to run normal
Losing coolant

So far i've replaced the radiator, the thermostat, coolant temperature sensor, spark plugs, and plug wires but the problem still persists, im losing coolant. I'm ok with changing out the head gasket myself but how important is it to have the heads resurfaced? How many of you guys replaced the head gaskets and resurfaced by machine or did not resurface it at all? Please help! Money is tight right now and I don't have $800-$1000 for costly repairs. Thanks in advance.

Bryan
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:58 PM   #2
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well you're going to have to first find out which head gasket is leaking.

Also it is very important to get the head re surfaced since it is aluminum and is prone to warping.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:01 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, i've done some searching on here and those that have replaced their head gaskets never say anything about getting the heads redecked or anything like that. Im also contemplating on using "Steel Seal". What d you think about that? It has gotten good reviews.

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well you're going to have to first find out which head gasket is leaking.

Also it is very important to get the head re surfaced since it is aluminum and is prone to warping.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:06 PM   #4
slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.
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I have done many gaskets over the years. Buy a high quality gasket and make sure both the head and the block are very clean before installation. Follow proper torque spec's and tightening pattern. If you think it is not a major leak,( IE: cracked head) and you have not overheated the engine, chances are you will be just fine only replacing the gasket. If you melted down, and it's running real bad. Then I would consider having the head planed. Also, I like to coat both sides of the head gasket with motor oil before installation. It helps the gasket lay flat when torquing the bolts. Lastly, I am not sure if the intake manifold has water jackets, maybe it's only an intake gasket?. Take a close look before removing the head. Good luck with everything!
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leggo View Post
I have done many gaskets over the years. Buy a high quality gasket and make sure both the head and the block are very clean before installation. Follow proper torque spec's and tightening pattern. If you think it is not a major leak,( IE: cracked head) and you have not overheated the engine, chances are you will be just fine only replacing the gasket. If you melted down, and it's running real bad. Then I would consider having the head planed. Also, I like to coat both sides of the head gasket with motor oil before installation. It helps the gasket lay flat when torquing the bolts. Lastly, I am not sure if the intake manifold has water jackets, maybe it's only an intake gasket?. Take a close look before removing the head. Good luck with everything!
throttle body has a single water jacket running through it.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:48 PM   #6
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I would machine the head everytime you take it off.

The head do warp just a bit everytime you loosen it. I've seen a lot of people changing their head gasket without machining the head and coming back to square one with a leak.

Stay away from that steal seal bullshit. It's only meant for a quick fix and for you to drive home.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:50 PM   #7
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thanks for all the help guys. I will just let it sit on the sideline till I can muster up enough funds to get it fixed properly.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:51 PM   #8
Greg Graffin 2016
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Also I know a shop that does the machining work in the Norwalk area, pretty good guys pm me if you want their number.

Or look up the head exchange, I think they are in Hawaiian gardens or cylinder head exchange in slymar.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:47 AM   #9
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thanks pho, I will look into that..

by the way, here's a pic of my nasty oil cap:

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Old 05-10-2012, 12:49 AM   #10
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I'd also replace the studs while you're in there.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
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I'd also replace the studs while you're in there.
go with APR studs.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twistedfreedom View Post
I'd also replace the studs while you're in there.
x2, always replace the studs.
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