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post #1 of 24 Old 08-17-2019, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Head Gasket went, looking for advice

I own a 1984 Chrysler Laser XE and last night I got a bunch of white smoke coming out of my exhaust after pulling into a gas station after which my car would not start. Brought it to mechanic and after letting it sit overnight it did start but again white smoke... mechanic gave me a rough estimate of around 1500-1900 and that its a gamble has a cylinder could be cracked. Talked about getting it machined then dipped...

I am not the most knowledable when it comes to this stuff but you fellas here on the forum have been more than helpful in the past when I have had problems with the car or finding parts. I LOVE my laser but it does have signifcant rust around the wheel wells and is getting pretty old. I would like to do everything in my power to keep the car without of course leaving me bankrupt, just a kid going to university...

I suppose my possible options are either paying to get this fixed, finding a new motor and paying to have it put in or ultimatley finding a different laser for sale altogether and scrapping what I can from this one. I do own the hayes manual and have modified a starter, replaced my CV joints, replaced a logic module but these were all fairly simple, is this something me and my apprentice mechanic friend could attempt ?

Any advice is appreciated, if you do know where I can find a motor for this car or how hard of undertaking this is would be great.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 24 Old 08-17-2019, 03:59 PM
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

Where is your location? Rebuilt cylinder head is around $400.
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post #3 of 24 Old 08-17-2019, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

I am located in Canada, Edmonton to be exact, so if I understand correctly having the cylinder rebuilt is only needed if its cracked ? or is the $400 you mention the typical price for a blown head gasket and rebuilding the cylinder is just standard in this repair?
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post #4 of 24 Old 08-18-2019, 06:50 AM
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

well there are different ways to do a HG job,, some more "thorough" than others..

my shop always pulls then sends the "bad" head to the machine shop for an inspection & rebuild ;
this will include (at minimum) thorough cleaning including removing coolant and oil plugs, checking for cracks (magnaflux) , flatness of surfaces (decked if needed), check spring pressure, multi-angle valve job, new seals, pressure test when finished..

for an SOHC 4-cyl this service typically runs 250-300$,
but our machine shop is rural and charges much less than most urban shops

the possibility that you cracked a cylinder is very small, but when the head is off you will be able to carefully inspect all 4 cylinder walls

this is a big job. far outside the realm of a driveway mechanic w/o serious tools..
this old car *will* have a bunch of corroded seized bolts on the turbo & exh mani, etc that will be a reeal b*tch to work with

yur estimate of 1500-1900 does not sound too bad *providing* it include the head rebuild costs..
get another estimate or 2, unless this is your preferred shop that you know & trust..
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post #5 of 24 Old 08-19-2019, 10:57 AM
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

If you are on a budget or do not have money or do not want to take a chance with someone else working on your car (I have probably known less than 10 people in my 40 years in the business that I would let touch my car) then...
What I am about to tell you I would never had done on a "paying customers" car when I was still a tech but I am giving you another option that will cost you about $300.00 in parts and time if this is what you choose to do.
A lot of the tools can be rented at Autozone.

I have replaced my head gasket 3 times in 29 years.
My HG's went for different reasons...
OE @ 90K, Overboost issues, Bad MP gasket, etc and have never sent my head out.
We own a Snap-On straight edge so I was able to check to see if the head/deck were warped but it never was so...
Judging by my experiences I would say you can safely remove the head, clean everything properly replace the HG and Head Bolts, Valve Cover Gasket, Manifold Gaskets, Exhaust Donut/Bolts and whatever other components need to be replaced while there (timing belt, cap/rotor/wires/plugs, belts/hoses, thermostat, coolant, vacuum lines, O2 sensor, Oil Filter) and there is a Good Chance you will not have issues.

No guarantees and ultimately the choice is yours but it gives you another viable option.

Jan
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post #6 of 24 Old 08-19-2019, 02:16 PM
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

its pretty darn easy to pull it off and check.
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post #7 of 24 Old 08-19-2019, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by NAJ View Post
If you are on a budget or do not have money or do not want to take a chance with someone else working on your car (I have probably known less than 10 people in my 40 years in the business that I would let touch my car) then...
What I am about to tell you I would never had done on a "paying customers" car when I was still a tech but I am giving you another option that will cost you about $300.00 in parts and time if this is what you choose to do.
A lot of the tools can be rented at Autozone.

I have replaced my head gasket 3 times in 29 years.
My HG's went for different reasons...
OE @ 90K, Overboost issues, Bad MP gasket, etc and have never sent my head out.
We own a Snap-On straight edge so I was able to check to see if the head/deck were warped but it never was so...
Judging by my experiences I would say you can safely remove the head, clean everything properly replace the HG and Head Bolts, Valve Cover Gasket, Manifold Gaskets, Exhaust Donut/Bolts and whatever other components need to be replaced while there (timing belt, cap/rotor/wires/plugs, belts/hoses, thermostat, coolant, vacuum lines, O2 sensor, Oil Filter) and there is a Good Chance you will not have issues.

No guarantees and ultimately the choice is yours but it gives you another viable option.
I really appreciate all the advice, I think I am gonna go ahead and try this, ill be sure to come post questions along the way if I run into problems.

Thanks so much!
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post #8 of 24 Old 08-20-2019, 09:28 AM
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

We will be here if you need assistance.

When cleaning the head and deck surfaces...

DO NOT USE
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...3241340&rt=rud
Head Gasket went, looking for advice-scotch-britetm-roloctm-surface-conditioning-discs

USE
https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...3223502&rt=rud
Head Gasket went, looking for advice-roloc-bristle-discs.jpg
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post #9 of 24 Old 08-20-2019, 04:14 PM
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

The Fel-Pro multi layer gasket kit will give you what you need to do the job. Plan on replacing the head bolts too and use the proper torque measurements and sequence when tightening. A factory service manual is a great tool to have as it gives you the specifics of how to go about the job. Good luck
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post #10 of 24 Old 08-21-2019, 09:22 AM
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrfury68 View Post
The Fel-Pro multi layer gasket kit will give you what you need to do the job. Plan on replacing the head bolts too and use the proper torque measurements and sequence when tightening. A factory service manual is a great tool to have as it gives you the specifics of how to go about the job. Good luck
All good advice.

Haynes Manuals are not recommended, for the same price...
You can get used FSM's (Factory Service Manuals) on eBay or get a subscription to https://www.alldatadiy.com/ for under $30.00 which has ALL of the info from the FSM's + some.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1984-Servic...oAAOSwZbRdWaYO
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post #11 of 24 Old 08-21-2019, 11:00 AM
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

To start the MLS doesn't work right on a factory 2.2. The surfaces need to be very smooth. The 2.2 looks matching by dragging the deck behind a pickup. So the grooves will cause leak. Next is cheap Felpro paper, 2k mileage with a turbo, same with the bolts. Next head cracking.

So the best option is lift the head, clean it and swap to the Mopar gasket. Spray with copper, use Mopar 10mm bolts to 70 ft lbs and no 1/4 turn. And get it going. The head is the older non 782 head, far less likely to be cracked. Do not take it to a shop and have them use their parts. They'll buy cheap Felpro crap and it'll need a gasket in 2k. tear it down, ring it, bearings, light hone, buff the decks. Add the MLS and it'll never blow a gasket again. But a kid in school...... Jack the head up and inch, screw driver clean and swap it. Bungy the timing gear, Jack the exhaust up to the floor. Piece of cake

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post #12 of 24 Old 08-21-2019, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

Okay, so I have got the car back from the mechanic and now have it sitting in my backyard. Gonna order the parts to do this but what head gasket do I go with? From reasearch on the forum I have done most people speak highly of the felpro gaskets but from what pope is saying up above the Mopar one is much better quality?

Also some exciting news, I was able to find in a town about 30 mins out from where I live a 1984 Chrysler Daytona, same gunmetal blue as mine, racing striped interior just like mine, 159K KM with only minor surface rust starting along the very edge of passenger door. Some small rockchips on the very front of hood but overall in much better condition then mine. Went and drove it yesterday and I really liked it. Talked to him about his head gasket as he stated he has owned lots of the older dodge turbos and is also a mechanic. He stated that he has always replaced the shitty factory gasket with the blue tinted felpro one, he said he would do this for me before I bought it so I made him an offer of $2800 which he accepted. I go to pick it up on sunday after he changes out the gasket on saturday.

But now I read this
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Pope View Post
Do not take it to a shop and have them use their parts. They'll buy cheap Felpro crap and it'll need a gasket in 2k.
So is there a better gasket I could order and get him to use instead.

Wish I had pictures still to show all of you the car but he took the ad down. I will be sure to post some once I get it. I still plan on doing mine here and will be sure to come back as I have questions, I am sure ill have lots.

Thanks all.
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post #13 of 24 Old 08-21-2019, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

I had a old copy of the ad still saved so here are pictures of the 84 daytona I purchased, pretty happy with it. :)
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post #14 of 24 Old 08-21-2019, 07:37 PM
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

very good buy, everyone wants those seats.
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post #15 of 24 Old 08-21-2019, 09:16 PM
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Re: Head Gasket went, looking for advice

Looks like a great find. I don't know the shape your original Laser is in but judging by the pics your new one looks great. I worked in a Chrysler / Plymouth dealership between '84 & '85 and can remember doing new car prep on Lasers. They were fun to test drive. I can't believe you found another one. I haven't seen one around for several years. Good luck with it.
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