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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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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-Service-Manual-Chrysler-Chassis-Electrical-Engine/264435061850?hash=item3d918ed45a:g:hRoAAOSwZbRdWaYO
 

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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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Discussion Starter #12
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
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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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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Well, according to Pope we are comparing apples to oranges since the heads are not the same between your 84 and my 90.

I have used both Fel-Pro Permatorque and a Mopar Performance HG.

The OE lasted 90,000 miles before it went, it was replaced with a Fel-Pro and we did a "slip and slide" because I needed the car back on the road ASAP.
The Fel-Pro was working fine until I developed an Overboost issue (story for another day) and each time I checked/changed something I would take the car out and go WOT to see if the Overboost issue was gone, well one day the HG had enough and BOOM!!!
That gasket was replaced with a MP headgasket I got online before they were discontinued, I also installed ARP head studs when I installed that gasket.
The MP gasket lasted 6 years (about 21,000 miles) and developed a pin hole leak.
That gasket was replaced with a Fel-Pro which is still in the car.

The last HG was done in Sept 2016, 10,000 miles ago.
To be honest with you, I still use a bit of coolant (1 qt per month from the overflow bottle) with no visible leaks, is it from a HG sealing issue?

IMO and I am not an expert on the early cars with 10mm head bolts I would use the Mopar gasket if I could be sure there would not be any issues with it from sitting on a shelf for 20+ years.
If it were me, today at my age, being retired and not driving much I would just get another Fel-Pro and be done with it.

I am sure Pope will chime in again with more wisdom so we both can learn something. (Not being Sarcastic)

BTW...
When I was a Chrysler Tech (1995-2010) all Mopar short blocks came with McCord Gaskets so the assumption has to be that they were the vendor for Mopar gaskets.
My Grandfather sold McCord Gaskets in his parts store back in the 60's when I worked with him in the summer.
McCord was bought out by Federal-Mogul who also owns Fel-Pro so draw your own conclusions.

Overboost 5/21/10
Head Gasket (A) 5-21-10.jpg

MP W/Pinhole 9/11/16
Head Gasket (B) 9-11-16.jpg
 

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The new Felpro leaks cylinder pressure as the one side went to all metal. The problem and why the MP gasket was made is material hardness and the ring with a paper type gasket. So the MP gasket was made softer to seal squish better and the combustion ring is stronger. BTW in Alaska the MP gasket was a stock replacement as they have bigger expansion and contraction problems. Also on the list is power levels on stretching bolts. The 10mm is weak, that combined with a rock hard Felpro will leak under boost, though won't pop. Copper spray and a Mopar gasket and bolt combo is best on a 10mm car. Again this is a kid doing in in a parking lot possible not in a shop. In a shop I'd get the 11mm studs and tap the block. If the engine has little ware, I'd pull it, hine it and over haul it and deck it. Then add a MLS that will be there for ever. Big one is cost, MP parts are expensive. So it isn't a big deal to get a Cometic if you go that far. Modest boost around 10 and the MP could be a 80K gasket. If the head is warped at all and you use a rock hard Felpro set it'll leak like a cracked head right away. Ive bought cars with a warped head. Added the MP gasket and studs and never leaked. As the studs are stronger than the head..... many ways to look at it, physical reasons people have different results. Mopar has been buying and packaging Felpro sets under the engine set. I believe you can get the 006 gasket still and drill the coolant holes in it if needed. 005 should have been the gasket design kept.....
 

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BTW if you go to the 11mm bolt, you need 2 sets of washers. Not the single set. The MP set cones with extra washers. As the 11mm set is for the taller 782 head. The other option is cross reference the 10mm bolts. If a more popular engine uses a cross reference you can use 10mm studs possibly. But a hunt lol
 
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