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Note: This is a general guide for all vehicles.

How to Replace a Head Gasket

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Safety Tip:
Always wear safety glasses when working on your vehicle. Wear other personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary, for example latex gloves or closed toe shoes.

See Figures 1 through 10

Drain the engine cooling system.

To access and remove the cylinder head, the engine must be lowered and the both motor mounts removed.

1.) Remove the left and right engine access hole covers.

2.) Remove the motor mount bolts and nuts. (See Fig.1-3 Below)


Loosen and remove the upper mount nut (above)


Next remove the motor mount lower retaining nut and bolt (above)

3.) Raise the engine and remove the motor mounts.


Slide the mount out from between the members (above)

4.) Slowly lower the engine being careful not to rest the engine weight on the oil filter housing. SAFETY NOTE: Place a block of wood where the motor mounts had been to support the engine.

5.) Remove the exhaust manifold .

6.) Remove the distributor.

7.) Disconnect the EGR pipe bracket-to-intake manifold bolt. NOTE:This bolt can be reached from the right hand access hole. Follow the EGR pipe from the cylinder head back until you find the bracket and bolt.

8.) Remove the nut and bolt holding the EGR pipe to the cylinder head.

9.) Disconnect the engine wiring harness and fuel connections for the cylinder head.

10.) Remove the fuel rail with injectors.

11.) Unbolt and disconnect the two cylinder head and water neck brackets from the forward end of the head.

12.) Remove the lower intake manifold support bracket.

13.) From the left engine access hole, remove the two upper intake manifold bracket bolts.

14.) Remove the intake manifold-to-cylinder head hardware, then break the manifold free from the head.

15.) Remove the water neck mounting bolts and loosen the water neck from the cylinder head.

16.) Remove the spark plug cover, plug wires, and valve cover.

17.) Remove the camshafts. Refer to the Camshaft Removal and Installation procedure in this section.

18.) Place a jack under the cylinder head with a block of wood between them. Remove the cylinder head bolts.
NOTE: Make sure you remove the two front bolts first in the timing chain area.

19.) Remove the two bolts in front of the head before the other head bolts are removed. The two bolts are located in front of the timing chain.

20.) Uniformly remove the head bolts following the sequence.

NOTE: The cylinder head is positioned on the engine sideways and is very heavy. Be careful not to drop the head during removal. It is advised to have an assistant ready to help.

21.) Pull the cylinder head from the dowels on the cylinder block.

22.) Remove the cylinder head gasket.


Cylinder head bolt loosing sequence (above)

To install:

NOTE: Always clean and inspect the cylinder head and mating surface for cracks and flatness when removed.

1.) Clean the gasket mating surfaces and check for warpage.

2.) Apply seal packing to two locations on the cylinder block as shown.


Apply seal packing in these two areas on the block (above)

3.) Install the head gasket and cylinder head.


Place the head gasket in the correct position on the block (above)

4.) (If the camshaft timing gear was removed), align the matchmarks placed on the timing gear and chain during removal.

5.) Place the cylinder head in position on the gasket.

6.) Oil the bolts and using the proper sequence, tighten the bolts in 3 steps.

7.) Uniformly tighten the head bolts to 29 ft. lbs. (39 Nm).

8.) Mark the front of the cylinder head bolt with paint.

9.) Retighten the cylinder head bolts 90 degrees in the numerical order as shown.

NOTE: Check that the painted mark is now facing sideward.

10.) Retighten the cylinder head bolts an additional 90 degrees.

NOTE: Check that the painted mark is now facing rearward.


Tightening specifications can be found on a label located on the No. 2 cylinder head cover (above)


Cylinder head bolt tightening sequence (above)


Mark the front of the head bolt with paint (above)


Retighten the head bolts 90 degrees in the order shown (above)

11.) Install and tighten the 2 front mounting bolts to 15 ft. lbs. (21 Nm).

12.) Install the camshafts.

13.) Install all remaining components.

14.) Fill the cooling system and fill the engine with oil.

15.) Connect the battery cable, start the engine, and check for leaks.

16.) Road test the vehicle for proper operation and recheck all fluid levels.

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