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Are there any mechanics on this forum?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Ironbar, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. Ironbar

    Ironbar Tigard, OR Well-Known Member

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    It finally happened. My poor truck finally blew the head gasket. It had been leaking coolant into the exhaust manifold for some time, and today it finally went out for good.

    I'm well aware of how much it costs to replace a head gasket on this truck. The price runs anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500.00. My question is, is it worth it?

    It's an '89 Chevy Silverado 3/4 ton pickup. With the exception of the head gasket it's very mechanically sound. Do I even want to bother? Should I sell the truck off as-is? If so, how much do you think it's worth?

    Thanks!
     
  2. deadeye45lc

    deadeye45lc silver creek wa Member

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    To bad your not closer I could do it in a half day and would only charge ya about half of that, but for me I'd do it but just depends on if you can get something else to fill the need of your current truck for the price of replacement gasket work. If not then I'd do it. But that's just my .02
     
  3. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    'Worth it' with a vehicle is always subjective. If you have to pay someone to do it may not be worth it if the vehicle is of little use to you or in bad condition. However if you use it regularly, it does what you want and to replace it would cost more than it may very well be worth it. Is it 4WD? In good condition? I think you need to evaluate your needs Vs. value of it before deciding what to do.
     
  4. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    Have you considered replacing the engine with a used or rebuilt engine?

    An older vehicle in need of major repair isn't worth much.
     
    orygun and (deleted member) like this.
  5. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    oops.... double post :eek:
     
  6. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills Cave Creek, Arizony Well-Known Member

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    You could do it yourself for one fourth, park it & tear it down. Get a chilton or haines book and a rachet wrench set. Buy the parts from a place where they will loan the tools you don't wanna buy like a torque wrench, places like checker, i mean o'reillys or auto zone. Man up it isn't so tough. While you are in there prolly oughta put in a new timing set too, gears & chain. Prolly drive that truck another 15 years to forever, if you wanna.
     
  7. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    $1500 seems a bit steep to me. How many miles on the truck? Mine has well over 300k and is on it's 3rd freshly rebuilt motor. This last time I had to bore it 30 over to get straight cylinder walls. Sorry, I digress a bit.

    Back to the issue at hand:

    If you are sure it's just the gasket then yes, it's well worth it. What I'd be concerned about is the head cracked? Even if it is it's still worth it. Rebuilt heads are pretty reasonably priced and should be readily available.

    I bet it's the passenger side huh? If so then your'e lucky because if you are 100% sure the heads are good then you can get away with doing it down and dirty. That is just changing the head gasket and calling it good.

    As I just alluded to though even if the head is toast it's still worth it. The $1500 price quote better include NEW heads, with valves, rocker arms and a premium gasket kit.

    Like deadeye I could do it for you for a lot less. Perhaps a trade in ammo or something like that. I have all the tools required and definantly the know-how But since I just got back from AFG I have other priorities at the moment. Sorry.

    But the bottom line is yes the truck is worth fixing.
     
  8. Keane

    Keane Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    On a truck that old, it isn't bad... I could probably knock it out in my garage in a weekend (and I don't even have that good of a garage!). I've done a few similar jobs for beer for a few friends, and the cost is really just parts. You could get out of it for ~$100 if you did it yourself.
     
  9. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Seriously, Chilton's or Hayes (Haines?) manuals, and Auto Zone or O'Rielly's auto parts is your friend if you are up to DIY.
     
  10. Toxic6

    Toxic6 Higher then a PDX hipster (~10,000 ft higher) Active Member

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    It has a bowtie on the front, so no I wouldn't bother with it (jk, but people do seem to put distorted over realistic value on wore out gubment motors crap round here yuk yuk)

    Honestly, I look at it like this: can you replace the vehicle for less then the cost of the repair? If not, probably worth it - and I agree with the others here, with money being so tight nationwide you should be able to find a shop or even a solo mechanic to do the work cheaper then your quote there. If you do it yourself, I'd check the head for warpage and send it somewhere to get machined if it is out of spec and inspect it well for cracks if you don't want to have it magnetic particle checked somewhere (vs the dirty method - unless you don't mind gambling on having to do it over)....and make sure you use a torque wrench on the head bolts, and ensure they are dry or wet with anti-sieze or whatever is called for per the manufacturer instructions.
     
  11. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If you decide to DIY it get the Chiltons before you start!
     
  12. Ironbar

    Ironbar Tigard, OR Well-Known Member

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    While I am VERY much into DIY, and I have a plethora of hand tools, I am not confident in my own skills in taking on such a job. I honestly do not believe I could do it myself even with the Chilton manual (which I do have).
     
  13. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    I'd fix it or get it fixed and run it! You know what you have and don't have to worry about new problems with a new/different truck. With a little googling you might be able to find a factory manual that will be much better than a Chiltons but a Chiltons will get it done too.
    I wish i could help more, Good luck
     
  14. Boomerang

    Boomerang Portland area Active Member

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    Hmmmm. Why don't you think you can do it? You can take a gun apart and put it back together, why can't you do the same with an engine? It's just a big puzzle-- take it apart and put it all back together in reverse order. You can even use masking tape and number every piece you take apart so you know not to skip anything.
     
  15. WhyteCheddar

    WhyteCheddar East of Moscow by the Willamette Well-Known Member

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    This guy is a supporting vendor here on the forum.
    You might run this by him. He is in Lake Oswego so probably not all that far from you.

    Daves Palisades Home Page
     
  16. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    It is replacing a headgasket on a smallblock chevy. Easy as pie. Will probably cost you about 60 for a complete gasket kit and then your time...would take me about 4 hours, start to finish, and that is counting beer drinking time and lunch.
     
  17. Muddslinger12

    Muddslinger12 Vancouver Active Member

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    Chevys are made to be easy to work out def not my 1st choice I would personally sell it to a fool and buy a Ford or Toyota! lol (no offense intended) But Fords are way better and toyotas just go forever (330xxx ++ miles on my 1st gen 4runner before motor finally blew) Dont mean to start a battle here but facts dont lie lol

    But back on topic I think its funny how differant ppl are, I look at a gun and its like a huge puzzle I dont wanna screw up (TOO Co$tly for me!) by tinkering or trying to mod. Wanna learn to polish trigger assembly and such its just intimidating to me. However on the flipside (and opposite OP) I could easily and Confidently tear apart (almost) any engine and FIX it.

    YOU can do it Ironbar! With a chiltons manual you got it made not to mention get your parts at Shucks Oreillys (CALL around FIRST they PRICE MATCH!! QUALITY PARTS @ the CHEAP Price!!) Not only that but they are (usually) VERY Helpful and knowledgable you are working on the "beloved" (to some lol) Chev 350 so most guys there WILL be able to help you. Also OTHER internet forums are a HUGE Resource as well.

    Take you time with it DO NOT RUSH It seriously leads to mistakes and you start doin things over again. If you start to feel overwhelmed just take a break. If your already questioning whether or not its worth it, What have you got to lose? Its really win win cause if you happen to screw it up you can find a crate motor or used one on CL or from a Junkyard for way less than 1200 Also Shuck Oreillys actual sell a crate. Check around you may be surprised. A new motor will make you NEVER AGAIN question the value of your truck. A happy truck makes for a happy driver and a new motor will make your truck VERY happy!

    A NEW Crate motor vs a new Headgasket should be another consideration. Super easy to swap out too.

    Just my 2 cents take it for what its worth. I hope you the best of luck in your decision and most importantly HAVE SOME FAITH in yourself! "Joe 6 pacK" type "shade tree" grease monkeys been fixin 350s for years!
     
  18. Uberdillo

    Uberdillo Oregon Active Member

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    :eatpop:
    Decisive times. I go through this every time I need to fix something on my car now. I've done all the work on it for the last couple years except for straightening the frame when it got totaled... You'll get good answers here, but I guarantee there are already answers and a full step by step tutorial with images or a video on doing exactly what you want to do on one of the many chevy, silverado, or other dedicated DIY truck forums. That usually gets my confidence up since I didn't do much other than oil changes in my youth.

    It's worth it to get it apart and figure out the extent of the damage and whether it can still be your DD or SHTF truck.

    Muddslinger, that's funny about not wanting to mess with your guns, I get that. I don't have a problem with what feels like just pushing a few pins out and replacing something or polishing, but I take out a thermostat or even look at my brakes, I feel like I'm gonna bend an old wire or brake line the wrong way and not notice that I jacked it up only to find out by losing my brakes on my to work.
     
  19. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    easy job overall - I'd be glad to help but I'm working waay tooo much until at least after new years. Don't think I've worked on a chevy since about the time that one was new though. Still, a 350 is an easy project. If you decide to go the engine swap method I have an engine hoist here.
     
  20. Ironbar

    Ironbar Tigard, OR Well-Known Member

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    You guys are all awesome! I'm exploring all options at this point. The truck itself is a third vehicle. I use it almost exclusively for hauling stuff when I have need to haul things. I bought it from my dad's estate after he passed in 2010, so it does have some sentimental value, but not enough that I'd be willing to pump major amounts of cash into it.