Engine mods to consider when fixing head leak - Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Engine mods to consider when fixing head leak

Looking for advice on what mods to perform if replacing head gasket. My 2008 turbo has about 70K miles and don't want to miss the opportunity considering the top end will be off. No, I'm not doing the work. Have local speed shop confirming it is just the gasket....and yes, I'm on a budget. LoL. Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 02:04 PM
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Clean carbon buildup off the valves
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 05:50 PM
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ARP Head Studs.

Factory head bolts are one use only (torque to yield). ARP studs can be reused. (231-4701 is the ARP part number)

Factory head bolts are about $80 for a full set. You will still need the four short bolts (GM Part number 24407225) even with the ARP kit. You can find these online for about $5 per bolt or about $20 for all four. That means the other 10 bolts cost you around $60.

The ARP studs are around $160. They are about $100 more overall but are reusable and hold the head down better than the OEM bolts. For $100, well worth it. If you're having a speed shop do the work for you, they may offer a discount on the ARP studs if they have better buying power than you.

While not really a "mod", I would also look into changing your timing chains. 70K still is pretty young for a timing chain (and most cars go well over 100k before "needing" one...I went 150k on my LE5 and it was still good) but if you want a little piece of mind, now would be a good time for changing the timing chain and it's guides. It's already off to get the head off and change the gasket so you're saving on labor.

Other than that, a quality head gasket is the only other thing I can thing of. You could do springs, and titanium retainers and an improved intake cam that overdrives the high presure fuel pump (HPFP) and all those will give you benefits but only if you're planning on doing more power upgrades and have a bigger budget as these parts can run a few hundred dollars each (Other than the head gasket).

TS brings up a good maintenance procedure to perform now (though I wouldn't call it a "mod" either), the LNF turbo engine doesn't have fuel pass over it's intake valves and thus they are very prone to carbon buildup. Since the head is off anyway, now would be a good time to have that cleaned up.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Robotech View Post
A

While not really a "mod", I would also look into changing your timing chains. 70K still is pretty young for a timing chain (and most cars go well over 100k before "needing" one...I went 150k on my LE5 and it was still good) but if you want a little piece of mind, now would be a good time for changing the timing chain and it's guides. It's already off to get the head off and change the gasket so you're saving on labor.
I can't remember if it was late '07 or early '08 that had the inferior guides for the timing/balancer chain....so this is definitely something worth doing! He's still going to have to "time" the motor when he puts the head back on, so I don't see him charging you more then a couple hundred for parts....
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by The_Ghost View Post
I can't remember if it was late '07 or early '08 that had the inferior guides for the timing/balancer chain....so this is definitely something worth doing! He's still going to have to "time" the motor when he puts the head back on, so I don't see him charging you more then a couple hundred for parts....
Yea, it's one of those "You know, while you're there..." kind of things. LOL

Half my current build is a collection of these things. LOL


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 10:13 AM
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Most of the labor in a TC job is clearing the space in front of the engine to get to the timing cover. They will definitely have to do it anyways, so the increased cost will be minimal. In reality maybe 15-20mins extra work to replace and torque all the guide bolts.

With the balancer chain replacement, might as well do the water pump too.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Well, found more damage. Shop is replacing the engine. Old one is coming out today, new one should be here next week. Reusing turbo... they'll check bearings, new clutch... is one preferred? Is the water pump part of new engine? I can't tell. Thanks for all the head suggestions too! I'm in about $7700 so far. Uhhh.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyRider08 View Post
Well, found more damage. Shop is replacing the engine. Old one is coming out today, new one should be here next week. Reusing turbo... they'll check bearings, new clutch... is one preferred? Is the water pump part of new engine? I can't tell. Thanks for all the head suggestions too! I'm in about $7700 so far. Uhhh.
Oh man, what did they find!?

If you're stock...or just a few bolt ons (intake, downpipe, charge tubes, intercooler) and a tune...the stock clutch should be just fine and give you the best drivability.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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The coolant in the oil...about a gal, ruined the internals, being very corrosive. Said it'll lead to a lower end issue.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SkyRider08 View Post
The coolant in the oil...about a gal, ruined the internals, being very corrosive. Said it'll lead to a lower end issue.
Oh yea, that would do it. I also meant to say that USUALLY the new engine would include a new water pump. I got just a short block from PAW and it had a water pump on it. A new long block certainly should.


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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 05:43 PM
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Oh yea, that would do it. I also meant to say that USUALLY the new engine would include a new water pump. I got just a short block from PAW and it had a water pump on it. A new long block certainly should.
I would think that since it is an internal part, and integral to the balance shaft drive, that it would have to be included.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 05:59 PM
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I would think that since it is an internal part, and integral to the balance shaft drive, that it would have to be included.
Since I ordered my short block from PAW I am not sure if the water pump would be included if you got the block from someone else but, like you, I'd ASSuME you would for the same reasons you mentioned.


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