Head Gasket on a 350

I have a 89 Chevy Suburban with a 350, auto transmission and AC. Looks like the head gasket needs to be replaced. A fel-pro head gasket kit is ~$65, and has intake manifold gaskets, exhaust manifold gaskets, valve cover
gaskets, head gaskets, etc. What else do I need to look for and worry about when I tear into this job? From looking at it, it seems like it is pretty straight forward, just start removing things until you get to the head gasket, replace that, check that the heads are still straight, and put it all back together. Anyone have any advice or know of any write-ups that will help out? Any tricks or problems to look out for?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rusted wrote:

Hopefully you know how to adjust valves on a Small Block Chevy. Lot's of folks have problems the first time they attempt it. And another item, the exhaust manifolds have a tendancy to warp slightly (if they are the W style manifolds) and when you go to re-install them, the bolt holes on the end of the manifolds will not line up with the holes in the cylinder heads.
What you are looking for is a manifold spreader. Looks like this: http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/lis13000.html Fairly cheap and always a useful tool for anyone working on chevy small block engines.
Ian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
use a little silicone rubber at each end of the intake manifold gaskets to prevent oil leaks. put it in the corners where the gasket hits the heads on each side. never had to use a spreader on 20 head gasket changes. old john

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@comcast.net wrote:

I guess you haven't done enough of them then.
Ian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I've done several as well, and have needed a spreader or my "special tool" (manifold bolt with shaft ground down to "spread" the manifold as it threads) every single time.
Doc
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Doc" wrote:

That's pretty slick, Doc. I used to see guys "sharpen" the end of the manifold bolts (shudder). They might go in, but you pitied the next guy who pulled them out.
Ian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ack! I just ground down the non-threaded center-shaft portion of the two outermost bolts and thread them in first, maybe 5 complete turns, so the manifold is resting against the grooved shaft section. This gives enough clearance to get all the remaining bolts in and get the thing squared up again. After that, just hand loosen the grooved bolts and replace with some new ones.
How ya been bud? Long time no chat!
Doc
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Doc" wrote:

Doing good. Trying to get the yard work done, but we seem to have incured the wrath of the gods up here in Southern Alberta. We've had amounts of rain never seen before in the month of June...flooding...etc. Fortunately, our house is not down in the river valley, so flooding is not happening where we are.
Other then that, wasting my time looking for old Olympus camera's on "you know where"!
Ian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Inline......................

Hell, I think it relocated from good ol' Ohio to up there. The last few years we've had copious amounts of rain/flooding/cooler temps all summer. This year we've hardly had any rain and it's been hot as balls. Grass is already dying all over the place and it isn't even July yet!

He he he he, we all need a hobby man! I got rid of my two RC Monsters that kept eating themselves and traded up to a HPI Savage 25. Booyeah is this thing fun!
Doc
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Doc" wrote:

Had to google to figure out what a "Savage" is. I liked the looks of the internal engine parts...looks like a quality built engine.
As soon as I go through all my RC aircraft stuff, I've got to dump a couple of engines. I haven't flown in years now, and probably won't for a while. And the stuff I've got will be so out of date...it'll be time to start over.
Ian
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
shiden_kai wrote:

    He's probably not doing High Rail heads. Old school 70's and erly 80's manifolds didn't warp much. They just cracked.
    I have a 88 C3500 SRW with a 350 in it that someone did a head job on. They left out the back bolts on both exhaust manifolds!
    Aint much worse then being brought a vehical with issues caused by mechanics who's family trees do not fork. Charles
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"Rusted" wrote:

You neeed to figure out why it blew. 350s do not blow head gaskets for no reason. You may have a engine that got too warm once and the head is slightly warped. Check the heads for warpage before you reinstall them and get them milled a bit to flatten them if the warpage is more than 2 or 3 thousands tops.
--
Posted using the http://www.autoforumz.com interface, at author's request
Articles individually checked for conformance to usenet standards
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
All good info, just what I was looking for. I have no valve experience, but I am not afraid to get in there and learn. But I also have some good resources that I can turn to for help. So when I get that far I will have to drag the parts over to their place to make sure they are adjusted right. And if I struggle with the exhaust now I know there is a tool to help out. Thanks for all the input thus far.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.