how do i change a head gasket?

its a 1.8 dual overhead cam. this is all french to me, could someone help?

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Sure - remove all the parts that are in the way of removing the head, then remove the head, clean the old gasket material off and replace the gasket. Re-install everything in reverse order and be sure to torque the head properly.
Seriously - having to ask this question makes you a more likely candidate for taking the car to a mechanic than anything else. Replacing head gaskets isn't rocket science if you're mechanically inclined and have done some automotive work before, but your question implies this is not the case for you. If you're insistent upon doing it yourself, then start by getting a Haynes manual for your car at an aftermarket parts store. They have step by step directions.
Good luck.
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-Mike-
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I also suggest you get a Haynes manual or Chiltons manual an read the procedure b4 you start pulling loose all parts. Head gasket replacment is easy one you get to the head itself. If you really want to get a good book see if you can find a service manual developed by the manufacturer this will be much more detailed and give you things that the other manuals don't say. The Haynes and Chilton's manual sometimes assume alot and it sounds like your mechanical knowlegde is limited. If you do decide to do it yourself just remeber to make sure you put the right side on the appriate side, the gaskets come in pairs the book will show you how to put it on and make sure you trq those bolts down to the apprpiate strength. Sine its a 1.8l its probably only one gasket anyway
Bryan
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I further suggest that in a case like this it's always best to have a nice warm inside place to work plus alternate transportation until spring.
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...as well as a fall back plan, such as a friendly mechanic who will accept the box of bolts, nuts, washers, hoses, etc. that he brings in with him when he has the vehicle towed in.
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-Mike-
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Good suggestion.

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mongo wrote:

This is not the kind of project on which to start your auto repair learning curve.
John
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Not to mention that it's unlikely someone with a limited background in engine service posesses a set of tools which are up to this particular job. That would be a major problem. How many of us have 30 years' worth of tools and equipment and STILL have to buy something else here and there all the time? Take it to someone reputable who will do it right and make short work of it, pay him for his expertise, and have a serviceable car and peace of mind. Trying to save money by trying to do something like that--if you don't really know how to do it--is penny wise and dollar foolish. It could turn out more expensive than if you had it done professionally to begin with.
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