Replacing My Head Gasket: An Ongoing Journal - Nissan Sentra Forum - B15, B16 and B17 Sentra Forums
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post #1 of 84 Old 10-06-2007, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
BigDave
 
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Replacing My Head Gasket: An Ongoing Journal

Alrighty, so today I decided to start dismantling my QR to replace my very blown head gasket. I have several sets of sockets plus my handy new set of wratcheting wrenches, love those, plus some other random tools of use, needlenose, flashlight, work light, rags, plastic baggies, marker, grease crayon, zip ties and a big ol' box of latex gloves. So first things first, I slide my oil bucket under the car and take out the plug. Then pop the hood. Off comes the plastic engine cover, then we make with undoing the coil packs from the spark plugs, then take off the various hoses and such clipped to the valve cover, then undo all the bolts surrounding the valve cover. At this point I realized I needed to remove the alternator. So I took off the front right tire and took off the splash guard to give me access to the belt tensioner. (the black round thing)

Wrench that back towards the rear of the car to loosen the belt and put a drill bit in the two holes that line up on it and the engine block to keep it there. Took off the belt, which was in mint condition by the way, no idea how, and then proceeded to take out the two big *** bolts holding in the alternator. Once those are out the thing pulls right out. Almost. I had too loosen up the black bracket on top of the radiator to get it out. Haven't the Japanese ever heard of wiggle room? Took off the valve cover and I also took off the header heat shield. So at that point it looks like this.

I then went to take of the cam gear cover. Seem like a logical step. That was a *****, there two bolts in the back that are hella cramped to get to. Anways after some cursing and wrenching it looks like this.

At this point I'm about two hours in give or take a few minutes from letting the dogs out then back in, grabbing another drink and using the little boys room, so we leave her like this.


I'm gonna wait until my knowledgable friend comes over to take a look before ripping anything else off. I'll keep this thread going with updates as I progress. In the meantime I got me a new toy to play with, Apple iTouch

Oh is this thing badass...but whats with the Spanish ads?
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post #2 of 84 Old 10-06-2007, 01:09 PM
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Should be a good learning experience.

Putting it back together is not fun.
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post #3 of 84 Old 10-06-2007, 06:47 PM
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Wow you made amazing progress.

Looks good.

I need to figure out a new signature.
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post #4 of 84 Old 10-06-2007, 06:52 PM
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Ha Ha thats funny, I was reading this thread on my iPhone and I see the itouch LOL.

Sorry for the off topic post but how do you like the itouch so far?
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post #5 of 84 Old 10-07-2007, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Dude, iTouch is so awesome. Its basically a slim iphone minus the phone part. Only ****ty thing is it can't do certain videos that require Flash player and won't let you download the updated version. Whatever, still cool.
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post #6 of 84 Old 10-07-2007, 12:46 PM
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This thread could be reeeaally helpful to others if you keep it going step-by-step. Keep us updated.

2003 Spec V

Crashed, abused, loved. Damn thing just won't give up.
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post #7 of 84 Old 10-07-2007, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armadnigeneral
This thread could be reeeaally helpful to others if you keep it going step-by-step. Keep us updated.
That is the absolute plan. Gonna run through everything I did including screw-ups if any, with plenty of pics to go with. Haven't got back on it yet. Should update early next week.
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post #8 of 84 Old 10-08-2007, 09:58 PM
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Great thread, hats off to you for sharing your DIY project. Keep us updated with pics and steps, we'll be reading.

2006 Mitsubishi Evo IX RS (300whp/298wtq)
2002 Nissan Sentra SE-R (sold 7/26/07)
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post #9 of 84 Old 10-08-2007, 10:17 PM
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Wink

Props man. Lemme know if you need any info from the Haynes or FSM. I didn't do it myself, but had a mechanic friend do it for me. He said he charged less if I DIDN'T help so I missed out on your fun
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post #10 of 84 Old 10-09-2007, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDave
That is the absolute plan. Gonna run through everything I did including screw-ups if any, with plenty of pics to go with. Haven't got back on it yet. Should update early next week.
I can just see people following along, screwing up step by step as you have pictured/documented, then fixing it per you next pic(s).

You're about as useful as a jpg to Helen Keller.
2000 SE Auto w/PP--R.I.P.
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post #11 of 84 Old 10-09-2007, 04:56 PM
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I didn't see the torque wrench in that pile; you will want one for the assembly portion of the thread. Too bad you are going to this much trouble for an engine doomed to suck the particulate matter from its own arse (death to the kitten).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
I was just thinking....I've owned Nissan products built in each of the last 4 decades (70's -- 00's.) That is pretty cool. I honestly don't know why I have owned so many Nissan products. They are like herpes....they keep popping up in your life.
2002 SE-R 5 speed
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post #12 of 84 Old 10-09-2007, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangelloSE-R
I didn't see the torque wrench in that pile; you will want one for the assembly portion of the thread. Too bad you are going to this much trouble for an engine doomed to suck the particulate matter from its own arse (death to the kitten).
Good call, tho the Stanley torque wrench is on deck waiting for the assembly portion. I'll list it when it gets pulled out .

Oh and Hotshot headers are en route from Seattle as I type. Beleeb me, I wasn't goin through that trouble without eliminating as much BS as possible. Again, this is kind of a chronological thing, not so much a how-to so bear with me as I stumble along.
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post #13 of 84 Old 10-09-2007, 06:55 PM
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So, you're draining antifreeze next? Don't worry about the how-to, you could recap at the end; the narrative of this adventure in self reliance should be interesting & entertaining. Have you read "Rebuilding the Indian"; good book (duder lives)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
I was just thinking....I've owned Nissan products built in each of the last 4 decades (70's -- 00's.) That is pretty cool. I honestly don't know why I have owned so many Nissan products. They are like herpes....they keep popping up in your life.
2002 SE-R 5 speed
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post #14 of 84 Old 10-09-2007, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Yea, only reason I haven't drained the coolant is I don't have any place to put it. My extra oil pan is full of old oil :-/

I'm also gonna change the tranny fluid while I'm in there so that'll be thrown in too.
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post #15 of 84 Old 10-13-2007, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Update as of October 13th!

Got some more work done today. Still don't have the head off which annoys me but we're damn close. Tried to get an early start cause I'm so eager to dismantle my engine, got up at the crack of noon and kinda putzed around till my buddy Dave showed up and then got wrenching. Today I decided to start with draining the radiator fluid since we'd be pulling off lots of hoses and ****, some of which contained coolant so I had my friend pick me up another drain pan since I had none left. After that I started on the intake manifold. First I took out the strut tower bar, then started wrenching on the mani. Lots of bolts and a few hoses later, we have this. Look ma, no digested butterfly screws! Oh and notice the oil in the runners...

...and more oil in the manifold

Sweet. So we pulled off the mainfold and zip-tied the coil packs and what not out of the way and are left with this.

Then after some pondering and discussion as to what else was necessary to remove the head, we pulled out the air box and the coolant overflow container to give us some fightin' room and are left with this. (Coolant container isn't bolted in, just chillin there to be out of the way)

So at this point I start working on the header while my friend tries to figure out how to get the cam gear cover off. After screwin with the heat shield and almost rounding one of the nuts on the header I crawled out from under the car to put my nose in what Dave is doing. Everything holding the header to the block is off but its is still attached by the two spring bolts just cause they were a pain in the *** and I was annoyed, so I wanted to do something else. Plus I didn't have the right size wrench to get the O2 sensors off so it was kind of a moot point. Anyway, still unsure as to what needed to be done about the cams and whatnot my buddy Dave used his phone-a-friend lifeline and called up his buddy Will, a former Nissan mechanic, who stopped by to give us some pointers. Will tells us since we're not pulling the motor out of the car that the passenger side motor mount needs to come out and we gotta take off all the accessory pulleys in order to get to the bolts holding the cam gear cover on and to be able to get it off. At this point we're both out of steam and decide to wrap it up so we're left staring at a motor mount-less but still long ways to go cam gear/timing chain cover.

Oh also, buy these things. They work good as ****.

Dude, look at the ****ing grime built up in my intake runners. How does that even happen?

Fuel injector on the left, spotless. Injector on the right, disgusting. Other two are the exact same. So my injectors go; disgusting, spotless, disgusting, spotless. Hey, at least they're consistant.

Last edited by BigDave; 10-13-2007 at 09:52 PM. Reason: English am hard.
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