Gearing up for a EZ30/H6 head gasket job and have a few questions. Will be using this thread to document the process.
05 LL Bean with 196K miles. I bought it last year @ 186K with no signs of HG issues. Previous owner claimed it has a lot of highway miles. Who knows if that's true...
- Almost overheated once on the highway a few months ago when outside temps were 10-20F; coolant got too low (first indication of HG issue)
- Issues with producing heat during winter (another red flag for low coolant)
- Using coolant (~1/3 gal per 1000 miles, I've been tracking it)
- Bubbling noise in heater core & bubbles appearing in radiator
- After sitting (not running) for a short time on restart cloud of white smoke appears from exhaust (smells sweet like coolant) and engine runs rough for a few seconds. I suspect coolant is seeping into a cylinder and takes a while to be purged. Runs fine afterwards with no visible smoke. No CEL.
Other planned service when the engine is out:
- Water pump & thermostat replacement
- Oil cooler gasket replacement (slow leak)
- Check/adjust valve clearances
- May swap hex key cap screws for hex bolts on timing chain cover
- Is there a brand of head gasket that is preferable? Looking at the Mahle HS54655
set from RockAuto but not sure if a cheaper set (Fel-Pro HS26534PT
) will work just as well.
- Are the chain tensioners reusable?
- Do timing chains and guides typically need replacement at this mileage? From what I've read, they are pretty bulletproof if oil level is maintained.
- Anything else recommended while engine is out? Areas of engine to check, parts to replace, etc.?
Not planning on resurfacing heads unless absolutely necessary. If necessary, I might just go for a low miles engine swap or try to do it myself using the sandpaper/surface plate method.
I've read people mention dropping in a JDM engine vs repairing. How's the quality of these? Would be cool to swap a EZ30R but not sure if I want to spend an extra $1k at the moment.