Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 23:23:02 +0200
From: Robert Brown <>
Subject: Re: Head gasket fixing procedure ?

Hi, It's not certain that a valve job is necessary, if the problem is due to a bad head gasket only. But if the mating surface is warped, then a shop will want to remove all the goodies (valves, camshafts etc) before planing it. While the head components are out, probably a good idea to get the valve seats and valves reground, valve guides checked and probably replaced. So it may be a good idea to bite the bullet and let the shop do the work - especially if the car is in good shape otherwise. If you want to go at it yourself, you will be able to check the flatness of the head's mating surface by placing it on glass and testing all inner and outer surfaces for contact on the glass surface. If you're losing water quickly, then you may have a crack in the head, which will almost certainly require camshaft/valve removal to repair. I "fixed" my cracked head problem many years ago by getting hold of a head from a crashed 900. Maybe you have a wrecker who can sell you one. Took me a few hours, but it meant I got to know the car rather well ;-) You mentioned possible coolant in the oil. It can be seen easily. You'll see contaminated (sometimes frothy) oil on the dipstick. Final note: might be a good idea to investigate why you managed to get the head problems at all. Was it just extra hard driving or do you have a boost problem (too much) or bad cooling (blockages, bad thermostats, inefficient radiator or broken fans)? You'd be advised to find out before you spend 1000 dollars only to have it all happen again. A while ago there was a posting from some guy in Iceland who was going through heads like nothing else (his sixth so far) . . . Regards, Robert Gothenburg (1983 900 GL, 1999 9-3 200) Eu wrote: > My 90' 9000T16 apparently has a bad head gasket. It spits out > white smoke at (a rough) idle and looses water fast (which seems > to be getting to the engine, since the oil's level is above max). > I've taken it to a SAAB shop (the rep' shop actually) and I was > told they intend to do a complete head job (not only change the > gasket but also resurface the head, change valves, ...). I've > now got the car stopped waiting to get an opening in their > schedule. > My question is : I know it's a good idea to do the whole works > now instead of just changing the gasket but is it THAT A GOOD > IDEA ? I'm talking >1000 USD in repairs ! > Has anyone had experience in this kind of work with SAAB shops > (and I mean REAL shops, not ones with a mechanic that has seen a > SAAB once :-) ? What was the outcome (work done, I mean) ? > > Thanks, > > Carlos A. R. Azevedo > > * Sent from RemarQ The Internet's Discussion Network * > The fastest and easiest way to search and participate in Usenet - Free!

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