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I would like to know what all is involved in replacing head gaskets on an 83 Interstate. Do I need to pull the engine? Do I need any special tools? What kind of cost is involved?

Thanks for any input!
 

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Engine remains in the frame. no special tools other than a good set of sockets and wrenches, allen sockets.

while you're there new belts could be installed since you will be pulling the old set, and new coolant!
 

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There's no need to pull the engine to do a head gasket. Only "special" tool needed would be a torque wrench. If you haven't already, download the service manual(s) and the Haines repair manual for your bike. Then read through the procedure before jumping into it, so you have a good idea what you're in for.
Most people suggest doing both head gaskets even if only one is bad. Also, most suggest using OEM gaskets due to higher failure rates of aftermarket ones. If you're not sure about the age of your timing belts, this is also the time to change those, as you'll be there anyway. I also recomend checking your water pump for play, as this is often a contributor to a blown head gasket.
Cost is about $50 for the gaskets (you also need to replace water pipe to head gaskets), and $40 to $60 for timing belts.

Good wrenchin,
Todd
 

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The engine doesn't necesarrily have to come out to replace the head gaskets, but in my opinion it would make it a lot easier.

You can get a complete top end gasket set from an eBay seller for about $75. His seller id is georgefix. I've purchased the top end set and a few other gaskets from him and they have all been top notch.

I would also recommend getting the metric O ring kit from Harbor Freight. It costs around ten bucks and has scads of O rings you'll need. It will pay for itself over and over. You will need to replace the O rings in the coolant tubes on the top of the engine and they are not included in the gasket kit but are in the HF O ring set. Along with several others, like the ones for the water jackets in the heads. There are more but I can't remember them right now.

While you are doing the head gaskets I would recommend doing the timing belts at the same time. You have to take them of anyway. If you do pull the engine out ( I did and put it up on a work bench for easy access) It wouldn't hurt to take the opportunity to pull the cover off for the oil screen, pull the oil screen out and clean then go in through that hole to get as much of the oil sludge out of the engine as you can.

It would also be an opportunity to clean all those hard to reach places.

About the only special tool you would need is a torque wrench.
 

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TrackT2411 wrote:
There's no need to pull the engine to do a head gasket. Only "special" tool needed would be a torque wrench. If you haven't already, download the service manual(s) and the Haines repair manual for your bike. Then read through the procedure before jumping into it, so you have a good idea what you're in for.
Most people suggest doing both head gaskets even if only one is bad. Also, most suggest using OEM gaskets due to higher failure rates of aftermarket ones. If you're not sure about the age of your timing belts, this is also the time to change those, as you'll be there anyway. I also recomend checking your water pump for play, as this is often a contributor to a blown head gasket.
Cost is about $50 for the gaskets (you also need to replace water pipe to head gaskets), and $40 to $60 for timing belts.

Good wrenchin,
Todd
TrackT2411,
My right head gasket was changed OEM about 400 miles ago, then the left blew. I am currently in the process of putting it all back together. Do NOT go aftermarket. You will only have to replace them in a short while.
Mother Honda can order your head Gskets at $54.40 ea, or you can order the entire gasket set from them. Preventive maintence is worth its weight in good oil!
Good Luck!
Nightrider1
 
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