Cost to Repair Head Gasket - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:28 PM
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Cost to Repair Head Gasket

Ok so the other day I noticed that when I started my truck, I would get a puff of white smoke coming out of the exhaust. Now it has been pretty warm out so i know it is not from cold starting. So today as I am checking the levels of my fluids, I noticed that the coolant level is a little low and my oil looks brown instead of the usual black. So I have come to the conclusion that one of my head gaskets is leaking. Now the question that I have is how much is this gonna run me? I do not know which side is leaking, but I am pretty sure that one of them is. Any help would be appreciated.

One more thing. Would I be better off letting a mechanic do this or is this something that I could do myself. I know my way around engines but I just dont want to screw anything up.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:34 PM
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Its just nuts and bolts. If you got the tools and the time then there is no way I would pay 60+ an hour. Go for it. Im sure someone here could walk you through it.


There is a tool, that a good shop should have, that can tell if you have a blown head gasket. I know it works on gasers but not sure on diesels. You attach it to the filler neck of the radiator, pull a vaccum and it sniffs for exhaust gases.

Last edited by Builttuff; 12-12-2007 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:47 PM
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Ok so I am pretty sure that it wouldn't be that hard, but here is another question. How can I check to see if the coolant has screwed up anything in the motor. When I looked at the oil, it was brown. It has probably been doing this for about a week or so and now I don't even want to drive my truck in fear of really damaging the engine. I know that I can have an engine flush done but I just want to know what kind of damage I should be looking at before I go taking things apart.
I just want to the guy that I bought this truck from.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:51 PM
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I am replacing one of my head gaskets, I have spent more on tools than parts. Gasket $38, tools $65, carb cleaner (for crud removal) four cans $16.96. Looks like I need to replace exhaust tube Y seals, don't know that cost yet ($20?). I had my Father help put the head back on, I used a 2 by 4 and some rope, (those heads are about 100 pounds each).

May want to get an oil test done, I think that costs about $25.
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Old 12-12-2007, 05:52 PM
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the odds of it being headgaskets on a 7.3 are VERRRRYYYY slim. It just doesnt happen very often at all. When i say this...i mean 1 truck in 200,000 might have a headgasket go....its EXTREMELY rare....

the white smoke is more likely fuel.........if you have any issues with your fuel system all the way from the tank to the injectors it can cause extra fuel or badly atomized fuel to be put into the cylender. A glow plug issue can cause the same concern. Unburnt fuel is white....partially burnt fuel is black...its the same thing.....it just turns black in a hot exhaust...
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:18 PM
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Wow thanks for all of the quick replies. The one thing that just bothers me the most and makes me think that the head gasket is leaking is that when I bought the truck, the oil was black, like real black. Did and oil change like two weeks later and have been checking it regularly. Then when I checked the oil the other day, the oil was brown. I was always under the impression that the oil in diesel's always turned a really dark black? I guess I am going to have to send a sample off to see if there is anything in my oil. Thanks again and I will update you all as I go.
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:36 PM
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There are other places where oil and coolant can mingle. Mostly in is the backside of the injector cups. You can get fuel in the coolant, coolant in the oil, etc. The Ford service book I picked up on Ebay, shows the removal and installation method and tools. Looks like a huge tap to remove them. I would do the oil test before doing much else.

It turns out I did not need to replace my head gasket. There was a bunch of carbon exhaust and a blown head gasket sound. Turns out to be the turbo to Y-pipes gasket was toast. I just could not see where the leak was, and made an assumption about the head gasket. (Whoops!). I was good so see the cylinder and pistons, there is so little wear, and no ridge.

I am installing a Dominator 66 turbo and injectors and a Tony Wildman chip, should be fun.
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Old 12-12-2007, 06:59 PM
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What is a good website to go to so I can get them to analyze a sample of my oil? I have never done one of these before so I haven't the slightest idea.
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Old 12-12-2007, 08:09 PM
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Blackstone Laboratories - Free Test Kit $22.50 per regular analysis

Google up oil test.

Many..
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_Northon View Post
There are other places where oil and coolant can mingle. Mostly in is the backside of the injector cups. You can get fuel in the coolant, coolant in the oil, etc. The Ford service book I picked up on Ebay, shows the removal and installation method and tools. Looks like a huge tap to remove them. I would do the oil test before doing much else.

It turns out I did not need to replace my head gasket. There was a bunch of carbon exhaust and a blown head gasket sound. Turns out to be the turbo to Y-pipes gasket was toast. I just could not see where the leak was, and made an assumption about the head gasket. (Whoops!). I was good so see the cylinder and pistons, there is so little wear, and no ridge.

I am installing a Dominator 66 turbo and injectors and a Tony Wildman chip, should be fun.
Howdy Jeff, which Ford service book did you get? I've got some similar symptoms on my early '99...TIA
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