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Old 10-21-2013, 11:41 PM   #1
zagarus
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Default Replacing headgaskets, How would you do it?

So what's the general consensus on replacing head gaskets.

Can it be done with the engine still in the car WITHOUT having to jack up each side as I've read on a few forums?

Should I just go all the way and pull the engine?

Anyone have experience from having pulled the heads with engine still in the car?

I'm trying to get a feeler if I could attempt head removal with teh car parked on my street or if I should just take it to a sheltered work area where I can pull the engine completely?

Thanks for any input guys, I'll be sure to have this fixed up reasonably quick and back at the meets

Mmmmmm ARP head studs and Roger Clarke Motorsport head gaskets.
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:07 AM   #2
Drakar
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By the time you pull heads youll be leaving a shortblock in the car. Why not just pull it ... there really isnt much left at that point.

Than you can choose what additional if anything you want to do. And way easier to put back together while on a stand.
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:09 AM   #3
alcoolaid
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I have seen in person someone do it with block still in car. In my opinion it would be faster to just take the whole engine out instead of fiddling around in like 3 inches of space on either side. Makes it easier to see and do things. Not to mention you'll be able to seal everything and tighten everything properly.

Either way you're going to pull the rad, exhaust manifold, turbo, timing stuff, etc.

If you leave the block in you just don't have to deal with the bell housing bolts, starter, and clutch.

You can do it in the street. If you don't want to rush just strip the whole engine one day then the next day call a friend or two over to help you remove it.

Good luck!
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Old 10-22-2013, 01:23 AM   #4
REED FLEMMMMING
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I've done both. With the block in the car you end up unbolting motor mounts and jacking up each side of the motor. Then try and find the right length socket ratchet combo for removing and installing head bolts. Then have fun squeezing the heads in there. It's doable but clearance issues are a big issue. Also getting the degrees right on the head bolts is a lot easier out of car.
The only motor I leave in car is the 2.5/2.2/1.8 sohc. But I prefer to pull it. Dohc definitely pull it. Makes a big job a lot easier.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:10 AM   #5
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if you plan to install ARP headstuds you will need to pull the engine. Unless you install the arp's with them all sitting in the heads...? It'd be weird and insanely awkward...

It'd be better just to pull the motor and get it sitting on a stand. Nice and easy...

I'm pretty busy right now but if you want a hand I might be able to help.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:41 AM   #6
alexinvancouver
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i did both -
motor in and motor out
but as Zefy said i have yet to see some one trying to put heads back over studs
then again unless you wanna go over 400hp there's no need for studs.
oem bolts hold stock power just fine

pulling the motor is relatively easy
separating it from a gearbox sometimes sucks!
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:31 AM   #7
zagarus
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That's what I figured thanks everyone.

Also is there any way to determine which thickness of gasket I need? Cosworth has a .78 and 1.1mm gasket. Should I go with the 1.1 to give me lowest compression ratio? I know with old TD vw engines you can tell what thickness the gasket is by the notches it has. Samw thing with subaru or am I going to have to measure protrusion once I pull the heads?
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:03 AM   #8
alcoolaid
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.78 is still thicker than stock lowering your CR. Even if you deck the heads and the block the CR is probably still going to be lower than stock.

If you want to retain the CR then get subaru oem ej20 gaskets.

If I were you keeping the CR at or above stock would be ideal for more off boost torque/fuel economy. Just my preference tho. If you want big boost then go lower CR
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Old 10-22-2013, 04:32 AM   #9
zagarus
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Not planning on uping boost to extremes. Stock ej20k thickness is 1.6mm. RCM has a MLS subaru gasket in that thickness.

Arthur would you suggest the MLS 1.6mm, or the Cosworth 1.1mm?
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:30 PM   #10
alcoolaid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zagarus View Post
Not planning on uping boost to extremes. Stock ej20k thickness is 1.6mm. RCM has a MLS subaru gasket in that thickness.

Arthur would you suggest the MLS 1.6mm, or the Cosworth 1.1mm?
For some reason I thought you swapped motors

I would go oem 1.6.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:50 AM   #11
zagarus
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Great its settled then, mls hg and arp head studs and complete engine removal.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:30 PM   #12
alexs001
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if you have the heads machined, then the thicker gasket should compensate and keep your compression ratio as original
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