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Head Gasket as Preventive Maintenance?


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This may indeed be a stupid question... but has anyone done a head gasket replacement just as preventive maintenance? For s**ts and giggles? Any major HG issues for high-mileage turbos?

 

I know the HG issues were mainly with the NA models, but I'm getting ready to do a timing belt change, and in the spirit of "do it all at once" thought about the head gaskets. My car isn't giving me any issues or hint of concern that my head gaskets are going, it's really just a "why not?" since I'm stuck at home and not daily driving my car.

 

Again, no signs or symptoms of HG failures. Car drives perfect. No coolant drain or oil consumption. I'm putting down slightly-more-than-stock power at more-than-stock boost (286whp @ 21psi) and my car has 160k miles. Any thoughts? My search game might not be the greatest, as I tried it on here and NASIOC and haven't really found any opinions on it.

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I've owned 3 high mile turbo EJs, and worked on more since I started pretending to be a shop a couple of years ago. The only time I've seen a headgasket issue was when I lifted a head playing around with boost on my personal car. That said, 21 psi is on the high side for stock head bolts. I'd continue to run it until you have an issue, and then replace the head bolts with ARP studs when you do gaskets. Like silverton said, there's quite a bit of extra effort to do a set of headgaskets versus timing in these cars. You can do head gaskets in car if you're on the stock head bolts (just barely), but no way you're getting heads on/off in-car with studs.
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I've owned 3 high mile turbo EJs, and worked on more since I started pretending to be a shop a couple of years ago. The only time I've seen a headgasket issue was when I lifted a head playing around with boost on my personal car. That said, 21 psi is on the high side for stock head bolts. I'd continue to run it until you have an issue, and then replace the head bolts with ARP studs when you do gaskets. Like silverton said, there's quite a bit of extra effort to do a set of headgaskets versus timing in these cars. You can do head gaskets in car if you're on the stock head bolts (just barely), but no way you're getting heads on/off in-car with studs.

 

That's extremely reassuring to hear. I drive to save gas, so i rarely hit boost above 10 PSI anyway.

 

Sometimes I just get bit with the wrenching/modification bug, and I need to be told that I'm being crazy.

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That's extremely reassuring to hear. I drive to save gas, so i rarely hit boost above 10 PSI anyway.

 

Sometimes I just get bit with the wrenching/modification bug, and I need to be told that I'm being crazy.

 

You're being crazy. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Now move along...;)

305,000miles 5/2012 ej257 short block, 8/2011 installed VF52 turbo, @20.8psi, 280whp, 300ftlbs. CHECK your oil, these cars use it.

 

Engine Build - Click Here

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