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Flat rate time to remove and replace head gasket

Discussion in 'Neon' started by AllanC, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    I am trying to determine what would be the flat rate manual or book labor time to remove and replace a head gasket on a 2003 Neon with 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine and automatic transmission.

    One internet source indicated 6.5 hours to replace gasket and 9.5 hours to replace head. Would the extra 3 hours be necessary to swap intake and exhaust manifolds between heads and the movement of various sensors? Is this 6.5 - 9.5 hours interval representative of fair labor time today?
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    The added hours may also be for valve grinding (usually unnecessary). Extra time may be given for rust on a 13 year old car. You may want to replace the timing belt, idler and water pump if that hasn't been done.
    With air tools, I was able to do a head gasket in about 4 hours (I was very used to them from the '95-'98 Neons and JA's :D).
    Flat rates are hard to find on the internet. (Almost like they have to be kept secret from the public). The Chiltons time guides can be found at the larger public libraries. They aren't the only authority on flat rate times, but probably the most commonly used out of warranty.
     
    GLHS60 likes this.
  3. AC TC

    AC TC Well-Known Member

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    When the head do come off its a really good investment to have the valves lapped and do a timing belt, tensioner and waterpump change.
     
  4. AllanC

    AllanC Well-Known Member

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    Is valve lapping a procedure where the valve to seat mating surfaces are polished with a very fine abrasive compound to make sure there are no leaks? Is this the same meaning as valve grinding?
     
  5. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    Lapping is with the valves in the head with the abrasive compound paste. Grinding was done with the valves removed and placed in a 45° chuck for refacing with a stone. Common practice was that the seat was ground at 46°, so that when the valves got hot, they would seal against the seat better. A print of the contact area could be done as a final check with 'Prussian blue'.
    Really grinding and lapping valves shouldn't be necessary these days unless you notice a valve leakage issue.
    Valves nowadays are almost trouble-free compared to valves in the old days. :D
     

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