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PART TWO ~ 2005 Pt Cruiser Will need new head gasket

Discussion in 'PT Cruiser' started by Fullpass, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Fullpass

    Fullpass Member

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    New Thread

    I'm a slow learner...But like to learn...by hands on I guess..I had started a thread about maybe needing a head gasket, thought the problem was solved...PT must stand for "Pain N The...something"...lol. The car doesn't over heat, but air in the system keeps pushing a bit more coolant up into the overflow tank, not allowing it to drain back...even when the car has cooled down...the upper radiator hose still feels firm...when opened, no coolant in the upper radiator hose...but the hose had a lot of pressure in it, very firm.

    So I'm pretty sure, now after driving the car..."time will tell factor" its the head gasket...such a slow leak to...pressure tester indicated one...but pressure had been so gradual thought maybe a gauge thing.

    Did the new cap, bleed, flush, new coolant, power wash radiator, checked fan, everything works fine..fine on/off...stat opens...car had...flow to and back to the radiator in town, but now after putting some more miles on the car on the highway...100...no more flow back...

    WHAT IS THE BEST HEAD GASKET TO PUT ON...BRAND...UPDATED VERSION ~ MLS MULTI LAYERED STEEL are they the better ones...Felpro...all sorts of kits on eBay...which ones should I stay away from...

    The other question I have after doing some reading...all said and done...after install...Is a Tech Scan tool needed...to put the car in a learn mode for the crank position sensor...timing? Can you do this some other way...yes will have all the cam/crank pistons in the correct position/marks...Still need Scan tool?

    One more...do you really half to disconnect the AC lines to pull the head...can you just vent the stuff to the atmosphere?

    A lot of great threads here and on youtube...might get this project started the 26th..motor mount looks to be the biggest pain.
     
  2. ImperialCrown

    Level III Supporter

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    OEM MLS is the only gasket I would use. Mopar part# is 4884443AD.
    You probably don't need the scan tool. Cam/crank can be reset/relearned if you really needed to. Do you know someone with a high-end scan tool?
    The A/C compressor and hoses can be moved out of the way. You don't have to reclaim the system.
    Do the timing belt, idlers and water pump while it is apart if you don't know the last time they were done.
    The head gasket is a pretty big job for a beginner. A shop and a guy who's done these before is a better proposition. Air tools make the job go faster. You will want a service manual. Prepping the head/block surfaces for the new gasket is very important.
    You will need a small mirror and straight edge to confirm the cam timing mark alignment as you can't look straight at them.
     
  3. Fullpass

    Fullpass Member

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    Thanks ImperialCrown,

    The goal...to have it done in a week...book says 6/8 hours...Mopar part # 488443AD head gasket..is that a improved design head gasket I hope. Yes, on timing belt, idlers and OEM water pump. Yes understand some may be in better position to do the job..and others in better position with wallet..to just have it done..Its just me, and going to half to tackle the project..The thing is...I like working on cars, spend my time on the net, youtube, watching and learning and DOING :) AND Will Appreciate any help...would like to get another 80,000 miles out of the engine. Thats a good tip, straight edge and small mirror...critical really. Will label on connectors, take pics, videos of engine compartment, put all bolts in sandwich baggies.

    If I can move the AC stuff out of the way..that would be great...had the radiator out before, unbolted from condenser, allowed the condenser to move a bit and lines, would that be enough or should I unbolt the compressor to...move out of the way...

    Auto zone has some loner tools, puller/crank, torque wrenches lbs, torque wrenches inches/lbs...understand the difference when torquing and sequence of torquing when installing head and intake/exhaust cams keeping things in an order/placing back everything into original place...L/R numbering everything.

    But Tips are important two, like the mirror and straight edge...anything to help would be great. Plan on leaving exhaust manifold bolted up to head when removing...I hear about the support bracket under it need to be removed...sticking point..

    The tear down looks straight forward, raising lower engine in order to get to some of the bolts..getting bracket out, to access the timing cover, cams/sprockets.

    Concerns would be, cracks in cylinder head, block walls...warped head..I do have feeler gauges down to .001 thousandth, no straight edge though to go across head.

    Other concerns would be intake/exhausts cams journals...snugging them up first/lightly in torque sequence but not torqued...so not to snap the cams or journals.

    CONCERN ~ when unbolting journals from cams...what is the best position to have the cams in ~ least amount of tension/load on cam..should I go in reverse torque sequence a little bit at a time up/down the cam...to unload the cam...some cam lobes might be pushing valves down..is the concern..dont want to crack anything

    Imperial..I'm up till 2am doing my homework..I see your up to..maybe you can keep looking over my shoulder..hints/help all good...Of course other members can chime N to...

    Giving myself the go ahead on the project.

    Project starts at noon today...but will be up early till its done..

    If a good PDF manual is available...just let me know...or can download a section of one.
     
    #3 Fullpass, Jan 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
  4. chuzz

    chuzz Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a carpenters metal framing square? That's a GREAT straight edge. I have one and it's really come in handy over the years.
     
  5. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Why would you unbolt journals from cams for a head gasket job?
     
  6. djsamuel

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    You have to remove the cams to get to the head bolts.
     
  7. Bob Lincoln

    Bob Lincoln "CHECK FAULT CODES"
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    Ah...OK. Hope I never have to do that on my wife's car.
     
  8. Fullpass

    Fullpass Member

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    Chuzz...metal framing square

    Great Idea! Have two or three, bought at a sale...

    Update...upper/lower intake off...fuel rail... labeling everything connectors, vacuum hoses, lots of pics to put back together

    Did see this when separating upper/lower plastic intake...around the intake mating seals...some coolant...not on one, but all four intake ports...half a tea spoon on each...that dosent sound good to me..
     
  9. ImperialCrown

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    I would pause here and try to find out why coolant is in the intake plenum-to-intake manifold ports. Is it also inside the intake manifold runners? Could it have accidentally splashed here from intake removal or from the thermostat housing removal?
    I doubt that this coolant came up from the cylinders or is head gasket leak related.
     
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  10. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    Surface finish on the head is important. Unless the head is really clean [no pits around the cylinders], I'd have it remachined at a good shop.

    You can use a spaghetti box or a bent piece of aluminum flashing to check the camshaft timing marks. Cut it about 1" wide by 5"long. Bend it 90 deg. about 1 1/4" from one end. This side lays over the timing belt. Lay it over the belt at the cam sprocket bolt and trim the long end until it is in the center of the bolt. Slide it over the belt till it's over the timing marks. If correct, both cam marks should be even with the trimmed end of the tool and the crank sprocket mark should be as shown in a diagram. Be sure you double check this step. Too many bad stories.

    To remove the cam journals; mark each cap, back off the cap bolts 1/2 turn at a time to keep the shaft parallel to the head. To install; find, buy, make a shim ~ 3/8" or 5/16" thick. Put it under the cap, snug the bolts very lightly. Remove shim. Repeat for all others. Then work the cap bolts down 1/2 turn at a time.
     
  11. Fullpass

    Fullpass Member

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    Imperial Crown, I did see underside of the hood over the radiator cap...a big mark in the sound suppression material...released pressure from the cap, must of went straight up underside of the hood when overheated, So maybe when the car overheated, it collected/settled around the intake plenum upper/lower matting surfaces..I did not see coolant inside the runners; however, once I removed the lower/bottom of the intake, looking into the head ports...Cylinder # 1 just happens to be on the beginning/opening or ending/closing of the intake stroke..anyway both intake valves are at least partially extend...Iooking at the #1 cylinder intake port, lots of black sludge, had looked like black carbon, but soft and wet, I did go out and re look at the valves...Of the two intake valves, the one on the left when looking at the motor from the front, has the black sludge on the back side of the intake valve and up the valve stem some...and the rest of the ports had some wet black sludge, Starting at the #1 cylinder, left side of engine, and looking down the cylinedr head ports to the right...smaller amount of black sludge in ports going from left to right side of cylinder head..and valves..I tried to upload some pics...files are two large...camera has a very high resolution..maybe can set resolution..down to 8 from 14...file should be smaller next time. The sludge wipes of with a rag...its soft...Would that sludge be from valve stem seal...engine didn't smoke..leaky head gasket? No coolant detected on oil dip stick. Cheap brand oil?

    Well, hope to get the engine mount brackets off/out today...timing cover off..maybe loosen bolt on harmonic balancer, cam sprockets, Before doing all this, was thinking of getting a compression tester...check each cylinder, probably still could do that without the intake on...just take the plugs out, put the compression tester on one cylinder, crank 5 sec..kind of late for that test...but would like to know...when new head gasket is installed, would like to do the test again...make sure I have good pressure. Then when the system is buttoned up...leak down test on radiator again..

    PT006...glad to see you are still here...good idea with the straight edge supported by timing belt..Now as for the shim idea...have any pics of that..somthing that sits on top of journal and under bolt heads..guess don't understand how you are placing the shim..understand it helps displace the load...maybe it will make more sense to me when I get the valve cover off..
     
  12. dana44

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    I can't recall that the cams actually need to be pulled to get the head bolts out, but verify that, I don't think I had to. You do need to remove the upper sprockets of the cams in order to get the upper motor mount out of the way in order to change the belt, which is something you should do at this point, I had a belt break (stripped the cogs) at 85.000miles), so it might be time to take care of that while doing this work, it's a little bit of a pain, would hate to have to tear it all down six months down the road. AC compressor isn't much of an issue, alternator doesn't need to be removed other than the belt, bottom pulley needs to have the proper puller or they are a pain, they are pressed on and has to come off to change the belt. If you do have to pull the cams, make sure to mark the caps and get them in the proper order. Heads are pretty tough, very few crack, but do check it over visually. The MLS head gaskets are the best, it does sound like you carbon tracked the gasket and pressure is pushing past the surfaces, it does happen. I know there are special cutters/sanding materials for the head and block cleaning, still find 600grit wet/dry sandpaper and a couple 45degree cross hatchings to ensure the surface is flat still works for me, I have a half inch thick, 4X8 piece of glass I use to verify flat surfaces, never had an issue when done.
     
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  13. ImperialCrown

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    I have used a 15mm swivel or flex socket to remove the head bolts. For accurate re-torqueing, you want a straight shot at the bolt head. I think that torqueing with a swivel at an angle may change your final torque. Your final 1/4 turn will still be a 1/4 turn with a swivel or flex socket.
    A 3/8" drive swivel may fracture under high turning loads and cause injury. You may want to use a 1/2" drive swivel if it fits down in there.
     
  14. djsamuel

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    You definitely have to pull the cams to remove the head bolts. I've done it a few times and each time wish that wasn't the case. Not difficult, just an extra step that I wished wasn't needed.
     
  15. Fullpass

    Fullpass Member

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    Update,

    Well, put some time N today...didn't get as far as hoped...removed upper exhaust shield, loosened lower exhaust shield bolt, that allowed me to unbolt the 4 bolts on the bottom of exhaust manifold...unbolted exhaust manifold from back side of cylinder head...removed the exhaust manifold, a sensor is mounted on the back side of the block...wire was pretty tight...thinking the wire would break when raising and lowering the engine to remove the engine mount to get to the timing cover...removing the engine mount will be Fridays job...Harmonic balancer ,timing belt..etc..

    Just to be clear, not much done...but pretty much laying across engine to get to those four bolts, removing exhaust manifold...But able to move on to the next step just fine..so far.
     
  16. pt006

    pt006 Active Member

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    You will need a big torx male socket for the motor mount. T-55 i think.

    When you assemble the cams, you can turn the crankshaft 1/4 turn from the crank timing mark for extra safety. Then drop the cam in with the sprocket arrow pointed up and 2.4 visible. The cam will sit up because one or more of the cam lobes will hold it up. Lay the bearing cap on the cam with the cam parallel to the head. There will be a gap between the cap and the head. This gap is the thickness of your shims. Wood shims, especially hardwood, work well. Put the shims [you will need 2 [or 10 depending on your method] behind the rear bolt and in front of the front bolt for each cap. Snug the bolts lightly. Remove the shims. Repeat for all the caps or if you made 10 shims, they can be done all at the same time. Leave the 'double' cap by the sprockets off for now. The cam is now parallel to the head. Mark all the bolt heads in one direction [paint dab]. Starting with the cap in the middle, turn both of its bolts down 1/2 turn. Repeat for the caps on either side. Then do the other ones. Repeat this process until the caps are seated. Torque to specs. Spin cam. Should be no binding, but the valve springs will change the force needed to turn it.
     
  17. Fullpass

    Fullpass Member

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    Thanks pt...will look more into it...

    Another update...

    Trying to leave the AC intact...So far so good...Doing some extra steps in order to do so, we will see...extra work, removed fan, radiator from AC condenser...this allows some AC line movement, also removed and supported intact AC compressor...allows engine to move up and down without disturbing AC..also removed AC compressor bracket from block...have a ton of room, just removed upper dog bone, brought out/removed dog bone were the compressor was, also now have access to the 18mm nut on strut tower, which is why most people unbolt the AC to begin with...now I could reach the 18mm nut with a short 3/8 ratchet...with socket on nut, handle pointing to timing cover, I could get a had on it...not enough leverage..to loosen nut by hand with that short ratchet handle, but now that the upper dog bone is off the top of engine mount, I used the partial engine mount still with the T55 bolt installed as a fulcrum point...on top of the mount placed a pipe wrench handle under the ratchet handle. made the pivot...wa la..loosed that 18mm nut. removed the other two 18mm nuts and 10mm nuts holding cruise module..removed upper dog bone mount, allowed for more clearance..now just to the point of removing timing cover, belt, engine mount with T55...will see if I have made enough room to get that mount out...Guess how I zipped the harmonic balance bolt out...well pulled the fuel pump relay...placed 1/2 inch drive ratchet on balancer nut...yep gave the starter a crank...wa la...crank bolt out...I did go to auto zone...they had a harmonic balancer removal tool, just for a Chrysler products. I liked it ..had a pin that fit down the crank shaft thread hole..that was non threaded...pressed against bottom of crankshaft hole, not the threads...people just use the harmonic balancer bolt to press against with puller...thats not a good idea...tool at auto zone worked great.

    So Saturday...should have more time...maybe I can get the cylinder head removed...been working on it like three days already...G
     
  18. LouJC

    LouJC Active Member

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    Has this with my wife's '98 Subaru and they are know to blow head gaskets (2.5 flat four). We had then done at 109,000 miles and it was OK till recently. Started pushing AF into the coolant tank and saw bubbling in there which with a black discharge is a sure sign of exhaust gas getting into the cooling system. While we could have fixed it again, the car had 187,000 miles on it so we just got her a new car, after 18 years we got our money's worth I guess.
     
  19. Fullpass

    Fullpass Member

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    Saturday Update...

    Short version...one line...Anyone have good luck with remanufactured cylinder heads?


    Long version.

    yep, spent the afternoon and evening taking getting the cylinder head off...I had done this a bit different, left all the AC INTACK, just supported and move the compressor to the side, with fan and radiator out...had taken the upper and lower dog bones out, upper right mount out..timing cover side...with everything removed, T55 bolt out, raise and lower motor to get the remaining mount bolts, timing side..and removed the lower timing cover dust shield...NOW this is where it got easy...Really :} Lowered and pivoted the engine toward the right head light corner...this really opened things up...you can do anything...lower mount, removed easy ~ and I removed the cast T55 mount out the bottom, if you wanted to take the mount out of the frame, the one the t55 goes through to inspect, you can...I did...frame mount good..its made of rubber, internals like the dog bones...which both of mine are bad, upper lower...its easy to get to the timing belt tensioner, undo belt, even replace..when replacing to get the right belt tension...need to aline a spring tab with step in tensioner ..easy you can see the spring and step to get the right tension without a mirror, water pump, idle pulley all easy to due...Now I do have a lot of parts on the floor...and it did take four days...but putting a lot of new parts in...Belt, Belt tensioner, idle pulley, water pump...upper/lower radiator hose...gasket set...All Mopar about 400...on line.

    Now...with the cylinder head off. And it did take me four days...to get to this point

    Inspection of block...carbon deposits on pistons...cylinders 1 2 3 4

    cylinder 1 semi soft carbon..half cleaned of the piston

    cylinder 2, hard carbon deposits on top of piston...normal combustion

    cylinder 3, soft carbon deposits, wet deposits, piston wiped off...clean looks new...mmm slight water stain on cylinder wall, very light

    cylinder 4 soft carbon deposits, wet deposits, piston wiped off...clean looks new

    Inspection of cylinder head valves

    cylinder 1 Two things going on, the bottom of the valves...looks like semi white~ish yellow calcium deposits, crusty...all the other valves on the other cylinders look good.

    Second thing going on with cylinder 1

    The park plug tip looks normal, but the spark plug thread have a bunch of gue on them and the porcelain of the plug has stains on them..the top side at the base...must have been pushing something up the spark plug threads..

    So with the number 1 cylinder valves looking bad...thinking about getting a remanufactured cylinder head with the valves and springs.

    My question, Anyone have good luck with remanufactured heads?
     
  20. ImperialCrown

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    This head gasket leak/overheating may have been going on for quite some time before you got the car? Clean piston tops usually mean 'steam-cleaning' by coolant.
    Do you actually see where the gasket seal broke down between the water jacket and the combustion chamber?
    Dissimilar metals + Acidic coolant = Aluminum erosion. Is there pitting in the head where the steel gasket seals off the combustion pressures?
    If the head shows moderate to severe overheat damage, you might consider replacing it. We don't know how long this has been going on. Google around for Mopar R5424847 or an equivalent.
    A water stain on the cylinder wall could be a problem. Coolant can ruin piston rings. It may not have shown up on a compression test. I would continue with the inspection and clean-up before reassembly.
    I would not condemn the head because of deposits or 'dirty' spark plug threads. Spark plug porcelain may have dark stains that may look like a compression leak, but it isn't and it isn't considered abnormal. It is the assembly sealer used in the manufacture of the spark plug:
    Spark-Plugs-Photo2.jpg
     

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