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Discussion Starter #1
Does the 3.8l engine display rough idle if the plug wires are in need of replacement like the 4.6l engine does?
 

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Almost ALL cars with plug wires will display rough idle if the wires are in need of replacement badly enough.

RwP
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Almost ALL cars with plug wires will display rough idle if the wires are in need of replacement badly enough.

RwP
I started checking and found (I think) I have not replaced the plug wires since 2007. It is probably time.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Blew a head gasket last night.

That solves the idle issue.

So what can I get away with NOT having to replace if I replace the head gaskets?

Can I just do the lower intake and head gaskets and not worry about the exhaust gaskets?
 

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Possibly, but when you can buy all the gaskets in one set for under $60 (still need the new head bolts / ARP studs - I'd opt for spending for the ARP studs myself!) I think that may be being TOO cheap.

Also, get new bolts/studs for the intake and exhaust manifolds. Even if they're not "Torque to yield" or one-time usage, especially the exhaust manifold bolts/studs will not be in the best of shape due to age.

RwP
 

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If you're doing the head gaskets I would suggest you have the heads checked for flatness at the very least, if not decked .010 and use Fel-Pro MLS gaskets. I bought the Fel-Pro head bolt set as well. The ARP stuff is nice, but not cheap. I also chose to re-use the intake and exhaust bolts. I did wire brush with a bench grinder, and chase all threads (bolts/heads/block). They were in good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you're doing the head gaskets I would suggest you have the heads checked for flatness at the very least, if not decked .010 and use Fel-Pro MLS gaskets. I bought the Fel-Pro head bolt set as well. The ARP stuff is nice, but not cheap. I also chose to re-use the intake and exhaust bolts. I did wire brush with a bench grinder, and chase all threads (bolts/heads/block). They were in good shape.
A man after my own heart.... <chuckle>

I by FELPRO for all my gaskets. Last time I bought an off brand, I was replacing the head gasket a year or so later. I bought the head gaskets and the intake gasket set. I have the rubber valve cover gaskets. I thought about the whole set and weighed out the price and ended up saving about $30. I also bought a set of head bolts because I have never had an issue with the intake or exhaust bolts. Oh wait... I had a bad exhaust bolt once on my Mark and just replaced it. I have yet to see an exhaust gasket go bad on my cars, but if they are really old, I will replace them.

I use RockAuto for my parts since the prices are some of the best. Plus you get the cool frig magnet with a pic of a cool car....

Thanks everyone. I will post some pics.
 

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For the record, there's an Advance Auto online discount code (TRT30) to save 30% and pick up in store. This brings their prices in check with Rockauto, minus the shipping and wait. It's worth looking to see if they're available local.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
"If you have a small leak or 4 or 6 cylinder engine pick up BlueDevil Pour-N-Go 16oz head gasket sealer: http://bit.ly/13lCT85. Simply add it to your radiator and your head gasket leak will be sealed as your drive!"

Pour it in and go?....

Maybe if you were trading the car in to a dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Plugs 3 & 6...



2 & 5 have moisture damage as well.

6 was not even firing.
 

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I tried that Blue Devil stuff it worked for me with my old 1997 Altima but the car had so many other problems I had to retire it. I still got like a extra 7,000 miles out of it because of the Blue Devil. Well good luck on the rebuild.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I tried that Blue Devil stuff it worked for me with my old 1997 Altima but the car had so many other problems I had to retire it. I still got like a extra 7,000 miles out of it because of the Blue Devil. Well good luck on the rebuild.
That is good to know!

Well, I replaced the bad plugs, put it all back together and it is running just fine again. I think the head bolts I used just loosened up and are seeping water into some of the cylinders. I may just put the new head bolts and call it a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
According to the service manual, you need to tighten the bolts in stages (see diagram). Since I am replacing the head bolts only and should only do them one at a time, do I follow the steps suggested or just replace the bolt, tighten to max spec and move on the next bolt in sequence?

 

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You need to tighten to 37 ft/lb, loosen, then final torque (11-18 ft/lb or 7-15 ft/lb), then the additional 85-95 (1/4 turn). Do one bolt at a time to keep the clamp pressure on the gasket. The reason for the tighten, then loosen is to stretch the bolt (I believe).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You need to tighten to 37 ft/lb, loosen, then final torque (11-18 ft/lb or 7-15 ft/lb), then the additional 85-95 (1/4 turn). Do one bolt at a time to keep the clamp pressure on the gasket. The reason for the tighten, then loosen is to stretch the bolt (I believe).
Thanks JCO.
 
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