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Oldsmobile/Buick Repair/Head Gasket Repair

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Question
I have a 1990 Buick Century Custom with a 3.3 engine with a front blown head gasket. The lower radiator hose blew off and caused the head gasket to blow from running hot. Can you tell me the parts that I must have to replace both head gaskets. I looked on Advanceautoparts.com. It stated that new head bolts were a must have. Is this true? Why can't the old head bolts be used? I want to get the car running and be dependable again. A friend said he would do the work if I bought the parts. If you can tell me what parts I can reuse and what must be replaced, I will be grateful. Do both head need to be shaved? Also, how do I get the remaining water out of the engine? Thank you in advance for you advice and time.

Sincerely,
Stephen

Answer
HI STEPHEN, OK FIRST JUST REMOVE THE LOWER RADIATOR HOSE AND THAT SHOULD REMOVE THE WATER DOWN UNDER THE HEADS IN THE BLOCK. WILL STILL HAVE SOME COOLANT IN THE LOWER PORTION OF THE BLOCK BUT WILL NOT CAUSE A PROBLEM. YOU WILL NEED TO BUY A HEAD GASKET SET, THIS WILL HAVE ALL OF YOUR GASKETS NEEDED FOR THE JOB. YES IT IS A VERY GOOD IDEA TO HAVE THE HEADS SHAVED TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE TRUE AND DID NOT WARP FROM OVERHEATING.. THE REASON WHY YOU NEED NEW HEAD BOLTS IS BECAUSE THEY ARE USED ONLY ONCE.. ONCE THEY ARE TORQUED TO THE CORRECT SPEC THEY LOOSE THERE TENSIL.. [THEY STRETCH] SOME PEOPLE DO NOT.. BUT NOT A GOOD IDEA BECAUSE THE HEADS WILL NOT TORQUE UP CORRECT OR STAY TORQUED. OTHER THEN COOLANT THAT SHOULD TAKE CARE OF IT..JUST MAKE SURE YOU WIRE WHEEL ALL THE OTHER BOLT THREADS TO MAKE SURE THEY ARE CLEAN. GOOD LUCK TO YOU,,TOM

Oldsmobile/Buick Repair

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TOM SHEETS

Expertise

Can answer all questions pertaining to mechanics of GM cars from 1965 to present. I will answer questions from 6:00 am to 10 pm est.. I will not take diesel or paint questions. If this olds and buick section is maxed out you can get to me in the chevrolet section...

Experience

I have 30 plus years experience in servicing these cars. I can answer questions on carburetor, fuel injection,ignition systems, suspension, brakes and abs, cooling systems,a/c and heater,manual transmissions, rear differential and electrical system,charing system and battery. I am a Master ASE certified mechanic in all 8 categories: - Brakes - Heating and Air Conditioning - Automatic transmission - Clutches and Transaxle - Engine performance - Engine repair - Electrical - Steering and suspension I am certified for NYS inspection and clean air insp.

Organizations
ASE

Education/Credentials
I am a Master ASE certified mechanic in all 8 categories (see above) I am an Air Conditioning/Freon recycling specialist with ASE. I have at least 4 years of technical training and many hours of continuing education.

Past/Present Clients
many customers in our busy shop for the past 30 plus years

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