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I bought this truck with a blown head gasket. I thought it would be fun to fix it. I just got both heads off but the gaskets themselves don't look broken anywhere.

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Is it possible the gasket is good but the head(s) got warped? There was anti-freeze in the oil and the outside of the engine had oil everywhere. I was just hoping to see something obvious once I finally saw the head gasket.

  • Have you checked the heads for flatness? You might not see anything on the gasket unless it was a really bad break (the photos aren't clear enough to see anything in there) – PeteCon Jul 14 '16 at 4:16
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You often can't tell just by looking. It's probably worth taking the heads to a machine shop and getting them to check and/or skim them - chances are even if they were good, the gasket blow could have casued them to warp anyway.

Obviouly you'll need to change the gaskets now you've had the head off, they won't seal again...

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  • Took them to a machine shop. He said they weren't cracked but he did rework them. The guy did an amazing job. They look brand new. – user19596 Jul 23 '16 at 1:18
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As a golden rule: once you uncap your engine always replace the head gasket with a new one. Never reuse them. One tip in case you need to uncap again in the next few days/weeks is to apply a thin, very thin layer of thick grease all over it but avoid water holes, both sides, that way it won't stick in the engine.

One unexpensive way to check if the head or block if flat enough is by using the old way: get a fluorescent light tube, place it longitudinally over the part and use a valves adjustment gauge between it and the part, the gauge, as thin as it could be, should never be able to get in. Take patience and check all points as possible, but most important are around the holes. Start from the middle of the part then check one half then the other, as you roll the tube for a next check point.

Also, checking your photos: that head gasket is kaput. Replace it, see how the heat rings for the piston holes are deformed, even the gap between pistons holes are deformed. Gasket is bad.

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