Replacing a head gasket is not a DIY job, unless the person has plenty of experience, knowledge, and the proper tools. The fact that a person would even ask, "How to replace a head gasket", would indicate to some that they should not trying to do that repair.
If the blown head gasket has caused catastrophic damage, a may need to be installed or a new vehicle purchased. If the engine is redeemable, the head gasket should be replaced. When replacing, consumers should search by the make, model, and year of the car and obtain the newest generation of head gasket possible along with updated instructions and newer generation tools. Vehicle owners should follow the instructions carefully so as not to damage the gasket during installation or cause damage to the engine in the future. Alternatively, people should engage a professional to do the job. To replace the head gasket, a few major steps are required.
I have a 1998 328i convertible. Build date of 5/98. Replacing head gasket, the one that came out looks to be correct for a pre 9/98 motor. But the head and block in the car have far more cooling passages than the gasket does. Looks like my car had a motor swap done at some time in the past. What changed in the motors in e36s in 9/98? Engine is single Vanos.
|August 29, 2016|
|Followup from the Pelican Staff: The block and head should be the same. Only way to be sure what engine you have if it were swapped is to find the engine code on the block or serial number. Use that info along with a repair manual to identify the engine. - Nick at Pelican Parts|
The situation is serious as replacing the head gasket is labor-intensive and expensive. It is also serious because other operating conditions may have caused the problem, which may be time-consuming and expensive to repair as well. Additionally, the blown head gasket may have caused further problems in other engine parts or caused irreversible damage to the engine.
To replace a head gasket you must remove the intake manifold, exhaust manifold, valve train, and then the head. This is very involved and requires disconnecting lots of sensors and the ignition system. The head must then be checked to see if it is warped, or cracked, and repaired if necessary. You must then know how to put all this back together and torque all the bolts in the proper sequence. This takes training and skill which the average shade tree mechanic does not have.