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Headgasket replacement

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SPYD3R

15+ Year Contributor
82
1
Oct 25, 2005
Austin, Texas
I am about to replace my headgasket due to compression problems in my car. I was wondering whether I should just use the stock headgasket, or upgrade? I am also going to get a shop to do it. So should I buy the part and give it to them, or what?

My other question is how do I read my boost gauge? Like when is it supposed to have vacuum and have boost. i know when I let off the gas, the vac goes up, but right when I hit the pedal it goes to zero, and boost starts accumulatiing(like it should).
 
I would just use a stock Mitsubish head gasket. Upgrading usually means going to a MLS gasket, and that would require machine work that most shops aren't capable of doing. A MLS gasket requires a very smooth finish on the cylinder head and block, a stock gasket isn't as picky. Make sure the shop resurfaces your cylinder head, any time a headgasket blows it usually leads to some warpage.
 
I would recommend the Cometic HG or Mitsu. MLS HG, if the head needed machine work to level the uneven surface, I think its worth it.

If you decide to get a new OEM HG, please don't over boost your car because you'll find yourself replacing another HG and wishing you went with a MLS HG the first time.

ARP Head Studs should definitely be installed.

Randy
 
If your stock and don't plan on upgrading that tiny turbo anytime soon I would stick with OEM. Your boost/vaccume gauge readings are related to whether the throttle (throttle plate) is open or closed, at idle the throttle is closed so the engine is trying to suck air in through a closed throttle plate, thats when you get a vaccume. When you open the throttle plate(WOT) the vaccume will decrease allowing an unrestricted flow of air into the engine which on your gauge will be zero until the turbo starts to spool and force air into the engine then it will read boost pressure. You are building pressure because the turbo is forcing more air than the engine can use.
 
GVR4592 said:
They're extremely overrated.

Quite possibly, But it is not recommended to re-use stock 7bolt head studs, He would need to measure them and make sure they did not stretch. If he needed to buy new head studs, Why buy stock head studs when arp's are almost the same price? I just figured since he'll be buying new head studs, He mitezwell now pay almost the same price, For some arp's.
 
1993eclipseGS said:
Quite possibly, But it is not recommended to re-use stock 7bolt head studs, He would need to measure them and make sure they did not stretch. If he needed to buy new head studs, Why buy stock head studs when arp's are almost the same price? I just figured since he'll be buying new head studs, He mitezwell now pay almost the same price, For some arp's.

I agree with 1993eclipseGS with the ARP Head Studs. If you're taking the head off to replace the HG, you might as well do it the first time the right way, so you're not doing the same job twice in the future.

Randy
 
how much do shop usually charge for HG replacement? I know its alot of work and a pain in the ass
 
1993eclipseGS said:
Quite possibly, But it is not recommended to re-use stock 7bolt head studs, He would need to measure them and make sure they did not stretch. If he needed to buy new head studs, Why buy stock head studs when arp's are almost the same price? I just figured since he'll be buying new head studs, He mitezwell now pay almost the same price, For some arp's.

I agree I forgot that 7 bolt head bolts are torque to yield.

If you decide to get a new OEM HG, please don't over boost your car because you'll find yourself replacing another HG and wishing you went with a MLS HG the first time.

The OEM headgasket can handle a lot more than most people think it can. I ran 24-25 psi daily on it for over a year with no problems. Others have gone even higher.
 
SPYD3R said:
I am about to replace my headgasket due to compression problems in my car. I was wondering whether I should just use the stock headgasket, or upgrade? I am also going to get a shop to do it. So should I buy the part and give it to them, or what?

My other question is how do I read my boost gauge? Like when is it supposed to have vacuum and have boost. i know when I let off the gas, the vac goes up, but right when I hit the pedal it goes to zero, and boost starts accumulatiing(like it should).

Thats how it is supposed to read. You should have vaccume when you are not on the gas but then when you start to accelerate it will goto zero then once the car starts to gain speed it will read the booste you have it set to. then when you let off again it will go down to vaccume. I'm reading about 16-17lbs of vacumme and 10-11lbs of boost.
 
Itlooksfast said:
how much do shop usually charge for HG replacement? I know its alot of work and a pain in the ass
I got an estimate at four shops to get my gasket replaced because i was blowing smoke and they estimated me at around 800-1000.
 
Itlooksfast said:
how much do shop usually charge for HG replacement? I know its alot of work and a pain in the ass

I say do it yourself. If your mechanically inclined at all, you should be able to do it no problem by yourself. I did mine not too long ago, and at first it was a little unnerving, but as soon as it fired up on the first crank i was pretty happy. Just make sure to put every bolt you take off in a ziploc bag and label so you dont lose anything. And take your time when you time it to make sure all the marks are lined up. Its really not that bad at all.
 
ReebisTSI said:
I say do it yourself. If your mechanically inclined at all, you should be able to do it no problem by yourself. I did mine not too long ago, and at first it was a little unnerving, but as soon as it fired up on the first crank i was pretty happy. Just make sure to put every bolt you take off in a ziploc bag and label so you dont lose anything. And take your time when you time it to make sure all the marks are lined up. Its really not that bad at all.

Yea I agree...I payed a guy $400 and me and him did it in 10 hours after hitting many snags due to shortcuts by the previous owner. If the car was modded right and not half assed then you will have no problem. When you disconnect the cam gears try to use bungie straps attached to the hood(tightly) to keep the belt tight so that it is easier to time the car. thats how i did it and it made it easier. have a Haynes manuel when you do it though.:talon: :talon:
 
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