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Re: 95 neon head gasket step by step
Yes, a machine shop is the best way.
A warp can be so slight that you won't see it with out the proper equipment.
Just make sure to tell them, you want an estimate before anything is done to it.
If it is warped, they can do a shave to straighten it.
They can also check your valves and valve seats while it is in there.
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You can purchase one at an autoparts store for about $20 - $25 or on ebay for $10. A haynes or chilton manual will give you step by step instructions. If you've never done this before you are looking at about 2 - 4 days of work and make sure to GET THE HEAD(S) RESURFACED. Don't try to save money by skipping this step doing so will make you do the whole thing over again.
To remove the head gasket off any auto engine can be a very difficult task. Your best bet if you don't have a lot of experience doing something like that is to buy a service manual for the vehicle and follow the step by step instructions in the manual. To remove a head gasket many other components will need to be removed and the step by step instructions in the manual will be a big help.
You're going to need at least $100-140 to do this job yourself-at home...without any problems. First, buy a Chiltons manual at AutoZone or NAPA...My guess is you'll have to order it ($25). Chiltons will walk you through the repair with lots of pictures step by step. Unfortunately, Chiltons will NOT tell you WHY the problem happened to begin with. Make sure you completely drain and chemically wash out the entire coolant system...My guess is, it's already too late for your radiator ($160)...Let's hope it's okay! Also, depending on how hot the engine got you should probably have the head "decked" at a engine machine shop...($50) Good Luck and get a friend that might have some experience nearby to assist.
I had a similier issue when I bought a used 95 Neon. Check your spark plug cables for worn surfaces. They like to rub the hood and the valve cover. When they wear down and heat up they discharge to the hood and v/c. This creates low voltage condition that causes the car to nearly die.
Have the head gasket torqued to 60psi each bolt? if so, either the spark plug grooves got a crack, or the head is bent due to a past overheat... or overheats. If so, send the head to a machine shop and have it leveled out, and replace all gaskets replaced when putting back on. That includes, manifold, header, and head gaskets, as well as the oil seals and O-rings. Hope this will help you.