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Old 01-17-2009, 12:09 PM   #1
sailfast5
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Default Blown Head Gasket repair costs

Kinda interested in a 1999 996 project car that supposedly has a "blown head gasket" that requires an engine replacement. Really? Porsche dealer alledgedly made this analysis.

What are we looking at in terms of dollars to repair, and what else would a blown head gasket threaten - certainly over heating horrors: - water in pistons, bent rods?? Yikes! Just a head gasket(s) can't be that much.
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Thanks,

BT
My exes: Bug Eyed Sprite, 67 Triumph Spitfire, 70 914, 68 911T Targa, 69 911E, 74 911 Targa, 69 Maserati Ghibli (idiot move selling that one).
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:14 PM   #2
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Porsche dealer probably knows what they are talking about. It needs a new engine. $10K I wouldn't pay a penny over $14K for the car.
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:20 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sailfast5 View Post
What are we looking at in terms of dollars to repair, and what else would a blown head gasket threaten - certainly over heating horrors: - water in pistons, bent rods??
think worst case... water in pistons, bent valves, hydrolock.

which means a rebuild. I believe there are only a few shops that rebuild the M96 motors. In which case you're probably better off buying a salvaged motor for virtually the same cost.
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:52 PM   #4
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Default Unless you have the wherewithal to perhaps buy into a money pit of a car...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailfast5 View Post
Kinda interested in a 1999 996 project car that supposedly has a "blown head gasket" that requires an engine replacement. Really? Porsche dealer alledgedly made this analysis.

What are we looking at in terms of dollars to repair, and what else would a blown head gasket threaten - certainly over heating horrors: - water in pistons, bent rods?? Yikes! Just a head gasket(s) can't be that much.
Respect, Appreciate and Value your opinions very much.
Thanks,

BT
My exes: Bug Eyed Sprite, 67 Triumph Spitfire, 70 914, 68 911T Targa, 69 911E, 74 911 Targa, 69 Maserati Ghibli (idiot move selling that one).
Best walk away.

Supposedly a blown head gasket? That's too vague a diagnosis for my comfort level.

A leaking head gasket is bad enough. If it allows engine to overheat. That's bad. If the leak had resulted in the block's sealing surface being compromised, the engine will need to be removed, disassembled and the block surface cleaned up. This though takes material off of the block and the driven camshaft (the exhaust cam) is closer to the IMS. The result is of course the camshaft drive chain has more slack that has to be taken care of by the guides/tensioners.

If the head sealling surface also in need of machining to clean up this compounds this.

If head "warped" it should be replaced.

If the engine injested any coolant this brings with it more problems. One is the cylinders and rings and pistons develop a glaze that compromises sealing.

If the coolant got into the oil that spells even more trouble. Since water heavier than oil the oil pump may have pumped coolant/oil mixture throughout engine. Other cylinders thus affected by this and will suffer from glazing. Or bearings scored or worn excessively. Then you have the problem of removing this contaminated oil from all the oil bearing regions, like the zero-lash valve lifters, etc.

After head gasket fix engine may have low oil pressure due to bearing wear or may have low compression and poor leak down numbers due to cylinder, ring and piston glazing. Valves may be noisy cause lifters damaged from coolant/oil blend. Camshaft lobes damaged. These experience very high loads every other engine revolution. At max. valve lift the lobe/lifter face contact experiences a pressure of 170,000 lbs/sq inch.

If you want the car, buy it.

But if you get into the head gasket fix know when to cut your losses. And worst case going in assume the engine is not salvagable and a replacement engine will be necessary. Price your offer accordingly.

If you can get engine running again in good condition at an acceptable price you come out ahead. If not, at least you come out even.

No need to put yourself at risk of assuming the financial hit the current owner really should absorb.

Sincerely,

Macster.
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:54 PM   #5
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Default Oh, a 1999? Isn't that a 3.4l engine? If so, that head gasket problem may...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailfast5 View Post
Kinda interested in a 1999 996 project car that supposedly has a "blown head gasket" that requires an engine replacement. Really? Porsche dealer alledgedly made this analysis.

What are we looking at in terms of dollars to repair, and what else would a blown head gasket threaten - certainly over heating horrors: - water in pistons, bent rods?? Yikes! Just a head gasket(s) can't be that much.
Respect, Appreciate and Value your opinions very much.
Thanks,

BT
My exes: Bug Eyed Sprite, 67 Triumph Spitfire, 70 914, 68 911T Targa, 69 911E, 74 911 Targa, 69 Maserati Ghibli (idiot move selling that one).
instead be a cracked center cylinder wall. Engine's toast if so.

Sincerely,

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Old 01-17-2009, 02:14 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ArneeA View Post
think worst case... water in pistons, bent valves, hydrolock.

which means a rebuild. I believe there are only a few shops that rebuild the M96 motors. In which case you're probably better off buying a salvaged motor for virtually the same cost.
The Porsche Dealer estimated it would be $16 to fix! I found a used engine with 50K miles (same as the old one) for only $5K; a swap out should be a reasonable alternative? Will that make this a car with a "story"? And a replacement engines effect on future resale value??

I'm thinking total investment of $14 or $15K might be a good deal right now what with some 1999's going for the high teens.
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ejdoherty911 View Post
Porsche dealer probably knows what they are talking about. It needs a new engine. $10K I wouldn't pay a penny over $14K for the car.
Do you mean $14K as is? Add 10K to that and I'd be almost above its current market value based upon what I've been reading her lately.
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailfast5 View Post
Kinda interested in a 1999 996 project car that supposedly has a "blown head gasket" that requires an engine replacement. Really? Porsche dealer alledgedly made this analysis.

What are we looking at in terms of dollars to repair, and what else would a blown head gasket threaten - certainly over heating horrors: - water in pistons, bent rods?? Yikes! Just a head gasket(s) can't be that much.
Respect, Appreciate and Value your opinions very much.
Thanks,

BT
My exes: Bug Eyed Sprite, 67 Triumph Spitfire, 70 914, 68 911T Targa, 69 911E, 74 911 Targa, 69 Maserati Ghibli (idiot move selling that one).
Why wouldn't the dealer fix the problem if it is 'only' the head gasket? Until recently, the only solution was to replace the engine(or send it to the UK where there are several rebuild firms for the 996). I had a '60 Bugeye for 30 years. What year was yours?
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:25 PM   #9
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How much does the dealer want for the car?

Yes, agreed $14K "as is" and $10K + for the engine re-do means that you would be better off passing on this one.
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Macster View Post
instead be a cracked center cylinder wall. Engine's toast if so.

Sincerely,

Macster.
Further info is: Engine was shut down immediatly, but has now just sat for 5 weeks, water is in crank case ( "the oil doesn't' look as bad as a vanilla frappe" to quote the owner - & I'm so relieved). The cylinder walls are compromised re: cracked, it sounds terminal.

Looked at someones pictures here today of a M96 with cracked cylinder sleeve and rusted out pistons, and this sounds like just such a nightmare.

On the basis of your thorough and scary analysis, I believe the engine is toast. I don't want to mess with the potential problems. Will pursue the engine swap alterative.... found one for $5K. Thanks
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:50 PM   #11
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Good Luck if you buy it and do the engine swap let us all know how it went and post a picture or 2 for our group. Thanks
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Old 01-17-2009, 02:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Barn996 View Post
Why wouldn't the dealer fix the problem if it is 'only' the head gasket? Until recently, the only solution was to replace the engine(or send it to the UK where there are several rebuild firms for the 996). I had a '60 Bugeye for 30 years. What year was yours?
I learned that the dealer said it would $16K to fix, so that sounds like a total rebuild. I'm looking into a replacment engine.
I think my Bugeye was a 61? First time I drove it the master cylinder failed and I tapped a lady and her infant from behind right on Main St. Ambled over to the closest garage and stopped it on a nice white fence which really PO'd the mechanic. Kept it going with lots of brake fluid that summer and sold it fast. It had a really cool custom D-Type Jag cowling behind my head. That car is the benchmark that drove me straight to Dr. Porsche asap. Loved the handling though.
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:18 PM   #13
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How much does the dealer want for the car?

Yes, agreed $14K "as is" and $10K + for the engine re-do means that you would be better off passing on this one.
He's got it on Ebay and right now the bid is $6,800. I can see a total investment on my part of no more than $15K so I've got some room to work with.

The guy (a mechanic) bought it for his personal use, after the owner's wife did something really expenseive to it, but he doesn't have the time to fix her up.

He was going to stuff him a Chevy V8 in there, (presumably) paint some flames on the side of his definitely non-factory body kit and (presumably) really show you effete Euroboys how to git on down the road! Jeez, I forbade the sacrilige!
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:33 PM   #14
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Default Sitting with coolant in oil for 5 weeks? Rebuild? Not likely. Dealer will ....

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Originally Posted by sailfast5 View Post
I learned that the dealer said it would $16K to fix, so that sounds like a total rebuild. I'm looking into a replacment engine.
I think my Bugeye was a 61? First time I drove it the master cylinder failed and I tapped a lady and her infant from behind right on Main St. Ambled over to the closest garage and stopped it on a nice white fence which really PO'd the mechanic. Kept it going with lots of brake fluid that summer and sold it fast. It had a really cool custom D-Type Jag cowling behind my head. That car is the benchmark that drove me straight to Dr. Porsche asap. Loved the handling though.
buy factory engine if it decides to fix it and it doesn't sound like it wants to bother. Dealer's don't like Frankenstein cars. They like cars with no serious repairs, no body/paint work. Lease returns are ideal but the occasional private owner trade in will also be accepted.

Cars with blown engines are disposed of on eBay...

Get est. to replace engine with new one sourced from factory through dealer and installed by dealer to get whatever warranty the work/engine comes with. t

Then adust your offer way down to give you enough room to have the new engine installed and still not be over what the car's market value is and I'd estimate this low too to take into account what else may be in need of attention.

Radiators may need flushing cause there is likely oil in the coolant. And what about tires? Brakes? And because engine shot you can't run engine and check other car systems, like A/C.

Give yourself plenty of room for other things that will need attention even after you get new engine into car.

Sincerely,

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Old 01-17-2009, 11:25 PM   #15
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I'm thinking total investment of $14 or $15K might be a good deal right now what with some 1999's going for the high teens.
I would sell you one that runs like a champ for that type of coin.....
(PS I paid much more for it only a year ago) - then you get to enjoy it and build an engine in your spare time.... when and if it ever lets loose, you just swap it out one weekend and be back up and running

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Old 01-17-2009, 11:25 PM
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