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Well, I need to replace the head gaskets on a 92 Legacy wagon. I've replaced head gaskets before, but never on a Legacy. I have both the Haynes and Chilton's manuals, so hopefully I'll be able to figure out the particulars.


The car has about 185K on it and runs well without burning much oil. The car hasn't had the 180K checkup yet, so I can do that when I replace the head gaskets.


Are there any problems I might encounter that are not well covered by the manuals? I intend to have the heads checked by a machine shop to make sure there are no cracks or warping. Should a valve job be done at the same time? A few years ago, one of the lifters was making an occasional tapping sound. It seems to have stopped, but I would like to make sure it doesn't happen again. Is it worth the savings for me to disassemble the head, or should I just let the machine shop do that while they check it out? Any ideas or thoughts on this would be appreciated.


If anyone has put together some information on how to best go about doing this, I'd appreciate a link.


I'll write up my experience and post it after completing the job...





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One of my tappets clicks occasionally on cold mornings. Just air in the tappet I guess, I wouldn't tear down the head for that, especially since your tappet is quiet again. Anyway, it should be possible to remove the tappet in the future, with the engine in the car, access via the valve cover. Even if it is a pain to get both your hands and your tools into the small space available.


Make sure you use new bolts the head, the old ones have stretched. Be careful when you remove the old gasket, the engine is all aluminium so it's easy to dig into the head or block.


Sorry if I am stating the obvious :D

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