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Thread: Duramax Head Gasket Replacement

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by arveetek View Post
    That's actually one of the things I don't like about the newer diesels... they are too quiet. I love the older, clattering diesels.
    When I brought our brandy new 2006 Duramax home, my wife, who had been around Diesels all her life, said "it's not a Diesel!" in all seriousness, thinking her husband had made yet another huge blunder!
    The Constitution needs to be re-read, not re-written!

    If you can't handle Dr. Seuss, how will you handle real life?

    Current oil burners: MB GLK250 BlueTEC, John Deere X758
    New ride: MB GLS450 - most stately
    Gone but not forgotten: '87 F350 7.3, '93 C2500 6.5, '95 K2500 6.5, '06 K2500HD 6.6, '90 MB 350SDL, Kubota 7510

  2. #102
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    I think the reason that the newer diesels are so much quieter is to satisfy the "City dwellers" that are offended by everything.

    The common rail and pilot injection technology really made all this stuff happen
    Just to sort of play the devils advocate here...

    After owning many diesels....OLDS 5.7...GM 6.2/6.5 a couple Detroit 2 strokes and a 3406E 500 HP Cat.
    The interior cab noise levels does tend to beat ya up after a while....So why not make it quieter...
    With the computer control and the pulsed injection....Does make the long trip much more relaxing.....

    Likely has a lot to do with meeting emission requirements too....
    (1) 1995 Suburban 2500 4x4
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  3. #103
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    Simple. Turn up the radio or turn down your hearing aid.
    1985 Blazer 6.2
    2001 GMC 2500HD D/A
    dmaxmaverick@thedieselpage.com

  4. #104
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    ROFLMAO

    Pretty much......
    Trucks used to be "Trucks"
    These were hard working, hard driving beasts that offered little if any real creature comforts.
    Rode like a buck board....
    Power steering....Wasssssat ???

    I had a 1967 IH 3/4 ton 4x4
    Gawd that was a beast....The transfer case shifter looked like the Johnson bar off a late 1800's steam locomotive.. Damned lever weight 15 lbs Cast steel....

    Now that was a truck.....Everything about it was brute force.....

    No power steering either....let alone AC and other fluffy stuff we have come to expect...

    Crank windows, no radio....Stereo with surround sound ....Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat...
    (1) 1995 Suburban 2500 4x4
    (1) 1997 Astro
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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by DmaxMaverick View Post
    Simple. Turn up the radio or turn down your hearing aid.
    What was that???

    Back about 1992 or thereabouts my sister-in-law's husband (who owned a Ford diesel pickup at the time) test drove a then new 1992 Dodge 12v Cummins. I asked him afterward if he was planning to buy a Dodge... He said: "If I wanted a truck that rode like, drove like and sounded like a road grader, I'd buy a road grader." It was funny when he told it... He still drives Ford diesels... has a couple of new ones.. pretty quiet too.

    Daughter doesn't think the GMC is too noisy either, and I don't yet have a hearing aid...

    It's a little amusing, but I'm also embarking on a mission to quiet down Lil Red... not the combustion rattle (that's quiet enough), but the overall truck noise... Remember, this was a 5.7L gas truck originally, so it doesn't have a lot in the way of sound abatement. So, I'll be installing a muffler along with more padding (firewall pad, under-hood pad and a rubber mat for the bed). Everything is an echo chamber now.

  6. #106
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    Yeah buddy

    Tain't lived till you have driven a big rig with a Detroit V12....The O'L Buzzin dozen...
    A SWEET SOUND INDEED
    (1) 1995 Suburban 2500 4x4
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  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robyn View Post
    Yeah buddy

    Tain't lived till you have driven a big rig with a Detroit V12....The O'L Buzzin dozen...
    A SWEET SOUND INDEED
    Used to run Euclid SS40 3 axle scrapers. 1271 Detroit and 4 speed Alison, with open sided hood and 6in well pipe with a steel seat pan welded on top of it. Had 1/2 in of cotton padding in a vinyl covering. Always carry a spare set of cloths because when they blew a hydraulic line you were getting a bath.
    Ahaaaa, the good old days!
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
    -Patrick Henry


    A5150nut
    2006 K3500 D/A
    94 6.5 4x4 5spd Sold

  8. #108
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    Gotta love the smell of hot hydraulic oil eh ????
    (1) 1995 Suburban 2500 4x4
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robyn View Post
    Gotta love the smell of hot hydraulic oil eh ????
    Especially with the smell of scalded flesh. And if you dont change cloths it will blister your skin.
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
    -Patrick Henry


    A5150nut
    2006 K3500 D/A
    94 6.5 4x4 5spd Sold

  10. #110
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    Yeah buddy
    Even the cold oil will likely give ya a nasty rash if it's not washed off....
    (1) 1995 Suburban 2500 4x4
    (1) 1997 Astro
    (1) 2005 Suburban (Papa Smurf)
    THIS IS BOW TIE COUNTRY

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robyn View Post
    Yeah buddy
    Even the cold oil will likely give ya a nasty rash if it's not washed off....
    Back when I was a young apprentice on a lube truck if we got an operator that couldn't park in the lineup correctly after several warnings we would dribble diesel on the seat cushion. They would have a red ass after a couple hours the next day.
    "The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government."
    -Patrick Henry


    A5150nut
    2006 K3500 D/A
    94 6.5 4x4 5spd Sold

  12. #112
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    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA....ROFLMAO

    Yup...that will do it...
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  13. #113
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    Red face Road Trip!

    Felt confident about the head gasket R&R so we took about a 300 mile overnight road trip with Lil Red on Mon/Tue. No oil use, no coolant loss and no abnormal pressure buildup in the cooling system.



    This was taken on I-90 about 60 miles east of Missoula Montana, headed west/home. The speed limit on I-90 here is 80-mph. The 3.42 gearing and 275/55R20 tires make for fairly tall gearing. The truck loves it. We crossed the continental divide on US-12 coming/going. Truck stays in OD with ~8-10 psi boost and ~1000 degrees EGT at 60-70 mph while climbing the grade (there are some corners). So far so good!

    Edit: The JK 600+hp ECM race programming (did 632 on it's last dyno pull) was replaced recently with a Kennedy program that includes both a stock power/fuel economy setting plus a +100 horsepower switchable setting. In addition, John corrected the speedometer for the 3.42 differential gearing and tire size as part of his programming for me - thanks John. I haven't used the +100 hp setting yet. Wanted the new head gaskets and cup sealing to settle in a bit.

    I don't know if you can see it in any of the prior images, but this engine is also running a Banks "Big Head" wastegate controller, which has a larger diaphragm than the stock one, and it includes an adjustable control rod - to control spring pre-load (thus boost pressure). Current rod adjustment produces 25-psi boost pressure during a brief full pedal run - still goes like a bat even with stock power. The truck delivered 22.13-mpg on the last fill-up (250.1 miles), which was a good part of this trip. Considering the speed...

    Jim
    Last edited by More Power; 09-22-2021 at 13:50.

  14. #114
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    Just an update...

    The GMC now has about 6500 miles on it since the head gasket replacement. I bought the oil and filter for it a week or so ago, and will change it soon. This'll be the first oil change since the work. It's been such a relief to not have excessive pressure in the cooling system no matter how long or short the drive. We've driven the truck on several trips of a few hundred miles each - mostly this past winter when the roads were awful. The engine starts, runs and drives very well. Fuel economy on winter fuel has mostly been in the 18-mpg range on trips and high 16s-low 17s locally.

    Lil Red only has about 1500 or so miles on it since the head gaskets. It too, runs very well without a hint of excessive cooling system pressure. I did notice a very minor fuel leak somewhere near the driver side fuel rail. I need to remove some stuff covering the area and then re-torque the fittings.

  15. #115
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    Post Duramax Diesel Service Guide

    Update! It's finally here, about 13 months since the project began.





    Go here to learn more: https://www.thedieselpage.com/duramaxdieselserviceguide.htm


    If I can find it, I'll post a pic of the quote I received a year ago from our local GM dealership for just replacing the head gaskets - $6500. That didn't include injectors or much of anything else... other than head gaskets and head bolts. That was the biggest incentive to do the work ourselves (daughter and I). How hard could it be? In hindsight, it wasn't that bad, but going in - there were so many unknowns that it was a little scary. Now, not so much! Thanks to JK, Greg and others for tips, and for everyone's encouragement. Jim
    Last edited by More Power; 06-17-2022 at 10:04.

  16. #116
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    Looks great Jim.

    "Doing the exact same repair yourself would reduce the cost to a total of only about $3500. This is why more of us are finding the will to work on our out-of-warranty trucks. In the end, doing the work yourself will provide far more value and truck performance/longevity than you could expect by hiring someone else to work on your Duramax."

    You got that spot on....
    The quality of the "$10,000.00 job if done at the dealer is suspect IMHO....
    Doing your own work certainly does add the fact that as the owner.....You care far more about the outcome of things rather than the guy who is only interested in beating the flat rate time...

    The attention to details and taking a second look at the little things that might well come back to bite you if you don't deal with them properly......

    I have not been closer than looking over the fender at a Dmax ....but certainly appreciate the work needed to gitterdone...


    Good one....
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  17. #117
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  18. #118
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    My 2001 3500 is making pressure and have idle smoke when i haven't ATF'ed it in a while.
    As much as i have been putting it off,i am going to have to start looking for tools and parts to do the head gaskets and injectors.
    First step will be to add the new books to my library.
    I was told that the injectors were done at one point,but there was no paper history of it.My assumption is that if they were changed the lines weren't.Plus there is a chance the injector tubes are causing the cooling system pressure.Is there a way to point to the gaskets or injector tubes?
    Thanks
    90 Chev 3500 c/c 4x4,6.2na,400 auto,4:10 gears.DSG Timing gears,main girdle, isspro tach, pyro,boost,oil and trany temp.Dual Tstats, High volume peninsular pump,on shelf, Custom turbo and intercooler 85%complete. Change of plans for the dually, it's going to get a Cummins. Both trucks are Blue 90 4x4 crews

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon6.2 View Post
    My 2001 3500 is making pressure and have idle smoke when i haven't ATF'ed it in a while.
    As much as i have been putting it off,i am going to have to start looking for tools and parts to do the head gaskets and injectors.
    First step will be to add the new books to my library.
    I was told that the injectors were done at one point,but there was no paper history of it.My assumption is that if they were changed the lines weren't.Plus there is a chance the injector tubes are causing the cooling system pressure.Is there a way to point to the gaskets or injector tubes?
    Thanks

    After having done two sets of head gaskets and re-sealed 16 injector cups, it's my opinion that the LB7 injector cups are rarely the problem with excessive pressure in the cooling system... Unless there's been work there in the recent past, and it wasn't done right.

    Thermal cycles are, I believe, the biggest contributor to gasket failure... Time and starts... The gaskets simply wear out. Gasket replacement isn't that bad. The new Duramax Service Guide walks you through the complete process showing what tools, supplies and items you'll need, as well as showing you how to do each step. Lots of helpful tips and practical experience. I'll even give you my phone number if you need it - it's right there in the Service Guide. Both of these engines are running great... My GMC now has going on 8,000 miles since the gaskets and Lil Red about 4,000 miles. There have been no problems with either truck other than a couple of fuel leaks that were super easy to resolve. After far too long a time, it's so nice not seeing excessive pressure in the cooling system... Both trucks are dependable enough to drive across the country without worrying about the engines.
    Last edited by More Power; 09-23-2022 at 10:14.

  20. #120
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    Thumbs up Update 4-17-2023 - 10,000+ miles and over 18 months since the head gasket replacement

    The past 10,000 miles and 18 months have been pretty amazing. I lived with the excess pressure in the cooling system for several years prior to the head gasket replacement, which limited the usefulness of the truck. It had become a "local-only" truck. But, for the past 18 months+, I could drive it anywhere, and I have... including several 250 mile trips to see our daughter during the last 2 winters.

    The cooling system over-pressure was eliminated by replacing the head gaskets. Now, you can squeeze the upper radiator hose right after driving the truck, or after sitting over night and not have a hard hose. Before, the radiator hose felt more like a kid's bike tire (really hard) when the engine was near operating temperature. In addition, there is no "swooosh" when opening the coolant surge tank cap when the engine has cooled. An over-pressure problem left the cooling system pressurized even after sitting overnight.

    However, I do have an oozing coolant leak - the small 10mm coolant hose located behind the fan pulley assembly. I had installed a new hose, but used the same screw clamps that a local mechanic had installed during a water pump replacement some years ago. I really don't like screw clamps for engine coolant hoses, preferring the OE spring clamps used by GM. For the head gasket replacement in Lil Red, I was able to re-use all of the OE coolant hoses and OE clamps. Lil Red's LB7 hasn't leaked a drop since it got new head gaskets.

    So, my advice... Learn how to remove/re-install the OE clamps. Your engine is better off with them.
    Last edited by More Power; 04-17-2023 at 14:45.

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