98 ford festiva blown head gasket : how many $ to repair

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 14:15
ThreadID: 79088 Views:8199 Replies:3 FollowUps:6
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Just diagnosed a blown head gasket on 98 ford festiva. Has anyone recently had this repair done and if so any suggestions and Cost please.

thanks Kc
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Reply By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 14:58

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 14:58
Hi kc. I did a 96 1.5Litre mazda 121 recently which is almost the same engine. It had 2 burnt exhaust valves so required a full head service. It worked out about $750 from memory. Regards,Bob.

AnswerID: 419651

Follow Up By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 17:38

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 17:38

have to agree with Toyocruza there............replaced the head gasket,valve stem seals,new valves supplied and reground and set and had the head resurfaced for about the $600 to $700 mark.very easy job to do yourself.they are actually a mazda engine in a festiva/kia body.just make sure you have the right gasket kit as i had to send mine back twice as there is a big difference in the models.on your fire wall just in front of the drivers side there will be two letters.......( mine were WF on the compliance plate) and those are the ones you have to quote when ordering the new VRS kit,cheers.
FollowupID: 689858

Reply By: get outmore - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 15:47

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 15:47
sure its a blown gasket? even if it is thy rarely go for no reason

The price of work today I doubt it would be worth fixing
I would have thought a drivable 4cl over 10 years old could be picked up for alot less than mucking about with a cracked/warped head
AnswerID: 419657

Reply By: Fab72 - Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 16:16

Saturday, Jun 05, 2010 at 16:16
I would have thought it's still worth fixing, providing it was only the head gasket. Head gaskets generally don't just "go" though. The blown gasket is the end result....what is the root cause?

In my experience (as a mechanic) I'd expect to find at least one of the following too. A blocked radiator, corroded head, warped head, stuck thermostat, or cracked head.

A VRS gasket set would be around $150. Labour to R&R the head is around 4.5 hours (@ $50 an hour for a small shop - closer to $100 for a dealership), and then you'll need an oil change, coolant flush and replacement $60-80 as an absolute minimum.

However, while you're at it, you might want to consider a timing belt replacement (half the engine is already apart so it will save you additional labour costs down the track) and a timing belt idler pulley replacement. Belt and pulley $120-150. Labour inclusive of head repair.

Now...that's assuming it's only the head gasket and nothing else. If it needs a head resurface add $80, a blocked radiator $180 to remove and refit tanks and clean, corroded head $600 for a second hand change over head and thermostat $25.

Gee...adds up. I guess you won't know for sure until the head is off how bad things really are. Makes me glad I don't have to pay for car repairs.

Sorry to hear about your troubles....Fab. :(
AnswerID: 419661

Follow Up By: kcandco - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 20:37

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 20:37
Hi Fab

Had new clutch fitted to car 2 weeks before daughter went to drive it to the coast. Car played up and she stopped and phoned Racq. They arrived to find top radiater hose had come adrift from the radiator. It is now bubbling gas at the radiator cap (with cap removed) when the motor warming up, and radiator overflow tank is full of water that has an oilish smell and colour. I took the top hose off today and found the plastic male top inlet has at some stage had the end snapped of and therefore there was no ridge to stop the hose slidng from the fitting. When this has happened I can only guess. It is the first time I have had the top hose of. There is also now a slight knock or tap when the engine is running that appears to be coming from the drivers side end of the tappet cover. It really annoys me that I actually went to order new hoses from the auto shop and they were having trouble finding the right ones, so I decided to postpone for 4 weeks as i was away on holidays. It has never used any oil/water so the replacement was pure preventative maintenance. Hindsight is a wonderful thing

Thanks Kc
FollowupID: 690021

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 12:51

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 12:51
You might be lucky enough to get away with a head gasket & hoses, coolant and oil change. The up side is by the sounds of it, the motor still runs so the bottom end should be OK.
Get the bores checked for scoring etc while the head is off, and the head to make sure it's not warped.
Good luck.
FollowupID: 690080

Follow Up By: get outmore - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 13:37

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 13:37
I would have thought at the very least the head is warped - thats why the gasket blew

although far more likely it is cracked
FollowupID: 690090

Follow Up By: Fab72 - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 15:21

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 15:21
FollowupID: 690098

Follow Up By: kcandco - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 20:27

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 20:27
Thanks to you both.... much appreciated. i am currently checking out possible mechanics. Timing belt was done last year and car has been really reliable so I am reluctant to write it off yet. I am suspicious as to whether top radiator connection was damaged when clutch replaced last month.

regards Kc
FollowupID: 690134

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