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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Car
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Experience:  Automotive Repair Shop Manager, Technician/JA Mentor
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300zx: 1986 Nissan 300zx with Blown Head Gasket. Average cost

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1986 Nissan 300zx with Blown Head Gasket. Average cost to fix that? I hear around that the Head Gasket could just be the tip of the iceberg, could the HG mess up anything else in the car? And I don't know if this means anything but it has new water pump.

Turbo or non-turbo engine?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I believe non turbo but the owner doesnt specify


Ok, I will give you for both.

Non-turbo headgasket job is 14.4 hours, which is about $1440 and then parts are around $350, so total about $1790

Turbo engine headgasket job is 15.6 hours, about $1560 and the same, $350 for parts, for total of about $1910

The biggest potential "hidden" issues associated with blown headgaskets primarily stem from how long it was driven with a blown headgasket and if a sealer was used in the meantime which can cause the heater core and radiator to gum up.

HIdden issues include cracked heads, which can only be tested with them off the engine, wash out of the rod or main bearings causing them to be spun out shortly after repair, which you dont know unless you pull the oil pan for inspection, and of course, possible radiator being cracked for extreme overheating.

Unless they are giving this vehicle away, I would walk away from the purchase as you could be getting a money pit. Unless you are just looking for a project car.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yea he is not giving it away, he is trying to give this car off for 750.


Well, exterior, it looks immaculate and interior appears as well. $750 isnt bad for that vehicle, and if you are willing to put in $2000 to $3500(worse case), it still isnt a bad deal.

If it were me purchasing it, I would go ahead and find a lower mileage used engine to drop in it. I say this because it is always a gamble when the heads are already off the vehicle as to whether all the parts are there, as well as condition of the heads that have been sitting around.

IT would cost about $1400 to have another engine dropped in and should cost about $1200 to $1500 for a good used engine, so about $2600 to $2900 total if you go that route
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes car ran great I just flushed the cooling system installed new water pump and alternator but I used a cheap water pump and it spun a bearing and locked up and I had to drive it far enough to get it off the road car started up after replacing the water pump again doesn't knock but shot water through the exhaust no water in the oil


Ok, odds are that it just needs the headgaskets replaced then, which will be the cost I originally quoted
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

And that was 1790?


$1790 for non-turbo and $1910 for turbo engine
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yea definitely don't have the time or money for that. Thank you for all your help, you really helped me out greatly! My search goes on Smile


you ar every welcome! have a great rest of 2013!

please remember to rate service. thanks!
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