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david, Auto Service Technician
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 1500
Experience:  Certified Master Technician,Certified in diesel & gasoline engines
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How to replace a head gasket on a 1994 Dodge Spirit 2.5 Liter engine?

Resolved Question:

How to replace a head gasket on a 1994 Dodge Spirit 2.5 Liter engine?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  david replied 7 years ago.
Hi thank you for your question hope this helps.

To replace the head gasket.

  1. Relieve the fuel system pressure
  2. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  3. Drain the cooling system.
  4. Loosen and remove the accessory drive belt.
  5. Remove the bolts attaching the A/C compressor and, without disconnecting the pressure lines, move the compressor aside. Secure the compressor aside with strong cord or wire; do not allow the compressor to hang from the refrigerant lines.
  6. Disconnect the upper radiator hose and the heater hoses.
  7. Remove the rocker arm cover, as described earlier in this section.
  8. Remove the rocker arm retaining bolts. Remove the rocker arm assemblies and the push rods. For more information, refer to the rocker arm/shaft procedures earlier in this section.
  9. Remove the intake and exhaust manifolds, as described earlier in this section.
  10. Remove the cylinder head bolts, then lift the cylinder head off of the engine block.
  11. Clean all gasket material from mating surfaces.
NOTE: Make certain when removing valve train components, to mark or store them, so that they will be installed in their original positions.

To install:
  1. Using old head bolts or equivalent (such as 2 pieces of threaded stock available at most hardware stores), fabricate 2 alignment dowels. Cut the heads off the bolts and cut a slot in one end for a screwdriver. Install the alignment dowels at bolt locations No. 8 and No. 10.
  2. Position the new cylinder head gasket on the engine block with the numbers facing UP.
  3. Place the cylinder head on the engine block and install the bolts. Following the proper sequence (shown in the accompanying illustration), tighten the cylinder head bolts in the following steps:
    1. Step 1 — tighten all 10 bolts to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
    2. Step 2 — tighten all 10 bolts to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm)
    3. Step 3 — retighten all 10 bolts to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm)
    4. Torque bolts No. 1 through 6 to 110 ft. lbs. (149 Nm)
    5. Torque bolt No. 7 to 100 ft. lbs. (136 Nm)
    6. Torque bolts No. 8 through 10 to 110 ft. lbs. (149 Nm)
    7. Retighten each bolt to its proper torque. Pay special attention to bolt No. 7; it should not be overtightened.
  4. Install the valve train components in their original sequence. Using a new gasket, install the rocker cover.
  5. Connect radiator and heater hoses which were removed.
  6. Install the air conditioning compressor, tighten the mounting bolts to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
  7. Route the accessory drive belt and adjust for proper tension.
  8. Connect the battery cable and fill the cooling system.
  9. Run the engine and check for leaks.
Tighten the cylinder head retaining bolts in the sequence shown

NOTE: The cylinder head bolts used on the 2.5L engine can only be used a total of 2 times. Therefore the bolts can only be reused once before new bolts are necessary. If the cylinder head bolts removed from the engine have dabs of paint on their heads, they have already been reused (used twice) and must be discarded; new bolts must be purchased. If the cylinder head bolts do have paint on them, they have not yet been used twice and may be reused at this time. If reusing the cylinder head bolts paint the bolt heads so that they can be identified later on as already reused. New bolts, however, are always recommended by Chilton.


  1. With the valves installed to protect the valve seats, remove deposits from the combustion chambers and valve heads with a scraper and a wire brush. Be careful not to damage the aluminum cylinder head gasket surface. After the valves are removed, clean the valve guide bores with a valve guide cleaning tool. Using cleaning solvent to remove dirt, grease and other deposits and clean all bolts holes.
  2. Using a straightedge, inspect the cylinder head gasket surface for excessive warpage. The cylinder head should be resurfaced if the warpage exceeds 0.004 in. (0.1mm) for Chrysler engines, or 0.002 in. (0.051mm) per 6 in. (152.4mm) for the 2.5L Premier engine. Inspect the cylinder head from corner-to-corner, side-to-side and end-to-end for warpage.
  3. Remove all deposits from the valves with a fine wire brush or buffing wheel.
  4. Inspect the cylinder heads for cracks or excessively burned areas in the exhaust outlet ports.
  5. Check the cylinder head for cracks and inspect the gasket surface for burrs and nicks. Replace the head if it is cracked.
Check the cylinder head for flatness across the head surface



When the cylinder head is removed, check the flatness of the cylinder head gasket surfaces. Since the tools required for resurfacing a cylinder head are extremely expensive and the necessary skills are important, refer to a reputable machine shop for cylinder head refinishing specifications and procedures.

  1. Place a straightedge across the gasket surface of the cylinder head. Using feeler gauges, determine the clearance at the center of the straightedge.
  2. If warpage exceeds 0.004 in. (0.1mm) over the total length for Chrysler engines, or 0.002 in. (0.051mm) per 6 in. (152.4mm) for the 2.5L Premier engine, the cylinder head must be resurfaced
Hope this helps
Good luck
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