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  #1  
Old 12th August 2010
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Default Head Gasket Replacement

Big thanks to Ian (ianrobbo) for his help and moral support this evening with my the Head Gasket change. A few photos to show the old gasket, with areas of corrosion and the new one before getting the head back on. Note, prior to change I was getting exhaust gases in the coolant system. Enjoy..







Nice one Ian!





Last edited by Saab 16s Stubby; 13th August 2010 at 01:25 AM. Reason: edit
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  #2  
Old 13th August 2010
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Great photos!


Interesting to see that your (factory?) headgasket had light blue sealant lines also. Everyone says they're supposed to be red, but mine was just like yours.


Are you having the head worked on, or are you just slapping it back on?


Take your time setting the timing. As you know, it's the most critical part of the repair.


Here's a good tip that helps me loads:

When the cams are properly timed, there should be exactly 15 chain pins (7 and 1/2 chain links) between the timing marks on the back of the cam sprockets.


Good luck with it!
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  #3  
Old 13th August 2010
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I wouldn't use that replacement head gasket if it isn't too late!

Better to use a proper elring gasket from the Saab dealer. Only a few pounds different in the cost.

I did have some side-by-side comparison photos of the rubbish gasket (which you have there) compared to the proper elring gasket.

The fire-rings around the cylinder bores are smaller on the low quality gasket, the sealant bead is about half the tickness and missing in some places with the low quality gasket. I would think very carefully before deciding to go ahead with that gasket.

I'm sorry if this advice comes too late!

Even with the proper elring gasket it is still a good idea to seal both ends where the aluminum end plates join the engine. On both sides of the gasket using Loctite 518 sealant. I do this because if you don't you can get oil leaking in those areas.
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Old 13th August 2010
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Where do you guys buy your Elring HGs in the UK. I am about to rebuild a spare.
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Old 13th August 2010
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Saab dealer. They don't seem to be available through the motor factor suppliers. The dealer price isn't too bad. It is an 'elring' branded gasket and not a 'special' Saab one. Elring is a gasket manafacturer for lots of different makes of car. It is OEM specification for Saab.
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Old 13th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peva View Post
Where do you guys buy your Elring HGs in the UK. I am about to rebuild a spare.
Bought mine online for a really good price. Cash on delivery.

http://www.oscaro.com/joint-de-culas...7-826470-318-p
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Old 13th August 2010
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Originally Posted by Vollblut View Post
Bought mine online for a really good price. Cash on delivery.
http://www.oscaro.com/joint-de-culas...7-826470-318-p
I am in touch with Elring and it seems I can buy them direct. Anyone interested if I buy a batch? The correct Elring part number for the 16V is 586598.
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Old 13th August 2010
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I am in touch with Elring and it seems I can buy them direct. Anyone interested if I buy a batch? The correct Elring part number for the 16V is 586598.

Yes, I posted the wrong one. Price is even a bit lower for the 598. I got one from them in March.

http://www.oscaro.com/joint-de-culas...8-721770-318-p


Probably can't beat dealing with Elring directly, though!
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Old 13th August 2010
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Hmmm, yes bolted and horse springs to mind! I'll just to be the test pilot for this gasket, supplied to me by our friends at PFS, and report back on its performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejenner View Post
I wouldn't use that replacement head gasket if it isn't too late!

Better to use a proper elring gasket from the Saab dealer. Only a few pounds different in the cost.

I did have some side-by-side comparison photos of the rubbish gasket (which you have there) compared to the proper elring gasket.

The fire-rings around the cylinder bores are smaller on the low quality gasket, the sealant bead is about half the tickness and missing in some places with the low quality gasket. I would think very carefully before deciding to go ahead with that gasket.

I'm sorry if this advice comes too late!

Even with the proper elring gasket it is still a good idea to seal both ends where the aluminum end plates join the engine. On both sides of the gasket using Loctite 518 sealant. I do this because if you don't you can get oil leaking in those areas.
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Old 13th August 2010
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Thanks. Just a clean up and straight back on. Will keep this updated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vollblut View Post
Great photos!


Interesting to see that your (factory?) headgasket had light blue sealant lines also. Everyone says they're supposed to be red, but mine was just like yours.


Are you having the head worked on, or are you just slapping it back on?


Take your time setting the timing. As you know, it's the most critical part of the repair.


Here's a good tip that helps me loads:

When the cams are properly timed, there should be exactly 15 chain pins (7 and 1/2 chain links) between the timing marks on the back of the cam sprockets.


Good luck with it!
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  #11  
Old 13th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saab 16s Stubby View Post
Hmmm, yes bolted and horse springs to mind! I'll just to be the test pilot for this gasket, supplied to me by our friends at PFS, and report back on its performance.
Funnily enough, the head gasket sets I bought were from PFS, and both of them had Elring gaskets.

I'm pretty sure your head hadn't been torqued down properly, and was leaking combustion gases into the water, and oil down the side of the block too, so you're better off than you were.
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Old 13th August 2010
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Originally Posted by ianrobbo View Post
Funnily enough, the head gasket sets I bought were from PFS, and both of them had Elring gaskets.
Really? The headgasket set I got from PFS last March came in a SCANTECH box with a 'Made in PRC' on the label.

The headgasket itself was identical to the replacement used in the photo above with no indication of it being an Elring anywhere.

For my repair I used the intake gasket, exhaust gasket, and valve seals from the kit but bought a proper Elring headgasket separately.
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Old 13th August 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vollblut View Post
Really? The headgasket set I got from PFS last March came in a SCANTECH box
Yea - really! It was some time ago I admit, maybe even 2 years ago, but I'm pretty sure they were both Elring - but I could be wrong.

I'm 100% sure they weren't Scantech.
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Old 14th August 2010
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The Scantech head gaskets are not Elring. The Elring hg has the pt no 586598 stamped in it as well as Elring Screen-printed on it too. Mind you I've used Scantech in the past with no issues. The Scantech as Emmett says has a larger fire-ring which gives me a nice warm feeling.
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Old 14th August 2010
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The Scantech as Emmett says has a larger fire-ring which gives me a nice warm feeling.
Ok, I'm confused now. Why the nice warm feeling. Are you being sarcastic or does the Scantech appear to be cheaper made than the Elring?

When I compared the two, the Scantech appeared to be a bit more flimsy and less rigid than the Elring.
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Old 14th August 2010
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Is there really an issue here, or is this a fuss over nothing?
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Old 14th August 2010
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The scantech and similar gaskets are vastly inferior to the proper elring gasket. Like I say, I had photos. Unfortunately they were lost before I had a chance to post them up. Computer troubles!

The firerings are a smaller diameter and a lower profile than the ones on the elring gasket. The sealant bead is about 1/2 the thickness and missing in places on the cheap gasket. The difference is like night and day when you have the two side by side.

What turned me off the cheap headgaskets was a situation I had where I was trying to replace the cylinder head on my 99 (mines 16v) and after using one of these gaskets I was not getting good compression, the fluids were mixing and oil was pumping out of the seals. It was a total disaster. I had looked at the gasket initally and thought it looked low quality but I guessed it would be good enough for 10 or 20 thousand miles or something... but it was no good at all right from the beginning. I had to take the head back off, get a proper gasket and put the head back on. Not ammusing. Up to that point I had already fitted many head gaskets to Saab engines and could do the job blindfolded.

The PFS kit has only recently started to come with the Scantech headgasket. Previously it came with the genuine elring gasket. This has been confirmed twice now, once by toomany2cvs and here by ianrobbo too. I have recently had a PFS headgasket set which came in a white scantech box with the cheap headgasket. Got this in the last few weeks.
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Old 14th August 2010
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Wow, below isn't a nice read or experience at all. I'm really surprised they still sell them if they are such poor and would expect to see more unhappy posts on the forum. So that covers the Scantech HG, what about the quality of their split link timing chain?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ejenner View Post
The scantech and similar gaskets are vastly inferior to the proper elring gasket. Like I say, I had photos. Unfortunately they were lost before I had a chance to post them up. Computer troubles!

The firerings are a smaller diameter and a lower profile than the ones on the elring gasket. The sealant bead is about 1/2 the thickness and missing in places on the cheap gasket. The difference is like night and day when you have the two side by side.

What turned me off the cheap headgaskets was a situation I had where I was trying to replace the cylinder head on my 99 (mines 16v) and after using one of these gaskets I was not getting good compression, the fluids were mixing and oil was pumping out of the seals. It was a total disaster. I had looked at the gasket initally and thought it looked low quality but I guessed it would be good enough for 10 or 20 thousand miles or something... but it was no good at all right from the beginning. I had to take the head back off, get a proper gasket and put the head back on. Not ammusing. Up to that point I had already fitted many head gaskets to Saab engines and could do the job blindfolded.

The PFS kit has only recently started to come with the Scantech headgasket. Previously it came with the genuine elring gasket. This has been confirmed twice now, once by toomany2cvs and here by ianrobbo too. I have recently had a PFS headgasket set which came in a white scantech box with the cheap headgasket. Got this in the last few weeks.
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  #19  
Old 14th August 2010
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I think you have to judge each piece individually. Most of their products are ideal and perfect for the job and I really appreciate the effort they make in providing parts for these older Swedish cars. Just on one or two occasions they have tried to make something a bit too cheap (although I suspect they don't make the headgaskets themselves) They also produced a series of horrifically inadequate cam-cover o-rings which were about 1/2 the thickness of the original OEM specification. They did not hold the oil back. With one of these fitted to my 99 hot oil leaked out from the front lower corner of the cam cover, pooled on top of the exhaust manifold about where it joins the turbo and caught fire. Fortunately while driving wind would have prevented it from pooling so the fire only started when I had stopped the car and opened the bonnet, it was still pretty dangerous though. The workshop manual says you should apply additional sealant around the bottom corners and in a couple of other places. The sealant recommended is Loctite 518. This stuff does not actually harden unless the joint is air-tight so even if you pack the joint with 518 until it splurges out the sides it won't dry properly if there is a gap. The scantech cam cover seal was about 1/2 the tickness it should have been. That issue has been corrected. The one I recieved the other day in the Scantech box was the proper thickness.
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Old 14th August 2010
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Thanks emmet, appreciate you sharing your advice and experiences here. Will keep you updated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejenner View Post
I think you have to judge each piece individually. Most of their products are ideal and perfect for the job and I really appreciate the effort they make in providing parts for these older Swedish cars. Just on one or two occasions they have tried to make something a bit too cheap (although I suspect they don't make the headgaskets themselves) They also produced a series of horrifically inadequate cam-cover o-rings which were about 1/2 the thickness of the original OEM specification. They did not hold the oil back. With one of these fitted to my 99 hot oil leaked out from the front lower corner of the cam cover, pooled on top of the exhaust manifold about where it joins the turbo and caught fire. Fortunately while driving wind would have prevented it from pooling so the fire only started when I had stopped the car and opened the bonnet, it was still pretty dangerous though. The workshop manual says you should apply additional sealant around the bottom corners and in a couple of other places. The sealant recommended is Loctite 518. This stuff does not actually harden unless the joint is air-tight so even if you pack the joint with 518 until it splurges out the sides it won't dry properly if there is a gap. The scantech cam cover seal was about 1/2 the tickness it should have been. That issue has been corrected. The one I recieved the other day in the Scantech box was the proper thickness.
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