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I'm replacing the head gasket on a 1995 S10 2.2 that i bought for $500 and plan to fix a small warp (.001 - .002 in needs to be taken off) the way several you tube videos show - gluing sandpaper to flat glass panel and sliding the head back and forth on it. Some say the glass should be 3/4 inch thick, but I see no reason I can't just put a mirror or window pane that's 1/8 inch on a flat table to use. Any thoughts on the glass thickness ?
 

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A "flat" table is probably less flat than the head already is. If it isn't within specs, get it machined the right way.
 

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It's mostly BS
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Sometimes the cheap way is the expensive way.
 

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Been there Done it
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A good quality flat file will do a better job than sandpaper glued to a piece of glass. It won't fixed a warped head or block, but will eliminate any high spots. I always run a fine, high priced, bastard file across the mating surfaces of heads and manifolds before reassembly. Primarily as a way to be sure there are no pieces of left over old gasket remaining w/o compromising flatness like a rotating tool might. Be especially careful on anything aluminum.
 

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I am siding with everyone else here..... At the ripe age of 51 I have tried many ways to skin a cat. If I spent 500.00 on a single head rest assured I am not going to touch it! 65.00 is a small price to pay for the average shop to surface that head hell even if its a 100.00
Please remember put the condom on before you have sex its much cheaper
 
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Just my 2¢, It's a lot of work to pull the head . Valve job , check the springs , skim as needed and whatever else the machine shop says is needed . Otherwise you might be pulling the head again shortly ...
 

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There are generally 2 ways to do pretty much any job.

Right

and

Again

Machine shop won't charge much for a single head and you'll know it's done right. Take the time to clean up the ports and short turns and get a good valve job.
 

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There are generally 2 ways to do pretty much any job.

Right

and

Again

Machine shop won't charge much for a single head and you'll know it's done right. Take the time to clean up the ports and short turns and get a good valve job.
The longer version of the story is that while there may only be half a dozen "right" ways, there are innumerable "wrong" ways to do any job.

In this instance, many who have commented here probably are not aware of many of the "right" ways. I'll bet that most people have never seen a horizontal shaper in operation, may have never touched a surface plate, have never run a Biax scraper, don't have at least a small tube of Prussian blue, haven't used a burr-buster, may not have considered a surface grinder, don't understand horizontal mills, seen a Blanchard grinder in operaton, or don't know about hydraulic planers.

I think that was at least half a dozen.
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
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Sure, go ahead, use the 1/4" glass on a wood table method... sounds like a good life lesson could be learned here shortly, let us know how it goes.
 

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Sure, go ahead, use the 1/4" glass on a wood table method.
Nawww......, 1/4" is too thick.

He said "I see no reason I can't just put a mirror or window pane that's 1/8 inch on a flat table to use."
 

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I think he got scared a way... I guess he was more interested in using the right thickness of glass than getting the job done right. Good luck out there!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A bunch of wise guys in here. I'm not a pro, but this will be the 5th head gasket I change on different vehicles over the past 10 or so years and it will be the second head I resurface myself. The youtube guy I learned the method from is a mechanic of 20 years who says it's fine to have a machine shop do it - this is just for people who don't mind the work and who want to learn how to do it the 'old skool' way. The first vehicle I resurfaced the head on this way was done 5 years ago and the truck still runs fine. If this was a truck that was worth $5000 or more I would take it to a machine shop, like I said it's a truck I bought for $500 - you can find alot of vehicles like this, fix them yourselves and drive them for years. The reason for using glass as opposed to a wood table is because whatever process they use to make glass makes it very flat. I've already finished resurfacing the head, and checked it with a mechanical grade straight edge and it's within spec now. I was looking for thoughts or comments from back yard mechanics who had done this before , not a bunch of rookies who think they can't do anything for themselves.
 

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A bunch of wise guys in here. I'm not a pro, but this will be the 5th head gasket I change on different vehicles over the past 10 or so years and it will be the second head I resurface myself. The youtube guy I learned the method from is a mechanic of 20 years who says it's fine to have a machine shop do it - this is just for people who don't mind the work and who want to learn how to do it the 'old skool' way. The first vehicle I resurfaced the head on this way was done 5 years ago and the truck still runs fine. If this was a truck that was worth $5000 or more I would take it to a machine shop, like I said it's a truck I bought for $500 - you can find alot of vehicles like this, fix them yourselves and drive them for years. The reason for using glass as opposed to a wood table is because whatever process they use to make glass makes it very flat. I've already finished resurfacing the head, and checked it with a mechanical grade straight edge and it's within spec now. I was looking for thoughts or comments from back yard mechanics who had done this before , not a bunch of rookies who think they can't do anything for themselves.

First is that head iron or aluminum? If iron it's way more forgiving than the Aluminum.
Second you are working with an engine that is notorious for blowing head gaskets... Just sayin.
and if you want to know if 1/8th glass is thick enough... Pick some up at the required length and try to bend it with your hands. Then do the same to the 1/4 stuff. The answer will be self evident.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
here's a link that shows the diy head resurfacing method for folks who like trying stuff many will say not to do. Of course, if the vehicle was worth more than $1000 and I didn't feel like doing the extra work, I'd take it to a machine shop:
 

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Except we live in a world where remanned heads with brand new valvetrain are very affordable... unless you're building for performance, why do the extra work?
 
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here's a link that shows the diy head resurfacing method for folks who like trying stuff many will say not to do. Of course, if the vehicle was worth more than $1000 and I didn't feel like doing the extra work, I'd take it to a machine shop:
Seems like you are dead set on this method so go for it. Just make sure the glass you use is thick enough that it will now bow under the weight of the head, or the pressure of your hands pushing down on it if you are flipping the head upside down. Perussian blue would also be a good thing for your adventure.
 
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