Head gaskets or something else?

Nitro2020

New member
May 6, 2020
4
0
0
Washington
My local shop just informed me that my 2004 lb7 with 183k miles on it needs head gaskets. So far the only symptom has been pressure in the coolant overflow tank. I already had injectors done about 20k miles ago, as well as the water pump about 5k miles ago. The job is just over $6,600 for head gaskets (including studs). I have also been told from family to look into getting a rebuilt long block motor shipped and have it replaced. That would be about $8,000 to do.
Is one more worth it? I have been told by a couple shops that this is a solid engine and insists that I have no need to do an engine swap.
The other option is to trade it in as is for another used duramax (we need a truck) but we have been told the trucks after this one have more issues and that this is the most desired truck.
Any advice on what route to go?

Also, upon further reading on this forum, could the problem be something else, or even nothing since the truck is running good with no smoke? I have added about 1/2 gallon of coolant since water pump replacement. Overflow tank threw up some coolant after a 400 mile drive (half of which towing 4500 lb trailer) and sitting for a couple days. Replaced overflow cap, then drove 50 miles locally with no trailer. Overflow tank hissed with coolant rising a little when opening cap (after sitting overnight). Ideas on my next step?
 

PureHybrid

Isuzu Shakes IT
Feb 15, 2012
2,582
3
38
Central OH
$6k for a head gasket job? Any way you could do it yourself? And I'd skip the studs too

No need to do an engine swap. I'd lean towards the head gaskets being bad, when I've seen an injector cup come loose they'll leak pressure into the coolant much worse than what you described. But others may have a different experience, there's only so many ways to pressurize the coolant.
 

TheBac

Why do I keep doing this?
Staff member
Apr 19, 2008
13,379
21
38
Mid Michigan
If you didnt "burp" the cooling system when you did the w/p, you can easily add that much coolant to get it full. If the upper hose isnt hard like Torque says, then you probably do not have an issue with h/g's.
 

slowlml

Undercover Epa agent
Feb 6, 2015
489
20
18
Strasburg Va/Wardensville Wv
6600 is steep for a headgasket job imo. Where are you located?
Also i agree with tom about burping the system. If the upper rad hose isnt hard then its usually not head gaskets.
 

KyleC4

Tech
Dec 30, 2016
336
7
18
Bay Area
6k? Wow. I’m not charging enough lol. Follow what these guys have said about radiator hose after over night sit. And if injector cups were leaking, I always see some intermixing of coolant and oil
 

Nitro2020

New member
May 6, 2020
4
0
0
Washington
The radiator hose was stiff (squeezable with effort) after sitting, but not rock hard. So far, 6k is the cheapest I have found. The other 2 shops I called wanted over 8k for the head gasket job. I do not have the time, tools, or experience to do the work myself. I am located in the Gig Harbor area of Washington.
 

Mxz8002003

New member
May 23, 2020
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Its possible you could have an injector cup leak. Ive seen it on my old mans lb7, though it was hg end up being a couple cups..
 

scott_willerscheidt

New member
Jan 30, 2019
20
0
1
48
gig harbor wa.
What shop in gig harbor? When the time comes, I'll be doing the work myself.

2002 gmc sierra 2500hd quad cab short bed
Zone 3" kit
285/70/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers
17x9 Raceline 930's
S&B intake
3" turbo horn
PPE boost valve
MBRP 3" downpipe
MBRP 4" exhaust
LED conversion
Edge CTS2 with SAS EGT probe
boost auto towing mirrors ( dual function)
fass 90
 

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