Head Gaskets and Valve Covers
1982-1994 Chevy Cavaliers
1995-2005 Chevy Cavaliers

How do you replace the head gasket located on a 1988 Chevy cavalier?

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2011-09-12 20:58:09
2011-09-12 20:58:09

With all due respect, you must purchase the appropriate manual for your vehichle. That said, '87-91 Chevy cavs are some of-if not THE- easiest cars to work on and require the least amount of steps to replace their head gaskets. You will need a full set of tools including the belt tensioner tool and a torque wrench and a good jack/jackstands. If you have all of this the step-by-step procedure in the manual can be followed with little or no difficulty. Start by cleaning the visible engine areas with degreaser and a cloth and by labeling all vaccum and fuel lines before you start so your hands are clean and the labels will be read once your done (nothing worse than a greasy, illegible label to confuse matters once you're putting everything back together). Have several small boxes (shoe boxes are great) labeled "front" and "rear" ready first so that any parts can be easily stored, taken inside for cleaning, then set aside for re-assembly. Label your spark plug wires and buy new plugs (and wires too..why not) and a new thermostat so that you know that your repaired gasket/engine has no other points of failure. My manual shows 19 steps for removal and 19 steps for re-assembly but remember...one step could be more complicated than it reads and a more complete explaination of each step can be cross-referenced in subsequent manual chapters. Manuals are about $15 and only the simplest jobs (ie, window cleaning and tire inflation) should be attempted without a manual.

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