How do you replace the head gasket on a 1997 ford Taurus?

The cheapest way is to do the job yourself. These cars were known to have gasket failures. A lot of times the gasket would allow coolant to leak into the oil. If your dipstick looks like a milkshake, chances are you have done some damage to bearings in the engine. You might not hear anything until a few months later.

As far as stopleak or dropping an egg into rad, I cant see any cheap way to do this job. The problem is you are trying to seal combustion chamber pressures from the cooling system, and visa versa. ........

I had good results from 2 small containers of alumaseal from discount auto supply.

I had this problem. I tried bars leak 3 times, didn't work. Did the head job, and then the oil pump died. We were told the bars leak probably did it. Also Bars leak killed the thermostat, had to replace it (but since the headgasket blew, change it anyway). It can also damage the heater coil.

No cheap way. The head set gasket set is 55 out the door, and the Haynes repair manual is 15. If you want JUST the head gasket (not a good idea) they're 17.00.

The one other thing is the bolts are Torque to Yield, you need to spend the 30 bucks extra for new head bolts. Also, you need RTV gasket maker too.

Replacing the head gasket on any vehicle is a long and complicated process, however if you wish to see basic step-by-step instructions go to the related question on the right side of the page "How do you replace a head gasket?"