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Okay, admittedly I might be in over my head on this one, but I’m stubborn and refuse to believe I can’t learn how to do something given time and some guidance(the latter of which brought me here) My 2000 TaC 3.3L V6 had coolant and oil mixed in both the oil pan and the radiator, which lead me to believe I needed to replace my head gasket. Im fairly knowledgeable with cars and mechanics, but this is my first time tackling anything this big and im not sure where to start. So im basically asking a few questions
1) What other things should I check before going for the head gasket
2) Step-by-Step guide To doing the job(I have a pretty good idea, but some reassurance in the order if
3)Assuming I make it down to replace the head gasket how do I know for sure it is the head gasket that failed in the first place
4)When doing this job, what all should I be looking for as I replace all the gaskets and whatnot

whatever help/answers/advice is greatly appreciated, thank you in advance
 

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2) While I cannot answer numbers 1 and 3, I've found this video to be very informative for tackling the job:
The video is on a 2008 3.3L, which is set up exactly the same as the 4th gen models ('01-'07), but I can't personally attest to how similar it is to 3rd gen (your 2000). I would presume it's nearly the same aside from cosmetics such as the intake manifold but I'm sure other members here can pitch in.

4) Rockauto sells gasket kits specifically for this job. You'll find it under Chrysler > 2000 > T&C > 3.3L > engine > engine kit gasket set. Not knowing the cause of your potential blown gasket, I believe you may want to get the block and heads inspected for any warping that may have occurred from overheating. If the surface is not entirely flat and flush prior to rebuilding it then the job will have been null. Purchasing a set of new head bolts will also be necessary and you can find them under the same engine drop down menu ("cylinder head bolts").
 

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3)Assuming I make it down to replace the head gasket how do I know for sure it is the head gasket that failed in the first place
#3 - I am using this based on experience with other vehicles, for all I know a Chrysler could act differently, but I don't believe it would.
  • Depending on how bad the leak is, and if it is leaking into your cylinders, you could potentially see white exhaust coming out of your tailpipe (when the engine is running) if it is indeed the head gasket. (White = Coolant being burned off, Blue = Oil being burned off.)
  • A blown head gasket can also cause bubbles to appear in your radiator, as your cooling system would no longer be sealed.
  • A compression test can help you determine if the head and block are sealed-although, a compression test can also tell you if you have a bad valve, valve seal, valve spring, etc. as well.
  • If you know someone who has a scope camera that can help you see the inside of the cylinders, that can help you, too.

I've replaced head gaskets on a few engines before. It is quite a large task, but it can be done easily if you know all the steps on disassembly (I always take pictures of things as I get ready to disassemble them, so I have an idea of what it should look like once I've re-assembled it,) proper order of loosening and tightening the head bolts (on some engines, doing the bolts in the wrong order can cause warp on the heads), ensuring the mating surfaces of the block and head are perfectly straight (can do this with using a proper straight-edge), etc.

Although I am not certain on the engine you are working on, most modern engine head-bolts are edit*torque-to-yield, which means they stretch. This means that once you take them out, they are not suitable for re-use, and you would need to replace the hardware.

Hope this helps!
 

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Torque-to-spec? Do you mean TTY, torque-to-yield which involves a couple of steps of turning the head bolts in degrees instead of a torque value? Torque to yield are supposed to be replaced, torque to spec can be reused. I believe this was discussed on another thread, and it was determined that these bolts can be reused. That is, if they look okay and check the threads with a straightedge to look for possible stretch.

With oil getting into the radiator, I suspect the head gasket is letting go around an oil pressure port at the center/top of the block that provides oil to the rocker shafts. Might not be burning coolant at all. Not how head gaskets usually blow, but it does happen sometimes.
 
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Torque-to-spec? Do you mean TTY, torque-to-yield which involves a couple of steps of turning the head bolts in degrees instead of a torque value? Torque to yield are supposed to be replaced, torque to spec can be reused. I believe this was discussed on another thread, and it was determined that these bolts can be reused. That is, if they look okay and check the threads with a straightedge to look for possible stretch.

With oil getting into the radiator, I suspect the head gasket is letting go around an oil pressure port at the center/top of the block that provides oil to the rocker shafts. Might not be burning coolant at all. Not how head gaskets usually blow, but it does happen sometimes.
You are correct, I meant TTY - I typed that response rather hastily, resulted in a blunder. Thanks for pointing it out!

However, I personally have always replaced the head bolts on any head gasket I've replaced, despite the type of bolts used. They generally don't cost too much, and it's better than having the headache of pulling everything back apart due to a bad bolt leading to a bad seal later down the road.
 
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