How Do I Replace the Head Gasket on a Pontiac Grand Am V6?

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The Grand Am was the name for five different generations of cars under the Pontiac brand. The last generation of the Grand Am was a compact car that was in production from 1999 to 2005. One of the engines available for the Pontiac Grand Am was a 3.4-liter V-6 with a cylinder head on each side of the engine. The procedure for replacing the cylinder head gasket is different for each cylinder head.

Things You'll Need

  • Socket wrench set
  • Shop rag
  • Fuel pressure gauge
  • Gasoline container
  • Oil container
  • Coolant container
  • Torque wrench

Left Cylinder Head Gasket

  • Remove the negative battery cable with a socket wrench in order to avoid the discharge of fuel while replacing the cylinder head gasket. Remove the cap from the fuel tank to relieve the pressure in the fuel tank.

  • Wrap a shop rag around the port connection on the fuel rail, and attach a fuel pressure gauge to the port connection. Place the bleed hose on the fuel pressure gauge into a container approved for gasoline, and open the valve on the pressure gauge. Allow the excess fuel to drain into the container, and empty the remaining fuel in the fuel pressure gauge into the container. Replace the filler cap on the fuel tank.

  • Drain engine oil from the crankcase into a clean container, and store it for later use. Drain the coolant from the radiator into a clean container, and store it for later use.

  • Disconnect the air cleaner assembly and throttle body from the upper intake manifold with a socket wrench. Remove the crossover pipe and its heat shield from the left exhaust manifold. Detach the electrical wiring from the spark plugs, and remove the covers from the rocker arms. Disconnect the upper and lower intake manifolds from the engine.

  • Remove the left exhaust manifold with a socket wrench. Detach the tube for the oil level indicator from the left cylinder head. Disconnect the rocker arms and push rods from the left cylinder head. Remove the mounting bolts from the left cylinder head with a socket wrench. Lift the left cylinder head from the engine block, and remove the gasket from the engine block.

  • Place a new gasket on the engine block, and mount the cylinder head on top of the gasket. Fasten the mounting bolts to the left cylinder head, and tighten them to to 33 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Tighten the mounting bolts another 90 degrees with a socket wrench.

  • Perform steps four and five in reverse sequence to install the remaining components. Tighten the mounting bolts for the rocker arms to 89 inch-pounds with a torque wrench, then tighten them another 30 degrees. Tighten the mounting bolts for the lower intake manifold to 115 inch-pounds, and tighten the bolts for the upper intake manifold to 18 foot-pounds.

  • Tighten the bolts for the rocker arm covers to 89 inch-pounds, and tighten the retaining nuts for the left exhaust manifold to 12 foot-pounds. Tighten the bolts for the exhaust crossover pipe to 18 foot-pounds, and tighten the bolts for the heat shield on the crossover pipe to 89 inch-pounds.

  • Connect the cable for the negative battery cable with a socket wrench. Fill the radiator with coolant, and fill the crankcase with oil. Start the engine and check for fluid leaks.

Right Cylinder Head Gasket

  • Remove the negative battery cable with a socket wrench in order to avoid the discharge of fuel while replacing the cylinder head gasket. Remove the cap from the fuel tank to relieve the pressure in the fuel tank.

  • Wrap a shop rag around the port connection on the fuel rail, and attach a fuel pressure gauge to the port connection. Place the bleed hose on the fuel pressure gauge into a container approved for gasoline, and open the valve on the pressure gauge. Allow the excess fuel to drain into the container, and empty the remaining fuel in the fuel pressure gauge into the container. Replace the filler cap on the fuel tank.

  • Drain engine oil from the crankcase into a clean container, and store it for later use. Drain the coolant from the radiator into a clean container, and store it for later use.

  • Disconnect the air cleaner assembly and throttle body from the upper intake manifold with a socket wrench. Remove the crossover pipe and its head shield from the right exhaust manifold. Disconnect the electrical connector for the oxygen sensor. Detach the electrical wiring from the spark plugs, and remove the covers from the rocker arms. Disconnect the upper and lower intake manifolds from the engine.

  • Remove the right exhaust pipe from the right exhaust manifold. Disconnect the right exhaust manifold from the engine. Disconnect the rocker arms and push rods from the left cylinder head. Remove the mounting bolts from the right cylinder head with a socket wrench. Lift the right cylinder head from the engine block, and remove the gasket from the engine block.

  • Place a new gasket on the engine block, and mount the cylinder head on top of the gasket. Fasten the mounting bolts to the left cylinder head, and tighten them to to 33 foot-pounds with a torque wrench. Tighten the mounting bolts another 90 degrees with a socket wrench.

  • Perform steps four and five in reverse sequence to install the remaining components. Tighten the mounting bolts for the rocker arms to 89 inch-pounds with a torque wrench, then tighten them another 30 degrees. Tighten the mounting bolts for the lower intake manifold to 115 inch-pounds, and tighten the bolts for the upper intake manifold to 18 foot-pounds.

  • Tighten the bolts for the rocker arm covers to 89 inch-pounds, and tighten the retaining nuts for the left exhaust manifold to 12 foot-pounds. Tighten the bolts for the exhaust crossover pipe to 18 foot-pounds, and tighten the bolts for the heat shield on the crossover pipe to 89 inch-pounds.

  • Connect the cable for the negative battery cable with a socket wrench. Fill the radiator with coolant, and fill the crankcase with oil. Start the engine and check for fluid leaks.

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