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How hard is it? I've done a few on 80s n 90s bmws, so should I be ok? Is there a DIY write up? Tips? Do I need a bunch of special tools? Any input is greatly appreciated. What other parts should be replaced while I'm in there? Thermostat water pump?

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well, it will be almost the same as other cars. The only thing most of the people worry about is put back the valve cover without using any helicoil, cause most of the holes are really soft. I did replace most of the internals on my car and here is the list that maybe you can get an idea, of course depends how many miles your car has also.

-water pump
-thermostat
-cams seals
-spark/valve cover O-rings
-timing belt kit
-pcv system
-headgasket
-manifold and turbo manifold gaskets
-volvo oem gasket seal maker
 

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Pain in the ass. It is all just getting to the bolts that makes it hard. Its best to pull the intake. Then pull the exhaust manifold and leave it attached to the turbo and leave it in the car. Check over the exhaust manifold after the head is off. Make sure there are no cracks. I've seen a couple cracked. Not very common though. And replace seals, timingbelt and tensioner along with the H2O pump. Find a cylinder head kit and make sure all your gaskets are in there. And when you clean up the head and block deck, don't use power tools. Take the head to a machine shop to make sure its flat.
 

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Pain in the ass. It is all just getting to the bolts that makes it hard. Its best to pull the intake. Then pull the exhaust manifold and leave it attached to the turbo and leave it in the car. Check over the exhaust manifold after the head is off. Make sure there are no cracks. I've seen a couple cracked. Not very common though. And replace seals, timingbelt and tensioner along with the H2O pump. Find a cylinder head kit and make sure all your gaskets are in there. And when you clean up the head and block deck, don't use power tools. Take the head to a machine shop to make sure its flat.
i did it and i didnt find it to be a PITA. here is a walk thru on my project last winter http://tinyurl.com/85mh7z3
 

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Well...I compare it to other cars out there. I'm an import tech and there are easier jobs out there that pay more. That's more what I meant by pain in the ass. Its not a horrible job if you have the time. But if you have a customer that wants it in a day...you get the picture.
 
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