Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Camby, IN 46113
Its not hard to do but it is time consuming and frustrating as hell if you don't have the proper tools. I sure wouldn't jump jump right into a headgasket swap if it isn't necessary. While it isn't hard, it is time consuming and a lot of work. It would really suck if you go to all that work for no reason. But on the other hand, if it is the problem then you need to catch it and fix it before your oil gets contaminated and far worse things happen.
The thing is that you need to do here is to stop listening to internet diagnostitions and actually go find out if there is a problem or not. We honestly can't diagnose the car from hundreds or thousands of miles and it would be irresponsible to try. You are there with the car and you need to follow the simple steps to see what, if anything, is wrong.
Just so you know, my cars always smoke if the weather is right. I was just in Florida and the weather wasn't right to cause it and it didn't smoke there. I just had the normal "burning off the condensation" smoke that goes away after a few. In Indiana the weather is and it does. In Maine I am sure it is as well.
More important than the presence of it is what does this smoke smell like? Does it smell like antifreeze? If it does then you definitely have a problem.
My best advice that I have learned from decades of doing this stuff is to always find the real problem before you go determining the cure. I agree that this is the most common problem and hassle with these, but find out what you are dealing with first. Just because its common doesn't mean that its your problem. It almost sounds like you want to replace the head gaskets. If so, you will change your tune about 10 hours or so into it, trust me.
Remember two time tested sayings. If it aint broke, don't fix it and K.I.S.S.
If it were me I would go pull the spark plugs and check them out, but you have the right to do what you want.
01 F150 5.4L 4x4 and a 98 Mustang GT vert sitting engineless and without transmission or converter