I have a 1988 fiero with a iron duke engine. I think it might have a blown head gasket. I want to know if I should attempt to have it repaired, or should I just replace the engine? Would I save money by doing so?
Dropping in another Iron Duke from a junkyard would cost a bit more, and you may be inheriting other problems. Head gasket change isn't hard for anyone with some mechanical ability. If your engine has been reasonably reliable up to now, then a head gasket change may be the better solution. Obviously, your health comes first, so you (and your doctor) would have to decide what you can do yourself....but it sounds like you'll be getting a shop (or maybe a friend?) to do the work.
Why do you assume it is the head gasket? Make sure you have the problem properly diagnosed before jumping into anything. A wet/dry compression check should be done to give an overall picture of the condition of the engine.
Head gaskets going on a 2.5 is common. I had one go. Lots of white smoke. I did the head gasket at home. The head is a bit heavy, so you would want to have some one lift if off for you. I did not have a leak on the outside at all. But when I pulled the head, wow was the gasket bad and the top of one piston was all shinny and clean looking. I don't know if I would be driving the car with a blown head gasket.