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Commander Head Replacement

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  • Commander Head Replacement

    I just purchased a replacement Commander cylinder head for my 59 4E11 from SASCO. I have a couple of questions if I may; what, if any, gasket "goop" should I use in addition to the copper head gasket? Any other advise or comments? It's a weekend project (still looking for a good torque wrench). THe head on my motor developed a crack from #2 plug hole to exhaust side, seeps a small amount of antifreeze, but doesn't get any water in the oil or cylinder as far as I have been able to ascertain,
    Thanks in advance, Bill Elbert

    Bill Elbert

    59 4E11
    58 Champion
    57 3E11
    48 M16
    46 M15
    41 M5

  • #2
    <div align="left"></div id="left">Be sure block and new head are clean on the mating surfaces.

    Take a good straight edge and check that the mating surfaces have no humps or hollows.

    Hang new gasket by wire and evenly spray with light coat of aluminum paint.

    Let dry just long enoungh to be not tacky.

    Put gasket in place on block over two long bolts with out heads that are hand screwed into block.

    Put head in place over the two headless long bolts.

    Put other head bolts into place and tighten loosely.

    Remove headless bolts and put all head bolts in place.

    Tighten head bolts to 1/2 torque according to sequence in service manual.

    Tighten head bolts to torque and to sequence in service manual.

    58LS Since 1966


    • #3
      Assuming this is a sandwich gasket (all I've ever seen for Commander 6's), I would add the following to Tinkerptw's fine advice.

      After you have fully tightened to torque and sequence per the manual repeat in sequence at least twice looking for any that may have loosened slightly.

      Then after the engine has been run, and even driven, a few times, check torque again, always in sequence.


      • #4
        Personally I'm not a real fan of using any kind of gasket sealer because if you ever have to do it again, you'll be sorry. Permatex is really fun to remove from a head and block, especially engines that have studs to work around rather than bolts that are removed. Even Coppercoat is a pain to clean up. I definately agree with the other posts about cleaning the mating surfaces up, checking for any irregularites and retorquing the head after getting it warmed up. I'm not one to trust the head gaskets touted to not need retorquing because often times there'll be one or two bolts that does need retorquing. I never use gasket sealer anymore, even on diesels but instead rely on the above. The only time I use sealer is if the shop manual specifically calls for it.

        At least on farm tractors, cracks, especially between the valves, are the result of getting an engine really hot and shutting it down without letting it cool down. You never know, at some time the car may have lost it's water and got hot enough to smelt metal and caused the crack. The problem with cracks that seep antifreeze into the cylinder also usually allow compression into the cooling system and can cause overheating as well as balloning out the radiator tank until it looks like a poisoned pup.