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Head Gasket Leaks?

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  • Head Gasket Leaks?

    We've got about 300 miles on our freshly rebuilt 1964 259 V8. It's time for a head re-torquing. We used the thin head gaskets on the rebuild.

    BUT WAIT ! Why do we have anti-freeze puddling at the back of the block in the ledges next to the distributor? The water pump to block and head joints are dry, as well as the dummy plates at back of heads, and the thermostat housing area. No seepage at temperature sender either. But what we do see is seepage from all along where heads meet block, on both sides of engine. So I re-checked the initial torque, and it still seems to be the same 60lbs as originally set.

    So, here are the questions:

    1. Do the shim style head gaskets require more torque than the 55-65 lbs recommended by the shop manual?

    2. Is it not unusual to find some coolant seepage before the obligatory re-torque of the heads?

    3. I initially torqued to 60 psi, should i go to 65 with my re-torque?

    4. Any other words of wisdom?



  • #2
    I use 65 lb ft torque when tightening the head bolts. The heads or block could be warped, the bolt holes and or bolts are not clean and lubed with engine oil or maybe a piece of debris got caught between the head, gasket and or block. I use the same torque spec when using either type gasket. Did you use an appropriate sealer on both sides of the gasket before installation? I like K&W Coppercoat spray for sealing head gaskets. Bud


    • #3
      As an added note, you shouldn't see coolant seepage at any time, even before the first retorque. Bud


      • #4
        Super -

        I'm assuming you did the final (LOW !?) torquing in three or four stages..?
        You did lube the threads and underside of the fastener with at least oil...correct ?
        And what was the reason for the low torque value ?
        Did you use a gasket preperation, Copper Coat, copper paint, silver paint ?

        And when you retorque, "loosen" each fastener about a half a turn...THEN retorque.