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V-8 Head Re-Torqueing

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  • V-8 Head Re-Torqueing


  • #2
    I use the steel shim head gaskets on my engines and haven't had any problems with leakage. I always retorque the heads to 65 lbs ft using the proper torque sequence a couple of times after I have removed them for service. If there is goo on the dipstick. there is water in the oil. Did you tap out the head bolt holes in the block, clean the bolt threads and lube them with oil before you installed and tightened the bolts? Also any rubbish between the head and gasket and the block and gasket will cause leaks as the shim gaskets are alot less tolerant of debris than the sandwich gaskets. Bud

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    • #3
      I have never had much luck with the thin metal gaskets. I always use the composition gaskets, and have never had a problem with them. If you loosened the head bolts, then retorqued them, the metal in the bolts probably relaxed, then when you retorqued them they stretched enough for another half a turn. I would say that was good. I assume you had the block magnafluxed, as well as the heads? I rebuilt an engine once, only to find one head had cracked during reassembly. Symptoms were much as you describe.

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      • #4
        I waited to see what sort of responses this would bring, because I have not built Studebaker engines although I have done so with many other makes. The first thing that comes to mind is that this is the second topic posted in about two weeks in which a shop has produced a result for a customer which is amazingly unsatisfactory. The other was where a shop went ahead and bored cylinders without the new pistons in hand, and then seemed unable to properly measure the replacement pistons anyway.

        In this case, how does a shop which is supposed to know what they are doing, give you back an engine which has coolant seeping out of the head joint at start-up? There's nothing wrong with an OEM style headgasket, by that I mean the simple stamped metal one. I always spray these with coppercoat and then assemble. On an iron block with iron heads, I don't re-torque the heads later, but as I say above, there might be some reason on a Studebaker which I don't know about. The factory didn't direct purchasers to bring their cars back for head re-torquing 1000 miles after taking delivery, did they? Why you would back out the bolts first before re-tightening, I don't know. In fact, that seems to have caused your problem. On aluminum head engines, I re-torque after about 500-1000 miles by just tightening along the pattern, not loosening them first. And in 30 years and several dozen engines I have never had a head gasket issue. But those were not Studebakers.

        It really sounds to me like the shop did a bum job planing the heads or the block. That's why it leaked right away, presuming they didn't coat the gasket. The next (now coated) gasket was able to mask the issue, until you loosened the bolts, then the seal was broken.

        As I say, I have no experience with Studebaker engine rebuilding, so I may be missing a point here or there. I'm just throwing this comment in as the thread wasn't getting any activity.

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        • #5
          In all of the years that I've rebuilt and done valve jobs to Studebaker V8 engines, I've alomst always used the shim head gaskets coated with a couple of coats of spray on Copper Coat. Studebaker recommended retorqueing the heads after a short period of service which I always do. I don't however back off the bolts before retorque as I don't remember seeing that being recommended in the Studebaker shop manual. I do know that some of the bolts will turn somewhat when I go through the retorque sequence with either type of head gasket. There could be also be a problem that the torque wrench being used is defective or out of calibration. Bud

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