When installing felpro head gaskets... - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 08-01-2005, 12:17 AM   #1
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Default When installing felpro head gaskets...

1. Is it enough to take a razor blade to the mating surfaces and clean with starter fluid?
2. Should i lightly go over the surfaced with a red scotch brite pad?
3. Install dry right?
4. What should i put on the head bolts? That white thread tape used in plumbing?
5. Any other tips or tricks i should know about?

I'm hoping to get my heads and gaskets by next weekend. I'm loosing oil pretty quick now and i think that might be contributing to my spuddering condition.
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Old 08-01-2005, 01:36 AM   #2
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  • 1. Do not use a razor blade. It can cut small grooves on the deck. I use a sanding block with 600 grit sandpaper and go throught the deck lightly until I remove all the gasket material.
    2. Make sure to protect the bore from any debris.
    3. Use acetone or thinner to clean the deck surface and clean rags to remove any dirt. 4. Also, run a tap on all the head bolt threads.
    5. You need new head bolts due to the fact they are yield type bolts.
    6. Make sure you have a good torque wrench and also purchase the angle torque attachment from Snap-On or Craftsman. Follow the instructions from the shop manual and torque sequence.
    7. My preference for gaskets are either ROL or Corteco in lieu of Fel-Pro. I purchase my head gaskets most of the times from NAPA since they carry them under their own brand name.
    8. I spray all my head gaskets with Hylomar and wait a couple of minutes until it form a skin on the gasket surface.
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Old 08-01-2005, 04:08 AM   #3
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Do not use teflon tape on the threads. That'* bad news. Follow the directions in the manual. I install mine DRY. If anything, I sometimes put a drop of motor oil on the threads to get consistent torque.

As stated, do NOT re-use the head bolts.
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Old 08-01-2005, 06:42 AM   #4
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This is how I do 'em:

Drain the coolant from the block by removing the knock sensor/* and/or drain plugs. If you don't do this, debris will fall into the coolant and end up in your radiator or heater core or coolant will end up all over everything when you try to blow everything clean with compressed air.

Buy a Super Scraper. ($20 gets you a fat wooden handle and a thick, sharp carbide edge that is guaranteed for life.) http://www.johnsonmfg.com/temp/j248-01.htm Keeping the blade edge flat on the sealing surface, scrape any gasket residue, rust, grease, RTV or other buildup away from the holes so as not to introduce debris into the cooling passages, oil passages, or bolt holes. Don't worry so much about debris falling into the cylinders, as it is pretty easy to wipe and blow them clean.

Buy a bottoming tap and run the bolt holes with it to remove any rust, debris, or rough places in the threads.

Blow any debris out of the bolt holes, cooling passages and cylinders with compressed air at 90 psi. (Use eye protection!) A portable tank with a blow-off nozzle can be used for this if you don't have a compressor.

Degrease the sealing surfaces with a solvent that leaves little residue such as carburetor cleaner (laquer thinner) or brake cleaner (perchloroethylene).

Check the flatness of the deck and the head with a straight edge placed diagonally in an X-pattern across each. Try to slide a feeler gauge (check the spec) under the straight edge at several points along the edge. If you find a gap greater than spec, the part must be surfaced to ensure that it will not leak.

Make sure the dowel pins and holes are clean. (Dorman sells new ones if you have lost one or have one that is distorted.)

Use new head bolts. (Most new head bolts come with a dry wax or lube on the threads which reduces the torque required to stretch the bolt; these do not require any additional lube. If the bolts appear to be without any factory lube, lightly oil the threads. It won't hurt to add a bit of oil on the ends of pre-lubed bolts, but be careful not to use too much. You don't want excess oil squeezing out under the gasket surface.)

Make sure you have the right extensions on hand to turn each bolt smoothly through the required tightening angles without stopping. Six-point sockets are less likely to slip at high torques. If you are working on an engine stand, make sure the base is secure and sufficiently fixed or blocked to hold against the required tightening torques.

I have a Snap-On torque angle meter, but most of the time, I use it as a guide to give me a point of reference for where the torque wrench handle will end up after tightening the required 135 degrees (or whatever).

Remove the pushrods and rocker arms so that the compression of the valve springs does not affect the even-ness of the clamping force you are trying to achieve as you tighten the bolts. Keep track of each valvetrain component (rockers in an egg carton, rods through a folded piece of clean cardboard) so you can put them back where they were to minimize wear.

Be careful to observe any markings telling you "this side up" or 'this end to the front" on the gasket or in the instructions that come with the new gasket.

Make sure you understand the tightening sequence and tightening procedure before you start. Use a magic marker (silver or black) to number the bolt holes on the head. Put a drop of oil under each bolt head flange to keep the bolt from binding on the head as it is tightened.

If there are different bolt lengths, place all the bolts in the holes before tightening any to make sure you have the proper length bolts in the appropriate holes.

Keep the torque wrench at right angles to the bolt and apply the force on the center of the handle. If you are using a beam-type wrench, make sure the pointer does not drag top or bottom.

I count aloud each number and avoid distractions while doing a tightening sequence so as not to lose my place in the sequence. Don't answer the phone in the middle of tightening.
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Old 08-01-2005, 11:24 AM   #5
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very good guide there. very good. follow those rules, and you'll be good to go.

I used to take a honing stone to my mating surface, after I had cleaned it up every other way. By working slowly, you got a beautiful finish, but it was a little bit overboard...
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Old 08-01-2005, 11:44 AM   #6
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Thanks guys, really good info here.
I am defintely replacing the TTY head bolts I actually ordered everything yesterday.
I just remembered another question i had. On the lifters there is a hole on the one face. Which way does this hole point? I think it'* torward the front of the engine but i'm not 100%.
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Old 08-01-2005, 01:37 PM   #7
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I MIGHT be able to see mine if I pull my retainers. My LIM isn't bolted down yet, so if you don't get a response today, I'll check mine tonight for you.
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
I MIGHT be able to see mine if I pull my retainers. My LIM isn't bolted down yet, so if you don't get a response today, I'll check mine tonight for you.
Coool.
Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2005, 05:41 AM   #9
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*looks over* Hole is the pushrod end.
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Old 08-02-2005, 10:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damemorder
*looks over* Hole is the pushrod end.
With the lifters that i am going to put in (lower mileage) the hole is on one side and can only point torwards the front or rear of the engine due to the roller.
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