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Old 03-03-2011, 04:47 PM   #1
prezarevo
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Default Head gaskets just keep failing.

I'm curious to see what people think about this. I put together TWO motors. The first one a 2.5 D block with 2.5 1 heads. I used ebay "eristic" MLS head gaskets, no copper spray, and reused the head bolts. Both the head and block surfaces were cleaned with a quick skim of a scotch brite wheel. I torqued the bolts in the pattern as sugested. The second motor was another 2.5 D block with 2.5 3 heads. I used Felpro MLS gaskets. I forget what thickness they were but they were pretty thick. I did use the copper spray this time. Both the heads and block surfaces were skimmed with the wheel as well. I also reused a different set of bolts and the stretch on them was barely noticable. Again I torqued the heads in the sugested pattern. Both motors started without hesitation and ran beautifully. But once it came time for a ride...FORGET IT. They started burning oil and the coolant invited itself into the oil. The upper coolant hose built up a high ammount of preasure. Now I am completely dumb founded as to what I could have done wrong. I even used two different torque wrenches, one a Craftsman click type and the other a Snap-on click type. The only thing that I could think of is the fact that I reused the bolts. Any ideas any one?
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:32 PM   #2
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Did you check the heads for square. I don't mean, "Did you clean them, see that they were shiny and call it good". Did you get out your machinist straight edge and use feeler gauges to check the heads for squareness?

I imply that the heads are warped and the issue is not with your bolts. You followed the torquing sequence, right?
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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You used crap gaskets.

You didn't have a machine shop check the heads for flatness.

Bad decisions are why your headgaskets failed. The bolts are innocent.
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Old 03-03-2011, 08:46 PM   #4
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I would also add that those Scotch wheels may not be the best thing to use for cleaning internal engine parts. Some of the discs have high... silicon(?) content which is not good for the bearings. If you try to warranty a Jasper engine the first thing they do is ask for an oil sample. If it shows any silicon in the results, you just bought two engines.


(Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on the silicon part)


EDIT: Bolts are cheap. Buy new ones.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrencher86 View Post
I would also add that those Scotch wheels may not be the best thing to use for cleaning internal engine parts. Some of the discs have high... silicon(?) content which is not good for the bearings. If you try to warranty a Jasper engine the first thing they do is ask for an oil sample. If it shows any silicon in the results, you just bought two engines.


(Somebody correct me if I'm wrong on the silicon part)


EDIT: Bolts are cheap. Buy new ones.
1) Bolts aren't cheap. They're about $160 if you want to replace all of them. There's no need to do so.

2) The use of the small (and by this I mean 1" diameter buffs) scotchbrite-like wheels, providing you use the correct coarseness, can be perfectly safe. The key is that you need to clean aggressively after use and running a quick oil rinse once the engine is reassembled is the best idea. You can ABSOLUTELY get yourself into trouble if you use too coarse of buff or use it to heavily, let alone the problems that can result from not cleaning well enough afterwards. You just have to use them responsibly.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:16 PM   #6
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I was told that FEl-PRO manufactures Subaru's replacement head gaskets. They even had Subaru's mark on them. Even so, if they were "Garbage" gaskets they should have held up far longer than 15 min of idle and 5 min of load time. As I stated in above I DID torque them in the correct pattern. Internally I did not touch the motor. As for straight edge, I did not. I personally saw both 2.5 D's run. They both had no dope (Head gasket in a bottle) in the cooling systems. As for the 2.5 3 Which was my second rebuild, That ran but had a miss due to a valve. In the process of rebuild the valves were properly seated (If it's of any rellevance). All donor motors ran with no issues. Though above as mentioned "not clean enough". I did not use any evaporitive cleaner for oil residue on either of the surfaces. That rite there sounds like that could be a good possibility as to why I had two failures.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:21 PM   #7
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The only way to get a motor to fail that rapidly is to use the wrong technique (cover-all for many things like torque sequence, cleanliness, etc) or have the head or block not be flat. Your bolts aren't the problem.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:35 PM   #8
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I think the scotch brite wheels are the issue, honestly. Most of those wheels are extremely aggressive and can remove way too much metal way too quickly.

If you look at a scotch brite wheel under a microscope you'll see that they're a plastic foam (looks a bit like a funnel cake) that's coated in hard abrasive. Speaking as a machinist I would never bring a scotch brite wheel near the mating surfaces of an engine block or head, and doubly so for aluminum parts. This is to the extent that I would probably reassemble without cleaning over cleaning with scotch brite.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper1rfa View Post
I think the scotch brite wheels are the issue, honestly. Most of those wheels are extremely aggressive and can remove way too much metal way too quickly.

If you look at a scotch brite wheel under a microscope you'll see that they're a plastic foam (looks a bit like a funnel cake) that's coated in hard abrasive. Speaking as a machinist I would never bring a scotch brite wheel near the mating surfaces of an engine block or head, and doubly so for aluminum parts. This is to the extent that I would probably reassemble without cleaning over cleaning with scotch brite.
You have to use the really ball-less ones. Like, weaksauce to the point that you'd go crazy waiting for them to actually move any metal. I use the ones from Dremel for their EZ-Lock system all the time to clean the corrosion off of the heads and cylinders. They seal reliably. You just have to not be stupid about it. You certainly can't go in there with a green or a red disc on a die grinder or disc sander or something. That's a sure way to kill things. After the first time I did it, I took the parts to a machine shop and had the flatness and microfinish checked. Both were within spec.

On the other hand, I'm not an idiot, I use them lightly, I use half speed even with the weak wheels, I clean with soap and water, then degrease, then clean with soap and water, then clean with an evaporating solvent like a brake cleaner, and then reassemble. The parts are repeatedly flushed out with large quantities of water+surfactant. They're quite clean by the time I'm done.



So I guess it really comes down to what the OP means by "Scotchbrite wheel" and how he used it. If he used to aggressive of one and took it out of flat or left shrapnel on the mating surface, yeah, that's the problem.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:48 PM   #10
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Fair enough. I didn't even think about a dremel and a tiny ass wheel.

When I think scotch brite, I think gray wheel on a pedestal grinder or speed lathe. That would F' up your heads in a heartbeat.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sniper1rfa View Post
Fair enough. I didn't even think about a dremel and a tiny ass wheel.

When I think scotch brite, I think gray wheel on a pedestal grinder or speed lathe. That would F' up your heads in a heartbeat.
These things:


They're about the size of a quarter and are so soft that if you catch an edge with them, they'll turn into a cloud in under a second.
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:46 PM   #12
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I think of these:



I use the green version of these to clean aluminum wheels


I've also used the yellow ones to clean sealing surfaces on both aluminum and steel oil pans.


Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
1) Bolts aren't cheap. They're about $160 if you want to replace all of them. There's no need to do so.
I was under the impression that torque-to-yield bolts are a one and done sort of thing.
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrencher86 View Post
I think of these:
Oh god! No, no, no, no, no! Nothing like that!


Quote:
I was under the impression that torque-to-yield bolts are a one and done sort of thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
There's substantial confusion about wither or not they need to be replaced and it took a long time for me to sort out the truth on it.

The fact that they specify a "torque plus angle" leads a lot of people to conclude that they're "torque to yield" bolts and therefore need replaced every time. On the other hand, the factory service manual doesn't say anything about replacing them each time.

Turns out, they are torque to yield bolts, but they're not *THAT* kind of TTY bolt. Traditional TTY bolts are torqued until they stretch (yield) into their plastic deformation range. In other words, you stretch them and they don't quite rebound to normal. This is why you can't re-use this kind of bolt. It's becoming increasingly common on modern engines to get TTY bolts that are stretched into their elastic deformation range, meaning that you stretch them and they go back to normal when you release them. You can re-use these kind of bolts many times.
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Old 03-04-2011, 12:29 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
Oh god! No, no, no, no, no! Nothing like that!
Yeah, that's why I was thinking there could be a problem with using a Scotch wheel.

Thanks for clearing up the elastic vs. plastic thing, too. I vaguely remember hearing about that in tech school. Unfortunately, I don't get very many (read: any) opportunities to do anything as in depth as head work or motor work.
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:59 AM   #15
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What torque sequence did you use exactly?
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:07 AM   #16
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My other car is a 300zx and I rebuil the engine, I took both head and block to the machine shop go get them ready for rebuild. I used replacement gaskets and same bolts and have no trouble. I think you heads are not flat, even the block may not be flat.
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Old 03-04-2011, 08:45 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
You used crap gaskets.

You didn't have a machine shop check the heads for flatness.

Bad decisions are why your headgaskets failed. The bolts are innocent.
You beat me to this aggregate list of FAIL on the OP's behalf but dead on the money.

There is so much fail starting with "eBay" in that post
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:23 PM   #18
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Anytime you use a abrasive material on the s head sealing surface of the head or case it has to be machined, no exceptions. There will be thousands of small grooves on the now uneven surface. Cleaning the head and case with solvents and plastic scrapers is as aggressive as you can get without machining if you want to be safe. Scotchbrite removes aluminum, even the finest variety.
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Old 03-04-2011, 03:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceFaceXC View Post
Anytime you use a abrasive material on the s head sealing surface of the head or case it has to be machined, no exceptions. There will be thousands of small grooves on the now uneven surface. Cleaning the head and case with solvents and plastic scrapers is as aggressive as you can get without machining if you want to be safe. Scotchbrite removes aluminum, even the finest variety.
I agree in theory, but it works in practice anyway. It doesn't take it out of flat more than a tenth and the microfinish after I did mine was 50-ish RA. That's well within spec. Let's put it this way: it's smoother and flatter than it would be if you just used solvents and scrapers.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by williaty View Post
1) Bolts aren't cheap. They're about $160 if you want to replace all of them. There's no need to do so.....
Just throwing this out there. The Fel-Pro sets are about $60-$70 at autozone.
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:20 PM   #21
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1) flatness
2) squareness
3) surface finish
4) where are they failing, and did they both fail in the same manner?
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:51 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Turn in Concepts View Post
lies
Hey! Get out of this forum! You don't belong here, you have a turbo!








(he's right though)
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:33 PM   #23
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Oh you guys are killing me with these gaskets. Fell pro, IS BY NO MEANS GARBAGE! so my gaskets didn't come in a package that had "COMETIC" stamped all over it. I want to know what makes felpros gaskets junk. Tell me what grade steel, how they are cut, What they are cut with, how they are surfaced, and what they are coated with as a "sealant" finish . Any way, I torqued in the pattern of top middle, bottom middle, top left, bottom rite, bottom left, top rite. I used a red FLAT disk. I mentiond Quick skim. I did not sit in the same spot for five min at a time. I also went at a slower RPM with the tool i was using. For ANY scratches in the surfaces That's what the copper spray was for.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:45 PM   #24
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Actually, I don't have any more respect for the Cometic gaskets on an NA application. Under ordinary circumstances, both of those companies make decent gaskets. I frequently use FelPro exhaust gaskets. However, the EJ25 SOHC HG is a horrible, horrible thing. At this point in time, no one other than Subaru and SCE (which aren't realistically priced, $300+ per gasket) makes a gasket that reliably seals on the EJ25 SOHC engines. It's mostly because there's some design problems with the interface. Just go buy an OEM gasket from the dealer, they're only $32/ea.

Copper gasket spray is NOT for filling any in surface scratches! It's NOT a sealing spray! Copper gasket spray is a thermal transfer enhancer that helps keep the joint stable by encouraging both sides of the joint to expand and contract at the same rate and time. As a side benefit, it will fill tiny irregularities. Ones so small you can barely see them. If you can see them clearly, let alone feel them with a finger nail, the copper gasket spray does not have enough build and hold to seal a defect of that size.

However, the bigger problem with your technique is the likelyhood that you have large-scale defects that have taken the head out of flat. As soon as it's out of flat, no sealing spray can help and no gasket will seal due to clamping force variations along the joint.

You asked us what you did wrong, we told you what you did wrong, stop whining.
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Old 03-05-2011, 03:04 PM   #25
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There is NO whining. GET IT? I got the information that I was looking for, and I DO thank all of you for that. Now quit your flaming.
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