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Old 02-29-2004, 04:32 PM   #1
john banks
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Default EJ257 hybrid possible headgasket trouble

As title, need to confirm by testing the coolant for hydrocarbons, but at over 20 PSI it seems that my coolant header tank is being pressurised and the expansion tank is overflowing. Below this level of boost it seems fine.

It is a hybrid of an EJ257 short motor and STi 5 heads with what I think are standard EJ257 headgaskets held down by ARP head studs.

Can I reuse the headstuds?

Any suggestions before I pull the motor and have a look?

Whilst I am at it any suggestions on replacement rods/pistons in case I want to when it is out ?

It is making quite a lot of torque as it could not run at the rollers today because of slip at 3000-3500 RPM as the turbo came onto boost. On Delta Dash it is at about 370-375 wheel torque.

I do run a lot of timing, but this engine has been continually monitored for detonation and there has been little over its 6000 miles so far.
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Old 02-29-2004, 04:53 PM   #2
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Interesting.. I just put down 377 ft-lbs of torque with my 257 hybrid, and all looks good. I am using ARP head studs, not the stockers however. I'll double check the coolent condition in my car as well, but I have been above 20psi for some time time on the street without issue. Same block, RA Spec C heads, and 257 head gaskets. Where the rod bolts new, or reused... and I assume you did the torque-torque, backoff, 180, 180 sequence? (As the ARPs don't do that. I did three steps up to I think 80 ft-lbs)

Jeff

Last edited by sponaugle; 02-29-2004 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 02-29-2004, 05:19 PM   #3
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****.. sorry to hear that john, did you get home ok,

Would you let me know what you find?

Might be worth doing a compression test?

99% sure you can reuse the arp studs.

David
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Old 02-29-2004, 05:22 PM   #4
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Got home fine running less boost David, no coolant usage then.

I'll let you know.

From the way it is driving superbly at 17 PSI I think the compression is perfect. At this level there are no symptoms of the problem at all, runs very sweet.

Tempting just to try another set of Subaru EJ257 gaskets since they seem to work for most, but not sure how many have run the torque I am running for 6000 miles now except maybe Jeff on an EJ257 hybrid setup.
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Old 02-29-2004, 05:25 PM   #5
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Jeff I didn't bolt the heads to this block - it was done 400 miles away so I don't honestly know.

Can you explain the torque/installation arrangements with the ARPs or give any links to them?
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Old 02-29-2004, 10:15 PM   #6
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John,

You can find ARP stud installation details on the ARP website. They require, IIRC, something like 3 or 4 torque up then release cycles during install.

Moray
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Old 03-01-2004, 03:36 AM   #7
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Thanks Moray.

I have been offered Cometic gaskets. Thoughts on these?
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Old 03-01-2004, 04:59 AM   #8
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good.. depending on which version you use.

David
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Old 03-01-2004, 05:15 AM   #9
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So which version should I use?
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Old 03-01-2004, 07:04 AM   #10
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Going to get the heads retorqued later in the week, hopefully with the engine in-situ by removing the rocker covers.

It seems that ARP head studs sometimes need this. Worth a try before pulling the motor.
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Old 03-01-2004, 07:16 AM   #11
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Get the Cometic head gaskets from Ron @ Axis Power Racing. That is what I am using in my hybrid swap. That or you can use the standard RS headgaskets which are about the same thickness as the Cometic's that Ron sells.

-Matt
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:30 AM   #12
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John, ARP bolts/studs usually specify two diferent torque techniques. One is to use a stretch gauge to monitor how much the stud stretches and use that as your value, that is their prefered method but few engine shops do it this way.

The other more popular method is to pre-stretch the bolt before final torque up. ARP also usually specify the torque settings based on the type of lubricant used on the threads, normal engine oil and their assembly oil give very diferent values in torque required.

You need to find out how it was assembled and then take it from there.
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:46 AM   #13
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Thanks John, I gather ARP lube was used but when I asked about details of the torque used and the procedure it was a bit sketchy. I'm not pointing any fingers though.

The access may be difficult without moving the cams but it is worth a shot.
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Old 03-01-2004, 09:53 AM   #14
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When I installed my heads the ARP kit came with specific instructions on how to torque down the nuts, as well as ARP lube. It was kind of a step up procedure in torque not the longer process that the Subaru head bolts require with backing them off. Just split the torquing of the bolts down in 3-4 steps in the factory pattern. I've got about 8000 miles on my EJ257 swap running around 350whp/340 ft-lbs at around 17psi, no problems thus far. I'm not sure you can get to some of the nuts without removing the cams, maybe with a crows foot wrench of some sort.
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:13 AM   #15
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I have the full ARP catalogue on .pdf John if you want a copy.

The technique for head studs is to lubricate the washer and thread with either oil or ARP Molly Lube then torque the nut 3 times following the OEM torque pattern.

In the technical discusion section for the head stud kits it states you should re-torque the studs after the engine has been run!

What size thread is the stud kit you have (the nuts thread)? I'll tell you the torque you need.
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:20 AM   #16
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It is standard size John which I think is 12mm.

I found what is I think the same catalogue on the ARP site, I noticed the bit about retorque after running as well!! Wonder how many Subarus this is done on

I couldn't find the torque data for Subaru though so if you can tell me that torque setting that would be great.
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:33 AM   #17
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the catalogue doesnt tell me the size for the subaru head stut kit.

12mm 200,000 psi stud requires 109ft/lb with normal oil or 86ft/lb with ARP moly lube.

5 streches of the stud should give it the max stretch it will ever achieve at that set torque rate so more than 5 torques you know for sure you are at the right level.
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:40 AM   #18
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Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2004, 10:50 AM   #19
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John,

You will have to remove the timing belt and take the cams off to get at the bolts as they sit directly under the camshafts.

I guess that maybe Option could retorque them without pulling the cams though.

Moray
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Old 03-01-2004, 11:33 AM   #20
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Moray,

They may not understand that joke about a company that can do the main bearings without removing the engine from the car..


John, sorry to piss on your bonfire.. but it might be easier to remove engine, depending on clearance for torque wrench..

As..

Remove Crank Pulley
Remove Cam covers..
Remove Cam belt
Remove rocker covers
Remove cams..
Retorque nuts / studs

Reassemble..

Scream and shout that it made no difference.. So shove better headgaskets and rods and pistons in.

David
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Old 03-01-2004, 12:24 PM   #21
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I'm going to give the guy a chance as he has been right before and is happy to do all the above.

The fact that ARP say they should be retightened after the engine has run and the way it has been perfect at lower boost makes me optimistic. We'll see
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Old 03-01-2004, 12:27 PM   #22
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If the engine has to come out I probably will do the rods and pistons
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Old 03-01-2004, 12:33 PM   #23
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I mean ease of doing it with regards to the shims, I assume the sti5 are underbucket shims and wont drop on the floor when you remove the cams..

Best of luck, and keep us informed

David
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Old 03-01-2004, 01:28 PM   #24
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LOL and at the same time
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:38 PM   #25
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You can give a shot at re-Torquing your heads, but when you finally remove them you will find that the head or heads are warped by the exhaust ports on the number one and four cylinders. Sorry to give you bad new's.

Re using the ARP studs is not a problem, I have done it once or twice

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