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Mopar Head Gasket Repair

Discussion in 'Engine' started by Paulster2, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    Earlier I was curious about what the book hours are for head gasket replacement on a Dodge 360 V8. I put forth my price to them and they accepted it. So, as soon as I can get the truck (weather be willing) to my house, I'm going to start working on it. I've not worked on a Dodge in a while, but would assume it is pretty much on par with any other cast iron block/head engine. Anyone know anything different? I'm just going to tackle it head on and Get 'er Done. I received the money for the parts and they are on the way. The only thing I have to purchase is a degree wheel (or whatever they are called) for torquing the head bolts since they are Torque to Yield. I've never had to do a set of these yet. If it were mine, I'd just buy a set of ARP head bolts and be done with it, but I'm thinking budget minded for my customer. Anyway, I'll try to keep you all informed with my progress and maybe a pic or two to liven things up (I know you don't like listening to me rattle on :chuckles: ).
     
  2. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    I have that torque dial gauge and have only used it once lol. Harbor freight has them, but if you are doing over 100 ft/lb on teh head bolts, then get a good one.

    Just make sure to clean off that intake before tearing into it. That dirt can destroy an engine quickly. Good luck and let me know if I can help.
     
  3. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    The engine itself is pretty clean, so should not have an issue there ... But thanks for the advice, as it's always good to remember the little things.
     
  4. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah, I did a head gasket one time and didn't clean the dirt off of the intake, and it ended up destroying the bottom end of the engine. Had to turn the crank and put new bearings in the engine. Not fun lmao.
     
  5. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    Definitely don't want to do that to someone else's car, lol!
     
  6. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    I have all of the accessories off the top of this thing. I just need to pop the distributor cap, align cyl 1 to TDC and pull the distributor. Then start pulling intake, exhaust manifolds, then the heads ... great stuff :biggrin:

    20140308_165103_redux.jpg
     
  7. Breeze400

    Breeze400 Bitchin' Member - Rest In Peace Brother! You Will

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    Looks clean anyway! Lol
     
  8. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    Not too bad. I took a screwdriver and a shop vac to it before the picture, but it wasn't too bad to start with. I could really use a parts washer on this thing. I might go see my neighbor just up the street and see if he has one I can use. I am also going to replace the small hose going from the pump to the intake as it looks sort of FAT ... get to it while the gettin's good.
     
  9. Breeze400

    Breeze400 Bitchin' Member - Rest In Peace Brother! You Will

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    Kind of looks like it was power washed before you got it!
     
  10. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    Yah, it looks like he takes care of his truck. I did figure out there has been some work done on it before, though ... I'll explain later. Here are the latest accomplishments:

    20140310_184446_redux.jpg

    There is something wrong in this picture ... tell me if you think you see it :chuckles: I'll explain below the last picture (so be honest as to whether you actually saw it!)

    20140310_184531_redux.jpg

    Remember! Organization! You don't want to have the engine go bad because you didn't put it back together the way you found it :chuckles:

    20140310_185133_redux.jpg

    In the second picture, if you look to the head in the left side of the picture (passenger side). Okay, now look towards the rear of it where the intake connects. See anything wrong? That is what is left of the intake bolt at the rear of the head. This (and a couple of other tell-tales) let me know this engine actually has had some work done to it and it was shoddy at best. When I put the socket on this to loosen it, the top just popped right out of the hole and down the tranny bell housing and onto the ground. I was like, "REALLY???" ... As far as what I have left to pull the heads, I have one stud in the exhaust manifold which decided to actually let the nut come off of it, so have to figure out a way to get it loose. I don't want to have to take the exhaust manifolds off of the y-pipe if I can help it. One thing which is pretty cool about this design is I don't have to take the distributor off in order to do what I need to do. No worries about messing the timing up or getting it a tooth off or 180° out. Just leave it in place.

    Well, hopefully I'll have the heads pulled tomorrow night, but that's not a given. I still need to get back to the parts store and get some Permatex and a new by-pass hose. I'll probably also need to make a trip to Fastenall or Lowes (if all else fails) and get some replacement bolts, but that will wait until I get it all apart.
     
  11. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Don't you just love old vehicles? lmao. I know this has happened to me quite a few times in teh past. And just recently on the 97 camaro. Hope you get this sorted out. PB and heat, that's all I can suggest...
     
  12. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    I found out what the issue probably is ... the intake bolts are T2Y (maybe I mentioned this??). I believe someone reused these bolts and the back one failed but snapping in half. Rather than pulling the intake back off and getting the bolt out, they just set the rest of the bolt back in the hole and left it that way ... what a bunch of ()*&^#%&*#)(*&^@(%. Anyway, I'm not going to worry about getting it out of the head until I have the head off the vehicle. I'll have a lot better angle on it and won't have to worry about mucking around with the hood and cowl on the truck. I still need to clear a work space off in my garage that I can put these. I plan on pulling the valve springs and replacing the valve seals. Figure it's as good of time as any, and I already have them in the parts I got, so why not. A little more work, but a lot less worry.
     
  13. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    I was able to get the intake cleaned up tonight. On the bottom of the intake, there is a plenum plate which, when you have the intake off it is highly recommended to change out the gasket. Well, the guy who I am doing this for should be happy, because I am sure it was leaking. For the uninitiated (as I was a couple days ago), this plate sits on the bottom of the manifold and separates (and covers) the plenum from the lifter valley. There is only this 1/8" piece of steel separating them. So, not only does the oil splash up on it and heat the intake charge, if there is any kind of leak at the gasket, you are also getting unmetered air into the intake. Such was the case with this. Well, I don't think that will be an issue. I got it cleaned up and put the gasket with Permatex on both sides, with the bolts just snug for right now. I will go back and torque them tomorrow, which is a three step process maxing at 84 in lbs. ... Really tight, lol. :chuckles: I really need a parts washer, lol!
     
  14. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah, those separator plates can be a pain, but it does kinda keep the intake a little cooler. Sounds like you are getting this thing knocked out.
     
  15. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    I don't think you understand how it works. It doesn't just keep it cool (which it doesn't), it actually is the bottom of the plenum. It kind of surprised me when I pulled it off, lol!

    Anyway, I found the cylinder which was sucking coolant:

    20140312_183912_redux.jpg

    I was able to get the heads pulled. I found at least one of the exhaust manifold bolt holes which is helicoiled ... and will need to be redone. Whoever put the helicoil in, didn't countersink it, so the top thread was sticking out, which made it about worthless. I bet they were wondering why there were having issues with that bolt (where the threads are all torn up, lol). Anyway, I think I have decided I'm going to take these heads to a shop, have them checked for warpage, get them cleaned, and put the new valve seals on them. I can do all of this, but I think it's worth the money for the heads to be CLEAN. That way it will show the guy I'm doing the work for there was actually some work done to them engine. I don't think it will cost that much to have it done. I guess I'll make some calls tomorrow and see. I'll let you know.
     
  16. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    I was going to say, at 143k miles on this thing, you can still see the cross hatch in the cylinders and there's no ring ridge at the top. He's taken care of this truck, that's for sure. No sludge to speak of, though I was thinking of doing a Seafoam treatment when I get it all back together and running.
     
  17. Tony

    Tony Administrator Staff Member

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    Good call on teh heads. It will run you about a bill to a bill fiddy, but it's worth it. And could grant you more work in teh future.
     
  18. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    So, I called up the shop today to see how much they'd charge to just clean them up and test them. They said what they do is:

    - Pressure test them
    - Plane them
    - Clean them up
    - New valve seals

    Basically rebuild them for $285. But then he interrogates me more about what type of heads. I explain and he tells me these heads are notorious for cracking between the valve seats. When I got home from work, I looked at the head. You can tell where the carbon is blown away at the center of the head (you cannot see the crack - at least I cannot) so I'm just going with this premise. I can get a set rebuilt off of eBay for $442.54 shipped (don't ask me how they come up with that price, but okay ... ). Anyway, the people I'm doing the work for on this don't seem too pleased ... I just don't understand why :thinking: I'll let you know when I know.
     
  19. Breeze400

    Breeze400 Bitchin' Member - Rest In Peace Brother! You Will

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    Well what do they expect? If the heads are out to lunch then they need to be replaced. You can't just put them back on! I would try to blame whoever mess up the job in the first place! lol. They could have put the heads back on like that. Cracked!
     
  20. Paulster2

    Paulster2 My VTEC Won't VTEC...

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    I think you might have misunderstood something I've said. I don't believe these heads have been off the truck before, though they might have been. I'm pretty sure they have never been off the vehicle since this person has owned it. He does a lot of his own work on the vehicle, but nothing as extensive as this. He changed out some wheel seals just before this happened. His wife is getting pretty tired of the truck nickle/diming them to death ... can't say as I blame them. As far as these heads, I just think it was their time to go. Yes, cracked!

    I just got off the phone a little while ago with the wife of the truck owner. Needless to say, she's not happy, but I think she understands. She asked me why I can't go to the pick-a-part yard and get a different set. I explained to her, I could do that, but then I'd have to take them down to the machine shop and get them done (as I explained above). When all is said and done, we'd be into those heads as much as we'd be into the eBay heads (if not more). The eBay heads (if I didn't mention) are freshly rebuilt heads with a year warranty on them. I talked to the guy on the phone earlier and he was pretty up front about things. Said he'd work with me if needed as far as getting the right package. Great stuff :biggrin: Seems on the up-n-up, anyway. Like I said, I'll keep you informed.

    EDIT: Was going to mention, if they tell me to go forth and conquer, I still have a lot of threads to chase with taps, so I still have stuff I can be doing while I'm waiting on the heads to get here.
     

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