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View Poll Results: Re-Torque small block heads or not?
YES: Always retorque regardless of gasket tech info 10 29.41%
No: Never Rettorque a head gasket 10 29.41%
MAYBE: Depends on gasket manufacturers' instructions 14 41.18%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 34. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duntov
I've never heard anyone say that before.. So it brings up the question; "What kind of sealant did you use on the head bolts?"
It depends on the engine and what I have in my toolbox I almost always use teflon paste since it lubes well and seals pretty well. Its also pretty easy to clean up if you have to get back in there for repairs. I have used black RTV for more permanent applications, but it makes a rubbery mess in the threads.

I always torque in three steps: first by hand to about 20, then with a torque wrench to 2/3 of the final torque spec, then final torque.

Another little myth about TTY bolts (since someone asked earlier)... it has nothing to do with the bolt, its simply the method used to torque them. The point is to get the proper bolt stretch for maximum clamping. Bolts are like springs - not enough stretch and they don't clamp enough. Too much and they fail. Using a torque setting to determine that stretch is marginal. A burr on the threads, friction under the head, and a few thousand other factors mean that you can reach your torque value long before the proper stretch has been achieved. The other huge factor is that friction increases exponentially as you increase torque value. Using a TTY method is much more accurate since you go to a smaller torque value and then use degrees to set stretch. Since thread pitch is known, a specific degree of rotation provides a more accurate amount of stretch.

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Old 06-30-2010, 07:41 PM
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I can wholeheartedly agree with the head bolts staying torqued. I just like making sure they stay there after a few miles. It's just like aluminum rims. they say to retorque after 100 miles or so, but it's really to cover their butts if it does come off. I've never seen any fall off.

If it's my pocket the money comes out of, i'll retorque only to check and varify. if not, screw it.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 07:44 PM
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PTFE teflon pipe dope/paste

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverback
that seems like that is the real question, if you retorque what do you seal the headbolts that go into the coolant passages with that isn't going to leak when you retorque.

The problem with this question is that when you tighten a bolt and let it sit it "sticks" so you need a break away torque to overcome that before it will turn. If you just walk up to the engine with your clicker torque wrench set to the proper torque even if the gaskets did compress some, the break away torque will be high enough that you won't overcome the sticking and the wrench will click without tightening the bolts. The only way that you're going to tighten the bolts to the same torque setting is if you back them off first, then retorque.
Exactly Silverback!

I'm sure a whole lot of people were waiting to hear that said, because it's been true for fifty years.
That's why we use the PTFE pipe dope from a professional plumbing supply outfit. Learned it from a hydraulics engineer in the Eighties. It acts like a medium grease on first torque. to 65 ftlbs. but will hold 3500 psi of hot hydraulic fluid, on a half inch pipe thread.backhoes ect.

When heat cycled it tends to become or better said "react" as a viscious liquid, while warm. It mimics a thick grease then.
It is the only substance I've experimented with which reconstitutes it's viscosity/integrity when disturbed, even multiple times. getting a little thicker every time.

So when on re-torque I don't have to break the bolts' "seat" << that the right word?, in order to have it turn, even with a clicker.

Sometimes though it takes a beam type to get it to move, but once it does move, set a clicker to 70 and it will move several degrees before it clicks again, sometimes 90 Degrees if you don't push to fast. I like a beam wrench for final really. And of course once a bolt turns it's neighbor tends to become loose and it spreads like a disease. I go over a couple of times. When I walk away I feel really good about it.. And there is still only 70ftlbs of stress on the threads... Duntov
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis73
It depends on the engine and what I have in my toolbox I almost always use teflon paste since it lubes well and seals pretty well. Its also pretty easy to clean up if you have to get back in there for repairs. I have used black RTV for more permanent applications, but it makes a rubbery mess in the threads.

I always torque in three steps: first by hand to about 20, then with a torque wrench to 2/3 of the final torque spec, then final torque.

Another little myth about TTY bolts (since someone asked earlier)... it has nothing to do with the bolt, its simply the method used to torque them. The point is to get the proper bolt stretch for maximum clamping. Bolts are like springs - not enough stretch and they don't clamp enough. Too much and they fail. Using a torque setting to determine that stretch is marginal. A burr on the threads, friction under the head, and a few thousand other factors mean that you can reach your torque value long before the proper stretch has been achieved. The other huge factor is that friction increases exponentially as you increase torque value. Using a TTY method is much more accurate since you go to a smaller torque value and then use degrees to set stretch. Since thread pitch is known, a specific degree of rotation provides a more accurate amount of stretch.
DITTO ALL DAY LONG
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 07:52 PM
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On my first engine I did it...they were all at spec. Since then I've never done it. Never had any problems. But I wouldn't go around telling people "don't need to". If someone asked me if they should, I'd say "yes".

Do as I say, not as I do.
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 07:58 PM
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I am no more than a weekend mechanic. Built a handfull of small blocks and watched a handfull being built. So, no valuable input here but I have to ask ...


What was the reason for this poll ? You must have had some past experience that made you ask this question ?


I am not an engine builder but understand 95% of what is posted in these threads and thank all of you for sharing your wisdom. And thanks for putting up with us "weekend warriors" and OUR silly questions.

Matt

BTW I was taught to use ARP sealer
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldbogie
Studs are set with a hardening sealer such as epoxy or some cyano-acrylic
(superglue) compound so the stud will not move to break it's seal when the
nuts are adjusted.

The people that have their heart set on re-torquing should go this route, this
would work a lot better that trying to re-torquing a bolt that has been sealed.

I never seem to find time to go through the work it takes to get to all the
nuts with headers and rocker arms in the way. I'm not blowing head gaskets
so it must be OK.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 08:02 PM
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I knew some of the bigger dogs were in this forum!

Now the Pros are speaking up and it's getting down to the details that provoke more consideration than appears on the surface of the matter.

I suspect the Big Dogs who send their work to the Super Speedway consider the details endlessly.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automotive breath
would work a lot better that trying to re-torquing a bolt that has been sealed.
I doubt there are many who will use a hardening sealer for sealing the threads of a head bolt they intend to retorque- I know I don't. So there is zero issues w/"breaking" any seal- the sealer never hardens- certainly not within the time frame involved for retorquing the heads.

Quote:
I never seem to find time to go through the work it takes to get to all the nuts with headers and rocker arms in the way.
Yes, to retorque heads more work is involved. I do not let that stand in my way, however.

The details involved in building an engine differ between every builder, some more than others. Go w/what works for you.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 08:51 PM
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Re-torque?

I already gave my opinion in the original post but I figured I'd give my vote in the poll. Back in the day when you could still get high octane pump gas I was into real high compression engines. When pump gas octane went down, so did my build compressions, I mean you can't run around on race fuel.

Steel shim gaskets were normally used along with domed pistons, yes back then I used all the layers of coppercoat I could build up and re-torque more than once and still occasionally blow a leak in a head gasket. Then you pull in down and go through the head gasket replacement.

The Fel-Pro performance head gaskets have been my favorite, since I got away from building for big compression stuff. I have rechecked torque on at least six engines before I decided it was a waste of time, using the Fel-Pro gaskets. You might give up a little quench with the thicker gaskets, but then you can build a drop in engine with no further adjustment necessary. At my age, I like pushing the Easy Button.

Todays gasket materials are a far cry better than the stuff I sold in auto parts in the '70's. Back then, even composition gaskets required a re-torque. Today, I spend the extra bucks and buy the Easy Button, PermaTorque gaskets.

Why work your butt to death doing extra work when you don't need to? olnolan
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:09 PM
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I agree it's the details that make the difference. Abnormal combustion will kill
a head gasket quicker than anything; light ping cycle after cycle, pre-ignition,
high combustion temperatures and pressure spikes. I spent all the time
it takes to eliminate these completely. We race every weekend and run our
engines two to three years before freshening up, never find loose bolts
or blown gaskets.

Last edited by automotive breath; 06-30-2010 at 09:41 PM.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 09:23 PM
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I have not used the Rettorque, but defiantly do re torque the heads , that ideology is old school . I tend to stay with it, has worked well for me over the years .. do the same on intakes and headers ..... just insurance

Last edited by pepi; 06-30-2010 at 09:36 PM.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 09:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by automotive breath
I agree it's the details that make the difference. Abnormal combustion will kill
a head gasket quicker than anything; light ping cycle after cycle, pre-ignition,
high combustion temperatures and pressure spikes. I spent all the time
it takes to eliminate these completely. We race every weekend and run our
engines two to three years before freshening up, never find loose bolts
or blown gaskets.

Perfect motor go faster /////go longer
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cusz28
I can wholeheartedly agree with the head bolts staying torqued. I just like making sure they stay there after a few miles. It's just like aluminum rims. they say to retorque after 100 miles or so, but it's really to cover their butts if it does come off. I've never seen any fall off.
My brother has had one of his back tires pass him going down the street, turn left into a neighborhood hit the edging around one of the houses garden and go in through a front window landing about a foot away from someone sitting there watching TV...

Quote:
If it's my pocket the money comes out of, i'll retorque only to check and varify. if not, screw it.
While I don't go out of my way to retorque after a few heat cycles, and don't really believe that it does any good, but I usually try to work things so I'm putting on the top end of the engine (heads/intake) at the end of the day so when I come back the next day I check the torque on all the bolts before slapping on the valve covers, carb/FI, emissions stuff... the head bolts don't usually move, but the intake bolts almost always do, and whether it does any good or not, it makes me feel better that at the very least I know that I didn't miss torquing any of them...
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 06-30-2010, 10:00 PM
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Just a quick note;

TTY (Torque to yield) is not the same as using a Torque angle instrument to determine fastener torque.

In general to use the TTY method you would use a dial indicator or micrometer to determine the change in fastener length which would indicate your torque.

Torque angle works in a similar way but uses a calculated rotation angle using a "signature analysis" of the bolt in question multiplied by the pitch of the fastener to determine the torque.

The most common question I hear is how do you use the TTY method on a stud, its quite simple you just measure how much the stud protrusion increases as the fastener is torqued.

BTW I have always used pipe dope on head bolts that protrude into coolant passages, I use 3M Loctite 592 pipe sealant because of its temp resistance.
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