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Old 06-15-2011, 05:42 PM
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Success reusing head bolts

In the past , my grade 8 head bolts were reused on the sbc with success. The iron heads and block made for a mild build, never seemed to not seal, or bottom out. That means they are still stretching to torque spec. Classify New fasteners as needs or wants?

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Old 06-15-2011, 06:23 PM
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I've reused head bolts once. My brother's Firebird blew a head gasket, and he was barely able to afford new gaskets at the time. Never had a problem. However, I now will not reuse most bolts. Heck, I throw away water pump bolts and replace them as well as replace any other bolts when I can. It just seems like a good idea, and cheap insurance down the road.
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:29 PM
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Older GM V-8's are not "torque to yeild" head bolts. I have re-used them on mild street/drag engines for over 45 years. If they "feel good" as you tighten the head they are usable.

Chevrolet SBC/BBC engines with the five bolt holes around a cylinder are about as easy to seal up as can be.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:06 PM
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TTY (torque to yield)

The LS1 motors use TTY bolts. Those are torqued to 22 ft/lb then to an angle of 75 deg., 65 deg., and final angle of 55 deg. The TTY bolts cannot be reused because they stretch and do not return to original spec. An angle meter should be used or you can mark the heads in degrees using a protractor and mark the bolts.

Pre-1996 Chevy engines use standard G.8 hex bolts and can be reused three or four times because those bolts stretch and return to spec. Torque them to 26 lb/ft, 44 lb/ft, and final torque of 66 lb./ft. Use clean motor oil as lubricant. To be safe, use new bolts such a Fel-Pro head bolt kits.

If you use ARP bolts, go by the ARP spec. The 1996 and later GM engines used TTY bolts on the assembly line with programmed robotics. I used Fel-Pro ES74034 bolt kits on my '91 4.3L V6 and used a torque wrench.
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