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Copper head gasket leaking compression


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#21 kev

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 08:09 AM

hmm, the printed instructions in my ARP stud kit say 80 ft-lbs.  I just double checked it last night.    Well, I'll use 90 ft-lbs from now on.  thanks!

The measurements I did on the o-rings was just using a straightedge over the rings and a feeler gauge to measure the gaps at the indications noted on the paper.   Keeping in mind that I was doing it with the engine in the car.   So, my measurement technique's weren't the best but I did take my time with it.   The o-rings should have been well seated because I performed these measurements after tear down post this leaking issue.





#22 Dad

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 01:30 PM

Older ARP studs were 85 lbs.  later with Ultra lube is 90

#23 kev

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Posted 03 October 2019 - 01:53 PM

Thanks!   The AJUSA arrived, thanks to Dad!   Hoping to work on this over the weekend.

#24 kev

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 07:50 AM

I have some updates:

This weekend I hand stoned the deck and removed all of the milling marks.  I verified everything was flat, smooth, and clean.  I installed copper o-rings of .040" diameter into the o-ring grooves.   O-ring protrusion was .008-.009" consistent.   I used the AJUSA head gasket and torqued it to 90 ft-lbs with the ARP studs.   I did a leak down test cold and had no issues with pressurizing the coolant, consistent values, etc.  

Fired her up and took her for a ride.  I don't seem to be having issues with smoke after cruising and letting off the gas anymore, but now I have issues with blue smoke when I accelerate!   WTH!   Also it didn't seem to appear until after driving for 15-20 minutes.

I haven't done any further diagnostics, I spent most of the weekend working on the car and was frustrated and exhausted last night when I found these results.   Also, I have an oil leak at the back of the engine.  It could be just the valve cover gasket for I didn't replace it and may have over tightened the bolts.   Or it could be from the HG and that the copper o-rings didn't crush enough and I have the same damn problem.

#25 Rapom

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Posted 07 October 2019 - 10:57 PM

I just read the entire thread... ive not got much to add.. other than i was considering O ringing my block but now maybe not.. sounds like its 100% machinist ability... last i checked thoes people are few and far between these days... on mine i didnt mill the block.. hell didnt even lay a straight edge accross it. Im using a Chinese cific new head with the felpro hg 9160? Dont quote me on that.. arp studs torqued at 90. No issues yet.. 1000 hard miles

About the oil leak.. i tried to reuse my vc gasket and holy hell did the back portion puke everywhere! Dont forget the sealer on the "bumps"

About blue smoke.. il bet it will pass. If you had enough pressure in the oil system to pop out ur dip stick... id be willing to bet you have oil puddles in the bottom of the intake.. pvc hoses.. turbo pipes.. intake runners. Turbo seal over pressurized from compression in oil lines? Pop a spring clamp off of a valve seal?

Edited by Rapom, 07 October 2019 - 10:58 PM.


#26 Funky Phil

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 11:00 AM

Kev, I wouldnt run that gasket or orings even.
I had same EXACT issue with my SCE.

Pound some copper wire into the groove and find yourself an ajusa sir. Then throw that sds in the trash! Haha
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#27 kev

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 10:55 AM

Phil,

That's what is in there now; ajusa and copper o rings.  

Have you used a restrictor on the borg warner s257sxe?  I have a -4 inlet and -10 outlet to the pan.  no PCV valve currently, relying on the exhaust port running to the valve cover.  It definitely pulls vacuum at idle but not sure it is sufficient enough.

#28 Funky Phil

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Posted 10 October 2019 - 04:50 PM

No restrictor on any of the borgs, if your pressurizing the crankcase though, its gonna push oil.
Could be as previously stated, residual.
I seem to remember you doing some different things with the venturi than me. Not sure if that could be it.

Edited by Funky Phil, 10 October 2019 - 04:58 PM.

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#29 kev

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Posted 04 November 2019 - 01:40 PM

Providing an update to this thread and requesting some additional advice.

Below are some photos on how it looked after hand stoning the block and adding .040" copper wire in lieu of the .041" stainless wire.

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This one shows a good comparison between the finish before and after the stoning.  

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I didn't 'pound in' the copper wire.  I simply placed the AJUSA gasket over-top and torqued the gasket to spec.  I did calculate the cross sectional area of the groove compared to that of the wire.  Essentially there is enough area in the groove to consume the entire o-ring if it were to be compressed and fully flow into the groove.    It's almost a 1:1.  

In all, I have solid and consistent compression and leak-down results.  I believe this cured the issue I was originally having.    However, as noted above, I'm blowing oil on acceleration which eventually resulted in blowing oil even at idle.   After pulling the valve cover to do my leak-down test, I noticed the following (exhaust valve on cyl 4):

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That there could definitely result in blowing oil!   I'm trying to figure out how it happened.  The only thing I can think of is that I did flip the head over when I was cleaning the gasket seating surface.  

Advice on how to fix the seal?  Should I pull the springs and fully replace the seals?

I pushed it back down for now with a pick tool.  I would try it but for some reason my fuel pump decided to stop working within 30 seconds of start-up.  It has less than 400 miles on it!  I'm running e85 but the pump is rated for it (it's an AEM 50-1005).   Talk about pissed!  

It's always something on this car!  

Kevin

#30 speedyquest

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Posted 04 November 2019 - 02:06 PM

A couple thoughts.

1) I'd still be wary of that surface finish. Again everything I've heard stated that a polished surface is what you want for gaskets like the Ajusa. Now I don't have first hand experience, so I can't say definitively.

2) You definitely want to replace at the very least that seal. If the head is still on the block and you don't want to remove it you can remove the spark plug, rotate the motor till that piston is down all the way, fish a clean rope into the cylinder until you can't get any more in there, and then wind the cylinder up until it stops. That will hold the valve up so it won't fall into the cylinder while you take off the spring and replace the seal.

3) Just make sure that your wiring isn't the culprit before you assume the fuel pump is bad. You'll be even more upset if you go through the process of getting a replacement only to it not fix the issue.

Good luck, and stay strong!

EDIT: That valve seal looks like nothing I've ever seen before, maybe look into buying the nice Viton seals from Dad at enginemachineservices.com

Edited by speedyquest, 04 November 2019 - 02:07 PM.

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#31 kev

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Posted 04 November 2019 - 03:55 PM

Thanks for the response!   I'm pretty comfortable with the surface finish now.  The pictures make it look so much more scratched than it is.  You can't feel any of the scratches by a finger nail..where-as you easily could before I started stoning.  Plus the Ajusa isn't a true MLS.  It is a composite so it should be more forgiving.  It is much much much smoother than when I had the copper HG on.  I could have gone to the point of polishing all of the scratches out but my back couldn't take any more from leaning over the car.  

Randy built this head for me so I assumed these were the felpro viton seals.  Are they not?  

I have the leak down tester, so I can easily hold the valve up with air pressure to swap out seals.  I just need to pick up a valve spring compressor.  The only one I have is the large C that wraps around the head.  

For the fuel pump, it is getting power and spins just stopped pumping.  I put direct power to it last night.  It makes a much different noise and won't pump a drop.   Looking on the internet this morning, it looks like this is a common problem for them.   I'm so glad it didn't cut out like this while driving.     Debating on buying another identical pump or going with a different brand now.  

Kevin

#32 jinx

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 02:41 AM

Sounds like pump impeller detached from shaft. Scary to have that happen when gunning it. I'd run from AEM

flipping head upsidedown shouldn't dislodge a valve seal.

I thought Quest Tsi gt35 @35psi build had cracked the code for 2.6 seal: Felpro 8770 + o-ring head

hate to c such a top shelf build having such issues. Hope u sort it out

#33 Dad

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 06:24 AM

Seal should be a viton made by SBI,  guide machined  to allow higher valve lift.   Stock fel pro won't fit,  I can send you a fel pro style seal that should fit  if you are running a stock cam.( if you can get me  invoice etc on head I can look it up)  
Watch your Tune,  timing for 1  Late ignition timing can wear out the guide.

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Edited by Dad, 05 November 2019 - 06:43 AM.


#34 kev

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 08:32 AM

Randy,

Thanks for your response!  I'll dig up the receipt/invoice for the head build.  I'm currently running a Magna cam with Magna roller rockers.  It equates to a stock lift.   I'll also post up what my current timing curve is.  

I looked closer last night and noticed my #3 exhaust seal has also moved up.  So it appears to not be just a localized issue.  Any chance that the spring is catching on the seal and lifting it up?  

Thanks,
Kevin

#35 Dad

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Posted 05 November 2019 - 01:10 PM

Guides should be cut .500 od,  PM me your address and i can send a set of metal clad seals for .500 guide.

Dad

#36 markhansenconquest

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 01:20 PM

Only  use # 8770 on O-ring blocks # 9116 has metal   O-ring inside of gasket ...............they made 9116  because,, they upped the boost in 88-89..............

Edited by markhansenconquest, 22 November 2019 - 01:26 PM.


#37 kev

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 01:50 PM

View Postmarkhansenconquest, on 22 November 2019 - 01:20 PM, said:

Only  use # 8770 on O-ring blocks # 9116 has metal   O-ring inside of gasket ...............they made 9116  because,, they upped the boost in 88-89..............

It didn't work for me.  I used the 8770 with the stainless o-rings and it wouldn't even hold coolant in a static state.   I understand that my head bolt torque was off by 5 ft-lbs but there was no way that 5 ft-lbs was going to make a difference.  hence why I pulled the head and went with the copper gasket.  

But the AJUSA and the copper o-rings seemed to have done the trick.  I did a leak down test on all four cylinders at 100psi for a five minute hold on each cylinder.  I even installed my compression tester on the neighboring cylinder just to see if I had any build up of pressure (rockers were off leaving all valves closed.   I'm considering the head gasket issue resolved.  

My focus is on the valve seals.  Randy is helping me out with that.  My guides appear to be a bit thinner than what was expected, .496 vs .500.  Could have been why the rubber seal w/band pushed off and it probably originated from the leaking copper head gasket.  Tried a steel sleeved valve stem seal for .500 guide but it was too loose.  Trying a smaller seal next.  

Haven't addressed the fuel pump issue but I think I'm going to invest in a Fuelab 41401 pump.  I'm hoping some of the big aftermarket car parts suppliers hold some good black friday deals.

#38 speedyquest

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Posted 26 November 2019 - 02:30 PM

Its good to hear that your getting things figured out. This time you put in now will pay off at some point and you'll be happy you stuck with it.

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#39 Tim_C.

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 07:41 AM

Been a while since I've been on. I just saw this.
I had bought a machine shop built engine with stainless orings protruding .007 from the block. So I felt a bit stuck with the situation and went with it.  I got Dad's advice about that being a lot of protrusion to seal. Seems it was fairly popular, but I agree that .007 is a bit much. Top Fuel Dragsters run that.
So I basically did what UCW458 did, and increased the torque, but I used the Ajusa gasket. It took 90 ft lbs on the ARP studs and their lube to get it to seal coolant pasages static. I was either going to pull it all apart and do what you did, examine everything and go another direction, or try running it as is to see what happens. You know my redneck butt did the latter. LoL! I have to laugh now, because there was no way I was going to pull it back apart unless there was some catastrophic evidence like what you ran into initially. I slapped another 5 ft lbs on it and ran it with no problems since. That was 11 years ago and about 30,000 miles. I only run up to 14 psi boost because I have it on my '86 with the fuel cut still there. Normally, I keep it at 10 psi boost.

As for the stem seals, I have ruined a few by simply tapping on them too hard when going on. It is hard for me to tell when enough is enough. So I went to a smaller hammer, and I do better with that. I guess the advantage of reducing the OD of the guide is to be able to push the seal further down, but I never did that with any heads I have. Running the .510 lift and dual coil springs with no issues on another head. Although I did have a machine shop machine and assemble everything on that head. I just don't recall them saying they did anything with the guides other than installing grooved bronze ones that run a little tighter than stock. Stock guides are way too loose according to the machinist who did that head for me. Both heads mentioned were AMC Marnals, Spanish cast. He said stock heads had the same issue. Way too loose. He puts the bronze guides in just about all of them because the grooves retain oil and lubricate better, plus he can machine the exact clearance he wants with them.

Oh and as for popping the valve springs off, I have done hundreds it seems with stock springs. I use a mini-sledge style hammer and a socket. One hit, and it comes off. Retainers go into the socket. I'm not sure how effective that method would be if the springs are much over 100 lbs of seat pressure. I have done it with the Schneider HD springs with no problem. Not sure if it would work with the bee-hives. Use a small valve spring compressor to go back on with.
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