Head retorque procedures

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  • flycavalry
    Frequent Contributor
    • Dec 2010
    • 7

    Head retorque procedures

    Well after reading the multiple posts for retorqueing the head it looks like their should be instructions included with head gaskets when they are purchased from Moyer Marine. I was unaware of retorqueing the head when it reaches operating temperature. Now I have water flowing from one stud (under the altenator mounting bracket). Can I still reheat the motor to operating tempature and retorque or is it too late and need to replace the head gaskets.
  • jpian0923
    Afourian MVP
    • Sep 2010
    • 994

    Did you seal the stud into the block with thread locker?
    S/V "Ahoi"
    1967 Islander 29
    Harbor Island, San Diego
    2/7/67 A4 Engine Block date


    • Dave Neptune
      Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
      • Jan 2007
      • 5117


      flycalvery, welcome to the forum. As a general rule all heads are retorqued after the initial instalation torquing sequences. Re-torquing after running the engine is just good practice. Any gasket you are compressing should be retorqued until it no longer moves at a given spec.

      Re your leak, it may just be the individual stud is leaking. If you can remove the stud and reinstall with some good Aviation grade or Permatex #2 you may just solve the problem. If the head and block were in descent shape I doubt that the "headgasket" is leaking it's probably just the stud.

      Fair winds _/) _/)
      Dave Neptune


      • thatch
        Afourian MVP
        • Dec 2009
        • 1080

        Thank's for checking in on the leaking head stud issue. Because of your experience of working on "gazillion horsepower" engines I certainly respect your input here. Recently, Butch had a multiple stud leak issue that had many people scratching their heads. Is it possible that his engine was assembled and run quickly enough that the stud sealant did not have enough time to cure and just "washed out".


        • ArtJ
          • Sep 2009
          • 2183

          I note that Don Moyer has said that he allows his aviation permatex can to sit uncovered to the air overnight
          to thicken somewhat before using initially.


          Last edited by ArtJ; 02-23-2011, 08:07 AM.


          • Dave Neptune
            Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
            • Jan 2007
            • 5117

            Stud sealing!

            Tom, I doubt it washed out if it was Permatex #2 or Aviation grade. In these old and tired engines sometimes there is a bit of shall we say extra clearance from the decomposition of materials, and it is not necessarily the "gap" that is the problem. The problem can lurk in the bits of rust still in the threaded holes which is the reason I try to use the Av. grade whenever possible and I have had very good luck with the #2 as well. The Av grade penetrates a bit better and it will thicken a bit if left for a while. Caution if you do allow some to sit ~~ don't let it sit out on a gasket where it can gather dust or any other krud as it could create problems sealing. I always have a couple of cans of the Av grade the most empty one is a bit thicker and I use it for most purposes and I try to use a fresh batch for working on headgaskets.

            Note, I did use the Av grade on my A-4 headgasket (now 26 years ago), I applied a "bead" around all the stud holes and water passages as well as the cylinders and around the outside edges of both sides of both gaskets only. My head and block were in pretty good shape after cleaning and scraping. I have used the Av grade on entire gaskets but only on old motors where the surfaces are poor. On those I retorqued for days increasing only a few pounds of torque per day and redoing after we got some temp in the head. It takes a long time to squeeze the permatex out and I have thinned it before with a bit of lacquer thinner before applying with no problems.

            Art, the only time I use a thread locking compound is on fresh engines with no rust as the lockers don't seem to work well around already rusted parts.
            The trick to making a head seal is cleanliness and patience while torquing.

            Dave Neptune


            • sastanley
              Afourian MVP
              • Sep 2008
              • 7040

              Dave, good comments. I have found the #1 & #2 Permatex at my local Wal-Mart and most local hardware stores...the "Aviation Grade" is #3 Permatex, and I've found it at my local NAPA, and of course it is available here at Moyer.

              I used #2 (a little thicker) on my sealings for my hot exhaust section, but I've started to use the #3 (Av grade) on one side of just about every gasket as I install it these days.. I most recently used it on the rear main seal/coupler gasket replacement this past summer when I had the back-end apart..the Av grade is messy to deal with but I find it pretty effective...

              Dave, one more comment (Oh boy, now I am old!!!) - not quite 26 years ago, but I did an intake manifold gasket repair on my '78 Civic about 23 years ago (my first car in the late 80's) and that stuff did wonders to seal up my intake manifold gasket leak whereas unintended air infiltration had wreaked havoc upon that poor 1237cc engine. Any of the three Permatex's has so far worked wonders on the even smaller A-4 (1.0L) in my experience. I keep my 'jar' of #3 on board in my "engine spares" box
              Last edited by sastanley; 02-23-2011, 11:45 PM.
              "Holiday" - '89 Alura 35 #109
              "Twice Around" - '77 C-30, #511 with original A-4 & MMI manifold - SOLD! (no longer a two boat owner!!)