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Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: February 02, 2020 09:54AM

I am going to be replacing my valve springs in order to solve what I hope is a weak valve spring problem. I will have everything off and it would be easy to do a retorque on the heads. I do have signs of a small leak on two head gaskets and a few base gaskets. None of them look really bad.

Any reason I should not do this as a potential fix that does not require a more involved tear down.

I have put 25000 miles on the engine sense it is as rebuilt.

Thanks guys

Sam Russell
Durham NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: irfgt ()
Date: February 02, 2020 11:10AM

A head gasket leak would almost certainly be a burned place in the gasket and would require replacement.

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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: February 02, 2020 11:15AM

I've done it several times with success... go for it.

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: steve c goodman ()
Date: February 02, 2020 11:41AM

I have caught the sound of leaking head gaskets numerous times that torque again has tightened the head and problem solved. It depends upon how long the head gasket has been leaking.

You aren't out anything by trying but I would check torque before changing valve springs. You do run the risk of having soft threads in case and a stud will pull. Then your work really starts.

My advice would be start as the first time with 15ft/lb and do entire head pattern then up to 20ft/lb and so on. Watch the end cylinders, usually those are the loose nuts. (NOTE usually) Good luck Sam.

best wishes, Steve
Rear Engine Spec. Inc. Golden, Colo.

1962 spyder 3.0L turbo---1965 Crown V8
1967 monza 110/4---1968 monza 110/4
1971 amante gt 110/4
CORSA/RMC/PPCC/V8 Registry

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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: Brizo ()
Date: February 02, 2020 12:26PM

I agree too, done it successfully several times. If the head gasket leak is just making a faint "chirp" noise you'll likely be ok.

Dan Brizendine, Circle City Corvairs
'64 8door Greenbrier 140 PG. "In beautiful Wanamaker Indiana...with one stop light and 5 pizza shops"

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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: vairmech ()
Date: February 02, 2020 02:09PM

It is always worth a try, you have nothing to lose at this point.

You didn't mention it but if you used copper gaskets top and bottom you are only forstalling the inevitable. As many here know I am not a fan of copper gaskets top or bottom. I have had the copper bottom gaskets actually squish out and loose head torque. I have also seen the copper head gaskets shred then leak and with that scenario you may get lucky and gain yourself some time.

Notice 3 are perfect and the other 3, well ---



Ken Hand
Handy Car Care
248 613 8586

Vairmech@aol.com

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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: ken ()
Date: February 02, 2020 02:35PM

I had a head gasket leak and they looked like the ones pictured above . What type does Clarks sell ?

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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: steve c goodman ()
Date: February 02, 2020 04:01PM

I have always had better luck with the GM steel which compress as torque is done. The copper head gaskets gave GM problems in the beginning although part of that was a lighter torque number. I saw numerous 60-61 engines with loose heads.burned copper head gaskets after the cars got some miles on them.

NOT ALL can be blamed on that either, folks ran with no belt/lugged the dickens out of the engines etc. Anything to get the engine overheated which loosened up the heads.

I still use the steel head gaskets unless large overbore.

best wishes, Steve
Rear Engine Spec. Inc. Golden, Colo.

1962 spyder 3.0L turbo---1965 Crown V8
1967 monza 110/4---1968 monza 110/4
1971 amante gt 110/4
CORSA/RMC/PPCC/V8 Registry

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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: February 02, 2020 05:38PM

I don't think I used copper but I can not remember for sure. I will clean and retorque and see if I can see any signs of leaks. I have never heard the leak, I have a feeling that is may stop once the engine is up to temp.

I will give it a try and see if I can make an improvement.

Thanks for all the good advice as usual.

Sam Russell
Durham NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: texas yenko dude ()
Date: February 02, 2020 05:43PM

If you used the Clark’s re-pop head nuts when you did the motor, they are junk grade 1 Chinese garbage. They stretch when you torque them the first time. Even with the awesome ones that Russ Davis makes, we re-torque heads on the race cars every 3 weekends. If we go 4 or 5 weekends we start to get oil seep at the base gaskets. We can still te-torque one we get seep if we catch it early.

Texas YENKO Dude
YS-070
YS-199
YS-320
Southeast of Disorder


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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: February 02, 2020 05:50PM

I reused the stuff off of my motor as they were in great shape.

Sam Russell
Durham NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: February 02, 2020 08:09PM

Are you saying that you're changing all the valve springs without removing the heads? If so checking installed height and adjusting with shims and all?
Seems like a lot to do under the car but maybe not so bad, I guess I never considered it.

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com



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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: February 03, 2020 02:27PM

Yes that is what I am doing. In my wheelchair a head pull is hard to pull off, but I think I can do the valves in the car with my lift. I have done individual springs before I was in a chair I am not I a big rush.

I picked up another set of heads to rebuild if this does not work. I like to do as much on my own as I can.

Sam Russell
Durham NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: February 23, 2020 09:16PM

Just got all of the springs swapped, I need to do the final valve adjustment. Almost all studs took torque and a few were quite loose, I am hopping this will make a difference.

Here is the bad news, I have a pulled stud on the drivers side. It is on the top and I am hoping it will be ok for a while. The exhaust valve guides have quite a bit of wear so I think I will build a new set of heads that I could not afford to do when I built the motor. Then when I swap the heads I will fix the stud

Looking forward to seeing how it runs with the new springs and tighter heads.

Sam Russell
Durham NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: JimBrandberg ()
Date: February 24, 2020 03:32AM

So the stud pulled out with some aluminum on the threads when you torqued it?

Jim Brandberg
Isanti, MN
CorvairRepair.com



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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: Spectre ()
Date: February 24, 2020 05:13AM

If one stud is pulled, you will have a head gasket leak. Being on top doesn't matter.

David Clamp


1965 Corsa convertible - 140 4spd/3.55/AM-FM

2013 Mustang GT convertible - 5.0, 6spd auto, Procharger i-1

2003 Miata SE - 6spd manual (wife's toy)

"Victory is mine!" - SG

Norman, OK

<a href="[www.wunderground.com] src="[weathersticker.wunderground.com]; alt="Click for Norman, Oklahoma Forecast" height="90" width="160"></a>

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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: February 24, 2020 05:21AM

I felt it pulling and stopped turning it. I am guessing it is holding 15-20 ft lbs. Like I said I am going to get my other heads going and then pull the motor to fix the stud and swap heads.

Sam Russell
Durham NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: SpyderMan ()
Date: February 24, 2020 05:32AM

Yea I had a leak before so I am at least where I started.

Sam Russell
Durham NC
1962 Monza Wagon
1964 Spyder coupe


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Re: Retorquing heads to stop a leak?
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: February 25, 2020 11:10AM

Go for it Sam... Aircooled VW's only used 20 lb. and no gasket... just barrel to head.


And Get Carl to help you! Oh, that's right you moved!! silly boy!!! GGG

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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