Page updated on 06-25-2018

Head gasket replacement gone wrong :(

05-08-2008, 04:42 PM
Ok, so after spending too much time and money trying to replace the head gasket on my GSR, I was unsuccessful. While my main concern was that I didn't blow the engine up or bend any valves (my first time adjusting my own valves and on a DOHC Vtec at that), the last thing I thought would go wrong was that the gasket didn't hold up it's part of the deal. When I started the engine almost all 3.8 quarts of Mobile 1 came squirting out the engine. Most of it came out the back end near the intake manifold. I did have the head resurfaced, used new ARP head studs, and a new gasket, but still blew it :(

So I narrowed it down to a few things that I might have messed up on.

1.) I didn't resurface or even attempt to check the block to see if it was warped. I didn't think that I needed to at the time. Everybody always recommends head work but never the block.

2.) I didn't "finger-tighten" the head studs into the block, I used a hex key to lightly tighten them to make sure that they were even. Later I learn that I was supposed to back them off about 1/4 of a turn.

3.) I went cheap with an Eristic head gasket off eBay for $18 (yeah, I know, how stupid). Heard some decent reviews about them and decided to save the $50 or so.

4.) I lost the instructions for the ARP studs so per my Chilten's manual I torqued down the nuts in a two step process to 23 ft/lbs. then to 63, then after after searching online to 78 all while using the moly lube. Turns out I was supposed to go, 25, 50, 63.

Now I know that I deserve the "you shouldn't even be working on your car" but hey I have to learn somewhere. To my defense I have done a complete motor swap in my back yard which was a success. But I'm realizing that internal engine work is much harder. Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

P.S. My tech said that I might have installed the gasket improperly, but I don't see how I could have messed that up. All you have to do is line up the holes with the corresponding oil and collant passages.

05-08-2008, 04:47 PM
Oh yeah one more thing. I used my beam style Crapsman torque wrench which I have had for 3 years and never once calibrated it :P I assumed since it was dialed in at 0 when not in use it was fine. Does anyone think this could be a problem?

05-12-2008, 10:10 AM
I don't think it's a torque problem.
To loose that much oil in a short period sounds like
a opening in either the gasket or something else wrong
that didn't allow the head to seat on the block.
Allignment pins? or something not allowing it to seal.
Make sure there's not a plug or something missing and that it really is
coming out between the head and block.
Sounds like something else leaking.

05-18-2009, 02:30 AM
damm bro. Your head gasket is backwards! Take off the head, and flip your head gasket around! It's very common to get it mixed up, and you need to trust me when i say this is your problem. The coolant passages and stud holes will all match up either way, so it's very easy to get mixed up. This mix up will usually cause your entire oil contents to flow out in a matter of seconds. That is a 99% chance your head gasket is backwards.

05-18-2009, 11:53 AM
Why did you wake up old thread?

Add your comment to this topic!