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About to reinstall cylinder head. Any tips?

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Nov 4, 2017, 8:23 AM

Post #1 of 4 (394 views)
About to reinstall cylinder head. Any tips? Sign In

I had the cylinder heads off a GM 4cyl iron block marine engine worked by a machine shop. I am now ready to install it. I have a Fel-Pro head gasket and have cleaned the top of the block really well. What else do I need to do to properly reinstall the head?

Should I do any cleaning of the bolt holes?

What about the head bolts, they have quite a bit of white goop stuff on them. Does that need to be cleaned off?

What type of sealer should I put on the head bolts?

Any other tips?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 4, 2017, 8:46 AM

Post #2 of 4 (388 views)
Re: About to reinstall cylinder head. Any tips? Sign In

You may need serious specs from the maker of this engine. I'm quite familiar with marine "automotive" type blocks but don't be fooled either as they are altered for what they are going to do. For decades the 4 cyl. was just a what I'd call Chevy II engine which was like a Nova in a car.
You want the correct torque order and specs. IDK if Felpro (a great gasket company IMO) is meant for this for retorquing or belongs used in marine at all as they are made for use in salt water whether you do or don't. Threaded parts you may find brass or stainless inserts that were just threaded cast iron. I can't know these one by one you need the specs and didn't supply even the HP or what it's in I just know it's not an outboard it would be too heavy.
That matters. Why did it blow anyway? They can last for ages but marine anything easy to get glowing hot before you notice. Most common is risers that take raw water OUT thru exhaust rot inside can't so no new water comes in.

If a serious fishing vessel most "dry stack" the exhaust more like for a land vehicle not wet at all.

Sealer for threads? I really don't know - sorry. If all else left unknown would probably use gasket shellac while warm enough to not interfere with torque readings. Yes chase thread maybe just a a new bolt see how easy it goes and take a magnet and pull any junk out. Duh - if brass or stainless a magnet wont work so would blow it out also anyway.
Mostly need to know exactly what it is and you'd do best if you had factory specs for exactly this. Find out what happened that it blew to begin with. One reason is running these without the thermostat only the end of block nearest water pump gets cooled the back can overheat but show fine on your temp gauge not getting much or any coolant raw or closed set up don't do that or it will just happen again,


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 4, 2017, 2:13 PM

Post #3 of 4 (370 views)
Re: About to reinstall cylinder head. Any tips? Sign In

You definitely need to get more info on the engine. Most engines now use Torque to yield head bolts that stretch and require new bolts for every use.

The threads should be clean and lightly oiled to get the correct torque.


We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 4, 2017, 3:35 PM

Post #4 of 4 (365 views)
Re: About to reinstall cylinder head. Any tips? Sign In

More thoughts: Yes it's "marine" but ends with a raw block and head. Studs/bolts/freeze plugs are usually like a Helicoil of stainless or brass - check. Bolts should be plain torque but Felpro TMK didn't make marine gaskets or did and I just didn't check hard enough. This block was probably made for a GM car not newer than 1969. Must know if is turn CC or CW as single screw it would be backwards to what went in a car the trucks already were counter rotating. Messes you up as if this is one of two in this boat the port side is the reverse engine.

I stress the thermostat thing. It's not made to blow endless water thru an empty hole or it will NOT circulate to the rear and blow it which is near impossible with this.
That or water jackets plugged near solid with even fresh water use in the exhaust is cool so you don't burn up the boat. Nothing gets hot enough to sizzle water drops (spit) on it all the way out.
If it could blow a gasket on this it was glowing hot as said and your problems aren't over if a stern drive you may have smoke parts in that also and won't like costs,


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