I have an 1999 ford escort that I have replaced a head and head gasket, and just recently the caar started smoking white which means coolant fluid, now when I went into the head and went to take the head bolts off and they were loose, now when I did the first head I did as Alldata said: tighten head 45 ft/lbs on all bolts(10 bolts), then loosen to seat the gasket, then tighten it back to 45ft/lbs, then turn the bolts each 90 degrees on all bolts, then tighten another 90 degrees, now I’m at a head ache. now I know that I did everything to what I read and re-read. what do I do when I get my new gasket set and go to put the head back on the block?
Ok Just checking. So you replaced the gasket and head bolts and now you are having this problem? 45ft/lbs is not a head bolt tourque (the new procedure REQUIRES NEW HEAD BOLTS) If you used the old bolts that could be the problem. It should be 75- 95. My Question is did you replace the head gasket or just retouque the bolts.
Next issue If the gasket went bad did you over heat the engine? If you want to replace the gasket get the head milled flat and replace all the bits in the head that look bad plus replace the valve seals.
If the engine overheated again and obviously it did, the head warped. The warped head is bowed and that makes some bolts tighter and some less tight. If the head lifted up .030 in the center the center head bolts are now over torqued and the end bolts are loose.
You state that you replaced the head. Does this mean with a used one or what? Did you inspect this head for flatness? Or the engine block, which can also warp?
While I realize not everyone does the following, it’s a must in my opinion when replacing head gaskets on aluminum head or all aluminum engines.
I spray both sides of the head gasket with CopperCoat. The copper particles fill in minute nicks and pits, aids in heat transfer, and the epoxy really helps to seal and strengthen a head gasket.
My preference is to go back before installing valve covers, and AFTER the engine has sat for a while, and retorque those head bolts. That has always been my procedure anyway and it’s never failed me yet.
You might note that if you buy a new set of head bolts (say Fel-Pro) they also reference retorquing them.
I’ve always gone back in about 500-1000 miles and rechecked the head bolts. Metal is metal and all metal changes properties with heat and cold cycles.
And this is all assuming there’s not a stripped or pulled thread problem in the block.
I had a rebuilt head, new bolts, and a complete gasket kit, (before) also the head gasket broke in a spot between 2 and 3 cylinders previously, (now) now I noticed that the car was smoking white so I thought head gasket, when I started taking the head off the new bolts were loose so I continued and when I got it off there was coolant in the cylinders, should I have used a thread locking compound?
and also the engine never over heated, on the newer head.
The engine never overheated, however it was blowing white smoke so I figured head gasket.
the copper coat idea I didn’t use, and I didn’t retorque the head bolts. Also should I use thread locker. Reguarding Retorque: do you know what the retorqueing specs (ft/lbs) are, or do I do a restart on the head bolts by loosening and redoing the book procedure?
You shouldn’t need a thread locker. If this is the 2.0 SOHC SPI engine then your torque procedure - so long as you followed the correct pattern moving from center bolts out in a zig zag/alternating pattern - pretty much matches the info in my Haynes manual except Haynes gives 30-44 ftlb as the initial torque:
- losen 1/2 turn
- tighten 1/4 turn
- tighten 1/4 turn
It also says to lightly lube the threads w/ clean oil. This actually changes the torque - i.e. those torque specs assume lubed threads.
I would make sure to check everything for warpage & machine as necessary. Then proceed heeding OK4450’s advice.
thank you and I will give it a try and give you a responce back in about 2 months, thats how long since the last one I replaced! Thanks again!
okay, now its time to retorque the head bolts, what would you suggest for retorque specs?