351c head gasket installation tips
#1
Hello. I am in the process of installing rebuilt heads and finishing up a 351c. Are there any tips on ensuring good sealing and putting things back together? Any help is appreciated. The engine is on a stand out of the car.
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#2
I'm not a mechanic but I did manage to Re uild my 351w on 1969 mach. I learned the hard way to pay attention to the front marking on the gaskets. The first time they went in wrong and I had an overheating issue but never drastic enough to boil over. After redoing it the right way, the issue was fixed. We used a knock off gasket the first time which had no front markings. We used felpro the second time which had markings. You can't really tell by eye which side of gasket is front unless it is marked.

We prepped by machining the heads, gerting the rocker studs replaced with screw down ones (I had Original pushed in studs that were loose), and then gasket and torque down.
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#3
Well I am using felpro and will pay attention to the front written on the gasket. I was curious about any extra sealer during installation thanks for the info
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#4
No sealer on head gaskets.
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#5
All good advice...also if you never done this before be sure you follow the proper torqueing sequence of the cylinder heads and torque to factory specs in incremental steps. Your shop manual or engine rebuilding manual will outline this for you. If using ARP studs follow the instructions on the package in regards to lubricant and torque specs.
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#6
Follow everything everyone else has said. When it comes time to set the intake, clean all surfaces with rubbing alcohol, to remove any traces of oil, lay the side gaskets in place. Throw away the solid rubber end pieces, and lay a 1/4" bead of Ultra Black Silicone by Permatex along the edge of the block between the heads. Then set the intake and torque to specs in the proper sequence, wipe and smooth the excess silicone and you should have a lifetime leakproof seal. Hope it helps JTS 71 Mach1
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#7
Ok thank you. What about using "the right stuff" product in place of the silicone? I am going to paint the engine tomorrow.


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#8
Some things to do are 1) Run a bottom (or plug) tap through all the bolt holes to clean out any grime stuck in the threads. Some people prefer thread chasers instead. 2) It's a good idea to use ARP head bolts. ARP head studs if you want to spend a lot more money but they are certainly not needed. 3) Make sure you can run the bolts all the way down by hand. 4) Follow ARP's torque spec and use their lube on the threads and under the hex head and flat washers. 5) I've had a Fel Pro tech recommend a retorque 30 minutes or so after the initial torque before firing up the engine. To retorque simply one at a time loosen each bolt about 1/4 turn then retighten to the full torque spec. Do this in the pattern of torqueing the bolts. 6) Very important, use a good quality head gasket of the correct type and install it correctly.

Regards,
Mike
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#9
Permatex's "right stuff" is a good choice. The stuff holds up better than most sealants. Are those aftermarket valve spring retainers? They almost look like they're installed upside down. GXR
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#10
Those valve spring retainers can't be installed upside down. But wow, those are strange. I wonder why those were installed. They almost look like a retainer to drastically reduce the installed spring height.

Regards,
Mike
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