Re-Torque Head bolts - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 08, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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Re-Torque Head bolts

I used a Felpro 1094 .015 rubber coated embossed steel shim head gasket on my 350 when I installed my trickflow 195cc aluminum heads. I used the arp bolts sent in the kit with arp thread sealer and moly lube on the heads of the bolts. I broke my cam in a few weeks ago and haven't fired my engine since. Trickflow says if I followed their instructions which I did, it's not necessary to retorque the bolts with the 1094, but it wouldn't hurt to check a few to see if they loosened up. The speedshop I bought the gasket from says I should. Waiting from a response from arp. Should I re-torque the head bolts? If so what is the correct procedure to do this?

1969 Camaro 350, Trickflow heads, ST-10 4spd, Hotchkis suspension, Baer SS brake kit, moser 12bolt
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 08, 08:24 AM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

I would go back and check. I don't know what the correct order is off the top of my head. But if you have a factory owners manual it will give you the torque specs and proper order. There may even be a post with the torque order in it. Do a search.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 08, 11:58 AM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

If you retorque your head bolts...
Crack each one back anti-clockwise about 1/8 turn and then bring back to spec torque again. Do this to each bolt, one at a time in the correct bolt sequence/order.
It is necessary to undo each bolt slightly as the bolt's static friction in the threads (the break away torque) will almost always exceed the dynamic friction at the correct torque value.
If you don't back the bolt off slightly, the torque reading of a loose bolt will actually appear to have as much, or more torque than originally applied/specified.

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 08, 06:44 AM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

I have never had to retorque head bolts. If you use a good bolt and your surfaces are straight and clean it all will be good.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 08, 09:02 AM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

I had to go back and retorque. One day after about 500 miles, I had white smoke coming out of one side, and I saw coolant/oil going down the block. Retorqued head bolts, all is fine. It may not stay that way since I did not retorque it sooner, but I am close to 4000 miles now without any issue. My heads and deck were milled. I should not have had an issue according to some I spoke with.

Bottom line, retorque, up to 3 times if necessary.

Walter
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 08, 10:50 AM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

You shouldn't have an issue, you used a good gasket and good bolts. I doubt you will have any problems. It wouldn't hurt to retorque them but, I think you will be wasting your time. If it will give you peace of mind then do it, nothings worse than worrying about something that you have doubts about.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 08, 11:06 AM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

I re-torqued once. In 1964 on my '54 Hudson. Then I stuck to Chevy's.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 08, 11:58 AM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

It's not about high quality bolts or gaskets as to whether you need to retorque.

After several heat cycles, head gaskets "relax" (their compressive resistance reduces) and therefore the preload of the head bolts is reduced. Like slack in a rope.

It's just like with hose clamps. With a small amount of heat and time, a new hose conforms to the clamp, and the clamping force is effectively reduced resulting in a leak. Retorquing restores the clamping force and stops the leak.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 08, 12:07 PM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

Question. What happens to the thread sealant on the bolts when you retorque? Is there a chance that a coolant leak could develop?

Robert
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 08, 03:10 PM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

Why would Fel-pro and Trickflow tell him that they do not need to be re-torqued? What do they have to gain or lose? It is about the quality and type of gasket and the material it's made of as well as the quality of the bolts/fasteners. When all else fails follow the manufactures directions. Most of the more modern gaskets do not "require" a re-torque. My Cometic head gaskets on my blown SBC were not re-torqued nor were any the of the Fel-pro head gaskets on any of the several engines I built for my Camaro. I never had an issue with any of them. In the end we all have to do what works for us, a re-torque won't hurt anything but, I personally don't think it is needed and I wouldn't worry about it.

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 14th, 08, 08:58 PM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

Thread sealant like GM sealing compound is a non-hardening type so it reseals without a problem. It's designed for head-bolt applications where retorquing is a standard proceedure.
If you're worried about leaks created by retorquing, use a stud kit.

Some head gaskets are also preflattened and/or are designed not to "relax". If the manufacturer of the gasket says a retorque is required, I'd follow that advice.

Retorquing has nothing at all to do with bolt or stud type or quality.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 08, 05:35 AM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

Yes this question does raise a question as Felpo calls their blue gasket, the Permatorque gasket, needs retorquing. Yes, good head studs is another reason that retorquing lessens the chance for leakage.

Don
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 08, 06:06 AM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

quote:The speedshop I bought the gasket from says I should. Waiting from a response from arp. Should I re-torque the head bolts?


ARP recommends retorque after run due to gasket. See their 2007 catalog pg 36

Tim Smith
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 08, 06:30 AM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

the cost benefit ratio is a good measurement of what to do.

It costs you nothing to check them.
The benefits of knowing all is good is priceless.
The benefits of finding a problem now will save you 10-fold later.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Mar 15th, 08, 06:21 PM
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Re: Re-Torque Head bolts

If you used teflon type sealer then I would not retorque the bolts. The teflon sets up and you would create the possibility of a leak by retourquing them. If you aren't having a problem then why try to create one. If you have no leaks then leave it alone.There's no performance gain to be had by retourquing the head bolts.
If you used a non hardening type sealer on the bolts , no big deal, go ahead. Teflon type sealers should be left alone.

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