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Guys,

I've been fighting header gaskets since I bought this 69 (350 w/ aluminum TrickFlow heads). Keep getting the proverbial "tick-tick", tighten up the bolts and it goes away. Until last week. I haven't been able to get rid of it and the bolts are tight. Any recommendations on gaskets for alum. heads and bolts that will keep them tight?

Also, the last few days I've been getting dieseling when I shut it off. What's the likely cause and how to correct.



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Marty Paulk
69 Camaro SS 350
 

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Header bolts will ALWAYS loosen up on their own, as they are so short that they don't stretch in order to develop and hold clamping force. I have always used ARP NASCAR header bolts - they are pre-drilled for safety wire and available either in 6-point or 12-point, polished stainless or stainless with black oxide finish. I torque them up, run the car for a few hours, re-torque them, and then safety-wire the bolts. It takes time, but it's a lot less hassle than constantly replacing header gaskets. Have NEVER blown a header gasket.

Another solution is the locking bolts that use a little C-clip (can't remember the name), although clearance to the header tubes isn't always adequate to install/remove the clips (which is why I like safety wire - no clearance required).

I see cars at shows all summer long with header bolts missing - you don't have to live with this - just takes some time and spending a little more on quality fasteners.

Might as well rant now about "chrome" or "stainless steel" bolts - 99% of the ones you buy at speed shops or out of catalogs as "dress-up kits" (except ARP) are junk, and have Grade 2 or less strength - shouldn't be used on anything except valve covers. ARP fasteners are made from special stainless alloys, and are stronger than Grade 8 bolts (which is why they're so expensive compared to the chrome or stainless "dress-up" junk). I've dealt with engineered high-stress fasteners all my life, and it makes me cringe to see some of the applications I see on show cars. Don't ever use anything less than Grade 5 (3 lines on the head) on a car, and use Grade 8 (6 lines on the head) any time it's for steering, suspension, or brakes. Grade 5 and 8 also have rolled (not cut) threads; don't ever use a "hardware store" bolt with cut threads and no head markings (which is what most of the "chrome" bolts start out as) anywhere - your life may depend on it.

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JohnZ
'69 Z28 Fathom Green
 

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Hello Marty, I use a thick gasket that looks like paper/asbestos mix. I had Gus over at Harbor Industries send me a set of his thick paper type gaskets. You put tjem in water for about 20 minutes and then bolt them up. I have them on the head side and also at the collector on the 1 3/4 Headman on the 67 Camaro. This coming December will be two years since I installed those headers on the car. I use arp black oxided header bolts w/ the 5/16" head. I can get to all of the bolts but one with a 1/4" drive rachet/extension. I have not touched the header bolts since I put them on the car. I start the car after instalation and let cool. Retighten then after the headers are hot then cooled a 2nd time, do it again. May check one more time but thats it. Gus is in Gardena, been there since the begining of time I think. Ican post his number tomorrow night here or E-mail me and I will send it. The gaskets expand slightly when wet. Then after heating them they begin to shrink back down some, but when they were wet and tighten, the actually compressed themselves. Then after dry, they act as a seal as they are now trying to expand a little. I reallt have good luck with these over anything else. These headers were installed new then. The Hooker Super Comps that came off the car had them on too. I actually had to peel them off and scrape a little. A good bond there. A local shop I would think sells something similar. We don't deal with Gus at work, but if you can't find let me know. It worked for me. Galen

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S/B Chevy Lover
67 Camaro street car
10:50's @ 128 on motor w/383 cid
79 Z28 w/383 9.1:1 3.73:1 Restoring stock apearance
13:40's @ 101 stock exh.& intake& Qjet
smog legal
Camaro Lover
 

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I run the copper header gaskets and still no leaks. I even re-used them the last time the motor was out. I used to blow them weekly.

Mark

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Mark
1992 Firebird 355/Six Speed
1991 RS 350 / 700-R4
1987 Toyota Pickup 383 / 500 + HP 10.963 @ 119.95 Slicks / 11.997 @ 114.23 Radials
http://personal.lig.bellsouth.net/~racer383/
 

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I use the "dead-soft" aluminum gaskets. No problems....
 

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I have a supercharged 327 in a 67' and I used to blow header gaskets all the time. I think I went through like 3 in 6 months. I heard about the copper seal gaskets and how with a little silicon they are supposed to hold better. This is not the case. Atleast it may be, but not for me. I put these on over the summer and I've had the constant ticking and exhaust from the rear cylinders ever since. I think it's time for the ARP bolts! Go with them.
 

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I wonder if studs would work and better. Would need the room though.

Mark

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Mark
1992 Firebird 355/Six Speed
1991 RS 350 / 700-R4
1987 Toyota Pickup 383 / 500 + HP 10.963 @ 119.95 Slicks / 11.997 @ 114.23 Radials
http://personal.lig.bellsouth.net/~racer383/
 

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hey...looks like you may have the header problem taken care of..but on the dieseling..
i had this problem ..and it turned out my car was just idled a little too high...might be worth checking out..
 

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I used ARP headers studs and Earls Pressure Master gaskets. They are dead soft aluminum, and have a "foil" insert around the ports. Seal unbelivably well. The studs required slight dimpling to clear the nuts.

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1968 RS/SS Camaro w/ 94 vette LT-1 and T56 six speed, Cal-Tracs, Baer 12" crossdrilled brakes 17" rims, ect....
<A HREF="http://home.earthlink.net/~speedracer68/tyler.htm" TARGET=_blank>
My 68 with LT1 and T56</A>
 
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