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Thread: 230 head removal, cleaning, and replacing head gasket

  1. #21
    VCVC Member TurboVan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookykrispy View Post
    Fel-pro is good, and its usually what they have at the parts store. Victor-Reinz is fine too. I have used both and they are both good.

    While you have the head off, you might consider replacing the valvestem seals. And if you're going to do that, you can clean up the valves and chambers and do a little home made lap job with valve lapping compound. I do this by chucking the valve stem in a drill and spinning it against the seat with valve grinding compound. Make sure to clean the lapping/grinding compound off completely with brakecleen before you reassemble. You don't want any of that grit in your engine.
    Do not use anything but Felpro for the manifold gasket. They are steel, the Victor is aluminum and doesn't hold up.
    Keep one foot in the gutter, one fist in the gold...

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  2. #22
    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I've had good luck using an aluminum manifold gasket, with using Ultra Copper RTV on either side of the manifold gasket to seal it. Goop it on, let it sit/cure awhile to get tacky, then assemble. No leaks.



    64' wikivan 230/4 onda tree/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookykrispy View Post
    I've had good luck using an aluminum manifold gasket, with using Ultra Copper RTV on either side of the manifold gasket to seal it. Goop it on, let it sit/cure awhile to get tacky, then assemble. No leaks.
    That copper RTV seals pretty good. I had to use it on a head gasket on a 2.8 on a S10 I had to get it to seal . That’s after getting the head done and new gaskets because it wouldn’t seal , but those Chevy 2.8’s weren’t the best engine but for awhile Chevy put them in everything.

  4. #24
    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    that's my trick for headers too. I actually like the cheapie pressed paperboard gaskets with thick copper RTV applied on both sides. Let it set up and cure enough it skins over, and then assemble. I first learned this trick about 20 years ago by reading a "tech tip" in an old Car Craft magazine by hot-rodding guru Marlan Davis. It really works.



    64' wikivan 230/4 onda tree/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

  5. #25
    Van Addict SteelyVan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookykrispy View Post
    that's my trick for headers too. I actually like the cheapie pressed paperboard gaskets with thick copper RTV applied on both sides. Let it set up and cure enough it skins over, and then assemble. I first learned this trick about 20 years ago by reading a "tech tip" in an old Car Craft magazine by hot-rodding guru Marlan Davis. It really works.
    Thanks for passing along KK.....does this method (to your knowledge) work for water pumps and thermostat necks too?

  6. #26
    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    I usually use gray or blue RTV on that kind of stuff, because the hi-temp copper is not required (and its more expensive). Ultra copper RTV is awesome, but if you don't need the special high temp RTV for exhaust use, it doesn't make sense to be spending that extra $.

    Keep in mind if you RTV both sides of normal paper gaskets like on the water pump, timing cover, or thermostat housing, and ever need to diassemble, you're going to wreck the gasket, and also you'll have some extra labor scraping that old gasket and RTV off. I usually will RTV only one side of these parts: RTV the side that seals to the cover, pump, or the T-stat housing, and not use RTV on the block side. This way, you can disassemble and not have to waste the gasket every time. (very handy if you need to open up the gasket sealed part to change thermostats or check timing gear marks, remove an axle, etc.)
    If you need to seal a pesky leak, and after doing one side you are still experiencing a leak, you can always add RTV to the other side of the gasket and reassemble.



    64' wikivan 230/4 onda tree/2.56 posi
    '64 Red Baron no engine/trans
    '66 "Lucky" 230/3 onda tree/project

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    Remember, they're still printing money, but they aren't making any more earlies!

  7. #27
    Van Addict SteelyVan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookykrispy View Post
    I usually use gray or blue RTV on that kind of stuff, because the hi-temp copper is not required (and its more expensive). Ultra copper RTV is awesome, but if you don't need the special high temp RTV for exhaust use, it doesn't make sense to be spending that extra $.

    Keep in mind if you RTV both sides of normal paper gaskets like on the water pump, timing cover, or thermostat housing, and ever need to diassemble, you're going to wreck the gasket, and also you'll have some extra labor scraping that old gasket and RTV off. I usually will RTV only one side of these parts: RTV the side that seals to the cover, pump, or the T-stat housing, and not use RTV on the block side. This way, you can disassemble and not have to waste the gasket every time. (very handy if you need to open up the gasket sealed part to change thermostats or check timing gear marks, remove an axle, etc.)
    If you need to seal a pesky leak, and after doing one side you are still experiencing a leak, you can always add RTV to the other side of the gasket and reassemble.
    WOW KK
    I tend to be a who, what, where, when, and why type of question guy. Thank you for the informed Cliff notes version. I've drowned a couple of times reading and hearing about different methods/applications on this subject. Thank you Sir. This makes simple perfect sense.

  8. #28
    VCVC Member 66BeachCruiser's Avatar
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    Between being an involved dad and work It's hard to find the time to complete this job but got the head on. One big concern is the water jacket bolt holes. From the posts above it looks like it should have only been the one bolt hole going into a water jacket but when flashing a light into each bolt hole they all seemed to go down to the water jacket. Well, at least they all went through. I put sealer in each bolt for that reason. Just about half an inch high of sealer on each bolt and followed the book's torque recommendations. I cleaned each thread with a tap beforehand. I sprayed copper spray gasket sealer on each side of the head gasket as well. Question is...should I be concerned?
    Last edited by 66BeachCruiser; 09-19-2018 at 09:03 PM.
    1966 Chevy Sportvan seafoam green/white
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    200r4 w/stock auto shifter, custom hanger, 96 suburban trans cooler
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  9. #29
    VCVC Member Optik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 66BeachCruiser View Post
    Between being an involved dad and work It's hard to find the time to complete this job but got the head on. One big concern is the water jacket bolt holes. From the posts above it looks like it should have only been the one bolt hole going into a water jacket but when flashing a light into each bolt hole they all seemed to go down to the water jacket. Well, at least they all went through. I put sealer in each bolt for that reason. Just about half an inch high of sealer on each bolt and followed the book's torque recommendations. I cleaned each thread with a tap beforehand. I sprayed copper spray gasket sealer on each side of the head gasket as well. Question is...should I be concerned?
    you should be fine. Just make sure you don't over-torque that driver side front corner head bolt and crack the block. that is where it is very thin.
    =============================================
    Tim Henderson
    Cincinnati, OH
    1965 Chevy Sportvan "Good Twin"
    1965 Chevy Sportvan Deluxe "Evil Twin"


  10. #30
    VCVC Member 66BeachCruiser's Avatar
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    Also, when I was cleaning the head surface I also cleaned up the piston surface. I didn't realize the carbon on those things. After a clean up I could clearly see a stamp on each piston that read 030. I guess my engine has been bored 30 over in the past? Is that what it means? Even my dad assumed it was all original engine wise. Been in the family a little over 30 years. I used wd40 and a blade to clean the surface, yes, including piston Tops. Also used green pads and rolls of that blue mechanics lint free paper towels. I also used a vacuum throughout the last portions of the Cleanup. New freeze plugs are now in the block. They were definitely difficult to install with the doghouse wall in the way. There was not enough room to fit a proper size socket and also swing a hammer. Sometimes I had to do away with the socket and make the big diameter hammer the socket and hammer. Just did it carefully. . The head has new seats at the exhaust valves and everything has been grounded down properly at a machine shop, including decking the head just enough for a clean surface (not really for more power).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_8883.jpg   IMG_8884.jpg   IMG_8885.jpg   IMG_8886.jpg  
    1966 Chevy Sportvan seafoam green/white
    Sliding ragtop
    230 straight six
    HEI distributor
    12SI alternator
    2bbl 32/36 Progressive carb upgrade with 1 to 2bbl carb adapter
    200r4 w/stock auto shifter, custom hanger, 96 suburban trans cooler
    3:36 rear
    Front Disk Brake conversion with Dual master
    Recored radiator to 3core
    5 blade fan
    belly pan.

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