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

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    VCVC Member 66BeachCruiser's Avatar
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    230 head removal, cleaning, and replacing head gasket

    So I went ahead and took off the head off my 230 engine just so I wouldn't have doubts. I figured a new head gasket and cleaning the area wouldn't hurt. Now that my head on the 230 is off my head is all over the place. Since everything on the engine had to come off while still in van it could be A good time to do upgrades like changing to aluminum timing gears, upgrade cam, port and add lumps. Or put a whole other engine. You guys are right I could put a 250 in place which already has a better crank and stroke difference. Add A v8? Now that the head is off the block looks short enough to take out through the bottom if Input my van on my metal ramps.... hmmm

    Well, after going crazy with all these ideas I figured I can spend a tiny bit of money and sweat to clean my own head and block surface, piston tops, valves, and relap the valves and seats and put this head back together. And leave these old timing gears on. I'll just get this van running to pick me up an LS soon and enjoy some vanning in the meantime. This is the time to put a good gasket on.


    What is a good head gasket to get? Isn't composite the old original type? Shouldn't I at least upgrade that? What head gasket or at least material can you guys recommend?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_8600.jpg   IMG_8601.jpg   IMG_8602.jpg   IMG_8627.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.

  2. #2
    VCVC Member 66BeachCruiser's Avatar
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    Also, this is how you confirm you have a 230 and not a 250. I have the 230 flat top pistons with eye lid dimples for the valves.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_8632.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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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    On a stock engine, I always use the best quality stock replacement gaskets. About the only place I deviate is I get rubber valve cover gasket instead of cork.

    What is more important is proper torquing of the head bolts.
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

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    VCVC Member 66BeachCruiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vanner68 View Post
    On a stock engine, I always use the best quality stock replacement gaskets. About the only place I deviate is I get rubber valve cover gasket instead of cork.

    What is more important is proper torquing of the head bolts.

    Definitely the torquing is going to be important. Now, should I also get new head bolts or do I reuse the old ones?
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by 66BeachCruiser View Post
    Definitely the torquing is going to be important. Now, should I also get new head bolts or do I reuse the old ones?
    I have always got new ones.

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    VCVC Member jrinaman's Avatar
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    I have always reused them without issue. work up in steps following the pattern. if your planning on any performance mods at all, deck your head. it is cheap h.p.
    '64 chevy, 292 40 over, 206/526 cam, 2004r trans. 9.75:1, dual webbers, Langdon cast headers, 1.94 valves

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    VCVC Member 66BeachCruiser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrinaman View Post
    I have always reused them without issue. work up in steps following the pattern. if your planning on any performance mods at all, deck your head. it is cheap h.p.

    How much material should be decked to achieve this?
    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.

  8. #8
    VCVC Member jrinaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 66BeachCruiser View Post
    How much material should be decked to achieve this?
    60/1000 is a good start. I shaved 100/1000 off of my 250 and raised compression from 8.5:1 up to 9.6:1. a 230 would have slightly less increase as the stroke is shorter.
    '64 chevy, 292 40 over, 206/526 cam, 2004r trans. 9.75:1, dual webbers, Langdon cast headers, 1.94 valves

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    VCVC Member TurboVan's Avatar
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    Is that off the head or off the block?
    Keep one foot in the gutter, one fist in the gold...

    '65 Panel, with turbocharged 327 (originally 153 four), TH400 (originally 3-speed), and 3.31 '67 Camaro 12 bolt rear (my first car, 1970)
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    '69 Sportvan 108 with turbocharged original 250 six and 700R4 (originally Powerglide), 3.73 rear, starred in eight Taco Bell commercials
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    VCVC Member kookykrispy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 66BeachCruiser View Post
    Definitely the torquing is going to be important. Now, should I also get new head bolts or do I reuse the old ones?
    You can re-use the old head bolts. They are not "torque to yield" like on newer engines, so they can be re-used. Just clean them up and chase the threads. Follow the manual, because I think some go into the water jacket and may require sealer to avoid leaks. Others just take motor oil on the threads. I can't remember if that was for a 6 or a v8, so find a manual and read so you get it correct. Also make sure to torque them in the proper sequence too, and use caution on the very front head bolt because I heard they have a tendancy to crack there if you overtorque.
    Last edited by kookykrispy; 08-07-2018 at 03:10 PM.



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

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