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  • #5503

    Nearly 2 years ago I did a full engine rebuild on my 1954 pickup.

    I used a proper, old stock, copper/asbestos head gasket. Machined the head And block gasket faces, fitted new studs and nuts and torqued the head down a couple of times during the running in period.

    I’ve now done 7,000, trouble free miles and I’m wondering if I should

    A) tighten the head again, or

    B) Don’t disturb it and leave well alone.

    What do we think?




    I recommend that you re torque the head bolts in the correct sequence according to the shop manual and using a torque wrench set to the recommended torque setting

    by using the torque wrench you will get the same tension on all the studs and you can not over tighten them with the torque wrench

    do it when the engine is cold


    I’d suggest that as you’ve already re-tightened the head and done 7,000 miles without incident, that provided you keep an eye on the condition of the cooling system, including the condition of the radiator, and making sure that you’ve used the correct thermostat, you should be OK.

    The best advice sometimes is ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!’.


    Thanks for the replies.

    Yes, I fitted a new radiator with an extra row of tubes. Also the water gallery in the head and block were thoroughly cleaned.

    I Also fitted a digital electronic temperature gauge to the cylinder head thermostat housing and an electric fan. The engine temperature now is usually 75-78 deg. C. on a level road. The fan is set to come on at 84 ish. It only comes on if im stuck in traffic.

    I’m going to fit a temperature gauge to the radiator header tank soon (I think that’s the correct location for it) which I expect will be a couple of degrees cooler than the head.

    Btw. The electric fan has reduced the noise in the cab which is nice and also released the extra half a horsepower (I imagine).

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by MikeN.

    So , it wasn’t exactly a massive consensus for or against. But it’s an hour later  and I’ve just been out and attacked the engine with the torque wrench.

    None of the nuts moved. One rocker was maybe a thou tight.

    Good excuse to go out after dinner for a “test drive”.

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