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Old 02-02-2014, 10:55 PM
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Head Gasket Preperation Help!!

I have been searching but haven't found precise information, or maybe I'm just too nervous and want more verification.. anyways...

I was wondering what a good procedure would be for cleaning the block for a new head gasket. I am in the process now of swapping my old heads out for some new ones on my 1996 302, and have gotten to the "clean up" stage to prepare the block for new gaskets. So far, I have only used a razor and a green scotch brite pad, then a shop vacuum to suck up loose particles.

My questions are:

- Is a sharp razor, green scotchbrite pad, and carb/brake cleaner good enough to get the cleaning done on the block?

- Once the surface is cleaned, how worried should I be about fallen particles in the holes/cylinders?

- Will a shop vac and compressed air be good enough to get the debris out from the cylinders and should I spray carb/brake cleaner in the cylinders after vacuuming/blowing just to be safe?

- Will an oil change/coolant change be good enough to get the debris out that has fallen into the other holes (lower head bolt holes and oil passage under the lower intake etc?)

- After setup, should I run my motor for a minute or two before changing the oil and coolant, or change it before running the motor?


I'm worried that if I don't get every bit of dust out that I may destroy something. I haven't been able to find anything about the particles falling into places and cleaning the cylinders out. That worries me more than the cleanliness of the block!

Anyone who has experience with this please let me know what has worked for you, other tips, and if you think my process is okay! I'm excited to put the AFR 165 heads on, but I've never done any work this extensive before so I am quite nervous.
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:31 PM
jimbbski jimbbski is offline
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Rotate one bank of cylinders so that they are all in the middle of their travel.
Then take paper towels and wet them with clean oil and pack them in the bores on top of the pistons. Press them in tight. You should also block off any oil drain back or feed holes in the deck. The coolant holes are not that important, some gunk that gets in there can be flushed out after you get the engine running again. Just don't put in AF until you do have clean coolant.

Using a vacuum to catch as much as you can start scraping the deck. A Stotch Brite pad will do a good job. A new razor also works well. I use both.

As long as you keep pieces big enough to see out of the water and oil you should be OK. I always start up an engine after a head gasket change with plain water and an oil & filter that will be drained & changed after a short period of time.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:45 PM
baddad457 baddad457 is offline
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You're on the right track, I use a drill with a wire wheel after the razor blade treatment. I use spray carb cleaner to flush the area between the pistons and bores. You will never get 100% of the scrapings out, the little bit that does escape into the oilpan won't do enough harm to drastically affect the engine's life span.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:44 AM
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Thanks for the help jimbbski and baddad457!

I ended up just using a whole bunch of flat razors and some green scotch brite pads by hand. Then wiped the surface down with carb cleaner.

The gasket kit I got from Ford Racing came with TTY bolts which apparently I had so I bolted those up according to the directions. I don't have a TTY wrench, just my Kobalt Torque wrenches, so hopefully I got an additional 85-90 turn after the 55ftl lbs step. It's hard to tell how many degrees I turned the bolt with the short amount of room I had to work with, but I think I got the 90 degrees. All the bolts were torque to at least 80ft-lbs according to my wrench after though so maybe that's good! I just need to put everything back together now. I hope it's not too hard to re-time the engine!
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:11 AM
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Okay so I finally got my bronco "running" after everything, but there is an exhaust leak.

I can't quite tell where it coming from, but I did see some smoke come up from inside/behind the engine bay.

Would an intake leak cause this? Or is it possible I didn't bolt up the Y pipe at the headers well enough, and some smoke would come from there? I'm hoping it is a rather simple fix...

I still need to get the timing right, but I am a little scared if there is a huge exhaust leak that I may cause damage or something....

Hopefully the head gaskets aren't messed up... I really want to get my truck up and running again!!!!

Edit: The oil doesn't seem milky from the dipstick so I don't think coolant is getting into the oil.

Edit 2: This may be a large part of the problem hopefully someone knows, The bolt on the top right that keeps the power steering pump bracket in place would not screw into my new heads, It seems as if the bolt hole was larger than the factory bolt, so I left it out. I know on the back side of the cylinder, there are two ports that I believe smog pump bolts go into that seem to be in the same spot as the bracket bolt, does anyone know what size bolt this is? Could the exhaust leak be coming from the bolt hole on the front of the head where the bracket is supposed to bolt into place? I will try to get a longer bolt, or one that screw in so I can see what is wrong with it. EDIT AGAIN, I know for sure an exhaust leak is coming from this hole, because on my stock heads, I can see this hold is part of the exhaust system. I noticed the bolt for the power steering bracket has a "reducer" or something bolted into place here so the bracket bolt will fit it... Will a bolt that fits into this hole prevent the exhaust leak, or is there something special I need to do to the bolt to prevent it?
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Old 02-11-2014, 04:47 PM
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Well I bought a thermactor plug from Ford and it fixed part of the problem. I noticed my Y-pipe is leaking from the cat connection, so I hope tightening the clamp will fix that! After I get it timed and that connection bolted up, I hope everything else will be good! I'm still worreid about that white smoke. I hope that's just because exhaust was leaking before the catalytic converter!

Edit: Well I managed to get rid of the exhaust leaks. No more smoke or loud noise. However, the truck runs pretty bad with the spout connector plugged in. I set the timing at both 10, and 14 and drove it around and it ran like crap. It drives fine under little throttle, but as soon as I give it more throttle, it backfires and stumbles a lot. With the spout connecter UNPLUGGED, it runs great.... I'm not sure what to check for here...

Also, there is a squeaking coming from the engine that is consistent with RPMs... I don't know what that may be from, pushrods maybe?
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:39 AM
baddad457 baddad457 is offline
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You'd do better setting the timing using a code reader that allows you to see what the timing is while the engine is running. I had the same problems after doing a GT40 head swap on my 96 E150 (351). The OBDII uses a crankshaft sensor to adjust the timing, this complicates adjusting the initial timing, mine was apparently advanced too far initially and the computer was overwhelmed in trying to pull back on the timing. Sounds like your's too is advanced too far if it runs better with the spout disconnected
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:35 PM
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Hmm well I have a Scangauge II which plugs into the OBD II port. It has gauges likes TPS, Water temp, rpms etc. and it also reads engine codes. It shows ignition timing too which i completely forgot it did. I changed it to read the timing, and it was bouncing anywhere from 10-22 in idle, both with the spout in and out. It seems to like to stay around 14 though, but has bounced up and down. I don't know exactly how the gauge reads the timing or how accurate it is, so maybe it isn't very good at reading the ignition timing. No parts stores I went to had gauges I could use that read timing either.

If the timing really is bouncing around that much, =he timing chain I have is maybe a year old, and it came with new camshaft/crankshaft sprockets, so I do not believe they would be worn after only a year.

I'm guess maybe the harmonic balancer is messed up, or the "new" (remanufcatured) distributor I got is messed up now. I got the distributor about 6 months ago because my old PIP sensor failed. I supposed maybe the new PIP sensor in this distributor could have failed too causing erratic timing? I know before I did my head swap, the harmonic balancer marks seemed to bounce +/- 2-3 degrees when I looked at it with my timing light. When I timed it with my light this time, it still slightly bounced around, but didn't seem to be bouncing 10 degrees or more..

Edit: Upon further research, it looks like it will be nearly impossible to get a harmonic balancer for my 96 302. I will have to send mine in to get it rebuilt in California so my truck will be down for at least a week..... hmm this is unexciting. Hopefully the distributor will fix the issue when I get it replaced later today.
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:05 PM
baddad457 baddad457 is offline
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The timing is "bouncing around" because the computer is constantly tweaking the timing while it's running. Loosen the distributor clamp and with the engine running, fine tune the initial timing to get it back at 10*BTC. You will only "see" that reading for a second or so before the computer readjusts it. Once you get the 10^ setting, lock the distributor down and take it for a test drive to see how it runs then.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:00 AM
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Thanks for all the help! I actually ended up getting a replacement remanufactured distributor because mine was under warranty. I only put the other one it about 4 or 5 months ago maybe, but figured since it's under warranty, I might as well make sure the distributor isn't the problem.

After putting the new distributor in, the backfiring and stumbling has disappeared! I guess the PIP sensor in other one I got ended up going bad too. It's such a relief to have those issues gone.

However.. now I have the code p0411, which is something to do with the "secondary air" injection system. I don't know if this deals with the smog pump or not but it doesn't seem to have negative effects now.. however I do want to fix it.

Also, I noticed my serpentine belt is not lining up properly after everything has been put back together. The belt seems to want to ride at the edge of the crank pulley. It's about 1/8th an inch further forward than it should be, but it stays in that position. The belt from the smog pump to crank pulley seems to be lined up properly, but when it goes up to the waterpump pulley, it seems to be slightly off, and a little further forward on the waterpump pulley that it used to be. Since the pulley on the waterpump is smooth, that doesn't bother me too much, but the crank pulley edge is starting to tear the belt since it's riding on the edge. I don't know why it would be doing this.. could the crank pulley be messed up? Or could it be something with the waterpump pulley that's messing it up?

I have an electric fan so there is not fan/clutch off of the waterpump either if that makes a difference. I have had the e-fan for a while though and never had issues with belt alignment.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:53 AM
baddad457 baddad457 is offline
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Did you torque the balancer bolt ? If not, then it may not be tight enough, not seating the balancer all the way onto the crank snout, that could be why the belt's not lining up.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:07 AM
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Yes I torqued the balancer bolt to 100ft-lbs. I think it was supposed to be 90ft lbs but I did it to 100 before I checked. The thing is, it seems as if the crank pulley is too far towards the engine like its bolted on too much. I don't know if maybe the crank pulley lip is messed up so its not keeping the belt on enough.. that doesn't seem very likely though.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba Jones View Post
Also, I noticed my serpentine belt is not lining up properly after everything has been put back together. The belt seems to want to ride at the edge of the crank pulley....
STOP, the harmonic balancer is not fully seated on the crankshaft snout and you are in danger of damaging that engine, tighten that bolt like baddad said and you'll be alright..
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gman97005 View Post
STOP, the harmonic balancer is not fully seated on the crankshaft snout and you are in danger of damaging that engine, tighten that bolt like baddad said and you'll be alright..
Hmm I'll check it again, I did torque it down to 100ft-lbs I think that is enough. i had the wrench set at 100 but if I recall it's supposed to be 70-90.. I'll have to recheck though.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:09 AM
baddad457 baddad457 is offline
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If you got it to 100 ft/lbs, something else is amiss here. Do not torque it further without checking to see why it's not seating properly. In this case a bigger F#*&ing hammer is NOT what you want to use. You'll likely end up ruining the crank.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:09 AM
 
 
 
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