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How To - Renew Cylinder Head Gasket Sealing Surface

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Very good advice. I like the color coat of paint idea. The very few I have done, I have done on an industrial table saw top which works well too. Very flat and rigid. I have one to do real soon.

Thanks!

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this would be nice moved to the Tutorial section. may need to do this in the future     :rolleyes:

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...The very few I have done, I have done on an industrial table saw top which works well too. Very flat and rigid...

 

And you can be assured that the table saw top is true (flat) because it is machined. Also, you don't risk breaking the glass. Unless the glass is placed on a completely flat surface, the downward pressure that needs to be exerted on some heads while you "mil" them, can crack the glass.

Edited by rmaynard
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Because this post has suffered from apparent "site upgrade issues". the pic of the plate glass thickness has not yet made it into the post. The plate glass used in this post is 1/4" thick with beveled edges to protect the user from cuts and scratches.

Don't let this process scare you away. You are not "milling" the head, the last time I looked, 220 grit paper is not a good substitute for a Bridgeport milling machine. The process I described abrades off less than 0.002 inch in most cases. The pressure needed to accomplish this is equivalent to compounding a new paint job. Don't rush, let the tools do the work. Just use the common sense any first year 9th grade shop class noob would use. If you do attempt to gorilla the process, the abrasive paper would simply push off the glass before the glass plate would crack. If you trip and fall on any tools laying around your shop, that one's on you!!

A table saw surface is certainly an option. For those who believe all table saw surfaces are flat because they are "machined" probably have never checked theirs. Most manufacturers find it "acceptable" if their machined tops are within 0.003 inches these days (less than what we are trying to achieve on the finished cylinder head).

I included a picture of the residue from this procedure to confirm this is a very "dirty" process with abrasive material released from the wet dry paper. I personally will not take responsibility to recommend using a fine tablesaw to accept the residue off this process. Right tool for the right job, etc. In the end, your tools, your choice.

Finally, a piece of plate glass is much easier than a table saw to carry to a neighbor's house to help with an engine. And all said and done, plate glass is squirrel proof and after your are finished, it can be easily stored in your shop. I'll be happy to address any further concerns about this process.

Chuck

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I agree - this is definitely "Tutorial" material!

 

Thanks, Chuck!  :text-thankyoublue:

 

Duff :thumbs:

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question.............Are K181 and K181S heads the same? Mine has a few broken fins. I got my hands on a used K181 but I have a K181S. The fins are differant on the two heads but the insides look the same. My old one is stamped and this other one is not. Wondering if I can use the better one with the non broken fins off the K181 on the K181S?

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question.............Are K181 and K181S heads the same? Mine has a few broken fins. I got my hands on a used K181 but I have a K181S. The fins are differant on the two heads but the insides look the same. My old one is stamped and this other one is not. Wondering if I can use the better one with the non broken fins off the K181 on the K181S?

The "S" head is probably drilled to support a starter generator mount.
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My apologies to all regarding the initial post. Karl and I are working out an issue on why the images and text get corrupted when updates are performed to the text.

Please be patient, this post will be back soon.

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question.............Are K181 and K181S heads the same? Mine has a few broken fins. I got my hands on a used K181 but I have a K181S. The fins are differant on the two heads but the insides look the same. My old one is stamped and this other one is not. Wondering if I can use the better one with the non broken fins off the K181 on the K181S?

The "S" head is probably drilled to support a starter generator mount.

I will get pictures of the two heads. they look almost identical. The block holds the genrater bracket not the head. although I believe there are a few other brackets to hold it in place.

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There is a steel support that attached from the head to the generator for the belt adjustment, and the belt cover attachment tab. The additional fins may have been to help support that bracket.

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This is wonderful! (excellent tutorial!)  Question -- what do you guys do about the block side of things?  (how do you clean the surface there)  I see marks from the head gasket... leftover gasket material, I believe.

 

Your advice is appreciated, as always!

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I was wondering the same thing........wondering if this is when a milling machine would be sweet to have?

 

 

004-37_zps5c0bfb70.jpg

006-33_zps8ee1fb8f.jpg

003-37_zps8d041fa8.jpg

 

Alrighty here are the two heads in question. The clean one is off my engine. Has a few broken fins, should sand out ok. The dirty one was taken of a parts motor I picked up.

Has no broken fins but has a few small differnces in fins placement and the head bolt hole area around the hole is larger. Other then that is there any reason I couldnt clean up the dirty one, sand it smooth and use it on my engine? Why would I want to swap? really no other reason then the broken fins. I can make that dirty head look brand new in approx 10 minutes. I have the brackets etc, for the generator.

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I'm reading your last post as the original head is the one with the bolts used on the SG based engine. If the damaged head finsa are just the small pieces seen in the "fins" pic, I would take a dremel tool with a fine stone and remove the sharp edges from the broken fins and call it a day. If the "dirty" replacement head can be drilled and tapped to accept the 2 bolts seen on the clean original head, renew and use the dirty head.

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This is wonderful! (excellent tutorial!)  Question -- what do you guys do about the block side of things?  (how do you clean the surface there)  I see marks from the head gasket... leftover gasket material, I believe.

 

Your advice is appreciated, as always!

Start by placing an oily rag down in the cylinder bore so any residue scrapped from the gasket area doesn't end up in the piston ring area. I start with a plastic razor blade to remove most of the rough material and then change over to a single edge metal razor blade to VERY LIGHTLY plane off any residue left behind. I finish with a red scotchbrite pad. This process usually achieves the desired finish.

Checking the block gasket area for flatness is easy with the proper tools. Its a good question tho as I don't think I have ever had the need to check it due to repeated head gasket failures. Once the head is flattened, all my issues had disappeared. A good flat edge or granite surface block designed specifically for this purpose can be used with feeler gauges to check the block warps. I wouldn't attempt to flatten a block using the method described above.

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