Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

 
Old 10-30-2017, 03:24 PM
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Default Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

I am going to be changing the head gasket on my D17 fairly soon, since it blew while I was bleeding the cooling system because the engine got to 234 degrees. I don't have any plans to make ridiculously high power, it just has all the bolt on's. I want my engine to be solid and reliable, which means not blowing the head gasket every time it slightly overheats, and head studs seem like a good upgrade to help me achieve my goal of reliability. But I am not sure if head studs are just more convenient, or if they are more reliable also. Any input would be very helpful. Thanks.
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Old 10-30-2017, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

You may want to work on why it slightly overheats and not just the headstuds. They help prevent head-lift in stressful over-pressurizing situations, like adding a turbocharger, but if the Headgasket is going to go, it's going to go. No head stud will really prevent that. people still overheat and destroy the head gasket with ARP headstuds.

I'd look at the underlying problem as to why it slightly overheats first. Get the remedy parts later. Overheating is just that.... Overheating.
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Old 10-30-2017, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

The car sometimes slightly overheats after I fill the cooling system as I am bleeding it since it's full of air. Then the car overheats more and more once the head gasket is leaking and I end up doing another head gasket. These engines seem to blow head gaskets if you look at them wrong.
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Old 10-30-2017, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

They do tend to pop easily. Do you have the head resurfaced when it is off?

Have you taken a straightedge to the block to check it's surface flatness?

Head gaskets don't repeatedly blow out as you are refilling the coolant system...something else is amiss.
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Old 10-30-2017, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

Originally Posted by Caoboy View Post
They do tend to pop easily. Do you have the head resurfaced when it is off?

Have you taken a straightedge to the block to check it's surface flatness?

Head gaskets don't repeatedly blow out as you are refilling the coolant system...something else is amiss.
I did not have the head resurfaced, but I did clean the head and block very well by myself every time I had the head off, and I reground all the valves and replaced the valve seals. I couldn't get a ride to the machine shop to have the head resurfaced while it was off, but this time I can probably get a ride. The other problem is that the machine shop around here wants me to leave the head with them for a few days because they're backed up, and I can't be without a car for that long. So could the head or block being warped cause the gasket to seal under normal conditions, but blow very easy when overheated very slightly? I would think that if there was a warp in the head or block, the gasket wouldn't seal from the start, but I'm not sure. Thanks
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

It can warp when overheated, and if you don't check it for flatness, and you put the head back onto the block, it's very likely going to blow again, and soon.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

Originally Posted by Caoboy View Post
It can warp when overheated, and if you don't check it for flatness, and you put the head back onto the block, it's very likely going to blow again, and soon.
Oh I see. So the gasket might not blow immediately, but it would blow sooner than it otherwise would? Thank you.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

Yes. It's standard procedure to check your head for flatness anytime the headgasket has blown, especially due to overheating.

Likely the head warped due to the heat, which caused the gasket to blow.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

Otherwise you have a problem somewhere in your cooling system that you need to solve.
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

Resurfacing also makes a nice ra finish to help the gasket bite down to keep it from moving. A head gasket is a wear item, and the head should always be resurfaced. You also need to check the deck of the block for straightness. It is not at all uncommon to have the deck warped out of spec after cooking the engine. As far as head studs, they are not torque to yealed, and do not support the tension required for the amount of thermocycles a regular engine can have. Basically factory head bolts work like springs to better deal with expansion and contraction of aluminum heads.

Last edited by Doodasi; 10-31-2017 at 07:06 AM. Reason: More
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:10 AM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

Originally Posted by Caoboy View Post
Yes. It's standard procedure to check your head for flatness anytime the headgasket has blown, especially due to overheating.

Likely the head warped due to the heat, which caused the gasket to blow.
QFT. When you're checking/filling coolant, it should never overheat, even temporarily. These are aluminum heads and blocks, which can easily warp

Before re-installing yet another head gasket:
1) have the head resurfaced -checked for straightness (since the head is going to be off to install the other headgasket anyway.)
2) Straight edge the block since it will remain in the bay
3) use an OEM headgasket (not OEM spec like a Fel-Pro or "pick your auto store" brand
4) Your head bolts need to be factory spec, tighten according to the manual
5) "Burb" the system by slightly elevating the car (on jack stands) and use a Lisle "spill free" funnel
Amazon Amazon

Yes. Pay for it, or don't and continue to have these issues.
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Old 10-31-2017, 09:26 AM
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Default Re: Do head studs reduce the chance of a head gasket failure?

considering that you should definitely do what shodan said, i some times use 2-3 layers copper spray in metallic gaskets to increase strength.

I also didn't understand all this coolant bleeding procedure. When engine is cold you just fill as much coolant you can (you can also press a little the hoses in order to help). Then you start the engine and keep filling untill manufacturer recommendation quantity is filled. After that there is no need for bleeding. Its self bleed. You just check once a week coolant level. If you find out much less coolant than its another problem not bleeding. Could be gasket faillure, crack in head, leak from hoses, etc

You can use also some redline water wetter. There are a lot of people claiming that it drops coolant temperature 5-10 F.
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