just head gaskets and studs, not head work? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:33 AM
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just head gaskets and studs, not head work?

At 170,000 miles my heads are leaking. Money is a bit tight. Is it worth the risk to just do gaskets and studs and not spend the 1500-2000 on having the heads done too? Anyone do this and get away with it? Can I do a easy at home check of the heads and tell anything?
I already have the BP oil cooler and EGR cooler.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:16 AM
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You can reinstall the heads without having the checked and milled, but you should get ready to redo your HG's. The heads on our trucks have to be PERFECTLY flat when they are put on new gaskets. If they are out just a little bit, you will blow your HG's again. I understand that money can get tight but it sill be cheaper to have them milled and magnafluxed than to redo the HG's. On another note, if a shop wants $1500 - $2000 to magnaflux and mill heads then you need to find another shop. That is a ridiculous amount of money for that little bit of work.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:19 AM
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Having the heads done should only be $300-$400. Unless you actually need machine work, it was $1,500 for new hardened valve seats in mine.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:21 AM
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I would find another shop to check the heads first, before I skipped that part of the process in whole. $1500 is steep, when you look at the cost of a new head.

This can be overlooked, with a good straight edge (machinists) and checking for cracks. However, without having them professionally checked, be ready to do the job again down the road. It doesn't mean it will fail again, but it is a risk to the whole job. There is also the chance that your heads are bad now, and you may not see it before you bolt everything back up.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaslord84 View Post
You can reinstall the heads without having the checked and milled, but you should get ready to redo your HG's. The heads on our trucks have to be PERFECTLY flat when they are put on new gaskets. If they are out just a little bit, you will blow your HG's again. I understand that money can get tight but it sill be cheaper to have them milled and magnafluxed than to redo the HG's. On another note, if a shop wants $1500 - $2000 to magnaflux and mill heads then you need to find another shop. That is a ridiculous amount of money for that little bit of work.
That price was for a complete valve, valve seat, perhaps guides, magnafluxed, milled, etc. So would be for a lot of work if the heads needed it. Hate to send them to a shop and not do the valves. And my understanding the seats were less than ideal.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:38 AM
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I didn't get hardened seats put in mine, I figured that if my truck made it 196k miles with the OEM seats and had absolutely no cracks and only had to be milled .003 to get them straight, I didn't need it. A lot of them miles was with a heavy goose-neck hooked to it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:38 AM
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I was told there was a very small amount you can mill the heads without recessing the seats and cutting the valve stems an equal amount. Something like4-6 thou, is this correct? Is 4-6 thou enough to accomplish much?
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaslord84 View Post
I didn't get hardened seats put in mine, I figured that if my truck made it 196k miles with the OEM seats and had absolutely no cracks and only had to be milled .003 to get them straight, I didn't need it. A lot of them miles was with a heavy goose-neck hooked to it.
Cool! thats kinda what I was hoping to hear, hope your not the only one out there, lol
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:08 PM
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when i did mine i sent them to a shop for peace of mind, money was tight and it was a big concern, they milled them .008 and got them tru plus did the valve seats for me and only charged $650 for both heads. one only needed .005 but the other needed .008 so thats what they both got, I couldnt be happier with that 4650 spent and the peace of mind i have knowing i shouldnt have to do th HG's Again!
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:33 AM
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I'm in the process of debugging my second head gasket job. I chose to put them back on without milling the first time because I measured no more than .003 distortion. I figured with all the clamping force studs would provide... 10,000 miles later I'm spending another 2k to get a pair of heads off of ebay since my originals cracked after I had a little water getting in. Truck ran great for a few weeks. My best advice is to get the heads done and don't skimp. You'll pay later and not that much later. The word truck makes my wife get a little bent when I utter it lately.
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