Replacing Bolts With Studs - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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View Poll Results: Head studs
Replace bolts with studs one by one. 7 43.75%
Do all studs at once, no need to pull the head 0 0%
Pull head, install new OEM gaskets, instal with studs 9 56.25%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 08-10-2012, 09:13 PM
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Replacing Bolts With Studs

How many guys out there have actually replaced one factory head bolt with a stud, one at a time...in the correct sequence?

I know lots of guys talk about it, but it seems kinda of iffy to me. Just what is the success rate of going this route?

It is obviously the easiest route to go, and to be honest if guys out there are doing this successfully without issues down the road, I'm tempted to do this. I did studs on my IDI, nothing major. I actually pulled the engine to do them, along with a couple other things. But an IDI only has a couple inches of engine underneath the cowl...6.0's are a different beast. For that matter pulling the heads looks to be a major PITA with the engine still in the truck and cab still on.

Last edited by FordGuy100; 08-10-2012 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:25 PM
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Really depends. How many miles on the gaskets and bolts?

I did it on my personal truck and beat the crap out of it but it only had 50k on it when I did them.

Pulling the heads with can on really isn't that hard. There is just alot of stuff to get out of the way and that looks intimidating.
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Old 08-10-2012, 09:40 PM
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It really depends. Can you verify 100% without a doubt that your heads or head gaskets haven't been compromised in any way? The only way to answer that question is to pull it all apart and send the heads off to the machine shop.

Many people have done one stud at a time and it has been successful for them. It can be done and is A LOT easier than pulling the heads.

I say if you can verify that your head gaskets aren't leaking and are 100% sure they are not then go for it. If you have any doubts than pull the heads. Just the piece of mind knowing the heads have been checked out and your putting fresh gaskets on is worth the extra effort and money to me. But hey I don't really have a choice as my gaskets are blown lol.
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Old 08-11-2012, 04:21 AM
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This is a very case-by-case basis thing with me. If you just went in for head work where the stock bolts were installed - perfect time for a one-for-one stud job.

If you prove your current heads aren't leaking, and you are willing to risk paying for the job to be done (heads off) down the road. I don't see the harm in giving it a shot. A one-for-one in proper sequence and torque specs followed, is going to be an improvement over the stock bolts being in there.

A little more info on the truck may be helpful. I recommend the full heads-off job, but this option is on the table for those in a position that have to do something less intrusive.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:57 AM
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One for one stud swaps WILL ONLY work if the current head gaskets in place are not leaking already.

Here is what I recommend you do. Get a 0-15psi mechanical gauge from like Ebay then go to the hardware store and get about 12ft of 1/4in rubber hose, 1/4in barbed T, and a 1/4 female pipe thread to barb fitting adapter and make something to connect between the top of the radiator and the degas bottle. Then go for a good 30 minute drive. Try to find a hill or two that you can get on it pretty good ONCE everything is at temperature and has been there for a minute or two. As long as you dont get more than like 10psi of buildup, then I would say you would be just fine doing one stude at a time.

People say that this is doing it half a$$ed but (IMO) if you have a good running truck and verify that your head gaskets are still holding, this method will work and will save you both time and money.

JMO. Hope it helps.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:09 AM
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I was wondering the same thing. My truck only has 95k on it and has zero signs of leaks. I havnt checked my deltas yet as I just bought my scan gauge last night.

I would like to think I can get away with a one for one swap....
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:28 AM
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I have not done it yet... but I was reading a thread that MadPowerstroke did his truck 1 for 1 and he said his truck is still running strong. If it can hold on his truck with the HP he is putting out with his turbo's than it must be an OK method. Of course with the understanding that they are good before you start the swap. Here is the link where he talks about it.

Head studs one at a time?

Last edited by Aretoo; 08-11-2012 at 06:32 AM. Reason: Add link
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:07 AM
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I still think folks are MISSING the point here. Whether you do one stud at a time, or pull the heads and replace with studs; neither one is more advantageous to do over the other. IF and ONLY IF the head gaskets have been verified as not leaking with a coolant system pressure check.

The only thing that pulling the heads does, is it lets you see if you have any cracked valve seats and anything else that may be wrong with the head. It also allows you to have brand new headgaskets put on as well but the key with this method is to make sure your heads are FLAT and pressure checked.

I again remain of the opinion that so long as you verify your head gaskets are not leaking via a coolant pressure check and the truck sounds and runs great, then I would most certainly do the one for one stud swap.
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:18 AM
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That's what I am thinking. With an EGR delete and oil cooler coming up in the next fee months I was just thinking that I might go ahead and stud it while everything is torn down.

Right now head gaskets "seem" fine though I have not confirmed with pressure check. No coolant lose or over pressurization that I can tell.
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2012, 07:26 AM
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I have done the job both ways and I can assure you that your truck will be down for less time and everything with the one stud at a time method. What I like about this method is the fact that you dont have to break into the HPO system to do the studs let alone heft out those 90lb heads. An oil cooler and EGR delete install is a perfect time to do it.
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