Fire Ringed heads, H11 studs= problems - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:24 PM
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Fire Ringed heads, H11 studs= problems

I am the shop foreman at a local Ford store and i have a customer with an 07 450 and he originally came in with the banks setup (4" turbo back, intercooler and piping, intake elbow, cold air intake, otto mind with power pda) and he had blown head gaskets. not so uncommon. he decides to order fire ringed heads, h-11 studs (apparently their tensile strength is higher than the APR's), sct livewire, and egr delete. so we install everything except the livewire (he uses a custom tune for turning on the fan clutch sooner) and everything seems fine. the setup seems foolproof and, in theory, this should be the sweet setup. so he comes in last week with a coolant consumption isssue, turns out he's got blown head gaskets. here's the weird part. one of the o-rings is broken and the custom gaskets aren't cut correctly around the o-ring leaving too much gap between the ring and cooant passages. the other weird part is that the rings themselves have left grooves in the block. i know that it is not a result of being clamped down too tight as the h11 studs require only 175 ft/lb and they show a good even crush all the way around. i am confident of my tech's abilities as none of my diesel tech's have ever had a set of head gaskets come back after doing them and we do at least one set a week.
here's my question, does anyone have fire ring experience and have they ever seen scarring to the mating surface of the block because of them? also, do different companies do their fire ring setup differently (diameter of the rings) as this would make a difference.
i won't tell the name of the company as i don't want to make this a he said/she said battle
any help is appreciated
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:26 PM
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by nsrchofpwr View Post
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i agree also subscribed
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:33 PM
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I've heard more problems with firering studded trucks than stock HG studded trucks. I've heard of 3 trucks breaking the rings and hydrolocking.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:35 PM
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I've heard more problems with firering studded trucks than stock HG studded trucks. I've heard of 3 trucks breaking the rings and hydrolocking.
that is scary.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:37 PM
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I myself havent heard many horror stories of trucks that have been fire ringed but my personal experience with studding a 6.0 has been all good without doing rings.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:54 PM
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we've done multiple trucks with stock ford gaskets and arp studs and never had any problems whatsoever
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:36 PM
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so here's what we think we found. there are 2 problems. the first is that the head gaskets are aftermarket units and the machining/ modification to them is not uniform around the o-rings/ fire rings. you can see where there is literally 1-2 thousandths of seperation between coolant passages and the fire rings. this is not enough in my opinion.
the second problem is the grooves worn into the block's mating surface. the grooves are from the fire rings and we couldn't figure out why until it came to me. it is most likely caused by electrolysis due to the disimilar metals and contact with the chemicals in the coolant. electrolysis isn't uncommon in a diesel engine and then you add a disimilar metal to the mix with coolant around it and you get the porosity of the block's mating surface.
moral of the story: stock heads and gaskets with studs is the only way to go. when you use fire ringed heads, you run the risk of human error. remember, Ford's machining processes cost millions of dollars to tool up so don't go overengineering them with your CNC that cost you 10g's. there is too much human error factor involved
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:43 PM
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Would putting a zinc in the cooling system help at all with the electrolysis? I know boats with 903 Cummins have them and I change them about every 6 months and they get eaten up bad.
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Old 01-07-2009, 05:51 PM
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I am guessing who he bought his parts from..and I am gonna tell you now..there are many many problems floating around with that particular companie and who they use for a machine shop..and cutting rings into heads that are out of tolerance. The ATS o-ring kit comes with MLS style headgaskets that are punched out to accept the o-ring.

I have ATS o-rings that I had cut in down here in Jax and made sure the heads were flat and not cracked..and I havent had any issues with mine.

I am NOT SAYING THE COMPANY AT HAND IS ATS..but another.
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