Head gasket job - evaluating things along the way - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 01-25-2020, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Head gasket job - evaluating things along the way

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What do you think of this?
- The cop from Deuce Bigalow asking advise on his junk


Well, I just got done removing my heads (cab in) on my 04 (early 04, so 03) and wanted to get some feedback on what Im seeing thus far. Prior to tear down, I was getting a cyl 5 contribution error periodically. I could go a week without it coming back but every so often Id find it set. I had what I believe to be stiction when it was cold (freezing) out and it was first started. After running a bit, it ran pretty darn smooth. And it had a head gasket leak. Of this I have no doubt.

Anyway, I tore it apart and as I am going along I have questions for those who may be in the know.
  • Can anyone tell where the head gasket leak was? Of course its not required that I know this, but Im curious.
  • Check out the stand pipe here on the drivers side. The top is kind of mushed (it was difficult to remove as a result) and its bent. What would cause that?
  • My push rods on the passenger side all have odd residue about 1 from the top. Maybe just from sitting there for a few days or what but kind of odd. Any thoughts? It wipes right off. I also note that the copper color at the top is identifiable on most of the passenger side rods and not at all on the drivers side. Maybe one side was replaced at some point. Im not sure if Im going to replace the push rods or not. I have to measure them to see if they are the newer ones or not.
  • Any comments on the condition of the pistons/cylinders? My untrained opinion is they look pretty good, but thats untrained
  • Glow plug on cylinder 5 was white and powdery near the tip, and the shaft between the tip and the threads was covered with burnt oil. Does this tell you anything?
  • Speaking of glow plugs when I went to remove them, they were finger tight. Some not even that just unscrew by hand without any force. No wrench needed. Number 5s wasnt the loosest it was actually in the top 2 for being tight.
  • The flange on the drivers side exhaust manifold that connects tot the y-pipe is cracked and eroded (or bad casting initially). These manifolds are expensive unfortunately I guess I just want someone to tell me to buy another one so I feel better about it. Probably not worth it to weld? I see a used set on e-bay for $83...
  • The exhaust manifold gaskets two separate pieces of metal not attached. The metal pieces look identical. Is it supposed to be like that? When I look at gaskets for sale, they appear to be singular. It looked to me like someone doubled up the gaskets. The head gaskets were similar in that they were 3 layers of metal but there were rivets holding the layers together. And the head gaskets were all metal I didnt see any other material involved. I thought Id see some fibre or something in there as well. Is this usual?
  • To me the cylinder walls look real good. At the top theres a ring of carbon build up. Should this be removed before reassembling?

Apparently I can't post more than a few pics per post so I'll follow up with the pics of the cylinders
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Last edited by gephro; 02-09-2020 at 11:12 AM.
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post #2 of 35 Old 01-25-2020, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Here's the drivers side pistons...
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post #3 of 35 Old 01-25-2020, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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And here's the passenger's side...
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post #4 of 35 Old 01-25-2020, 06:31 PM
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For the exhaust gasket on the manifold, just having it tells me someone worked on it before. Most, if not all, leave the factory with no gaskets attached. For the layer, someone put on a better gasket. Cometic sells a multilayered gasket like you describe. A bit pricier than the OEM gasket.

Id be cautious about the E-Bay manifold. I replaced my manifold with a BD performance manifold, and noticed no difference with my relatively stock set up. With an E-bay, Id think of it as a down grade. Also, consider new bolts for the manifold since they can be hard to get off, and its already been worked on once.

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post #5 of 35 Old 01-25-2020, 07:21 PM
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Rebuilt motor, 0.020" over. Several pistons show what almost looks like valve contact, but it's too large. Not OE pistons.

Black carbon on deck shows leakage between 2 and 4, 6 and 8.

Marks on pushrods look like marking paint to tell someone which is top. The 6th pushrod has a more interesting mark down low, like gasket contact.

The 5th glow plug with the white ash, since loose oil could have migrated down and burned.

Loose glow plugs can mimic head gasket leaks in operation, but without coolant pressurization. If they expand enough with the engine heat they can seal off - cold miss.

Yes, someone was in there.
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post #6 of 35 Old 01-26-2020, 09:09 AM
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Yep, .020 over rebuild. I wonder if it's a Long Block from one of the reman companies or small shop build? I'm betting the push rods were marked like TMT said so they were probably reused.

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post #7 of 35 Old 01-26-2020, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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It's got a total of 140k on the clock so I am surprised. I have no idea when the job was done (I've only had it for 1000 miles). I think it came from Texas but has been in Michigan a while. I did find it to have an EGR delete. I still have to pull apart the fuel assembly to see if it has the blue spring in it yet. Not using studs during an overhaul really unfortunate. Doesn't "everyone" know to use studs? Except Ford service, I mean. I'm not sure if Ford would have put this engine in long ago when it was under warranty.

I wonder if I can get service records from Ford. Also, didn't they used to put the VIN on the block - I wonder if it's the original engine.

I pulled the valves off the heads. Here they are with only being wiped off. Also the valves (not cleaned up yet). I'm not sure what to look for so I'll find a machine shop to check them out for cracks, etc.
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post #8 of 35 Old 01-26-2020, 02:48 PM
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That is a lot of work. Im changing the head gaskets on a non-6.0, family, daily driver vehicle now. Much easier to get to and mistakes along the way are a lot more forgiving. Probably going to take me two total weeks to do the work. A lot of it is going to be the cleaning part. Im going to measure the heads and visually inspect them, but if it looks like it needs work, off to the machine shop.

That was the best running vehicle I had. Didn't overheat. Was losing coolant when driving, but did not get hot. I did the blue fluid test, and when I put the container over the radiator cap, it fizzed more than soda pop, and then the liquid turned yellow. Its no wonder the caps vent with that much gas going in the coolant.

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post #9 of 35 Old 01-26-2020, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gephro View Post
It's got a total of 140k on the clock so I am surprised. I have no idea when the job was done (I've only had it for 1000 miles). I think it came from Texas but has been in Michigan a while. I did find it to have an EGR delete. I still have to pull apart the fuel assembly to see if it has the blue spring in it yet. Not using studs during an overhaul really unfortunate. Doesn't "everyone" know to use studs? Except Ford service, I mean. I'm not sure if Ford would have put this engine in long ago when it was under warranty.

I wonder if I can get service records from Ford. Also, didn't they used to put the VIN on the block - I wonder if it's the original engine.

I pulled the valves off the heads. Here they are with only being wiped off. Also the valves (not cleaned up yet). I'm not sure what to look for so I'll find a machine shop to check them out for cracks, etc.
I went through all that at home with my 75k heads. For everyone else, I'd recommend sending them out to a good shop. But I'm targeting another 50k out of this chassis and already spent too much money towards this chassis, so no shop work.

If that was a Ford short block, the cylinders would have been plasma welded and stock sized pistons installed.

An International engine number would have been stamped on the block under the head on the driver's side back. No relation to the Ford VIN.

Studs - if you believe the motor has a fastener issue rather then a head issue.

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post #10 of 35 Old 01-26-2020, 07:55 PM
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Take the time to watch DieselTechRon videos on youtube, he will address most everything you have talked about. The Pushrods the copper tip goes up, they are replacement pushrods, Ron covers that and a lot more. it will help you. As for parts OEM Ford usually the best, ARP studs are always a good choice but cost $435.00 from Summit. Check your heads and Ron will cover the cleaning of the head and block deck and head gaskets. You'll learn to shop around for parts OEM or other wise. IS you EGR Welded up? Engine light on? Welded up is fine, use OEM oil Cooler, Up date drain tube, stand pipes and dummy plugs and HPOP Fitting while your there. Blue Spring good for extending life of the injectors and up date banjo bolts on front of heads. Stay away from after market sensors. This Forum has a lot of great guys who will offer their advice and suggestions, that's why I am here too. Tip SCANGUAGE II Ron covers that to. Good Luck do it right the first time and it will last. Ron
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