Posted By Ed B

You may not have been aware of this, but a head gasket on my wife's car gave out last week.
I never overheated but I was blowing fluid out of the radiator tank like crazy.
My brother Tom and I removed and replaced the head gaskets this week, finishing up the job last night.
Normally, I'd find that to be daunting.
I haven't done it in a few years, and cars are more complicated these days.
But Tom has been keeping his hand in more and it was nice working with him on an engine again.

We last worked together on an engine in 1968 when I was 15 and he was 11 or 12 and our dad had given me his car that he had burned up the motor in and told me where I could find another used motor to fit it.
He also said that Tom would be able to help me swap the motors.
He was right.

This engine is a common Ford product.
I have one in my Ranger (the car being a Taurus).
For years, when torquing the heads (tightening the bolts to a certain specification, Freddy), you started with the middle two bolts and tightened them to say 30 ft/lbs, working your way in a spiral to the outside bolts.
Repeat to 60, then to 90.
This squeezes the gasket from the middle, out.

In looking up the specs for a 99 Taurus, it turns out that for 96 to 98 there's one technique, for 1999 another and for 2000-2002 yet a third!
Thank God (and not Al Gore) for the internet.
About $330 and it's running again.

Thanks Tom.

1 Comment(s):
Fred said...
Why thank you for the explanation, Sir. I'd heard of "torquing the heads" before and had a vague idea... But now I’ve a much better idea. Glad you got to spend time with your brother, and of course get the head gasket (which I've always sorta known was a BAD thing and or an expensive thing and/or a difficult job to do) replaced.
October 15, 2011 04:18:24
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Ed B
Ypsilanti, MI


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