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michaelarmstrong01
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:10 pm    Post subject: Cylinder Head Opinions Reply with quote

Hi

I just removed my cylinder heads to replace water seal/head gaskets. I had spotted a massive leak coming from passenger side push rod tubes. The water seal/gasket was completely destroyed. I'm looking for opinions/comments on my heads. As well as anything else I should look for on my engine block. First time/newbie. I removed the heads without removing the engine fairly easily. Only cam across one stuck bolt. Please help.


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candyman
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whats your plan for the engine? Those heads are severely pitted. Just a quick look shows cracking between valves, to be expected. Try filling the each intake port with gas and look for leaks at the valve seats (use gas because its thinner than water). No leaks, great. If it leaks, well...

Chances are new heads are in order. BUT you may need more work while you are in there. Hows your piston and cylinders, rods, bearings, bottom end etc.... ?
How many miles on this? You may consider at very least a full top end build using new spanish AMC heads
Need more info though
Good luck!

Edit: it Looks like it was rebuilt or at least head gasket replaced once before judging by all the yellow
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1vw4x4
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have rebuilt over 31 vanagon engines. What you have here is fairly typical
of what one would find. The yellow color tells me that this engine has
never been opened up since new. This yellow material is put on the heads
from the factory. Therefore if you do the job right you will get a lot more
miles out of the heads and engine.

You need to flush the cooling system and use distilled water with new antifreeze.

Sandblast the head gasket surface to remove all corrosion.

Clean all gaskets and gasket surfaces with brake clean before assembling.

Use "the right stuff" in place of the sealer that comes with the gasket set.
Work it into the head and gasket surface when assembling.

If you do these tricks that I've learned you will easily get ten years
out of your head gaskets.

Pmail me if I can be of more help..


Last edited by 1vw4x4 on Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:29 am; edited 1 time in total
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

www.benplace.com

All you need to DIY.
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a fairly new tool in town for cleaning head surface.

10$ and it goes on any rotary air tool.

But I'm at home now and don't remember the name Rolling Eyes

I personally don't like sandblast on any internal part, unless the head is in pieces and would be carefully clean after.

The thing whit the new tool is it doesn't do any kind of dust. No real residue.

I'll reply back later with the name.

Ben
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Product page:
http://3mcollision.com/products/abrasives/bristle-...-Disc.html

Demo:


Link

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1vw4x4
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in the states these things are called wizzy wheels. I've been using these for 15+ years. Not new. At any rate, these are good for surface issues but will not get into the pitting like sand blasting will. Follow my advice and dismantle the heads and SAND BLAST them ! After you sand blast wash the heads! I do this on every rebuild.

ITs no wonder why head gasket don't last and people give up on
the vanagon engine! ITS NOT THE ENGINE!



ftp2leta wrote:
Product page:
http://3mcollision.com/products/abrasives/bristle-...-Disc.html

Demo:


Link
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bluebus86
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might consider new AMC heads, might be cheaper in the long run verses welding up the cracks in yours. Note that several years ago when I did mine, the word was AMC heads were excellent, even better than OEM heads, however the valves where of poor quality that came with the heads, so I got AMC heads with different valves. it proved less expensive than welding up my old heads I was doing a full rebuild at the time and put in big bore pistons to up her from 2.1 to 2.2 liter, works nice.
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1vw4x4
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You do not need to weld up anything! Those cracks between the valves are
totally insignificant, unless they have grown bigger than 1 mm. In your
case these are NOT an issue.




bluebus86 wrote:
You might consider new AMC heads, might be cheaper in the long run verses welding up the cracks in yours. Note that several years ago when I did mine, the word was AMC heads were excellent, even better than OEM heads, however the valves where of poor quality that came with the heads, so I got AMC heads with different valves. it proved less expensive than welding up my old heads I was doing a full rebuild at the time and put in big bore pistons to up her from 2.1 to 2.2 liter, works nice.
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1vw4x4 wrote:
You do not need to weld up anything! Those cracks between the valves are
totally insignificant, unless they have grown bigger than 1 mm. In your
case these are NOT an issue.


You have x-ray eyes...
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michaelarmstrong01
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone!

As expected, mixed views. If I go the new heads route: Do I get the GoWesty heads that are slightly more expensive? Or just any AMC heads?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

michaelarmstrong01 wrote:
Thanks everyone!

As expected, mixed views. If I go the new heads route: Do I get the GoWesty heads that are slightly more expensive? Or just any AMC heads?


So, looking for more mixed opinions are you?

Some say the AMC exhaust valves are crap and should be upgraded, some say they are fine.

Do Some research, confuse yourself and then proceed as you feel most confident.

FYI.......
I'm with the clean it, right stuff it, and run it camp!

Dave
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:

So, looking for more mixed opinions are you?

Some say the AMC exhaust valves are crap and should be upgraded, some say they are fine.

Dave


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That is an intake valve.

Some reading:
http://www.benplace.com/amc.htm


Remove the valve and look CAREFULLY for that:

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Inspect the cylinder also:

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(Don't ask why I went with engine conversion....)

If so, garbage. If not. Deep cleaning the pitting the way you want and use The Right Stuff.... they will never leak again.....FROM THERE.

Ben
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michaelarmstrong01
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess my question now is:

Were the cracks the cause of the leak or was it those terrible seals? Is it the pitting?

I also didn't mention. A few of my push rods are bent. Will def need to replace.
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djkeev Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

michaelarmstrong01 wrote:
I guess my question now is:

Were the cracks the cause of the leak or was it those terrible seals? Is it the pitting?

I also didn't mention. A few of my push rods are bent. Will def need to replace.


Why not ask a hard question? Shocked

Simple answer........ No, the head cracks did not cause your leak.
They weren't the best design...... Obviously

Why are the heads pitted?
Terrible seals?..... No
Terrible design? ..... Well.... Some would say yes but honestly while not the best..... Not the worst.

It boils down to bad or lack of maintenance.
Wrong antifreeze, old antifreeze, tap water instead of distilled....

Go to Ben's place, learn a lot, leave a donation to keep the site up and running helping others when you are done. You will be hard pressed to get a better tutorial on the WBX engines.

VW addressed the head crack issue. Some say "hogwash! It's cracked", others accept the explaination and happily live with the crack, it's an individual choice you make.
There are parameters, there are options....though expensive (new heads).

Read read read...... Do as you feel is best for you, just know that you'll be judged by someone for your choices either way.

Dave
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michaelarmstrong01
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pretty sure i'm just going to purchase new heads....
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1vw4x4
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

michaelarmstrong01 wrote:
pretty sure i'm just going to purchase new heads....


If your going to purchase new heads can I have your take offs?

The root cause of the head gasket leaks is a combination of phosphates
and high mineral content in the water it was mixed with. Phosphates
have been removed from anti-freeze since the late 70's. Its up to
you to use distilled water, and flush the cooling system.

No wonder he went with a Subaru engine.....
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

djkeev wrote:

Why are the heads pitted?
Terrible seals?..... No
Terrible design? ..... Well.... Some would say yes but honestly while not the best..... Not the worst.

It boils down to bad or lack of maintenance.
Wrong antifreeze, old antifreeze, tap water instead of distilled....


Almost 100% of these engines had seal failures even when the antifreeze was change religiously, maintenance wasn't so much the issue as engineering failure; improper alloys, a poor selection of sealants, over compression of the gaskets. You can take old heads clean them up, slap them back on with better sealants and expect better life than they had originally even if you pretty much neglect the antifreeze.
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michaelarmstrong01
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Took a good look at my push rods: laid them on the table. 6 are bent. Does this call for 6 new rods? Is there a degree in which it doesn't matter? 30 bucks a pop at GW..
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ftp2leta
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

michaelarmstrong01 wrote:
Took a good look at my push rods: laid them on the table. 6 are bent. Does this call for 6 new rods? Is there a degree in which it doesn't matter? 30 bucks a pop at GW..


Just found those... Smile

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