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Head Gasket first timer question (kind of urgent)

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by geosnooker2000, June 29, 2011.

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    1. geosnooker2000

      geosnooker2000 Active Member

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      I was just about to put my rebuilt heads back on, and just because my wife was standing there, I showed her how the new gaskets were the same as the old ones....... They weren't.
      I KNOW there is a left and a right. I'm on top of that. What is wrong is, some of the water jacket holes in the gaskets are just small round holes instead of shaped to the form of the water jacket. 5 on the right and 6 on the left are missing all together! What is going on? I got them off Ebay. Went back and checked Fel-Pro (the brand I DIDN'T buy) and their picture shows the same thing?

      PLEASE HELP!!!!! I need to get this daily driver back together!!!!
       
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    3. geosnooker2000

      geosnooker2000 Active Member

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      As I've thought about this for a couple of hours, it occurred to me.....

      This truck has over 300,000 miles on it, and as far as I know, this is the first time the heads have been removed. Maybe the original head gaskets DID have the same holes layout when it was new, but over time and that many miles, the continual water pressure and heat degraded the gasket material that was exposed to the water jackets they were blocking off (intentionally?) and finally gave way and disintegrated little by little back to the water jacket pattern.

      Sounds plausible?
      I know someone out there reading this is a shop expert and knows this to be true of false, and is just chuckling watching me twist in the wind, but I really need to know if I need to return these, or is this the way they are supposed to be.
       
    4. Pollarican

      Pollarican Active Member

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      They should be nearly a direct match port for port. What brand are they? Some of the lesser known brands are infamous for making cheezy replacements with port differences - I'd return them and go with Felpro gaskets if that isn't what you currently have.

      EDIT: Just saw you said Felpro shows the same gasket - That's odd. There should never be blocked ports - unless the "port" is actually just a detent in the head through which nothing flows.
       
    5. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I "think" I remember seeing blocked ports on the gasket that went where a port was on one side but not the other. For example, Port on the Head, closed port on the gasket and flat spot on the block.

      Its been quite a while since I had to look at head gaskets on the X so I'm not positive if that is where I saw it.

      ~Mark
       
    6. geosnooker2000

      geosnooker2000 Active Member

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      Well, for anyone interested, I went down to the local O'Rileys and asked the guy to pull the correct head gasket for the '93 4.0 OHV and sure enough, it had the same layout as the gaskets I got on Ebay. Apparently, I was correct. After 300,000 miles, don't go by what you see on the gasket you pull off the engine. Intentionally blocked or restricted passages get weathered by coolant heat and pressure until they open all the way up to the profile of the water jackets that were intentionally blocked off or restricted.
       
    7. storlied

      storlied Well-Known Member

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      But I don't understand why you'd limit a flow passage with a gasket? Think about it.
       
    8. Maniak

      Maniak Moderator-Stock 91-94 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I've seen a few head gaskets that use smaller holes in the forward holes in the gasket to force more flow to the back of the motor..

      I can't explain why, but I'm pretty sure I saw them using the gasket and the block/head to stop a water passage. Don't quote me on that though...

      ~Mark
       

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