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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

Just a quick update on my build. Got the engine and turbo all hooked up, just to watch it squirt oil and coolant out the passenger side head gasket.

At this point, I'm starting to assume that the stock block is warped, so I'm looking for suggestions on what to do now. What is the best route? I could take the old block out and send it to a machine shop, buy a ZZP block, or find a good block at the salvage yard.

I'm kind of at a loss at this point because I was just hoping a new gasket and machined head would do the trick.
 

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+1 for ChopTop's response.

Check warpage before pulling the block. With a REAL machinist's straight-edge, not a metal ruler.

If I recall correctly, you used the ARP studs. What did you torque them to? Did you use the torque sequence from the service manual? How many steps did you take to get them up to spec?

Note: the ARP studs should be torqued to 90#ft, with the ARP lubricant (no loctite on those suckers), in clean holes and in the sequence shown in the FSM. Doing it wrong may warp the head, but the block is pretty resilient (bigger heat sink). My block got to 304F. I had the head machined, block was and is fine.

If you decide that you must replace the block - and I'd be very surprised if you need to - avoid LKQ. Please.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
+1 for ChopTop's response.

Check warpage before pulling the block. With a REAL machinist's straight-edge, not a metal ruler.

If I recall correctly, you used the ARP studs. What did you torque them to? Did you use the torque sequence from the service manual? How many steps did you take to get them up to spec?

Note: the ARP studs should be torqued to 90#ft, with the ARP lubricant (no loctite on those suckers), in clean holes and in the sequence shown in the FSM. Doing it wrong may warp the head, but the block is pretty resilient (bigger heat sink). My block got to 304F. I had the head machined, block was and is fine.

If you decide that you must replace the block - and I'd be very surprised if you need to - avoid LKQ. Please.
I'm towing the car to a shop this week. I cleaned the holes with compressed air, torqued all bolts in 3 steps to 90#. Definitely did everything in accordance to the ARP instructions. I worked the star pattern from the outside to the middle. the leak is coming from the front passenger side. I redid the head gasket a second time with a friend who is a mechanic, who watched me torque everything down. When I cranked it, I had oil and coolant leaking out together, whereas before it was only oil.

I'm pretty sure that the gasket can't be upside down because only one side had a port for the oil restrictor on the driver side. Definitely going to need another head gasket though.
 

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I'm towing the car to a shop this week.
Any updates?

Congratulations on finding a shop that'll work on your car. The only person I've found here in town that'll touch a domestic car with a turbo kit is someone I wouldn't trust with my lawn mower.

Now, it's a really nice lawn mower, but, still.

Great. Now I'm thinking about doing forced induction on the mower.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Any updates?

Congratulations on finding a shop that'll work on your car. The only person I've found here in town that'll touch a domestic car with a turbo kit is someone I wouldn't trust with my lawn mower.

Now, it's a really nice lawn mower, but, still.

Great. Now I'm thinking about doing forced induction on the mower.
Haha, now that's an interesting idea.

I actually had a mechanic from the machine shop stop by my house, and take a look at why I was having such a substantial leak. What we found was that it was most likely interference in the mating surface. The aftermarket water pump that I installed, has a lip that protrudes vertically past the block. the metal lip appears to have been "mushroomed" by the head, and there is a good amount of evidence that points to the head being torqued onto this lip. It would explain the oil leak since the high pressure oil feed is just inches away from this problem area. the lip is less than a tenth of an inch, but it does come in contact between the head and block. So, when I was torquing the studs, the head was applying pressure to that lip instead of the surrounding area on the block.

I went ahead and sanded this lip, and cleaned the top of the block, while the machine shop refinishes the head and ports that edge that comes in contact with the water pump. So now I'm still the only one touching my baby for now, and I'm saving money on the tow and labor.
 

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If I recall correctly, you used the ARP studs. What did you torque them to? Did you use the torque sequence from the service manual? How many steps did you take to get them up to spec?

Note: the ARP studs should be torqued to 90#ft, with the ARP lubricant (no loctite on those suckers), in clean holes and in the sequence shown in the FSM.
I wonder if the instructions on the Ecotec ARP head studs are different from the ones they had back in the day for the iron 3800 series V6s. I remember in that one the instructions called for a three step torque routine that ended at 90ft/lbs but then to add 90 degrees using a torque angle gauge. Sounds like this last step is no longer called for.

I actually had a mechanic from the machine shop stop by my house, and take a look at why I was having such a substantial leak. What we found was that it was most likely interference in the mating surface....
Glad you found the problem. little things like that suck so much.
 

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I wonder if the instructions on the Ecotec ARP head studs are different from the ones they had back in the day for the iron 3800 series V6s. I remember in that one the instructions called for a three step torque routine that ended at 90ft/lbs but then to add 90 degrees using a torque angle gauge. Sounds like this last step is no longer called for.







Glad you found the problem. little things like that suck so much.


The Ecotec ARP studs aren't torque-to-yield. Adding the extra 90 (or 135) degrees shouldn't be done in this case.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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The Ecotec ARP studs aren't torque-to-yield. Adding the extra 90 (or 135) degrees shouldn't be done in this case.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
I must be confusing the stock head bolts with the ARP then. I know the stock bolts were torque to yield and the ARP were not but I never dealt with them often and it has been 10 years. LOL Thanks for the clarification.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wonder if the instructions on the Ecotec ARP head studs are different from the ones they had back in the day for the iron 3800 series V6s. I remember in that one the instructions called for a three step torque routine that ended at 90ft/lbs but then to add 90 degrees using a torque angle gauge. Sounds like this last step is no longer called for.



Glad you found the problem. little things like that suck so much.
I WISH that I found the problem, but it did the same thing with everything sanded down and torqued down to 90 ft lbs. The shop mechanic is coming by my house this week to scope things out.
 
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