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Head gasket question

This is a discussion on Head gasket question within the LT1 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I purchased some cores that are going to be sent out in a few weeks/months to get Elliotts LE2 port ...

  1. #1

    Head gasket question

    I purchased some cores that are going to be sent out in a few weeks/months to get Elliotts LE2 port job, and he was recommending that I get the Impala head gaskets... I noticed that they are a different thickness, and in another post someone responded that they actually reduce the compression ratio... I dont think I'm cool with that... but this is my first project so I'm up for suggestions. I'd like the best gaskets you can get, but i dont want things to start getting to extreme here.

    also woudlnt i have to change the push rod length as well if i'd have to go that route? how would i know?

  2. #2
    Member jasonisdn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandkodiak
    I purchased some cores that are going to be sent out in a few weeks/months to get Elliotts LE2 port job, and he was recommending that I get the Impala head gaskets... I noticed that they are a different thickness, and in another post someone responded that they actually reduce the compression ratio... I dont think I'm cool with that... but this is my first project so I'm up for suggestions. I'd like the best gaskets you can get, but i dont want things to start getting to extreme here.

    also woudlnt i have to change the push rod length as well if i'd have to go that route? how would i know?
    yep change the push rod length if you are changing heads and gaskets. there are no 2 sets of heads that are perfect twins. thats when you come into the push rod checker. as far as gaskets , well i was told by AI to run cometic (yep that is spelled wrong). ask him why he wants you to run those gaskets, he has to have a reaon behind it. pick his brain a little and see if you see his view point.

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    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    You do not want or need cometic head gaskets. The block and heads need to be machined specifically for those gaskets. They're good for extreme boost motors, and a headache for anything else. Fel Pros will work fine.

  4. #4
    Whats different about the impala gaskets over the felpros besides thier thickness?

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    Member jasonisdn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS
    You do not want or need cometic head gaskets. The block and heads need to be machined specifically for those gaskets. They're good for extreme boost motors, and a headache for anything else. Fel Pros will work fine.
    no they dont. when most normal guys have the heads off they have them cleaned and checked. if the surface is true and the block isnt rough they work fine. you dont need special work done to heads and block to have them work. guess I use the parts to get the results I want not just whatever is cheaper. when you care about what you are building quality matters. many folks use cheaper gaskets and they work so knock yourself out. make sure you get someone to figure out your quench for ya.

  6. #6
    I dont care what the cost, i want the best, but i'm not to comfy changing the compression... unless someone can tell me why or why not

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    SUPREME member-oderator oneBADDz's Avatar
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    Just fel pro them. I did and it's still running strong at 184,000 miles, heads were put on pre 100,000 mark no exact number.
    I'm not entirely certain on the guy telling you to change pushrod length. . .It's adjustable valves, it'll be fine.

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    Member jasonisdn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneBADDz
    Just fel pro them. I did and it's still running strong at 184,000 miles, heads were put on pre 100,000 mark no exact number.
    I'm not entirely certain on the guy telling you to change pushrod length. . .It's adjustable valves, it'll be fine.
    you MUST measure push rod length when changing heads and gaskets. there are no 2 heads that are identical (sp?) . think about it this way ,the 2 sets of heads will differ in thickness then you add a different gasket. now add the differance to what you had and tell me that the rocker is going to ride on the center of the valve correctly? its not. then you risk the rocker coming off the valve and tearing shit up. lets say it doenst fall off the valve ever , guess what you are not getting your lift or duration out of your cam. just put what you want to on there but check the length before you button it up. i hope you never have to go though it again good luck bro
    P.S
    what in the hell are adjustable valves??? you talking about adjusting your valve lash?? you are a hyd roller right not a solid lifter set up correct?? you dont get to set lash on a hyd roller , its zero then 1/4 turn and lock.
    Last edited by jasonisdn; 06-03-2006 at 06:16 PM.

  9. #9
    as far as the rods, i was just going to order some to toss in when they install the heads, but i noticed there are several lengths available, and even a measuring tool... then i noticed that they say they are all specific even on the same engine... so figured id see who here can say what

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    Member jasonisdn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandkodiak
    as far as the rods, i was just going to order some to toss in when they install the heads, but i noticed there are several lengths available, and even a measuring tool... then i noticed that they say they are all specific even on the same engine... so figured id see who here can say what
    thats what i have been trying to tell you. you need to measure them and order the correct length. do not just order some and toss them on, you will have issues and lack of performance.

    p.s
    in other words order or borrow a push rod length measuring device and get the correct length

  11. #11
    Damnit, i'm trying to keep downtime to a minimum... maybe i'll just skip the rods.

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    Member jasonisdn's Avatar
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    if you change the heads , check the length . down time is nothing when it comes to doing it right. i have had my car torn down for 3 months now, if i die before i finish it oh well. cause when i get done i will be the happiest i have been in a long time. my motor , i built, my car i bought, my money , i earned. my neck snapping 396 with my custom home built fuel system and a nice shot of gas. when you do it right it feels better and you know you dont have to worry about crap falling apart later.

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    Senior Member 5.0THIS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonisdn
    no they dont. when most normal guys have the heads off they have them cleaned and checked. if the surface is true and the block isnt rough they work fine. you dont need special work done to heads and block to have them work. guess I use the parts to get the results I want not just whatever is cheaper. when you care about what you are building quality matters. many folks use cheaper gaskets and they work so knock yourself out. make sure you get someone to figure out your quench for ya.

    Uhh... no... Not just any surfacing of the block and heads will do, or at least it wont be ideal. Do you have any idea how many guys have coolant leakage issues with those gaskets? I dont remember the exact part number... but many forced induction LT1 guys use the fel pro gasket with much success. And I'm talking about high horsepower cars 500+rwhp. I laughed at your comment about quality... I care plenty about quality, I just dont see the need to piss away money like you do! Cometic gaskets are totally unnecessary on an NA engine.... and by far do not have as good a track record as fel pros. They may work better on some extreme boost applications, but they're not the choice for a high mileage mild performance motor.

    As for pushrods... yes it would be a good idea to check them, but there's a good chance that a stock length pushrod will still work fine. Assuming the heads might only need to be decked a few thousanths, and a minimal change in compressed gasket thickness... stock ones wouls still apply. And if you dont know how to do this, read up or have a pro do it.

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    Member jasonisdn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5.0THIS
    Uhh... no... Not just any surfacing of the block and heads will do, or at least it wont be ideal. Do you have any idea how many guys have coolant leakage issues with those gaskets? I dont remember the exact part number... but many forced induction LT1 guys use the fel pro gasket with much success. And I'm talking about high horsepower cars 500+rwhp. I laughed at your comment about quality... I care plenty about quality, I just dont see the need to piss away money like you do! Cometic gaskets are totally unnecessary on an NA engine.... and by far do not have as good a track record as fel pros. They may work better on some extreme boost applications, but they're not the choice for a high mileage mild performance motor.

    As for pushrods... yes it would be a good idea to check them, but there's a good chance that a stock length pushrod will still work fine. Assuming the heads might only need to be decked a few thousanths, and a minimal change in compressed gasket thickness... stock ones wouls still apply. And if you dont know how to do this, read up or have a pro do it.
    piss away money huh, well you keep buying new gaskets ever time you tear down your motor , i'll just reuse my cometics. thats pissing money away. i havent seen as many have leaks with them as i have seen be happy with them. 500rwhp isnt high horsepower these days (or not in my book) so i see a fel pro holding on , notice i didnt say they wouldn't hold.
    but this is my first project so I'm up for suggestions. I'd like the best gaskets you can get, but i dont want things to start getting to extreme here.
    this was his question , i gave him my suggestion. dont tell the man what he needs and dont need just give him the information he needs to make up his mind about what he wants. thats like a guy trying to talk me outta my 396 to build a 383 instead because of piston speed and travel. as far as needing special machine work done over having the heads cleaned and checked to be sure they are flat, go do a search on camaroz28.com and see how many folks never did and guess what they arent leaking. to each his own , whatever floats your boat, its your car and i dont have to drive or fix it. so do what you want to.

  15. #15
    Nope, right now all I'm planning is the heads and cam... in the FUTURE I would love a 383 fully built, but by that time I'll have a beater to keep me fine with the down time.

    I wont be doing any of the work, but I like to have all the pieces down to the screw and fluids that the garage will need to simplify the matter and make sure my car doesnt sit in thier garage getting nothing done while they have to place an order for something i could have done before i chose to get the work done... such as finding the right pushrods. Unless someplace can overnight them, we're still looking at a 3 day down time waiting on those alone, where if I could already provide them, I just saved 3 days. I'm borrowing a friends car when the work gets done, and i'm sure if it came down to it I could have the car for a 2 weeks, but i'd HATE to do that to him.

    anywho... felpro looks like they way to go i guess, i havent heard any reason why i should go with the impala version... i'm assuming that would be the choice if you were going with a turbo/super, but by the time i have that done the entire motors going to be rebuilt including the tranny, suspension etc.

    as far as the push rods, i guess i'm going to have to bite the bullet and take the downtime and let the garage figure it out for me?

  16. #16
    Member jasonisdn's Avatar
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    once they measure it ,then order them from summit or jegs and next day them if you are in that big of a hurry . 9 times out of 10 they have all the different sizes in stock.

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