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Thread: Head gasket or cracked head

  1. #1

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    Head gasket or cracked head

    I've been going through coolant for the last few weeks and decided to pull the spark plugs for a looksee. Cylinders 1,3,&4 look normal. Cylinder 2 plug is dark and wet and smells like coolant . My question is this: Is it possible to determine whether the head is cracked or it's just a bad gasket without removing the head?

  2. #2

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    Short answer - no. If you think you have a blown head gasket you will still need to remove the head anyway. If your truck is a daily driver you may want to have a decent head waiting to be installed just in case your head is cracked. That way your turn around time will be a lot less. The joys of motoring...

  3. #3

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    If your head is cracked, it won't be a huge thing. I just bought a brand new head, no jet valve, for just $265. It is beautiful and all my old parts fit like a glove on it.

  4. #4

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    Where did you get it bubba7 ?

  5. #5

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    Might want to look into a better head gasket and using the ARP head studs in place of the bolts to hold the head down. Felpro makes a laminated head gasket and the ARP studs torque at 90 pounds!

  6. #6

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    That's probably a good idea. If I can find a head that will ship to Canada I will go that route.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by bubba7 View Post
    If your head is cracked, it won't be a huge thing. I just bought a brand new head, no jet valve, for just $265. It is beautiful and all my old parts fit like a glove on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy 2 View Post
    Where did you get it bubba7 ?
    If anyone comes across a good quality, value for money part like this it is always a big help to put up a link for members - especially items like non jet valve 4G54 heads as there is a reasonable amount of demand for them.

  8. #8

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    A place called Engine Machine Service, in Ohio. One man band shop. Says he has the head on his Conquest. I don't have it running yet, but it looks great and all my parts fit it like a glove. Particularly impressive since this engine is a 1989 Mitsubishi Marine engine with no balance shafts and no jet valves and makes 140 hp with a Rochester 2 bbl carb and a distributor. I have had a heck of a time finding auto part replacements for it. Most g54b use a starter with 8 or 11 teeth. This has 9. Starion and Mitsubishi fork lift starters match.

  9. #9

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    BTW... He also has standard and stainless valves and other good stuff at reasonable prices. He has 110 lb German made valve springs for about $45. I got both.

  10. #10

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    Here are pics of the new head...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #11

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    All mechanical, non jet valve head - perfect for chasing HP. Has it been ported? Those inlet ports look cavernous!

  12. #12

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    No, this is the standard new non-jet head. Another stage x rebuild is planned for next year. Yes, this engine is absolutely old school. Distributor, carb, mechanical valves, timing chain and sprockets, no balance shafts and not jet valves. Clean, simple, straightforward and a beautiful design. I added a K&N for good intake sound. I took the dog house (the thing that covers the engine) off. The sound of this thing, running 4 or 5 thousand rpm, two feet behind your head, is like a symphony.

  13. #13

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    Here is a picture of where we are at now. Black Jack is almost back. Will be back on the water Monday.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14

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    I will contact him on Monday and ask about shipping to Canada. Even if shipping is a problem I could drive there in about 5 hours.

  15. #15

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    Guy was super easy to deal with. I had ordered valves from some place else, and waited a week to get them, only to have them be the wrong valves when they got here.
    I emailed him, and told him I was in a hurry and he sent me valves and spring (the right ones) from Ohio to North Carolina in two days.
    He has standard valves, standard size stainless valves, and oversized stainless valves.
    I have been very impressed with him every time.

    P.S. Black Jack is running. It will go back into the boat tomorrow, and hopefully get some test runs.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Law Dog View Post
    Might want to look into a better head gasket and using the ARP head studs in place of the bolts to hold the head down. Felpro makes a laminated head gasket and the ARP studs torque at 90 pounds!
    Will the threads in the block handle 90 ft lbs of torque? Just curious.

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