Larry Hutchens, Collinsville, OK, 1998 Dodge Ram 318
I’m planning on replacing the heads on my 98Ram 318 Magnum with a set of Engine Quest units. While pricing a headgasket set, I found out that the manufacturer (Fel-Pro) recommends replacingthe head bolts. On your latest project (360 build-up) you plan on reusingthe old head bolts. Is this (replacing head bolts) just a sales gimmick onthe part of Fel-Pro? What procedure does the FSM recommend? I have builtquite a few small blocks over the last 50 yrs. (mostly 318s) and have neverreplaced the head bolts. Never had a head gasket problem either. The Magnumappears very similar to the older LA engines with the exception of the valvetrain & valve covers. Head bolts on the two series look almost identical.Info on this would be greatly appreciated.
The general rule is that torque-to-yield head capscrews (“bolts”) should notbe reused. There are not TTY, so it is perfectly Ok to reuse them, with 3caveats:
> Roll the thread / shank area along a flat surface to check for bending /distortion
> Inspect the threads for pulling or other damage
> Any that do not thread in easily or will not “pull up” to the specifiedtorque (105 ft./lbs.) during installation (rotates w/o a torque increase)should be discarded
In my experience, 99% of the time, the old ones are A-OK.
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