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Head Gasket Only or HG + Head?

  • Replaced Head Gasket Only

    Votes: 269 56.2%
  • Replaced Head Gasket AND Head

    Votes: 125 26.1%
  • Don't know waiting to be seen

    Votes: 31 6.5%
  • Pressure Test completed, waiting on parts.

    Votes: 54 11.3%
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I wonder how much of the rest of us are in this boat. You'd think that Ford would have had this be a step in the original fix?
I am sure I am not the only one.
I changed pretty much everything outside the short block and ancillaries for the engine to function on this repair.
Side, front, top, all is new.

Anyone with a leak, they got an issue with parts / labour or both.
 
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While my car was in the shop I have been using my father's SMG M3 E46.
What a pleasure to drive. That raw gearbox with brutal diff lock on the rear and rev match on downshifts.
While rev match is standard today it wasn't in 2002 when we bought the M3.
That metallic exhaust screaming at 6000 rpm.
Car is built like a tank and had ZERO oil leaks for 18 years.
If I sell the RS, until i get a replacement, I will use that as my daily.
My friend let me drive his E46 back in my college days. Being the designated driver had it perks. 😁
You used the perfect word to describe it. "Raw". I loved every second of driving that thing.
 
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I wonder how much of the rest of us are in this boat. You'd think that Ford would have had this be a step in the original fix?
I have to wonder about that too. I went through the head/gasket dance twice, new heads both times. I'm not recalling if "out of tolerance for a good seal" was reasoning given either time, but both times the car was eating coolant & wouldn't hold pressure, so my suspicion is that it probably was out of tolerance both times. But speaking to what others have been saying for some time now, I think that at least as much of all of this falls on the level of care & attention that is given to the process by the tech in charge of the job. It may be anecdotal, but what I've gone through with my car makes me believe that the first job was (in the best, most diplomatic way that I can put it) f-ed up by the person that did it. The second time was a completely different level of attention to detail & care, you wouldn't have even believed that it was the same service department it was so different. So I just wonder how many people out there didn't get that, & how their head & gasket will hold up after the crap-jobs that I suspect so many cars had done & not rectified. :unsure:

EDIT: I just looked at the poll on this thread for the first time in a long time. In retrospect, there should have been other options for "Replaced head and gasket multiple times". How sad is that?
 

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I am not celebrating yet.
This is my second cylinder head, 4th or 5th turbo feed line, 3rd banjo bolt, 5th set of crushers, third timing chain cover, etc.
I am hoping that my ARP + deck brace will not allow too much flex during heat cycles leading to misalignment someplace.
 

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I am not celebrating yet.
This is my second cylinder head, 4th or 5th turbo feed line, 3rd banjo bolt, 5th set of crushers, third timing chain cover, etc.
I am hoping that my ARP + deck brace will not allow too much flex during heat cycles leading to misalignment someplace.
I was scared to get under mine for at least the first few weeks after the job....when I finally did, I was sooooooo doubtful about what I would find.....to my surprise I was happy once I checked it out, clean and dry, for the first time in 2+ years....fingers crossed it stays that way, for you and I !!
 

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I was scared to get under mine for at least the first few weeks after the job....when I finally did, I was sooooooo doubtful about what I would find.....to my surprise I was happy once I checked it out, clean and dry, for the first time in 2+ years....fingers crossed it stays that way, for you and I !!
Me too. If I have to get the HG redone, I'm going to work a deal with the dealer to get the head sent off to get machined. Even if I have to pay "car storage fees" for occupying a bay for a few days.
 

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I am not celebrating yet.
This is my second cylinder head, 4th or 5th turbo feed line, 3rd banjo bolt, 5th set of crushers, third timing chain cover, etc.
I am hoping that my ARP + deck brace will not allow too much flex during heat cycles leading to misalignment someplace.
The deck brace has nothing to do with controlling misalignment during heat cycling. I'd be interested to see what deck brace you had fitted.

Ciao
 

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Company is from the UK, Norris Designs.
This is their deck brace.

347917


Description:

"The deck brace supports the liners to the outside wall of the block which reduces movement and flex on power, making for a more secure head gasket seal and liner reliability on higher than stock power builds. It does NOT form part of the headgasket seal, so its surface finish does NOT matter, its final resting place is just below the headgasket level. "
 

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Company is from the UK, Norris Designs.
This is their deck brace.

View attachment 347917

Description:

"The deck brace supports the liners to the outside wall of the block which reduces movement and flex on power, making for a more secure head gasket seal and liner reliability on higher than stock power builds. It does NOT form part of the headgasket seal, so its surface finish does NOT matter, its final resting place is just below the headgasket level. "
Yes but what DOES matter is the deck brace perfectly matches the bore OD's and the block internal walls. To have this the block is CNC machined to perfectly match the brace which is the only way the brace can properly transfer the forces from the upper cylinder to the outside of the block. After CNC machining the block is heated and the brace installed until it sits on a step to locate the height of the brace then the whole deck is machined. If you just fit a "one size fits all" deck brace without the block machining you not only dont get the full and evenly distributed support but you may actually get added stressors due to random contact with the cylinder OD and block internal faces.
Here's what a deck brace looks like when done with the fully machined methodology. Perfect contact with the bore OD and block inner wall faces for perfect distortion free support.


Ciao
 

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Yes but what DOES matter is the deck brace perfectly matches the bore OD's and the block internal walls. To have this the block is CNC machined to perfectly match the brace which is the only way the brace can properly transfer the forces from the upper cylinder to the outside of the block. After CNC machining the block is heated and the brace installed until it sits on a step to locate the height of the brace then the whole deck is machined. If you just fit a "one size fits all" deck brace without the block machining you not only dont get the full and evenly distributed support but you may actually get added stressors due to random contact with the cylinder OD and block internal faces.
Here's what a deck brace looks like when done with the fully machined methodology. Perfect contact with the bore OD and block inner wall faces for perfect distortion free support.


Ciao

That is a very nice brace you linked. Shame I live in a part of the world where such items are non existent.

Regarding the ND brace, I had a chat with one of their guys preparing high powered RS vehicles.
He gave me the bees knees on the product and guided me through the install process.
Size wise, the brace will not fit the block without machining.
They did not advise I touch the block to make this fit. I was given clear instructions to adjust the brace lightly.
It should not slot in without any effort. A gentle tap with a Mallet should be applied to make it settle around the block.
They also clarified that if I use ARP bolts then the brace does not need to sit flush with the block.
Once the head is torqued properly, the brace will align as it should with an even stress distribution. The head will align it.
If you use standard bolts, then you need to have the brace sit flush with the block.
A second mechanic preparing high powered RS cars and making custom parts explained that he tried both methods (have the head align the brace or make it flush yourself).
Both methods seem to work.

This deck brace is quite successful on many high powered RS models in the UK.
It is being used on cars with outputs exceeding mine by almost 150 crank hp.
Many mild tuned vehicles use it as part of the head gasket fix.

I will let you know if something cracks on the block.
 

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Update. Wendle believes the leak is with the timing chain cover, after the use of the dye and me putting on about 400 miles. They were willing to look at my videos and acknowledged if they don’t fix it with the timing chain cover repair, they will make the next step replacement of the head gasket.. so they are ordering parts and I have an appointment for later this month. Hopeful it actually is the cover, although I am certain my car did not get the supplement 1 / TA 30 sealant treatment with its original head gasket replacement. Hoping I’m not driving a ticking time bomb.
 

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Will need the sealant.
It leaks into timing chain area from the head where the sealant is needed.
 

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Will need the sealant.
It leaks into timing chain area from the head where the sealant is needed.
Yes exactly.. And what I told the service rep. He didn’t at knowledge or deny the existence of the issue and supplement and the date on when that came out. I also was not able / allowed to talk to the technician back in the shop directly and or convince the service rep that I thought this was the primary concern / issue.. Hence why I am doubtful that the timing cover alone is going to fix my issue.. We’ll see. I’ll report again late in the month..
 

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Another waste of time and "quick fix" attempt by Ford.
 

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The biggest issue here is that they can't see the leak easily.
Some use a few mirrors next to the Turbo inlet and call it a day.
Others will open up as much as they can, my second garage actually removed the whole intake to the Turbo to give themselves some space and examine.
If the dye shows timing chain cover leaks then it should also show the fabled corner area which requires the FSA procedure to be repeated.

99% this will not fix the vehicle.
Replacing the whole thing and doing everything again is not a guaranteed fix either.
 

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Hello everyone I posted about a month ago saying I was looking at a Focus RS for in the low 20k price range. It was a 2016 with 69k miles. Mechanically and cosmetically perfect, just the headgasket was never done. So many people on the forum told me to run, I purchased the car regardless. I scheduled to have the gasket replaced by a high end enthusiast shop in Massachusetts (Tailored chassis solutions) I purchased my own HG kit from Mountune. Everything came out excellent! Price for the job was roughly 2k parts/labor included. Regardless I just wanted to say if you get a good running car do not let the headgasket scare you. Im confident that I could have gone a long time on the stock gasket. I just wanted to do it for the peace of mind. Also just went Cobb Stage 1 today! Not a total night and day difference but it does seem quicker. Ok said my two cents, keep on drifting 😁
 

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Hello everyone I posted about a month ago saying I was looking at a Focus RS for in the low 20k price range. It was a 2016 with 69k miles. Mechanically and cosmetically perfect, just the headgasket was never done. So many people on the forum told me to run, I purchased the car regardless. I scheduled to have the gasket replaced by a high end enthusiast shop in Massachusetts (Tailored chassis solutions) I purchased my own HG kit from Mountune. Everything came out excellent! Price for the job was roughly 2k parts/labor included. Regardless I just wanted to say if you get a good running car do not let the headgasket scare you. Im confident that I could have gone a long time on the stock gasket. I just wanted to do it for the peace of mind. Also just went Cobb Stage 1 today! Not a total night and day difference but it does seem quicker. Ok said my two cents, keep on drifting 😁
So you've been driving the new HG for what, a few weeks? In my experience I'd wait for at least 4000 miles before I passed judgement on the quality of the job. Personally I think you've done the right thing with your approach to getting it changed, BUT its a little early to be crowing yet my friend.
Report back in 4000 miles. I honestly hope all is good then but keep us updated.
Of course there'll be people here that slam me but remember this isn't my first rodeo and I've been building engines a long time. The real quality of this job on this engine takes a while to become evident.

Ciao
 

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So you've been driving the new HG for what, a few weeks? In my experience I'd wait for at least 4000 miles before I passed judgement on the quality of the job. Personally I think you've done the right thing with your approach to getting it changed, BUT its a little early to be crowing yet my friend.
Report back in 4000 miles. I honestly hope all is good then but keep us updated.
Of course there'll be people here that slam me but remember this isn't my first rodeo and I've been building engines a long time. The real quality of this job on this engine takes a while to become evident.

Ciao

Been there multiple times.
Sometimes you get leaks returning quite quick other times 6-7 months.
It keeps you on your toes.
 

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Been there multiple times.
Sometimes you get leaks returning quite quick other times 6-7 months.
It keeps you on your toes.
It does differ a lot. I've read some horror stories here. However in my case I got my 16RS2 HG done in 2018. No signs of leaks then with about 6k on the odometer. Pressures were all good. New HG went in and there have been no problems in the intervening 10k and almost three years. Of course my mileage will tell you that the car gets light usage and I spoil it with care.

My take is that if the engine had no signs of issues after 69k, and you keep an eye on things you should enjoy the car for years to come.

Have fun.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 
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