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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I bought a set of new take off C heads DA casting. I was getting them prepared to install on the block while awaiting for my ARP 2000 head studs and timesert spark plug insert kit to arrive.I noticed on the passenger side head the surface area where the head bolt washer originally sat was pretty chewed up and concerns me. The drivers side head looked good in this area. I am attaching a few pictures to view. Thoughts please ? Thanks !
 

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Mike, the kind of stud boss erosion you are seeing can be caused by several assembly techniques. One would be not using a washer with or without lube. A second would be using a washer with lube but grossly over-torquing the fastener. The third would be using a washer with lube between the washer and the head but not between the washer and the nut. Finally, of course, there is always the barbaric no washer and just running the nut down against the bare aluminum casting. But, in all situations, the result is the same. The softer aluminum casting will be abraded away by either the nut or the washer that is rubbing against it. There is a fourth, less common, way to produce the casting deterioration. The fourth way involves substantially over-tightening a fastener.

The overtightening is a virtual impossibility with an ARP 8740 fastener but possible with an ARP 2000 fastener. The ARP 8740 fasteners will simply fail. The 2000's are much tougher and will also fail but not without doing some impressive damage to the heads and block. The blocks will crack deep in the casting where the stud is anchored. The crack will frequently go through the water jacket and to the outside of the block, where the block will weep coolant. To do that type of damage you need to take the fastener over 115 ft/lbs of torque. The studs will begin to moosh over the head stud bosses in the head similar to what your head is displaying.

In virtually all occurrences the head is repairable by using a sleeve washer or what ARP calls an Insert Washer. Same thing different names. This is a link to the ARP offerings at Summit (Jegs has the same thing) => Insert Washer. You want ARP part# 200-8573 and you need two packages to do all the holes on both heads. The McMaster sleeve washers are here => Sleeve Washer The McMaster washer is more expensive. Ten McMaster washers will cost you $76 plus shipping and tax. Ten ARP washers will cost you $40 plus shipping and tax. Both will work well. The McMaster part is better documented with drawings for preparing the head for the washer installation. You will need a machine shop to install the washers. BTW the 11mm studs we have will exactly fit a 7/16 inch sleeve or insert washer.

When the washer is installed you want the top surface of the washer to be at the same height as the original aluminum head boss surface was at. That means the shop will need to mill each of the head stud bosses down the same amount— this requires a Bridgeport. If you look at the print for the McMaster sleeve washer you will see the sleeve is 0.528" in diameter. The machine shop will need to bore and ream a concentric hole on the stud boss ID that will allow for a 0.001" to 0.0015" press fit to permanently retain the sleeve washer in the head casting. The hole should be 0.003" deeper than the sleeve length to allow for settling without breaking as you torque the heads down.

You need to do the same sort of installation procedure for the ARP Insert washers. The only difference is there is no blueprint in each washer package so you have to manually measure each one before beginning the installation machining process. In fairness, blueprint notwithstanding, you should also measure each one of the McMaster sleeve washers also. You know the old carpenter adage, "measure twice, cut once."

When you are all done you will have a head that is extremely nice and will never experience this problem again. Here is a pic of what the washers look like installed on a billet Blown Alky Hemi Head;
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Audio equipment Font Electrical wiring

The red arrows identify the sleeve washer locations. This technique is used on all billet Hemi heads to protect the softer aluminum billet from the clamping force of the head studs.

When you assemble your engine you still need to use head stud washers. ARP makes two different 12-point nuts in an 11mm thread. One has a 17.8mm shoulder and one has a 20.9mm shoulder. You want to use the 20.9mm 12-point nut. The correct ARP part number is 301-8402 in ten-pack packaging and is available through Summit or Jegs. The torque spec you want with ARP 2000 studs and ARP assembly lube is 85-90 ft/lbs — no more.
 

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Mike, I was responding to your fastener abrasion of the head stud bosses and forgot to comment on your four to nine-thread plug repair effort. Timeserts have been used for many years. Over the years, new and improved ways of repairing/upgrading plug threads have become available. I would encourage you to use the Lock-N-Stitch method of thread repair/replacement. It is far superior to the Timesert or even Helicoil methods. Both the Timesert, Helicoil, and similar approaches use a metallic insert that is sometimes a ferrous and sometimes a non-ferrous stainless steel insert. The problems that these inserts create are both heat transfer-related and durability related.

When you use a non-aluminum insert in aluminum heads, it insulates the plug from the head casting. When you attempt to read the plug, its indicated heat range based on plug number and effective heat range based on reading the plug's face, side wire, and center electrode is wildly different than reality because of the insulating effect of the insert. Additionally, with the exception of the Helicoils, the plug inserts typically fall short of the thread strength and integrity of the original plug thread.

The big difference with the Lock-N-Stitch approach is they use inserts made of aluminum for aluminum heads and iron for iron heads. The inserts are both cemented and mechanically locked in place in the head. While the Lock-N-Stitch torque spec is 35 ft/lbs, I never tighten my plugs that much. The high torque spec does, however, show how robust the repair is. Here is a link to a thread by one of our other site members Chris (P49CY) with some excellent photography showing his four to nine-thread upgrade on a set of heads. Click here => Lock-N-Stitch Install

I bought a crate motor from FRPP for one of my builds just to save on all the little pieces of hardware that always cost more than you thought they would
. It came with new "DB" castings and four thread plug holes. I re-did all eight holes on brand new heads with the Lock-N-Stitch repair and then went into each chamber with a reamer in a mill to clean up the excess threads in the chamber. Most of us do not have a mill so a Dremel tool and a sanding drum to remove the partial threads the tap left in the side of the plug well works just as well. At first glance, the heads will look 100% factory. It takes a second look to notice the inserts. My repair is almost 15 years old today and good as new.

One last comment on the plug repair. The Lock-N-Stitch method is the only method Ford has authorized for out-of-warranty repairs!! I have attached their TSB 07-15-2 for reference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ed,

Thank you very much for the detailed response!
I appreciate it.

I am not pleased as I bought these assuming they were good to go. (Which that usally never happens)After the price I paid for the heads plus the ARP 2000's plus the price of the timesert kit and the custom Todd Warren cams and it looks like now I will need to send them out for repair to have the inserts installed. I'll be into these pretty deep!

I will get in contact with Jordan over @ Modular Head Shop and see if this repair is something they can perform.

As for the timesert kit I opted for the 51457A insert which is aluminum and is also fully threaded.

Your thoughts ?

Thanks !
Mike
 

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The bitter taste of dissatisfaction lingers long after the sweetness of low price has disappeared, Mike. Over the years, most of us discover the majority of the time, we really do get no more than what we paid for. Far too often, when buying used, we get less.

The good news in the whole mess is that when you are done, you will have a better part than a new alternative — it will just cost you time and money. The Timesert fix is a better fix when you use the aluminum Timesert insert. However, the insert is not hard anodized. That means it is tender, just like a virgin aluminum casting. Will it fail in service? Many do not, yet those that do represent one too many for the person that experiences the failure.

This is a user-created YouTube vid on the differences between Timesert and Lock-N-Stitch inserts. Not Hollywood quality but nonetheless good information. Click here => Timesert vs Lock-N-Stitch spark plug thread repair.

A couple of additional thoughts on the Lock-N-Stitch guys;

Many people do not realize that the dome on the Capitol building in Washington, DC, is a cast iron dome. Over the centuries, the aging cast iron developed stresses and subsequently cracked. The idea of casting a new dome was simply not in the cards, so the Capitol Dome repair crowd solicited bids on the repair process. When all the smoke cleared, the firm that got the job was Lock-N-Stitch. Their primary business is repairing cracked castings without welding.

The other data point that I think is significant is the fact that Lock-N-Stitch is the only Ford-recommended repair for blown-out spark plug hole threads on ModMotor heads. That is pretty significant. It would not be unusual for Ford to recommend two or more comparable repair methodologies. They did not. They recommended only one ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Ed for that info on Lock-N-Stitch!

Sent a email over to Modular Head Shop and it looks like doing the machine work for the inserts wasn't something they were willing to take on at this time unfortunately.

Ed ,

Would you happen to have any recommendations as far as a shop that could handle this task?
 

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Don't go to a performance shop. Go to a local machine shop, a real machine shop, not an automotive repair shop. The real machine shop can do it easily.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I found a machine about a hours drive or so that is confident they can perform the repair . The seller that I bought the heads from offered to cover the charges for parts and machine work, So I should be good on all accounts.
 

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Commercial machine shops are the best choice for these sorts of modifications. They are familiar with fitting parts to each other and have the kind of tool room machinists and deliberate work model that will provide a happy ending. Be sure to inform them you are looking for a reamed hole with a 0.001" to 0.0015" press fit and a 0.003" clearance at the bottom after the sleeve washer is fully installed. You will have a forever mod that will be the envy of anyone who sees it.

Don't forget the sleeve washers will have a radius on the underside of the washer where the washer and sleeve meet. A light chamfer on the finished hole to clear this radius before inserts are installed will prevent you from cracking the washer head off the washer sleeve later when you torque the heads.

Even though your heads will have these little gems installed, use the ARP hardened steel washers between the 12-point nuts and your newly installed sleeve washers. Remember, your torque spec target should be 85 ft/lbs.

There used to be an ARP torque spec calling for 100 ft/lbs. I have attached both ARP bulletins to this post. You will notice the more recent has an 85 ft/lb torque spec, as do all other ARP 2000 11mm studs. You can go to 90 ft/lbs, but that is a red line you do not want to cross.

I recommend assembling the engine with an 85 ft/lb torque spec. Start it and bring it up to operating temperature without driving, or if you do, do not flex its muscles. Once up to operating temperature, bring it home, park it and let it cool down overnight. The next day pull the valve covers and retorque the heads in the original torquing sequence. If you feel a little short of the mark at 85 ft/lbs, this would be the time to go to 90 ft/lbs.

The reason for the retorque is the block grows when you heat it. Steel studs grow less than the heads and block grow. The studs crush the gasket even further to a new and thinner stack height. When you retorque the heads, you cinch everything back together and squeeze down tightly on the gasket at its now reduced stack height. Once a gasket takes that initial stack height compression, it will not compress further. So your retorque to 85 or 90 Ft/lbs produces the absolute best gasket seal possible.

My engine is not in a Terminator, but I recall you may experience difficulty getting one of the rocker covers off the engine while it is in the car. Loosening the motor mounts from the K-member and lifting the engine slightly should help if it is on the passenger side. If it is the driver side I believe the fix is removing the master cylinder and pushing it aside to get the driverside rocker cover off. The retorquing will not be easy, so take your time and do it right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks again Ed for all the help, I will pass that info along to them when the time comes . I will update with pictures once the repair is complete. It will probably be a little while before i am able to bring them for repair since work has been crazy.
 

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Not a big deal timing-wise; glad to be able to help.

The important consideration is you have the road map for a happy ending. You can make the trip whenever time permits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ed,

I will plan to toqure the 2000's to 85 ft lbs and retorque after the first heat cycle. Quick question please is it absolutely necessary I use
ARP-301-8402 12 point nuts with the ARP washer inserts or can I use the 12 points that I purchased with 2000 kit ARP-256-4201?

Thanks !
 

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They both work. ARP sizes their 12-point nuts using the following schema :
Font Parallel Rectangle Circle Drawing

The 301-8402 nut has a flange diameter ( above) that is 0.823" in diameter and uses a 14mm socket ( above) to tighten it. The nut is 0.501" tall ( above).

The only other 11 mm 12-point nut they have is the 301-8401 nut. It has a flange diameter of 0.700 compared to the 0.823 flange diameter of the 8402 fastener. In addition, the height of the fastener has been reduced to 0.432" from the 0.501" of the 8402 fastener. Finally, the wrenching size has been reduced to 13mm from 14 mm.

The difference between the two fasteners is their durability and size. If you are in a tight space where the larger fastener does not fit, the 8401 fasteners will outperform a standard hex fastener and still fit in the available space. The larger heavier, duty 8402 fastener is a better choice when you have the space available. A 10-pack of the smaller fasteners is slightly more expensive than the same ten-pack of the larger fastener. I believe ARP historically has shipped their 8740 ModMotor studs with the smaller fastener, not the larger fastener. I believe the 2000 stud kits shipped with the larger fastener but I don't recall with certainty. I believe you said your kit had the 'other' 12 point nuts. If that is so then the 2000 kits ship with the 8401 nut. Bottomline — both work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ed,

I also decided to take your advise on using the
Lock-N-Stitch method over the Timeserts
I will rent the kit from them and i will be at the same price I was going to pay for X9 of the timesert aluminium inserts 51457A
 

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Smart choice, Mike.

When you see the finished product you will be as WOWed as I was. Just follow their directions and it's a walk in the park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Ed,

A few more items worth mentioning that I ordered is the Boundry assembled 3v oil pump . I also ordered one of James's passenger side secondary tensioners with a set of accufab secondary chains and also went with a set of wonder racing primary tensioner spacers I plan to also grind the last 4 teeth off the bottom of the pawl as per there recommendation when adding the spacers . I also ordered a set of Comp Cams adjustable primary gears to go along with the Cloyes adjustable secondary gears I purchased years ago when they were still available . I just need to purchase a cam degree kit and I should be good to go in that aspect !
 

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Ed,

A few more items worth mentioning that I ordered is the Boundry assembled 3v oil pump. I also ordered one of James's passenger side secondary tensioners with a set of Accufab secondary chains and also went with a set of wonder racing primary tensioner spacers I plan to also grind the last 4 teeth off the bottom of the pawl as per their recommendation when adding the spacers. I also ordered a set of Comp Cams adjustable primary gears to go along with the Cloyes adjustable secondary gears I purchased years ago when they were still available. I just need to purchase a cam degree kit and I should be good to go in that aspect!
You are dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's, Mike. Back in the day when Sean Hyland was still in business, he asked not to have this next mod broadcast. But now that he is no longer in business the knowledge has no impact on his no longer existing business. Here is a write-up I did on the mod in Joe Goffin's build thread (the thread is excellent engine build reading material) click here => Primary Chain Tensioner Mod. You can also find a link to it in the TToC in the Engine section just before the Crank Tech I and Crank Tech II entries. The write-up shows you, in detail, how to do the mod. Be careful not to mix up the internals for the right and left tensioners — they are side specific and different. When you do this mod you can throw away the two pawls they are no longer needed, at all.

The required length for the spacers is 0.200". It is not hard to make them exactly this length. Do it like this, don't make them longer or shorter. Longer will not fit together and shorter defeats their purpose.
 
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