400m headgasket replacement advice - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2016, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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400m headgasket replacement advice

So for all of you most excellent engine builders and repairers out there I need a little advice. I have a small headgasket leak on the passenger side head, right up in front by the thermostat housing. How difficult is it, and for that matter is it even advisable, to remove the intake and heads with the motor still in the truck or is it worth pulling the whole deal out and just replacing everything. I have no idea when the last gasket set was done on this vehicle. Just wanting some more experienced opinions on an economical route, both time wise and monetarily speaking. Thanks everyone!!

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-03-2016, 11:11 PM
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plenty of room to do it in the truck.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 09:14 AM
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you can do it in the truck. and i am generally a believer in fixing what's broken and leaving the rest. if you want you could get the heads rebuilt, but that may not even be worth it. maybe it would make you feel better to paint he valve covers, or something. then you would be doing something "while you're at it".
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 06:16 PM
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Heads are heavy, so be ready for. If you have A/C, a couple of the head bolts on the passenger side head may be difficult to remove, if I remember right I loosened them but did not remove them till I removed the head.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-06-2016, 12:08 PM
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yeas the heads are heavy, but here is something to consider, if you pull the heads, then you can have them rebuilt and a slight porting of the intake and exhaust openings plus you can remove a freeze plug on both side of the block and flush the entire block. this can all be done with the motor still in the engine bay. There are other things that can be done but it depends on the $$$ and your skills and needs.
IN my OPINION
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-06-2016, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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That's where I'm at an impasse. leave the engine in the truck, save some time, just replace the head gasket, save some money. And drive the thing until something else goes on it. Or, pull the engine and make sure everything is good to go and have that peace of mind for the next 10 years that everything I did makes the engine good. More time and money to go that way. I've got Tom Monroe's building small block fords book I've been looking through. I'm still torn about what to do. I do appreciate the insights for sure. Thanks guys!!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 10:33 AM
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I would do a compression test, leakdown test, oil pressure test with real guage
(if you don't have one) and pull the oil pan and check a set of bearings.

If all those are much better than average, I would pull motor for full re-gasket.
If all those tests reveal even average compr or bearing life, oil pressure, etc...,
I might just repair head gasket in truck and start building up a whole new motor, little by little.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 10:49 AM
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If you have the equipment, engine hoist and engine stand etc, i would pull it. It can be done without yanking it but i don't know how much time it really saves leaving it in there. For myself anyway it's easier to do a thorough job on the stand then leaning in there breaking your back. Also if you take it out i would re-gasket the entire engine at that time if it is mechanically sound.

As previously mentioned if it has A/C it's gonna be tough to get that head off. Easiest to remove the A/C housing then work on the head.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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If you have the equipment, engine hoist and engine stand etc, i would pull it. It can be done without yanking it but i don't know how much time it really saves leaving it in there. For myself anyway it's easier to do a thorough job on the stand then leaning in there breaking your back. Also if you take it out i would re-gasket the entire engine at that time if it is mechanically sound.

As previously mentioned if it has A/C it's gonna be tough to get that head off. Easiest to remove the A/C housing then work on the head.

The whole leaning over barely able to work on something isn't that appealing. I'm not 20 anymore, I've got money, might as well get a hoist and stand and do it the right way right? the regasket kits are only like $60 from summit which is very reasonable. Just got a harbor freight near me for the crane and stand. I know some people hate them but for things that are simple machines, jacks, cranes, just bought the 56 inch upper tool cabinet, I think they are top notch. Plus the hoist and stand will come in handy when I pick up my next project. I've got a line on 100% complete 59 F100 with 292 v8 that the wife and I are planning on redoing together. So with that in mind it makes sense to buy those things anyway, well if not making sense at least helps justify the expense!

Thanks for the input! I'll keep everyone posted when I make my final decision.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OX1 View Post
I would do a compression test, leakdown test, oil pressure test with real guage
(if you don't have one) and pull the oil pan and check a set of bearings.

If all those are much better than average, I would pull motor for full re-gasket.
If all those tests reveal even average compr or bearing life, oil pressure, etc...,
I might just repair head gasket in truck and start building up a whole new motor, little by little.
I like your idea of doing the leakdown test. I have a question though, with a known bad head gasket how effective would that test be? I'm leaning towards pulling it, regasketing it, and then putting it back in with the long term plan to find another 400 and rebuild it on my own. That way I get to drive the truck and still do a performance upgrade eventually. Thanks for the advice and I'll keep things updated when I finally decide.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-07-2016, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Okay,

So if I buy the felpro gasket set KS2308 from amazon it's $51.88, the felpro intake gasket 1240 is $26.28, a new 1,000 lb engine stand from harbor freight, less the 20% off coupon I have is $48 plus probably another $25 in rtv type sealant and stuff and I have an engine crane I can borrow to pull it so that's free.

$51.88
+26.28
+48.00
+25.00
= $151.16 to pull the engine and redo all the gaskets... not too bad.... plus I get an engine stand out of the deal...
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 12:48 PM
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-28-2016, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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I got a powerbuilt 2 ton engine crane for $80 cash off Craigslist a week ago and am waiting to use my 25% off coupon on labor day at harbor freight on the 1,000 lb engine stand then I can get the garage prepped to work on the engine. Hopefully some time in September I'll tackle it. Thanks!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2016, 07:58 PM
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Good deal. Best way to tackle this i think.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-05-2016, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Snagged the 1,000 lb engine stand from harbor freight, used the 25% off labor day coupon got it for a cool $44.99, can't beat that price. I've got a bunch of smaller projects I'm going to be working on, plus bow season started on saturday and I may feel the need to go chase elk around the mountains. When I get a chance to pull the engine I'll post some updates.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 02:06 AM
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Word of advice on the engine stand. Get a unit that has the gear reduction rotation built into it otherwise rotating the engine is a PITA.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 08:40 PM
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Word of advice on the engine stand. Get a unit that has the gear reduction rotation built into it otherwise rotating the engine is a PITA.
A long time ago when I bought mine, I put a light coat of grease on the rotating parts (the shaft and sleeve for the engine bracket). I have never thought there was ANY trouble rotating an engine.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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A long time ago when I bought mine, I put a light coat of grease on the rotating parts (the shaft and sleeve for the engine bracket). I have never thought there was ANY trouble rotating an engine.
Update finally.

A long cheater bar pipe can definitely help along with some real good grease action. I have seen some mods with a crank style gear reduction thing welded on that looks pretty cool but I haven't gotten that far.

So the plan is to get the engine pulled and worked on over may and june. I picked up a local project a mile from my house and will be working 4 10's allowing for ample time on fridays to wrench on the old girl!!!

I'll keep things updated.
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