Head Gasket Change

MEETOOHABU

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Hi All,
The time has come to change the head gaskets on my 28,*** mile 1995 viper RT/10. I know this topic has been covered many times. I have search through the forums. BUT, I want to be absolutely sure of my next move. The heads have been removed and resurfaced, cleaned, vacuum checked. MLS Cometic gaskets (.051) purchased, ready to go.

Now... The heads have never before been removed/separated from the block (original head gaskets).

#1) Can I/ should I reuse the old bolts? The only source for new bolts, that I can find, is Viper Parts USA. Checked into ARP head studs. No go.
#2) If using ORIGINAL bolts/MLS gasket, stay with 30lb/ 1/4 turn?
#3) If using NEW bolts/ MLS gasket, stay with 30lb/ 1/4 turn?
#4) Whether using old or new bolts, should I use thread sealer?

Thank you all for your help and guidance.
 

JKViper95

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Any chance you can post what all the answers where, or what you ended up doing, for someone that may be wanting to do the same in the near future? :)
 

99RT10GTS

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Drive by posting................. Next time you have to pull the heads on a Gen 1, get with me for a nice set of CnCd heads. 2" intake/1.6" exhaust. PM me for more details:
 

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MEETOOHABU

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After speaking with Chuck Tator, a very knowledgeable and patient man with extensive Viper experience, this is what I did:

#1) I Prepped my block as best I could while in the car.
For me, this entailed blowing out each bolt hole with compressed air to eliminate any trapped antifreeze. I made sure I very carefully cleaned each side of the block with a NEW razor blade(s) and carb cleaner sprayed on a clean rag. I did not use abrasives of any kind, making sure each cylinder was clear of debri. I cannot overstate the importance of working cleanly.
#2) I held the MLS gaskets in place with two small plastic press-in caps (per side), that I already had. The idea is to keep them in the correct position when re-installing the heads.
#3) I wound up using the original 9/16 bolts. The torque sequence was the same as in the factory manual. But, I did this 3 times (stages) for each side beginning with 40lbs, then 80lbs, finally 120lbs.
#4) I reinstalled the intake with new cometic gaskets, utilizing the same torque and sequence as outlined in the factory manual.
#5) I then reinstalled the thermostat housing using a new thermostat (the original cause), inner ring seal, and gaskets.

Again, this is what I did.
I am not an engine builder by trade. Others may disagree with some or all of what I have done. That is fine by me. To date, I have not had any leaks. The engine temperature is normal. Nothing has presented itself to be out of the ordinary. However, I have only been able to put a hundred or so miles on my Viper, so far. Maybe, 6 or 7 heat cycles. So, in my mind the jury is still out. I will say that, while this was not overly complicated to do, it would have been significantly easier if the motor had been out of the car. Torquing the headbolts was troublesome the closer I got to the firewall, particularly on the drivers side.

I believe that if you go slowly and work cleanly, you will be successful. I hope this will be beneficial to someone doing this for the first time, as it was for me.

Best of luck!
 
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MEETOOHABU

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Opps!
Forgot to mention: I did not agressively clean my original head bolts. But, I did try to free them of any debris with a SOFT wire brush. I then put a light coat of motor oil on each, before installing.
Cheers!
 

Viper Specialty

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#2) I held the MLS gaskets in place with two small plastic press-in caps (per side), that I already had. The idea is to keep them in the correct position when re-installing the heads.
Are you implying that you didnt have or didnt use the alignment dowels that were factory installed, to put the heads and gaskets in the correct position and keep them from moving?
 

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