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  1. #1
    Petty Officer 1st Class
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    Default sealant on head bolts

    89 OMC 4.3 - Replaced cylinder heads but did not use sealant on the bolt's threads. I've decided to take everything apart again and apply the sealant to the threads. Can I remove one bolt at a time, apply the sealant, and then re-tourque?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    Do it right mate! Back them all off first; you have to take them all out anyway so you are not saving any time or effort by doing it one at a time!! Don't forget to put a little oil under the bolt heads when they go back down. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    Well, your problem isn't covered in any manuals, and like every opinion, someone else has a different one. I would suggest you try doing it one at a time. Clean that F*#@$ing anti sieze off the bolts and the threads as much as possible before putting on the sealer. Put some grease on the head of the bolt where it contacts the head and sealer on the threads and retorque one at a time and you should be fine. Don't forget to drain the water out of the block before you start.And just a note here, next time you want to use a product that is different from what the manuals say, make sure what you are using will do the job BEFORE you use it.
    Don S.


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  4. #4
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    Well Don, it's like they say, "Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but always enough time to do it again?" I seem to always learn the hard way...do it once, break it or don't do it right, then do it again the right away. I'm so good at it I might patent the move!!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    Don S, What type of grease would you apply to the head bolts?

  6. #6
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    Any grease will work.
    Don S.


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  7. #7
    Admiral KaGee's Avatar
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    In a rush, I once did as Boatgrunt did. I called FEL-PRO tech support and they said to remove and replace one bolt at a time. The head gasket would not be ruined doing it that way.Thanks for the tech tip Don on greasing the bolt heads. Never heard that till now. I'll make sure and do it when or if I ever have to do heads again.
    If it were easy, any Caveman could do it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    Thanks KaGee.Although I still plan on removing the head bolts and applying the sealant, I was wondering if I could run the engine for a few minutes first and then apply the sealant to the head bolts? Since I replaced so many parts, I was hoping to at least confirm that the engine was running right before tearing it back down to apply sealant to the bolts. This way, if I need to adjust something else, I can do it when I disassemble to apply the sealant to the head bolts. What damage to I risk by running it for a minute or two without the sealant on the head bolts?

  9. #9
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    Shouldn't be a problem at all to run it for a few minutes to see how it runs.
    Don S.


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  10. #10
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    It's me again...I was wondering if someone could help clarify some terminology? Based on everyone's advice, I was planning to remove everything attached to the intake manifold, then remove the intake manifold just to then remove the cylinder bolts and apply the sealant to the threads. On second thought, could I just remove the valve cover to access the cylinder bolts? Also, after replacing the head gasket, I put everything back together and didn't put sealant on ANY of the bolts. Do I just have to worry about sealant on the cylinder head bolts or for all the bolts that I removed?

  11. #11
    Admiral KaGee's Avatar
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    The headbolts only require sealant to keep coolant and oil from weeping through the threads and getting where it doesn't belong.You do not need to remove the intake just to re-do the headbolts, just remove the valve covers. Some hardware/brackets attached to the intake may have to be removed in order to remove the valve covers. You may have to remove the exhaust manifolds to gain access to the lower head bolts. Remember, just remove and replace one bolt at a time, and you will not have to pull the head and replace the headgasket.
    If it were easy, any Caveman could do it.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    generally only the head bolts need sealant. If any others happen to go through into the water jacket they need sealant also.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: sealant on head bolts

    ok, so the "headbolts" collectively refer to the bolts under the valve cover and the bolts external to the engine beneath the exhaust manifold? Unless anyone objects, I'll go with that definition and have just saved a lot of time once again thanks to this board.

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