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Head bolt schoolin

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Hi all,

Just found this forum from over at HAMB and this place is just what I need!


I've got a 1950 Dodge Meadowbrook that I'm start to restore...well, maybe should say wake up first as it's been sitting for many years.


I took the head off cause I had 3 valves stuck and wanted to check status of cylinders etc. All looks pretty good and I got the valves unstuck, so I'd like to put a fresh head gasket on and put her back together for a comp test and run.


So regarding headbolts, can I reuse them or should I replace? And if I elect to replace, can I get away with grade 8s or do I need to go with ARPs? At this point I'm not wanting to put alot of money in it as I dont really even know what I've got here.


I guess I'd just rather reuse, but I get nervous about them breaking ( especially after seeing the broke deadbolt pull here!) , tho I did get them all out just fine.

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As Ken said, they are reuseable as long as they are in good shape.  One use only headbolts are a relatively new thing for Mopar.  As for ARP's, you could go that route, way over kill.  I got a set of Pioneer head bolts for mine.  


One note on the stuck valves, I have tried a number of things but what I found that works for me is regular old brake fluid.  Just put some on the valve stem with a precision oiler, then using a plastic faced hammer I tap the vale seated, roll the engine over to push the ale back up.  Took me maybe 10 minutes of doing that to free up the last three ales I had stuck and nothing else worked.

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As mentioned, cleaning the threads in the block and on the bolts with a thread chaser is a good idea, and be sure to use thread sealant on any bolts that go into the water jacket (which might be all of them, but not sure). You might want to go ahead and use sealant on all the bolts, even the ones that don't go into the water jacket, just so you get uniform preload across all bolts.  Just don't use too much sealant or it can pool up in the bottom of the hole and crack the block when the end of the bolt gets forced down into that same space in the hole when torquing.

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Those bolts feel sorta skimpy when you are torquing them up. Is it 85 Ft lbs? I puckered up and winced as the wrench clicked. 

Maybe I’m just used to larger Caterpillar  hardware in my work environment. I don’t like re-using bolts that are stretched and effectively locked into place when elongated. I’m not sure that’s the process with these head bolts. However I have replaced them all with new, each time I have taken them out.  Sort of a best practice for me. I like to think “if in doubt throw it out” when it comes to certain parts. Head bolts fall into that category for me. 

BTW recently I did apply Permatex thread sealant to all head bolts. So I should be good. I think!

Edited by keithb7
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Finding specific listings is getting expensive.  Moparmall has them for $90, seen them on Ebay for the same.


Here are the specs so you can find something else more reasonable.



11/16 hex head

7/16 thread

2.875 U.H.L ( under head length )

3-3/16 O.A.L ( over all length )


A set of Pioneer PIONEER PG362 is slightly longer at 3.000 in.U.H.L but work.  $35 for a set of 25




Pioneer S1018 for the washers. $9.00.


https://www.summitracing.com/search/part-type/washers?fr=part-type&SortBy=BestKeywordMatch&SortOrder=Ascending&keyword=PIONEER S1018

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21 hours ago, Tired iron said:

And since you replace them, what kind do you use and where do you get them? Just standard grade 8s or specifically headbolts?

I used Caterpillar bolts #1D4556 000, sealer on threads, film of grease on head of bolt, no washer, retorque after each of 3 heat cycles. 3k miles, no issues. I did reuse the 2 bolts with threads in the head for the ground and throttle return spring eyelet.

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