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Old 02-04-2018, 09:31 PM   #6
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: CA
Posts: 49
Vehicle: 1986 Nissan D21 4x4 King Cab
Thanks: 40
Thanked 14 Times in 9 Posts
Default Thanks. More work to do :)

Originally Posted by XoXSciFiGuy View Post
Those so-called 'pits' are normal. They are just very minor pit impressions caused by the previous gasket.

They will NOT affect the new gasket. Seeing your pictures, you did a damn good job cleaning off the old gasket, and didn't even leave any scrape marks from a razor blade, which many people do when they replace a head gasket.

You have zero issues going here with that surface. That is a completely NORMAL look for this stuff. In fact, it looks better than some I've seen.

No worries, your gasket should work. Now...for a few quick hints.

Don't DROP the timing cover! On a Nissan that old, it will shatter like glass. For example, never lay it on the engine or up around the radiator. Keep it separate and sitting on a rag nearby. Maybe make a shrine to it.

Be really careful torquing down those timing cover bolts, you can crack that cover easier than sh#t. The reason is...after so many years of being heated and then cooled off by driving, the cast aluminum becomes brittle. It will work, but just one pound too much and you can crack it around a bolt hole. This is surgery, not slamming a front cover on some Chevy V-8. You are better off leaving it a pound or two loose and letting the gasket and sealer do the job. Remember...those torque numbers in the book are given for a cover that's new. Things change, and one of them is the chemistry of the cast aluminum metal you are working with. Even if it leaked slightly, (extremely doubtful) you can always re-tighten. But you can't fix a cracked cover.

Use Permatex BROWN, not the 'modern' crap. And certainly no silicone sealer. It holds forever if applied properly. Silicone for these things is (see the S word above). You want a nice application that goes all around the bolt holes, too. Block side, as well as cover side.

I've had great success in these types of jobs for Nissans. Never a leak, never a failure. (knock on wood) Patience is good, and on the head, patience regarding torque patterns in stages on the bolts is even better.

And go buy some NEW head bolts, if you haven't already. Don't reuse the old ones. On an engine that old, this is bad policy.
Thank you. I tried to be careful and thorough while cleaning. Cleaning was probably the most time consuming part. The rest went pretty smooth. Everything is put back together and it runs good, except one issue which I will get to in a bit. So, I followed all your guidelines, except I didn't see this post till after I finished. I ended up using permatex ultra grey for the timing cover, and re-used the head bolts . The engine only had 78k miles on it and I hope it doesnt give me any problems. I was thinking since when you go and re torque the bolts you have to loosen them anyways, can I replace the bolts one at a time during the re torque later on?

Now to the issue at hand. I have a ticking noise coming from the engine. I don't know of the past history of the engine much but they were running 10-30 in it and I have tried adjusting the valves and using 10-40 with a bit of lucas. No help. I am no expert so I cannot differentiate sounds, but I hope it's not rod knock. Maybe a valve? I had the machine shop clean and resurface the head and put in valve seals, so I hope they saw any issues with the valves. I have attached a video with the sound, sorry for the bad camera.

I really appreciate everyone's help.
Current: 1986.5 Nissan Hardbody D21 4x4 King Cab
Sold: 2001 Nissan Maxima SE

Last edited by datsn; 02-04-2018 at 09:35 PM. Reason: I'm an idiot ;)
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