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Old 01-19-2018, 10:30 AM   #1
datsn
 
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Default Head gasket woes

So here’s my semi-short, kinda buzzed, sorta frustrated story. Lol. Before I start, you can skip to the arrow below to read about just my issue. Bought a 1986 D21 4x4 with a very rough idle from a nice family that wanted to get rid of it not knowing the issue it was having. They mentioned it would make a knocking sound when driving and idle very bad. Mr. Grandpa used to own the truck and it was his precious workhorse, family had it just sitting rotting away. I told them I would take care of it and willingly bought it from them knowing it would have head gasket issues like a lot of Z24 motors.

I brought it home and proceeded to tear down the motor and everything was going fairly smooth. I had the head resurfaced, bought all new gaskets, new timing set, new water pump and oil pump, and a few other things. All was going well except one issue I’m having is after cleaning up the block surface.

——>The block surface is not warped or anything but there is minor pitting between cylinder 3&4. I used a razor blade and 3M pad to try and clean the surface. It is fairly clean but has some rings left around the cylinders, deeper on the exhaust side (from the head gasket) and also some more imprint from head gasket. Most of the sealing surface looks decent except between 3&4. What do you propose I do? Other than having the block deck resurfaced. Can I lightly sand it with a block till the pitting is gone? Or should I just leave it and throw on the head gasket and torque it down and call it a day? Thanks in advance for the help.

Please ignore the lovely oil drenched towels in the cylinders

http://i.cubeupload.com/XbMrqd.jpeg
http://i.cubeupload.com/jnrTP6.jpeg
http://i.cubeupload.com/tz2gIQ.jpeg
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Old 01-19-2018, 11:26 AM   #2
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I don't think that looks bad at all.

I'd say the head gasket would seal up those minor pits.

But again, I'm not a mechanic.

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Old 01-19-2018, 03:43 PM   #3
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I agree. Sanding would just make it worse. A flat head surface and new gasket should be sufficient.
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Old 01-19-2018, 08:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
I don't think that looks bad at all.

I'd say the head gasket would seal up those minor pits.

But again, I'm not a mechanic.

Thank you. You’re not a mechanic, you’re a master tech . I really appreciate your

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Originally Posted by Reserector View Post
I agree. Sanding would just make it worse. A flat head surface and new gasket should be sufficient.
Thank you. Sounds good. Will clean all the passages and put the head back on.
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Old 01-25-2018, 10:24 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
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.

https://streamable.com/8tb2p
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Last edited by datsn; 02-04-2018 at 09:35 PM. Reason: I'm an idiot ;)
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:54 PM   #7
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i love the 3m pads and my air powered hand grinder.
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Old 02-05-2018, 02:51 AM   #8
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I can't hear the link,but a ticking sound could be anything. Get out a big screw driver and start listening to all different parts of the engine
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:00 AM   #9
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Default My screwdriver is not big enough :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by h.stickeye View Post
I can't hear the link,but a ticking sound could be anything. Get out a big screw driver and start listening to all different parts of the engine
Hmm, I’ve been trying to figure out the location. Need a longer screwdriver . It sounds like a valve or rocker around cylinder 3 or 4. Whenever I listen from the bottom of the truck it’s loudest though. It’s also only when the truck warms up. To me it doesn’t really sound like rod knock but I’m not great at distinguishing the sounds. It gets faster as I raise the rpm until I go past 2500 then I can’t hear it much.

I have tried adjusting valve lash twice, and also checked valve springs, they all look good. I’m stumped. Will keep trying to pinpoint it. Thanks for the help.
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Last edited by datsn; 02-05-2018 at 04:03 AM. Reason: I’m still an idiot ;)
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Old 02-05-2018, 04:00 AM   #10
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Probably a lifter. Run 5w-30, got mine to quiet down considerably.
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