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Carby manifold removal

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BruceE Bruce Ewan
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
Hello all,

I am attempting the biggest engine surgery I have ever undertaken. After multiple attempts to clear the cooling system of my BJ7, which has exhibited multiple and odd overheating issues, primarily in traffic, the head gasket on one of Sydney's 35C plus days has blown.

The issue was diagnosed within a few km's of home and I am now attempting the biggest surgery I have ever attempted on a car. (Car travelled less than 5kms since head gasket blew)

I have removed carbs and all nuts holding carb and exhaust manifold to block. The exhaust manifolds have parted from the block with gaps evident on both, yet the carb manifolds refuse to move. They seem to be held in place by King Kong. I have removed all visible nuts, including those which lock the carb manifold to the exhaust.

A few solid whacks with a block of wood have failed to create any movement. With the carb manifolds cast, I am reticent to add further force.

How is best to proceed? Cut through gaskets with a blade? Pressure from another angle?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

My car came with no history so it is possible the gaskets have been in place since 1963. It seems the previous owner did nothing to the car in 20 years as I have removed grease dust and dirt more than an inch thick from many parts of the car.

Kind regards




Bruce
Sydney Australia

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rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Bruce,
How many nuts have you removed from the intake and exhaust manifolds? Only count the ones that go on the studs that are screwed into the head. By my count there should be 17. You may have missed one. The only other thing is that someone in the past may have used a type of sealer that has glued the intake to the gasket and head to prevent any vaccume leaks. If that's the case keep tapping on it with a hammer and block of wood moving to different areas of the manifold. The other thing you can try is to use a putty knife and tap the leading edge into the gasket between the manifold and the cylinder head in a number of places. This should help you break the seal.
Pete

ozhealey Avatar
ozhealey Tony P
Canberra, ACT, Australia   AUS
Bruce,

As Peter indicated it is a pretty simple process with no real tricks that I know of. Unless as you suggest someone has used a sealer in the past, the manifold (intake is a one piece unit), should come off with a bit of tapping and wiggling.

Down here in Canberra I am about to replace my head gasket also. It is not long since I did my engine rebuild and the gasket is already failing. I used a new head gasket from the Healey Factory in Melbourne which turned out to be the fairly inexpensive Moss gasket. I have since read many reviews of these cheaper gaskets (since the original gaskets and Payen ones were no longer available) which indicate they can be a bit unreliable. I had no idea at the time these were cheap and not great quality.... A lesson learned.

I have sourced the more expensive British gasket from AHSPARES in the UK (you can also get this more expensive one now from Moss as well as the cheap one which failed on me). AHSPARES also have a competition all steel gasket as does Denis Welch which is very expensive however both get great reviews.

I would recommend you get a good quality gasket to be sure you dont have to repeat the process in the near future like me.

Cheers
Tony

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rusty1c Avatar
rusty1c Peter D
Antioch, CA, USA   USA
1961 Austin-Healey 3000 BT7 "RUBY"
1963 Chevrolet C10 "Rusty"
Tony,
It it interesting that you are having trouble with the head gasket after an engine rebuild. You mentioned the inexpensive Moss gasket. After I had rebuilt my engine I also started to have head gasket leakage as was evident by the white smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. It only happened after I had run the engine and then shut it off. When I restarted it after about 10-15 minutes I would get a cloud of white smoke for about 20 seconds then it would clear up. The engine only had about 350 miles on it at this point. In talking to other Healey owners I was told that the cylinder head has to be "re-torqued" after a few heat cycles. If it isn't it will start to leak. I have rebuilt many engines over the years and never had a problem with any leaking head gaskets until this one. It turns out that most of the newer head gaskets only need to be torqued once when the engine is assembled. However this doesn't seem to be the case with the copper ones supplied by Moss in their gasket sets. Apparently since this is a solid copper gasket it will require re-torquing. So I had to pull the head and replaced the gasket after only 350 miles. I used the same type of head gasket again and putt some "Copper Coat" on the both sides of the gasket. This is a brush on product for head gaskets, don't know if it is available in Australia but I'm sure there are similar products. Any way I applied the Copper Coat and reinstalled the head. I ran the engine through 3 or 4 heat cycles. I was really surprised to find how many of the nuts had loosened. I re-torqued the head and have not had any problems since and the engine has about 2000 miles on it.
There are no notes that come with the gasket in the Moss set to say that it needs to be re-torqued and there doesn't appear to be anything mentioned in the Healey manual about having to re-torque.
Pete

San Jose, CA, USA   USA
"... It turns out that most of the newer head gaskets only need to be torqued once when the engine is assembled. However this doesn't seem to be the case with the copper ones supplied by Moss in their gasket sets."

Are you referring to the copper-faced gaskets, or solid copper gaskets--not inexpensive--that are available? I have heard rumors that newer gaskets may not be as effective at sealing because, as is so often is the case, manufacture has been shifted overseas and quality has suffered. I had an original, made in England Payen-brand gasket leftover from a rebuild many years ago. I did an overhaul a year and almost 6K miles ago with no white smoke (and no oil drips, but that's a different topic). My engine builder told me re-torquing isn't necessary, but he did recommend checking tappet clearance.

There could be more to the story; did you have the head and block skimmed to assure absolute flatness? Are you confident the head was torqued properly?

BruceE Bruce Ewan
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
Hi Pete,

I have removed all 17 nuts and bolts from the manifolds being careful to mark the exact positions each have come from.

I am guessing given that I have more than 2mms clearance on the exhaust manifold and absolutely no movement with the carby manifolds that a glue has been used.

Thank you for your response.

Bruce

BruceE Bruce Ewan
Sydney, NSW, Australia   AUS
Hi Tony,
Thanks for your reply. I purchased the VRS gasket set from Healey Factory. It is definitely a copper gasket from Moss rather than AH spares.

I am about to have a 3rd attempt at separating the manifold again and if it not release through a few good taps will cut through the gasket as I am sure some type of glue has been used.

The dude that owned the car before me, seems to have done many bodgy jobs over the years.

I am a little nervous now that the gasket set, may not be the best so ill touch base with a couple of the NSW club members before I install and torque the head.

Bruce

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pkoot Avatar
pkoot Peter K
Alkmaar, NH, Netherlands   NLD
Hi,

I had the same problem with the headgasket after a rebuild. Oil in the cooling system. I bought a Payen sealed headgasket, more expensive, but a much better quality. And an extra o-ring for the oil pipe that is close to the cooling water pipe. The o-ring fits in the headgasket and is a soft ring (www.healeyparts.nl).
Re-torque must be done following the Haynes manual.

I have just done it and it’s too cold to drive now, but I’m sure I solved the problem. It was my second headgasket in a few years time and both times the cheap one. Both the engine block and the cylinder head are flattened.

Peter

ozhealey Avatar
ozhealey Tony P
Canberra, ACT, Australia   AUS
Peter,

I did indeed re-torque the head and I have since checked a few times with no movement. I have is a very slight weep of coolant from the front of the head/block joint above the water pump. Definitely not the water pump, thermostat or hoses.

I have the cheap Moss type copper gasket from the Healey Factory. Not the quality copper part which AHSPARES and MOSS now sell. MOSS even indicate they now have a high quality copper gasket made in England. I have the AHSPARES gasket and will install it very soon.

I had the head and block checked to assure they were perfectly flat before I installed the head. This time I also have the heavy duty studs and nuts to install and I will “countersink” the stud holes slightly to be sure there in no squeezed lip at the base of the studs before I re-install the head.

Bruce,

The gasket you have may well work fine, however if it were me, I would go for a high quality part. You only want to do this once (unlike me). The gasket the Healey Factory have is the Moss gasket 528-036 equivalent. I called the Healey Factory only a month ago to find they have the cheaper copper gasket or the very very expensive all steel gasket.

Moss now have their “premium” quality head gasket 528-035 and you can read from the website it is made from original tooling in the UK. AHSPARES have the same high quality copper gasket which is where I got mine. If you look them both up online and consider exchange rates You will see how I made my decision. It arrived four days after ordering and was fabulously packaged with no damage at all.

Best of luck!

Cheers
Tony

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