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1961 Headgasket and General Advice #1342983 Mon Jan 20 2020 06:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 4
S
Schraubritzel Offline OP
New Guy
Hello,

In preparation of a bigger trip from south Germany to North (North) Germany I am looking to bring a headgasket with me to be on the safe side if the engine blows the existing one.
Is there a pattern sample for the cylinder head screws and do I need to replace them every time and whats the torque they need?


It would also be nice to get some general tips in the engine and help on how to identify it (and its spareparts). Total kilometers on the engine are 33500 km (20815 mi). It must have been sitting around inside since 1995 and got some maintainance from a licensed car mechanic in 2016. When you turn it on it runs very smooth.

Thanks

Max

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Re: 1961 Headgasket and General Advice [Re: Schraubritzel] #1343033 Tue Jan 21 2020 12:35 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,655
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
These engines are very reliable unless they have been overheated or abused in some other way. It would surprise me if a head gasket failure would happen on a long road trip, but it's good to have a spare in case of something happening. The cylinder head bolts can be re-used multiple times as long as the threads are cleaned and lubricated with engine oil or some type of anti-seize compound. The specified torque is 90-100 ft/lbs or the equivalent torque in meter/kilograms. There is a specific tightening sequence, but simply starting in the middle of the cylinder head and moving toward both ends equally works well. I like to snug all the bolts to about 40-50 ft/lbs to begin with, and go to full torque on the second pass.

Enjoy your trip!
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: 1961 Headgasket and General Advice [Re: Schraubritzel] #1343045 Tue Jan 21 2020 01:22 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,862
5
52Carl Offline
Master Gabster
The head gasket would be the least of my worries for that engine. Keep your eye on oil level and pressure, coolant level and temperature, and drive it with confidence.

Re: 1961 Headgasket and General Advice [Re: Schraubritzel] #1343050 Tue Jan 21 2020 01:39 AM
Joined: Mar 2019
Posts: 521
G
glenns towing Offline
Shop Shark
As 52carl stated, dont worry about the head gasket. Unless you have it handy and feel the need to have it with ya, i wouldnt worry about it either. Take some hoses, belts, basic hand tools, oil, antifreeze. Have fun. Watch your gauges and pay attention to the running of the veh. I think you would notice if something was failing long before the head gasket fails, like waterpump, hose, etc. Do a pretrip inspection and go with it. If there is reason to suspect a head gasket issue, maybe you should replace in a controlled environment instead of on the side of the road... drive

Re: 1961 Headgasket and General Advice [Re: Schraubritzel] #1343061 Tue Jan 21 2020 02:23 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 77
A
ASU Offline
Shop Shark
I would stop every 1-2 hours to check all your fluid levels and look the truck over. Once you get some confidence that it is not using oil, leaking anything, or have breaks overheating, extend your stops to 2-3 hours and so on. Better to catch a problem early than wait until it fails.

Good Luck!

Re: 1961 Headgasket and General Advice [Re: Schraubritzel] #1343064 Tue Jan 21 2020 02:30 AM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 829
G
Gord&Fran Offline
Shop Wrasse
Spare points and condenser is a good thing to carry - doesn't take much space.

Take back roads instead of the autobahn until you know what it can do.


Gord
----
1954 1/2 ton 235 4 speed
Re: 1961 Headgasket and General Advice [Re: Schraubritzel] #1343087 Tue Jan 21 2020 06:25 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 739
T
tom moore Offline
Shop Shark
Let us know how the adventure went. Gruss gott

Re: 1961 Headgasket and General Advice [Re: Schraubritzel] #1343118 Tue Jan 21 2020 03:57 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,655
H
Hotrod Lincoln Offline
Boltergeist
Would you take a spare head gasket for an old Mercedes or BMW on the same trip?
Jerry


The murder victim was drowned in a bathtub full of Rice Krispies and milk.
The coroner blamed the crime on a cereal killer!

Cringe and wail in fear, Eloi- - - - -we Morlocks are on the hunt!
Re: 1961 Headgasket and General Advice [Re: Schraubritzel] #1343138 Tue Jan 21 2020 07:35 PM
Joined: Jan 2020
Posts: 4
S
Schraubritzel Offline OP
New Guy
Hello, and thanks for all the replies.

I used to carry around tons of parts in my old Volvo 240 (wich is now cube shaped, but smaller) including the headgasket, the timing belt and some universal sealant. I know its slightly paranoid, but its better to have it with you than to need it and not have it. I was hoping for the reaction I got from you guys and not for a "I can see your headgasket breaking from here", many thanks. If I owned an old mercedes from 1961 I would definitely carry the headgasket around For the BMW maybe a spare engine? Some of the straight sixes from Germany are famously unreliable.

As I have mostly worked on a russian V8 (I used to have a Zil 157) I usually expect alot of issues when driving them after such a long time.

Thanks alot & I will keep you updated

Max

Re: 1961 Headgasket and General Advice [Re: Schraubritzel] #1343159 Wed Jan 22 2020 12:15 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 1,347
W
Wally / Montana Offline
Shop Shark
Is the distance about 800 km (500 miles)? I'd go 50 mph (80 km per hour) if you can find a road that slow! No problemo.

If I was really, really worried about a head gasket (I'm not), I'd change it before I went. But I'd take a trip like that in a heart beat.


1948 3/4-Ton 5-Window Flatbed Chevrolet

28 Years of Daily Driving. Now with a '61 261, 848 head, Rochester Monojet carb, 4.10 rear, dual reservoir MC, Bendix up front, 235/85R16 tires, 12-volt w/alternator, electric wipers and a modern radio in the glove box.
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