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Is it a Good Idea to re-torque head to stop oil weepage from head gasket?

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Pjuneau Avatar
Pjuneau Paul J
Newcastle, USA   USA
1976 MG Midget MkIV "ShaSha"
I have slight weepage of oil coming from my 1500 head gasket. Nothing big, just another item to clean after each drive.
Is it dangerous to loosen then re-torque the head bolts? Do I just accept the fact that it is a 43 year old engine, and a little weepage is normal and not to tempt fate by trying to fix this? Thanks all.......

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Speedracer Avatar
Speedracer Platinum AdvertiserAdvertiser Hap Waldrop
Greenville, SC, USA   USA
1967 MG MGB Racecar "The Biscuit"
A retorque and valve adjustment is never a bad thing to do, and is a "must to do" after a few heat cycles after installing a new head gasket. It could fix it, but you may be doing a new head gasket in the future, if so, go with the Payen black head gasket.



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Chris mgbgt Avatar
Chris mgbgt Christopher Adams
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, UK   GBR
If It were me I would slacken each Bolt/ a turn then re torque ,

That may well do it

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jmac Avatar
jmac Platinum AdvertiserAdvertiser Jere McSparran
Greenup, IL, USA   USA
1971 MG Midget "Joy Ride"
1978 MG Midget "Therapy"
1978 MG Midget "(SOLD)"
I won't hurt.



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Kerr Avatar
Kerr Platinum Member Norm Kerr
Ann Arbor, MI, USA   USA
it is maybe worth a try , but it also probably won't work

Once the head gasket has been compressed by the intended amount, if it is leaking, in my experience, trying to squish it further won't eliminate the leak because the head torque procedure is designed to even out the forces all over the sealing face as much as possible, preventing it from being able to locally squish one leaky part.

Note that over torquing the head, in a futile attempt to stop a leak will only lead to a warped head, or to stretched (no longer able to hold the torque) head studs, or pulled up block steel around the base of the studs (interfering with head sealing)

I had a head that leaked at the front oil hole, even after having the head planed, even after replacing the gasket more than once, so John Twist took a single strand of copper wire (from a lamp cord) and made a little ring out of it and laid that around the oil hole, on top of a new gasket and that worked.

Next time I had it apart (many years later) I used a black Payen gasket and had no trouble. Back in the day we normally used the sliver ones from Moss, now I know better! Rover developed the Payen head gasket for the A+ 1275 in the mini to eliminate this kind of nonsense.



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oleanderjoe Avatar
oleanderjoe Gold Member Joseph Baba
Fresno, CA, USA   USA
WELL: If it towards the REAR, more on the Drivers side, than it is probably one of two possibilities. The cross drilling for the rocker assy oil feed is leaking. 1/4" bolt and copper washer at the rear edge of the block. OR YOU DONT WANT TO HEAR THIS. It is the actual oil feed hole up from the rear cam bearing into the head, again oil feed for the rocker assembly. If it IS. WELL, I have had two that did that. I had to install a "RED VITRON" "O" ring in the surface of the block and slightly open up the head gasket hole to accommodate it. Keep your fingers crossed with the Re-Torque. Good Luck.

In reply to # 3907949 by Pjuneau I have slight weepage of oil coming from my 1500 head gasket. Nothing big, just another item to clean after each drive.
Is it dangerous to loosen then re-torque the head bolts? Do I just accept the fact that it is a 43 year old engine, and a little weepage is normal and not to tempt fate by trying to fix this? Thanks all.......



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