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chrisp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Connecticut
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Talk me down from the ledge....a broken head stud.

I set out about three months ago I began planning my my winter projects. It started as a clutch replacement and it grew into a seal and gasket replacing frezy and upgrades like SSI's, Tensioners, Power Clutch, 2 in 2 out, and a couple of other things.

Today I am trying to keep the momentum going (I only get to work on it on alternating weekends) and I removed the injection system, and replaced all of the easy to access seals and gaskets. I pulled the engine cooler and about 15 minutes later after cleaning it and installing the new seals, I go to put the oil cooler back on and just sitting there waiting for me is a 2" piece of a stud. It's the lower one and it was resting nicely in the space that you can access when the oil cooler is removed. The nut is no where. There doesn't seem to be an obvious exit path for the nut so where the heck it went I have no clue.

What should I do now? Am I facing a total rebuild or is this going to be easier than I think? I was planning on doing a rebuild in 12-24 months or sooner should I mis a shift at the track.

Should I just leave it and tend to it later? I have read about people who have driven thousands of miles with broken studs.

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Old 01-31-2004, 10:21 AM
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I guess I'll just offer one more opinion,....

One broken stud represents 25% of the available clamping force for sealing each cylinder.

I've seen the long term results of this folly with head surfaces heavily fretted and ruined cylinder sealing surfaces. IMHO, its much better (and cost-effective) to fix this now, rather than suffer the consquences later on.

Its just me tho,
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Old 01-31-2004, 02:29 PM
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This is not what you want to hear but you have just extended your project by a month. Do a rebuild.
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Old 01-31-2004, 02:50 PM
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You can just replace the dilvar (sp?) studs with steel and put new gaskets / seals. It won't be expensive that way but it will take time of course. Sounds like you have no time, so you might consider doing the whole nine yards. Sorry to hear. You have the engine out, I'd not put it back with broken studs.

George
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Old 01-31-2004, 02:54 PM
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Might as well do it "while you're in there."
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Old 01-31-2004, 02:59 PM
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Just to clarify... you are talking about a head stud that is visible on the side of the cylinder head? Not a crankcase stud behind the cooler, right?
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Old 01-31-2004, 05:03 PM
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It's as you say, the crankcase stud that's visible when the cooler is removed and/or the valve covers are off. I can see the broken end still attached to the case when I peer in with a light. All of the other studs are intact.

Do I need to rebuild or just dissasemble the heads and cylinders and put new studs in? I will do both sides while I am at it. If can just pull the heads and cylinders then I'll leave the upper/intake side alone and just do the lower/exhaust since from what I've read it sounds like dilavar is the problem and as long as the intake studs are intact I can leave them alone.

The question I have for those of you who have met the same fate is what's the minimum work procedure to replace the studs? Do the heads need to be fully disassembled or just un bolted from the studs and lifted off? Then the cylinder? I know the max is a full rebuild.

Thanks guys.
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Old 02-01-2004, 10:33 AM
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You are in the EXACT same situation I was in three years ago.

Do a search. Everyone knows my opinion so I won't rant here.
I'll just answer your question.

Yes, you can remove the engine, and simply take off the cam towers/heads and jugs to replace the headstuds.
But you need to ask yourself a few questions.
Are you planning on keeping the car?
How many miles are on it?
Cost/benifit analysis is essential. You may want to do more work while your in there.
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Old 02-01-2004, 10:54 AM
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How long were you planning on keeping the car Leland??
ooo ooo ooo... I wanna hear what all your answers to those questions were!
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:01 AM
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SILENCE!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:03 AM
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Or should I say.... "zipit"...
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:04 AM
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just plead insanity
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:08 AM
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Would you proudly wear a brand new $1000 designer suit with a pair of worn out and muddy old shoes? If you are going to do it, do it right. Why drive the car holding your breath wondering if the broken stud is a problem. Fix it once and for all and smile when you floor it.
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Old 02-01-2004, 11:35 AM
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Thanks for the input.

Leland, I have the engine out for a host of upgrades and regular maintainance type stuff. It's mounted on a stand already. CIS is off, heat exchangers are off, engine sheetmetal is all off, valve covers are off. I am not the kind to short change and skip steps to save time or money because it's just not worth it.

I guess my dilemma was whether or not it makes sense to rebuild the bottom end. I don't have any symptoms that would lead me in that direction but if just getting to the stud and replacing it is 80% of the job of a total rebuild then sure I will do the balance of the work and do the whole thing.

Not having done a rebuild before, I don't know if changing studs is 20% of the work of a full rebuild or 80% of a rebuild or something in between.

I try to ask as many questions as possible so I know what the options are. I didn't think that leaving the stud as is was really an option for me but I had heard of it before and I wanted to know what the others felt. I think consensus is that sure it'll run with a broken stud but it may cause problems down the road. I suspect those who leave them as is have the engine in the car and the thought of pulling it, etc is ominous.

Looks like I am leaning towards a full rebuild. I guess I just haven't dealt with the time commitment yet (or the money) but I will get over that soon.

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Old 02-01-2004, 04:58 PM
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