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Are my heads cracked?


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27 replies to this topic

#1 Red0ktober

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 04:29 PM

At a glance, it appears to me that my heads are cracked between the valves.

I have been in touch with the owner at time of failure. He said it blew a hose (or something) and overheated. I didn't see any obvious places the head gaskets blew, but there was water in the oil and a cylinder.

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#2 markjw

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 04:38 PM

Those cracks between the valves don't mean too much. Every ea82 head I have pulled had those cracks. But, since you have them off, it'd be a good idea to take um into a machine shop for a shave and a pressure test.

#3 Red0ktober

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 04:47 PM

I posted this on another board at the same time, a guy pointed out a crack on this one, below the intake valve.

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#4 grossgary

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 04:51 PM

the cracks between the valves are normal, they're just surface level, Subaru has even mentioned it in literature before, ignore those. every EA/ER head i've ever seen.....or at least 90%, has those cracks.

usually on the turbo heads - those cracks "can" go deep enough to reach the exhaust ports, but yours are dinky cracks and i highly doubt that's the case. but they can pressure test or you can look into the exhaust chamber for catastrophic cracks.

technically speaking the "cracks" (that aren't cracks) can be repaired with stitch pins or probably welding, i've done it before....but there's no need since there's no problem.

clean them up and then see what they really look like, not sure about that crack below the valve but that would be an odd head crack in my opinion, never seen that before.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 04:54 PM

use the Fel-Pro permatorque gaskets and add 5-10 ft-lbs to the final torque value (though on a non-turbo it probably doesn't matter, they don't blow gaskets unless they're run out of coolant) - they don't require a retorque and are highly utilized by many of us. i wouldn't touch fel pro's for newer stuff, but this is one engine where they shine. i actually have a set i probably won't need any time soon. i'll ship them to you for a bit less than cost.

#6 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 05:21 PM

Subaru issued a TSB telling their tech's to ignore cracks between the valves. It's normal - you will not find a used head that doesn't have them. Resurface the heads and run them.

GD

#7 Red0ktober

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 05:39 PM

The car has 160k on it, I bought it as a non-runner and was told it blew a hose and overheated.

I'll check with the local machine shop in the morning and see if they work on aluminum heads.

Anything specific I should ask them to do?

#8 Quidam

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 05:45 PM

"I have been in touch with the owner at time of failure. He said it blew a hose (or something) and overheated. I didn't see any obvious places the head gaskets blew, but there was water in the oil and a cylinder."

Was the water in the cylinder in the first picture?

Is this an EA-81?

That motor has been detonated, look at picture #2.

Doug

#9 Red0ktober

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 06:21 PM

"I have been in touch with the owner at time of failure. He said it blew a hose (or something) and overheated. I didn't see any obvious places the head gaskets blew, but there was water in the oil and a cylinder."

Was the water in the cylinder in the first picture?

Is this an EA-81?

That motor has been detonated, look at picture #2.

Doug


The cylinder that seemed to have coolant in it was the first picture. That's Cyl #3, nearest the turbo.

It's an EA81T. What am I looking for on pic #2? The rough intake valve?

#10 Quidam

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 06:46 PM

I took a closer look, that thing is a mess. I can imagine what the pistons and ring lands look like.

The erosion and damage is all over. Yes, what you see, the "specks".

Doug

#11 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 06:50 PM

Yeah - looking at the valves closer it does look like the valves and seats are pretty hammered. Not much left of the valve faces or seats I wouldn't guess.

Probably be prudent to rebuild the short-block but I would have to see it.

GD

#12 Red0ktober

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:23 PM

Think it's worth it? I bought it as a parts car but figured I'd see how serviceable the EA81T was. My other option is to swap in the low-mile EA81 (non-Turbo) from my ugly car since the body on this one is so much nicer.

Or I could just have the heads rebuilt and see how long the rest holds...

#13 grossgary

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:24 PM

160k is low for an EA and one needing anything more than gasket at this age is due to poor maintenance/abuse. who knows what it's been through the past 2+ decades but normally you should be able to gasket slap an EA and it's good to go for another 100k rather easily. gasket slap it and see what happens if you have any inclination that the block is good...though being a turbo isn't good for the innards if it was overheated.

they've all rusted out around here so i rarely mess with them any more. :lol:

*edit:
is there any reason "not" to swap in your known good EA81? that sounds like a good option. not that hard to gasket slap this one either. 10 years ago i'd gasket slap it and see what happens - now i'd go for a known good motor, married, kids, no time to waste.

Edited by grossgary, 04 July 2011 - 07:27 PM.


#14 Red0ktober

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:31 PM

The only reason is that the other car is not a turbo (and therefore carb'd). Also, I'm loaning that car to a friend and was thinking of signing it over to her. It's ugly, but it gets better MPG than their Yukon. :P

The Ugly One: http://www.ultimates...ad.php?t=121484

#15 grossgary

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:36 PM

your head is definitely cracked - you're giving a girl a car. :lol:

if you don't have a motor then gasket slap it and see what happens. rod knock usually gives you a little bit of warning before it blows. :banana:

#16 Red0ktober

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 07:49 PM

I can't gasket-slap it without first having this head repaired or replaced. That's at least $200 from the shop in Portland (according to their web site).
http://www.aluminumh...com/Subaru.html

you're giving a girl a car. :lol:


What? Not supposed to do that?

The other car came to me freely, and all I have into it is the new tires and tags. My friend loves it despite it's hideous appearance. What more could a 30 year old Subaru want?

#17 markjw

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 08:24 PM

I can't gasket-slap it without first having this head repaired or replaced.


That's the idea behind a Gasket Slap....Throw caution to the wind, Gasket Slap it and see what happens. :grin:

#18 grossgary

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 08:59 PM

That's the idea behind a Gasket Slap....Throw caution to the wind, Gasket Slap it and see what happens. :grin:

right. is the head really that bad? i'd be more worried about the block, even if a head is bad are the EA81T heads that hard to come by?

#19 Red0ktober

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:35 PM

If I up the boost from the turbo to equal the cooling system pressure, I shouldn't have any trouble!

I just started rubbing on what looked like a crack. It wasn't. Rubbed right off. Silly me.

Gasket-slap it is!

Edited by Red0ktober, 04 July 2011 - 09:38 PM.


#20 Quidam

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 10:09 PM

For example, look here:http://cgi.ebay.com/...emZ170552572431
"
Cylinder heads are ready to bolt on. They've been pressure tested, glassbeaded, magnafluxed, milled, 3 angle competition valve job, new guides & seals."

These heads look to be uncracked. I have a set of EA-82T heads, they have one crack. Between the valves on #3. They are used and first gen. I got them from Peter on this board and he can verify that if he choses. Not all heads crack, are cracked. Overheated, yes they probably will be.

Coolant flows from the back of the motor to the front and the main source of heat in an engine is in the combustion chamber. #3 and 4 get the damage first, if when/if it happenes. Don't fill it right, start it up without coolant, air pockets, overheat it and drive it home anyway, I can hear your heads cracking:)

Doug

Edit: Hey, got any pictures of the pistons? Show me your busted up ring lands please:). Here's what new ones look like.Posted Image

About $60.00, ebay.

Edited by Quidam, 04 July 2011 - 10:20 PM.


#21 Red0ktober

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 10:54 PM

Oh good. They magnafluxed the heads. That's sure to find cracks in ALUMINUM.

Not to mention my engine isn't a V4.

eBay, you disappoint me sometimes.

#22 Quidam

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 10:58 PM

Oh good. They magnafluxed the heads. That's sure to find cracks in ALUMINUM.

Not to mention my engine isn't a V4.

eBay, you disappoint me sometimes.


Yea, don't you just love it:) I don't think the people who did the work are the same folks doing the listing. Just an example. I've looked with a magnifyer and didn't see any cracks tho.

Doug

#23 grossgary

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 11:09 PM

I just started rubbing on what looked like a crack. It wasn't. Rubbed right off. Silly me.

Gasket-slap it is!

that's what i thought would happen. awesome, good luck, these things are typically good for quite a few cheap, low maintenance miles.

clean them up and then see what they really look like, not sure about that crack below the valve but that would be an odd head crack in my opinion, never seen that before.



#24 Red0ktober

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Posted 04 July 2011 - 11:52 PM

Edit: Hey, got any pictures of the pistons? Show me your busted up ring lands please:).


This is #3, none of them look bad.
Posted Image

Edited by Red0ktober, 05 July 2011 - 12:03 AM.


#25 Red0ktober

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 12:05 AM

I've cleaned up the surfaces, maybe tomorrow I'll start reassembly.

I hope this works.




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