ARP Head stud kits

terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
283
20
I have been reading up on rebuilding the 4.0 and 4.6 engine. There are a lot of differing opinions on using stretch bolts or spending the extra dollars on an ARP stud kit. Before I started researching the ARP stud kits, I read up on top hat liner options. One of the well known builders, Turner, RPi, or maybe D&D (wish I could remember which one) reported they had recently seen a handful of their builds with top hat liners installed develop head gasket compression leaks after only 40,000 ish miles. One of the suspected reasons for failure was uneven quality of the stretch bolts, even the OE supplied bolts. They stated they would now be using ARP studs.

Until I read that I had decided to simply get the better quality stretch bolts. Now, I expect I will go with the ARP stud kit.

I am curious, anyone here experienced a failed head gasket after a relatively short time period not related to overheating or other obvious cause?
 

terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
283
20
I have also read that ARP has revised their torque specifications. They have reduced the torque from 100psi to 70psi.
 

WaltNYC

Well-known member
Mar 3, 2010
473
12
NYC
A reusable head gasket? I'm not at all sure I'd want that 'feature' in a HG. I mean, isn't the point to do it once and do it right? They can't possibly be reusable after 80-100k miles, can they?
 

terryjm1

Well-known member
Jan 23, 2011
283
20
When I was a lot younger I worked part time at a total shyster foreign car repair shop. I remember one time he “rebuilt” a Subaru engine. It had a rod knock. His rebuild consisted of sending the crankshaft to a machine shop and having one journal ground .O10 undersized and replacing only that rod bearing. He also cleaned the outside of the engine and made it look pretty. Reuse of head gaskets was standard practice, if they “came off clean.” I was amazed at what he got away with. He had a number of loyal repeat customers. If a customer left a car too long without paying the bill, their cars became parts suppliers for other customers cars.
 

StangGT5

Active member
Feb 4, 2019
34
3
Atlanta, GA
Tens if not hundreds of thousands of Rover V8s have been rebuilt with stretch headbolts and been fine. That said, I too am interested in using ARP's stud kit. I have come across a couple stories of cracking around the headbolt dwells that were attributed to the studs. It could just be coincidence that ARP reduced the torque spec, but there are plenty of people that have used the studs and not run into this issue.
 

pdxrovermech

Well-known member
Jul 3, 2009
1,683
6
Portland, OR
I like the ARP stud kits. I dont use them on all my HG jobs though. I'll use bolts on a block if the heads have never been done before because i can trust its integrity, but if I see that the heads have been off before and it was a shitty job (most the time it is) then i'll use the studs. these steel studs and bolts are threaded into an aluminum block and i've stripped a few bolts out while trying to torque them down properly. The studs dont put that same stress on the threads, so they hold up better.
 

Swedjen2

Well-known member
Sep 12, 2018
262
37
California
When I was a lot younger I worked part time at a total shyster foreign car repair shop. I remember one time he “rebuilt” a Subaru engine. It had a rod knock. His rebuild consisted of sending the crankshaft to a machine shop and having one journal ground .O10 undersized and replacing only that rod bearing. He also cleaned the outside of the engine and made it look pretty. Reuse of head gaskets was standard practice, if they “came off clean.” I was amazed at what he got away with. He had a number of loyal repeat customers. If a customer left a car too long without paying the bill, their cars became parts suppliers for other customers cars.
total shyster foreign car repair ©

Mine now.