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Old 02-19-2021, 10:44 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Back in NC again...
Default Car running "weird" after head gasket replacement

I recently had to remove the head on my perfectly running sedan (92 244 M47/ 140K miles) due to snapped exhaust stud that I could not extract with the head installed. Everything seemed to go back together well, torqued head at 15 ft. lbs, then 45 ft. lbs, then 90 degrees.

I've noticed that at lower RPM, the car shudders when I start out in first gear unless I give extra throttle/slip the clutch. At higher RPMs the car just feels flat - above 3k.

This morning I noticed a lot of white exhaust vapor upon startup, and was still evident after engine had warmed to middle of the temp gauge after stopping to get gas (had driven 3 miles or so before I arrived at gas station).

I also wasn't very happy with the amount of tension that the tensioner applied to the timing belt after releasing it. It still seems a bit loose.

I plan to run a compression test tomorrow to see if I botched the head gasket install. If pressures are decent and consistent, I think I will re-check the timing belt to see if it has slipped.

Does this seem like a reasonable course of action? If the compression is low on any cylinder(s), should I just bite the bullet and pull the head and order a new HG? If so, this would be the third time head bolts would be torqued - is that okay or should I order new ones?

What sucks is this all happened to fix a simple exhaust leak at the head/manifold. Icing on the cake is I can't get the manifold/downpipe connection to seal 100% with the new Volvo downpipe gasket (silver metal, which showed evidence of a leak) or with the original copper downpipe gasket. It still drones from that connection when you get on it...sigh.
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