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6.9idi head retorqueing.

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by JacobHansen, Sep 10, 2019 at 5:57 AM.

  1. JacobHansen

    JacobHansen Registered User

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    Hi im new to fords,diesel, forms, and combustion gasses getting into my coolant.
    The rig is 1987 f350 6.9. C6 auto. 4x4 crewcab.
    No obvious signs of head gaskets leaking and runs very smooth. But tested positive for combustion gasses in coolant, it was boiling some off and gurgling so thats why it was tested.. So. Who thinks retorqueing the heads can get me through for a while. 2nd car this year with a failing head gasket. I don't have a garage or Bunch of dough left. And only need the truck on weekends. Any help appreciated.
     
  2. Fordman1920032003

    Fordman1920032003 Registered User

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    It's worth a shot.
     
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  3. Kevin 007

    Kevin 007 Full-floater

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    I ALWAYS re-torque 6.9L's. Somewhere it was factory recommended by either IH or Ford to have them done after 30,000miles. Most didn't get done, and some debate if its worth it or not. Many go a lifetime without blowing head gaskets, others don't. It doesn't cost anything except new valve cover gaskets, which it probably needs anyways. I have NEVER had any ill effects from re-torqueing and have stopped/slowed some external oil/coolant seepage from the back of the heads, and it makes me feel good.
    Be sure to back the bolts loose a 1/4 turn or so before attempting to torque. As the bolts will be kinda stuck in their threads, you will get an incorrect reading. So loosen a hair first, THEN torque. And you can torque a bit higher then factory spec
     
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  4. JacobHansen

    JacobHansen Registered User

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    Thanks. Much appreciated. Valve cover are seeping ya. Ill do that. Maybe it will help thanks again.
     
  5. renjaminfrankln

    renjaminfrankln Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Do you use a pattern or just go one at a time, loosen 1/4 turn then torque?
     
  6. Kizer

    Kizer Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I'd recommend using the pattern (for removal / backing out & re-torquing) in the shop manual. If you don't have one (yet), you should be able to see one on the Autozone website.

    Good luck, hope it works!
     
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  7. JacobHansen

    JacobHansen Registered User

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    I'm going to look for the oem torque sequence. Unless its on here somewhere? Has anyone had luck stopping the combustion leak by retorqueing? Im not sure of true miles and its been hot. Once overheated but was only spiked for a min while driving. Lack of coolant. Cooled down once the fluid started moving. And im guessing on previous owner because he had all but the head gaskets replaced. Radiator, hoses, waterpump all new.
     
  8. renjaminfrankln

    renjaminfrankln Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    http://www.nickpisca.com/diesel/

    Don’t know if it will solve your problem. Probably not
     
  9. Kevin 007

    Kevin 007 Full-floater

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    I have not been able to stop a combustion leak with a re-torque. Its its only a minor leak (the odd bubble in your reservoir) you might have success, might not be forever but might buy you some time. So a combination of a re-torque and make sure your rad cap is relieving pressure at the specified lbs or even going with a lower lbs cap (which I always do, 7lbs; just don't let the coolant temps rise to the temps where it would start boiling and your fine) to help reduce strain on the cooling system, taking in all that extra pressure.

    Once you are in that deep, (having all the rockers removed/valve covers off, to re-torque your heads), you may as well go a little deeper and pull the heads and thro gaskets at it and check the heads out. But of course if time and money are tight (like they usually are for me) try a retorque first and see where that gets you.
     
  10. JacobHansen

    JacobHansen Registered User

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    Great advice. I will retorque this weekend. I have a 7lb cap i can throw on too. Thanks
     
  11. The_Josh_Bear

    The_Josh_Bear Full Access Member

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    Couldn't agree more. Only thing I'd add is to make sure to get a quality 12-point socket(also called a tripple square I believe), and only do one bolt at a time! (Loosen 1/8-1/4 turn, then torque. Then move to next bolt and repeat.)

    Also go back over the whole pattern 2 or 3 times after the initial loosening/torquing. You don't loosen again but double check the torque. I had a handful be "loose" after torquing the first round, and even the second.

    Happy wrenching!
     
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  12. JacobHansen

    JacobHansen Registered User

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    Any pointers on the state of the engine beforehand? Should i get it warm? Do the timing marks need to be aligned? The rockers go back to ther original places? Im only so worried because I love this truck but can't get the heads done right now. Don't want it sitting. Don't want to make it worse. You guys are awesome and very helpful. I'll have to buy the shop manual at some point.
     
  13. Kevin 007

    Kevin 007 Full-floater

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    No the truck doesn't have to be warm. Yes the rockers go back in the same places, keep them organized keep them clean. Go back and forth on the when tightening them down to ensure the seat nice and square.
    No, timing marks don't have to get aligned in regards to gears or anything although the service manual does say to have the crank timing mark aligned with the 11 oclock position when looking at it from the front. The rockers will be pushing down on some of the valves when you first go to remove them, you can remove them anyways, and as you re-install they will go right back to how they were. Just make sure they all seat nice on their pedestals, which they pretty much usually do.
    As Josh Bear said, go get a quality socket. Maybe get both a deep and shallow socket. There are a couple bolts near the back, on the passenger side, that are a little tight to get into but you can.
    Before you put your valve covers back on you can crank the engine over with the starter relay on the fender well and watch the rockers in action to make sure its all good. Then you can even start the engine with the valve covers off to watch again.
    You will probably have to remove or loosen the bracketry that holds the fuel filter, to get at the front valve cover bolt on that side and make it easier to remove the cover.
    Yes, buy a manual with the sequences and such. You will use it for other things later, trust me.
    You will be surprised by how "loose" the head bolts will be. That's not just a 6.9 thing, its the same with the 7.3's just maybe not quite so much, and also the same with pretty well all diesels.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 2:53 AM
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  14. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    DE76321A-16B5-42E5-9189-5FB12FB58B8F.jpeg
     
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  15. riphip

    riphip Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    torque rockers to 20ft lbs
     
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