View Full Version : Head Gaskets or no head gaskets?

10-15-2010, 07:28 PM
Ok so now that I have the time and money to do almost anything to my 1990 SC I have been wondering if I should take the time to do the head gaskets. The car has 90k on it and I know that the head gaskets are prone to go out its just a when situation. I have also been told to at least just do arp studs because it will save the engine and make the gaskets last a little longer. What should I do?

10-15-2010, 10:51 PM
Yes, do them while you can and install the ARP studs.

10-16-2010, 01:31 AM
imo over size the valves and ports the heads while you have them off. that way if you go bigger in the future you wont have to pull the heads again.

10-16-2010, 09:19 AM
imo over size the valves and ports the heads while you have them off. that way if you go bigger in the future you wont have to pull the heads again.

Agreed. At the very least have them worked and ported. Port the intake also.

10-16-2010, 04:24 PM
Alright will do. The good thing about it is my dad owns one of the best machine shops in my city so i dont have to pay a dime to get the heads done. What gaskets should I go with?

10-16-2010, 05:07 PM
Well I was going to say .. if it aint broke, dont fix it. But since your dad owns a machine shop and work is Freeeeeeee .. go for it. ;)

- Dan

10-16-2010, 05:14 PM
Yea. Ya gotta love free. Its awesome just having to pay for parts and not have to pay for any labor.

Torino Cobra
10-16-2010, 09:19 PM
What head gaskets you use depends on what you are gonna use the car for and personal preforance. use the search feature of the forums to see what other people have used and what they were using the car for. there is a big difference in the hg requierments for a race car and a street car. unless its for all out raceing I think most people just use the good ol fel pros!
But again the search function of the forums is the best tool a
S/C owner can use. almost any question you can have about our cars has been asked and then answerd. just be careful bout who u take advice from sometimes, everyone here is not always the expert the want to be. look for the long time members who have cars that are running!y
And by using the SEARCH FEATURE you can find many inexpensive mods that other owners have done while changing the HG's that improve reliability and performance, such as studs, exaust, porting, injectors, roller rockers ect!!

10-16-2010, 09:55 PM
If willing to do a complete tear down of the motor get the Heads and Block prepped for MLS, else use use the OEM fel-pro.

10-17-2010, 09:40 PM
My car is gonna be a weekend car and it is also gonna be a car that I take to the track at least once or twice a week. Ive already got new injectors, but they are the stock size ones so I will probably upgrade to bigger ones. Planning on getting the exhaust done once I put the new transmission in. Also planning to port the intake while doing the gaskets. Never thought about the roller rockers though... Thanks for the advice.

10-18-2010, 01:31 PM

Thats great your dad has the means to help you out. I would definitely do the head gaskets. Also the valvesprings on our cars are very weak and marginal at best even on a stock car. Now realize if you do heads with larger valves..Im sure youde want to do a cam....Along with that comes a larger fuel pump, exhaust injectors and a tune....So it adds up. Just make sure you know what you want.

BUT...If you dont want to go that crazy...Rebuild stock heads with good valve springs, good valve job, mild cleanup port job, ARP studs and new gaskets. You wont have to worry about other upgrades. But while your at it you may want to do a cam even if you dont want to go wild. You could get away with adding a mild cam without going overbord or changing drivability.

Now if you wanted to go crazy....Id convince dad that we need to build an SC motor on the side for a swap in later on. Hey you have the means! So why not start out with something mild with the piece of mind of new gaskets and a lil bit more performance

10-18-2010, 04:55 PM
Yea I love it. He has owned his own shop for 22 years so he is very good at what he does. Im not planning on going extremely crazy with the car, I just dont want it to blow up right after I start driving it again so Im taking necessary precautions. Is there a certain brand of valve springs that you recommend? I will have exhaust done soon and a 255 lph fuel pump is already on its way just need to get some bigger injectors and sell my ones that I have barely used since I blew the tranny not even a thousand miles after I put them haha. Just my luck. Any suggestions on what kind of cam as well?

10-18-2010, 06:42 PM
See if anyone chimes it with valvespring reccomendations. Id go with a cam no larger than 520 lift to keep it simple. Comp makes some mild cams for the 3.8 roller motor that would work great or one of the many vendors here can help.

The ARP studs are for a 2.8 chevy v6. Dont get the 3.8 SC ones/

What injectors do you have? You could probably get away with 42's. I have in the past with a sim combo

10-18-2010, 06:47 PM
Just send XR7Dave an email for a cam and the correct hardware to go along with it. He'll be able to get you about anything your gonna need.

10-18-2010, 07:31 PM
I have the 30 lb injectors. Bought them brand new off of supercoupe performance. I went ahead and replaced all six when I bought the car because some of them were cracked and I only had the money to do the stock size.