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Old 03-10-2008, 11:16 AM   #1
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Default Cylinder Head Replacement

OK...so I blew the cylinder head in the 1990 Miata (a weekend before installing a turbo kit). I found a cylinder head at http://www.cylinder-heads.com/ for $375 with a 3 angle valve job and also picked up gasket sets and water pump/timing belt for $160 from http://www.partsdinosaur.com/ also I went to Summit and got an ARP Stud set for $120. Now my question is...is there anything special I need to do when installing? Some people have said to use Copper Gasket(spray coating)...some say just RTV (with gasket)...some say neither (just the gasket is fine alone)...

I dont mind taking my time and getting this done right...but it is a daily driver and dont want to replace the head again for a while...any suggestions would be appreciated. I am going to throw a Begi-S kit on this when its finished...in case that matters.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:27 AM   #2
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$375 for a rebulit head? I have a brand new one (from the crate) that I can sell you for $550 shipped.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:30 AM   #3
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1. make friends with parts dude at local mazda dealership (WP and TB kit for $105 after tax)
2. make sure that you have an accurate tq. wrench...thats your most important tool in this job.
3. on the head gasket, i heared to leave it alone(no additives), although i am open for suggestions to this myself...
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by whaaamx5 View Post
1. make friends with parts dude at local mazda dealership (WP and TB kit for $105 after tax)
2. make sure that you have an accurate tq. wrench...thats your most important tool in this job.
3. on the head gasket, i heared to leave it alone(no additives), although i am open for suggestions to this myself...
1. I got the full gasket kit, WP and TB, and extra goodies for $160...I got an OK price in my opinion. (stealerhip and advance auto couldnt do better).

2. Craftsman had a sale this weekend...bought all new equipment

3. I get alot of different stories about this...I have never used RTV but I have used the copper gasket spray.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:47 AM   #5
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Make sure the mating surfaces are clean from the old gasket and just put a new OEM head gasket on with no other substances. Make sure you line up the gasket the correct way with all the coolant passages lined up as people have gotten it wrong.

You only need the RTV stuff for the valve cover around the CAS/timing gear areas, NOT on the head to block gasket.

Make sure you lube up the head studs with lots of oil on the install as getting the correct head torque sequence and amount of torque is the most important part.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:51 AM   #6
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Make sure you read the instruction on the ARP Studs.. i think the install of those are different than OEM Head bolts.
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:56 AM   #7
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Yeah...that was another question...the ARP studs come with lube...should I use this or 30WT oil since I COULD use either...which is better to use?
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Old 03-10-2008, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boardboy330 View Post
I found a cylinder head at http://www.cylinder-heads.com/ for $375
Interesting. They also stock cylinder heads for the elusive 1.8 liter '90-'96 Miata as well as the downright rare FS 2.0 liter '93-'97 Miata.
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:11 PM   #9
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Joe...I appreciate the input...you seem very intelligent and youre a very funny guy...but the monster truck I work on has used heads from this site for over 3 years now...no issues, with a 1500HP monster truck motor - that says alot...I talked to Pat...and within 15 seconds of speaking to him...he more than gained my trust. The phone call made a huge difference.

So after reading a thread by Samnavy about a "mild rebuild" and since my other miata needs rebuilt...Im doing the head work on this one and then a rebuild on the other.

As far as getting this car back on the road...is there anything else im missing? Clean the surface, place the gasket properly, install the head and reassemble motor? Sounds too easy...
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Old 03-10-2008, 04:04 PM   #10
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too easy? only if you rush it...lol
take your time and make sure that the surface is clean and true (no major warping)
make sure you tq. the head properly, you do not want to mess up here, take your time if this is your first time and go in the right order no matter what seems easier faster...

one thing i would look out for in this job would be intake and exhaust manifold gaskets
if you are boosted, the slightest crack in the intake mani can lead to a hard to diagnose vac./boost leak
the exhaist gasket, well that'll just annoy the **** out of you (even though theses do not fail commonly)
good luck in your build
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by boardboy330 View Post
Joe...I appreciate the input...you seem very intelligent and youre a very funny guy...but the monster truck I work on has used heads from this site for over 3 years now...no issues
Relax, I was just poking fun at their website. I'm sure if you call 'em up with an engine code in hand they're ok to deal with.
Quote:
is there anything else im missing?
Might be a good idea to have replacements on hand for the two coolant hoses which connect to the heater core. Even if you don't destroy them in the process of removing them, now would be a great time to replace them anyway. Other than that your list seems pretty complete.
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Old 03-11-2008, 08:28 AM   #12
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Seriously guys/girls(if any) I appreciate the help...I'll post some pics when I get this thing finished. I just got the head in the mail today and waiting on gaskets and ARP Studs.

If there are any specific pics of things someone would like...let me know before I start
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:39 AM   #13
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Go through the workshop manual to make sure that you get the right bolting order for the studs......

IIRC the head gasket will go on both ways... check to make sure you don't have any water jackets blocked..... But it's been three years since I put mine on with the motor swap.

Transfer all your senders to the new head -- the green temp sensor, and anything else too -- CAS maybe required. Just to make sure you have them all at least. <G>

Also while you have it out, consider "knotching" the bottom of the Coil bracket... (there's a bolt at the bottom of the coils while holds it to the head). If you notch it, you'll be able to get it out easier with the motor in the car.

Make sure you mark the position for all the grounds.... you need to make sure you get them all put back nicely.....

Consider Timing belt/water pump.... since you already have to get the TB off to do the swap.... do it while you are there anyway.....

Dave,
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