Having trouble oil leak with replacement ARP Head Bolt n washers

Discussion in '1973-1987' started by Neil, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Neil

    Neil Member

    Jan 31, 2010
    Replaced stock head bolts on a rebuild of a 1973 Chevy 454 and I'm having trouble with oil leaks at the head bolts. Does anyone have a good source for getting the stock bolts to get me back to the original configuration of bolts. I'm having trouble finding the stock bolts on all the regular parts sites (JEGs, NAPA, JCWhittney, Summit, Kragen).
  2. David Hall

    David Hall Member

    Jun 3, 2008
    Chesterfield Va.
    Welcome to the forum Neil,

    If your after new stock head bolts, your local GM parts counter would be your best bet. Also if you didn't mind walking around, try looking in your nearest junkyard for 454.

    ARP bolts are far superior than GM and I would keep them.

    When replacing the head bolts, the holes in the block need to be chased with a bottom tap to clean the threads, followed by thread sealer on all the bolts. I've never messed with a big block but can tell you some head bolts on a small block enter the surrounding water jacket around the pistons. IMO it's just easier to seal all the bolt threads and this will ensure an even torque also.

    Good Luck
  3. GonicGM

    GonicGM Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Seacoast New Hampshire
    I wouldn't expect your issue to be inherant to bolt brand. Regardless of make or type, you should use sealer on the head bolts on Chevrolet V-8's. The head bolt tapped holes in the block go into the water jacket. Without sealer, you can ultimately have problematic coolant leaks, plus you can have head bolts seize due to exposure to coolant. While sealing the bolt threads, place a generous swipe under the bolt heads on those outside the valve cover. Likewise under washers if you have those as well. I prefer Permatex PST, teflon pipe thread sealant. It seals plus lubricates for torquing.
  4. Pontiac1976

    Pontiac1976 Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes there Permatex PST, Teflon pipe thread sealant is the stuff you should use on head bolts or intake bolt in any water passages
  5. 2tons of fun

    2tons of fun Member

    Jun 18, 2009
    ninja town
    any oil on the exterior head bolts is leaking from the valve covers, the bolts will only leak water because the end in water jacket not oil passages.

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