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Old 01-23-2014, 08:17 AM   #1
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Head bolt re-torque proper spec

Hello everyone, it's been ages since I've been on here. Still have the '99 Viggen, still the daily driver. The past 2 days in the cold weather, I've been smelling coolant through the vents while idling and stopped. Checked out for heater core leakage and it's OK. Looks like coolant is coming out of the driver's side of the head...wonderful. It's not a hose, or seal, and looks genuinely like a head gasket. I'm going to pop the valve cover off and see how my head bolts look and do a re-torque. The issue I have is what to torque them to. New head bolts upon re-installing the head are to be torqued in pattern to 40Nm, then 60Nm and then an additional 90 degrees. You can't reuse torque-to-yield bolts, but have others done this with success? Or have others simply replaced one bolt at a time with new and started the procedure from the beginning?

Insight would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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With 205k and noticable leakage, the gasket is probably too far gone to rely on tightening to fix it.

But... go ahead. Pop off the VC, and give 'em all a good tug. If you're using a torque wrench, it should be somewhere between 90-100 lb/ft.

I'd plan on replacing the gasket, though. even with the MLS gaskets, if there's coolant passing through long-enough, it'll wear and need replacing. especially at 200k
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:43 AM   #3
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That's what I figured, it is old. This is my line of work, but since we're not a high volume Saab shop I don't do these on a regular basis. I'm planning on doing it this summer...I'd rather not do it now so re-torque it is. Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-23-2014, 05:18 PM   #4
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I was very surprised to find the 2 outermost bolts on the driver's side of the head to be nearly finger-tight with the front bolt on the next row in being just slightly tighter. The rest of the bolts were properly tight. Going slowly up on the torque wrench, the other bolts just barely turned before the wrench clicked off at 70 lb/ft. The loose ones were re-torqued in stages: 30, 44 and then 70 lb/ft. I would not recommend this method at all if you're installing new bolts. Use the original procedure of 30 then 44 lb/ft, then an additional 90 degrees.

How this thing ran fine for so long with no torque on 3 head bolts in beyond me. Coolant leak is gone after testing with 17 pounds of pressure in it. Hopefully it holds out until summer when I have time for a head gasket job and it's not 2 degrees outside.
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:24 AM   #5
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I did this on my lady's 00 9-3 and got another 30k out of it. Probably would have gone for more but she ended up trading it in. Sounds like your was the same as hers, 2 closest to driver's side were barely finger tight, she was effectively pouring coolant out from the corner of the head/block. Retorqued everything and she never leaked a drop after that.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:28 AM   #6
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I'm hoping for long term success here. Thanks for the input on your outcome. I'd really rather not do the headgasket if I don't have to.

It was really alarming to open the hood to find coolant pouring out of the space between the head and block...that's the stuff nightmares are made of!
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