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    Thread: Accidentally forgot to install washers with new cylinder head bolts

    1. #1
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      Accidentally forgot to install washers with new cylinder head bolts

      Hello,

      I was half way to finishing the replacement of a cylinder head on a 2004 Aveo, when I discovered an unopened bag of washers for the new head bolts. Somehow I missed them when I installed the new head bolts. Do I feel like an idiot!

      Anyway, what do I do now? I'm pretty sure the head bolts will need to be replaced, but I'm wondering if the head gasket can be saved if I replace one bolt at a time?

      The engine hasn't been started yet, if that makes a difference.

      Thoughts?

      Thanks,

      Ed.
      2004 Aveo



    2. #2
      Timing belt broke, do I keep it? serega12's Avatar
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      Well, you've come to the right place (seeing it's your first post and all). Now let's wait for one of these guys that just rebuilt their motors to chime in...
      2006 Chevrolet Aveo a.k.a. Holden Barina – SOLD
      ​2008 Chevrolet Cobalt SS/TC - SOLD

    3. #3
      Almost time to do my timing belt
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      First of all, a tip of the hat to you for giving us the real deal, and not some story about it being someone else's fault for distracting you. We've all done stuff like this, and know how you feel . Next, a disclaimer that I've (fortunately) never had to do a head gasket myself. Timing belts, water pumps, radiators, etc. but no HG. So what I'm passing along to you here is second-hand information.
      A related flavor of this came up on a Civic forum that I've spent lots of time on. A guy doing his first HG didn't check for and remove coolant from the bolt holes in the block. Very logical, once you think about it, that if too much coolant is left in the holes, it can prevent one or more bolts from properly seating all the way - another one of the gotchas that good pros know and most of the rest of us don't (the first time anyway). In response to that, one very experienced professional mechanic, who is a frequent poster on that forum, stated that bolts could be successfully removed and replaced individually Frankly, I was very surprised to read that, given how fussy the torque specs for head bolts are. But who am I to question someone who has done this work for so many years, with so much accumulated experience.
      So, you can factor that in with any other advice you may get. Good luck with it any case!

    4. #4
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      Thanks for the responses so far. Great forum - very supportive.

      At this point I'm leaning towards just replacing the bolts one at a time - with washers this time around. I'm going to take a chance and not replace the head gasket.

      The new bolts should arrive tomorrow afternoon. Hoping to have it back together sometime later on in the evening.

      Fingers crossed.

      Ed
      2004 Aveo

    5. #5
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      Update:


      So, the new bolts arrived and I replaced the old bolts one at a time, and put everything back together. It took me quite a bit longer than expected, but I guess that's what happens when you're new to working on a particular car.


      The good news is that everything seems to be working properly. It took a good 30 seconds of cranking to get it started the first time since there was no fuel in the line. Kind of good in a way as it gave the oil system a chance to pump up before any load came on.


      The lifters were a little noisy at first but settled down once I was able to bring the revs up to about 1500rpm. The only other issue is the upper rad has is seeping a bit. Its already been off once before so I'm guessing its a bit tired being 8 years old.


      I never posted why I had to change the head. In case you were wondering it was because the timing belt lost a good 9 inches of ribs at 138,000 ams (yes, it wasn't changed on time). All of the valves were bent and the tops of the pistons were dented.


      I bought a replacement head on bay for $380 delivered from a guy in Quebec, and all of the replacement items (timing belt kit, head gasket set, etc) from rockauto. Total cost was just over $600. Not too bad when compared with $580 at the dealer just to do the timing belt service. My labor was free of course.


      I never replaced the pistons. I very carefully filed away and sharp edges (read somewhere that they can create hotspots if not removed) making sure that i didn't allow any filing to get down the cylinder walls. I also was very careful to clean all cylinder bolt holes using a little funnel, brake cleaner, paper towels, and compressed air. I also used a thread chaser everywhere I could to minimize any problems with bad threads.


      Let's hope it keeps running for a long time. I have to say that I've grown a little attached to this 2004 Aveo. It's not such a bad little car as some would have you believe. It just needs regular attention from time to time. Ignore it, and it will need a lot of attention in a short period of time.


      Cheers!

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    7. #6
      Almost time to do my timing belt
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      Thanks for posting the result, and continued good luck with the repair job! Great price for the head (wonder what the guy's profit is). On the leak - does it still have the original plastic thermostat? If so, you might want to check that for a hairline crack. The plastic ones fail like clockwork - just a question of when, not if.

    8. #7
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      Thanks for the suggestion of where the leak might be coming from. This Aveo had it's plastic thermostat housing replaced with the aluminum one a couple of years ago after the thermostat got stuck open. It's just the hose in this case - probably a bit tired from the one and off when the housing was replaced. I managed to reposition it and the clamps and it seems to be fine now. Will definitely replace it with a new one over the next week.





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