Aftermarket Head Gaskets

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Nov 22, 2010
Ottawa, Ont., Canada
Hey again gang, 2F engine + aftermarket (non-OEM) head gaskets......thoughts?
We just did the head-gasket on our truck (along with other gaskets while in there).
We got it as part of the engine overhaul kit we ordered from SOR.
Anyone have experience on longevity?
If they don't seem dependable, what are other folks out there using since it seems OEM are so hard to get?

Thanks as always, this forum is a true gold mine....
Yeah you are correct, it is already in there.
However if the aftermarket ones aren't lasting, we have no problem redoing the job.
Is everyone getting theirs from Toyota?
When we first started this process I called the toyota dealer we usually get OEM parts from and the guy I got said they were no longer avail from Toyota? Was he miss-informed? I have a guy I generally deal with who has been very good at sourcing items for the truck, so maybe I'll give him a ring today.
Otherwise, does anyone else have a source for this part?
On a similar note, what is everyone's thoughts on the rest of the SOR (or any aftermarket) gaskets/valve stem seals, all other seals etc etc?
Generally I agree that sticking with OEM is the best bet.
However we've found getting anything other than regular maintenance items (filters brakes etc) has become somewhat difficult through Toyota and horribly expensive.
However I'd prefer to do the job should we just scrap the SOR kit and try and do all OEM?
We're not looking to do a full off 100% factory restore, but we do want reliable....

OK, got word from our dude at Kanata Toyota (he's been awesome at tracking down FJ40 parts for us in case anyone in the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada area is reading). He can get us a OEM head gasket!!!! He says the last person we talked top must have been having an off day....

Next questions:
What are thoughts on head bolts?
Should we just replace these as well?
Or have people out there been fine doing old head bolts?

I don't mind redoing the odd gasket /seal here and there every few years but a head gasket is something I'd like to do as few times as possible.

The bolt holes were chased and chamfered when we did the change to the SOR headgasket and we'll do this again when going to the OEM headgasket. Besides that any other tips from folks who've done this procedure a number of times? yes I know skyies the limit but I'm think anything specifically with the headgasket procedure itself, anything we should keep in mind?

Prethanks to anyone who responds....
If you installed the SOR gasket correctly, It will never fail under normal circumstances. No need to replace head bolts on the older 2F's and if I were you I would spend more time worrying about keeping it maintained than fixing something that isn't broke. Good Luck
Head gaskets and bolts are mission critical parts. Get new parts, go OEM while it's still available and do the job once. In this case the parts cost is really quite minimal compared to the labor involved.

Check out photos of the OEM head gasket on my store site (search for the phrase "head gasket").
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The SOR head gasket for my '86 FJ60 had very different cooling holes than the OEM gasket. It is an inferior gasket compared to Toyota's. Although mine didn't fail after 4 years of use, after I recently replaced it and examined it, I would personally never use the HG SOR sells again.

I replaced all my head bolts too. Some were a bit rusty. Although old head bolts won't break, their threads are no longer smooth. That impacts how they torque down even when wire wheeled. After chasing the threads in the block, torquing down the new head bolts was a very different experience compared to the old bolts. There was way less friction and therefore the head got clamped down significantly tighter at the same torque spec. Big difference.
hey gang, yet again many thanks.
We're gonna get a new OEM HG and bolts, may as well at this point.
Lets just say I really, really wanted to ensure the coolant was flushed well LOL

Anyhow, one last question for all of you who've been through it....
Loctite on the HG bolts, yes or no? We didn't when we installed the SOR Gasket but I've read some mixed opinions.
If so, color (blue)?

Skully3, as for your comments on maintaining, we agree 100% with you in maintaining what we have.
This is part of why we'd prefer to fix it correctly once, maybe the SOR gasket is fine for a number of years but the general feedback is the Toyota will long outlast other options. Parts for these trucks seem to be going extinct fairly quickly, so I'd hate to stick with the SOR gasket now, then in 4-5 years have to do this again and find OEM stuff is even harder to get.
Other than that the truck is well maintained from a "changing fluids regularly etc" perspective. Now we're trying to improve upon what we have. The head gasket let go, so plain and simple it had to be done. There were other gasket that hadn't failed yet but we'll also do them while in here. So we're moving from a "maintaining what we have" to an "improvement" mind set. If we can do it to the best of our ability then I think we'll take that road (within reason, we're not millionaires and I can see where the spending can quickly get out of control LOL). Up until just recently I hadn't done enough investigating what was avail (I thought I had but turns out I didn't), shame on me. Now that we know better, we'll stick with Toyota, generally we always have on our Toyota trucks unless there was no other option. Besides, it builds character to do jobs like this!!! LOL Cheers!

Thanks again to everyone, hope everyone gets out for a good weekend ride!
No loctite on the head bolts. Just a THIN coating of motor oil. Not grease. Not anti-seize.

You want to be able to retorque the head bolts a few times after installing the head and driving it a bit.
After first warm up
After 500 miles
Next 1000 miles.
What Output Shaft said: Follow the FSM for torquing, etc. - a few drops of motor oil on head bolts. Not so much oil on each bolt that they lock up in the blind holes due to oil saturation.

I paid $141+tax at the dealer for a OEM head gasket, and Fel Pros were something like $40, but a local club member noted 3x failures of Fel Pro head gaskets fairly soon after install. I have not started/run my truck, but I have little desire to do it again, especially with the engine in the truck, as it will be when I stick it back in there.
Ok, sounds great!
We didn't loctite the first time doing this as I'd been taught to re-torque after at least one good heat cycle, but hey I'm willing to accept maybe I learned wrong!
I will follow the re-torquing Output Shaft indicated above (confirmed by SteveH).
The feedback / advice is appreciated.
New parts should be here mid next week, now to just find the time to do it again!
Thanks again everyone who provided feedback.......we'll keep you posted how the project goes. Maybe as indicated in a different thread I started, this might be indication of the humble beginnings of a frameoff.............LOL Oh boy.....
OEM Head gasket came in yesterday, head bolts have yet to show.
We ordered a couple of sizes of main jets as well but apparently the just went NLA from toyota:(

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