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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is taken from another list. But its still funny.

Hi guys,
Last weekend I spent two days wrestling with my GT-350 replica, which
you may recall is now running after a one-year period of dormancy while
the motor was in pieces. While dealing with some subsequent problems, I
learned some lessons that can all be directly applied to working on our
Upon startup of a new engine, if you hear a distinctive tic-tic-tic
sound from your header-to-cylinder head junction, you will be told by
all your friends that it is an exhaust leak caused by using the cheap
manifold gaskets which come as part of the entire engine-overhaul gasket
set, and you should have opted for high-quality $35 Fel-Pro header
gaskets instead. The only solution is to remove and replace the lame
gasket with a quality unit.
The header bolts which didn't allow enough clearance to get a wrench
or socket on them when you were installing them, haven't shrunk any, so
removing the eight bolts will take an hour.
Your hopes of simply backing the header away from the head, slipping
the two-week-old, cheap gasket out and installing the new, $35 gasket
will be dashed when you realize the existing gasket has adhesed itself
firmly to the head. It will need to be scraped off.
Immediately after commencing the scraping activities, you will be
struck with both a revelation and a recollection. The revelation is
that the header-to-fenderwell interference won't allow you enough
clearance to scrape the entire gasket, so the header will have to
completely come off the car. The recollection will be that you were
smart enough to trash the cheap gasket that came with the engine
rebuilder kit, and the $35 Mr. Gasket like-new gasket you forgot you had
installed, and have now just destroyed, is of similar quality to the new
$35 Fel-Pro gasket you bought to replace it.
Spray-on gasket remover is highly effective stuff, but it is also
highly democratic in its application. In this instance, it will make no
differentiation whatsoever between the like-new $35 gasket you're trying
to remove, and the new Ford blue engine paint you're not trying to
remove--both will fall away from the motor in equal amounts.
In order to remove the header so you can scrape the gasket, you will
have to disconnect it from the collector. The collector bolts which
were too long when you installed them have, like the header bolts,
failed to shrink any in the ensuing two weeks, and the mechanical
locking nuts (stove nuts) have, if anything, increased their tenacious
grip upon the too-long bolts. Furthermore, the inadequate clearance to
swing a wrench hasn't grown any either, meaning that you will be able to
turn the nut about 1/32nd of a revolution before the wrench strikes
something solid, and needs to be removed and flipped around for another
swing. The upshot is that it will take about 15-20 minutes to remove
each bolt.
After the header is finally removed, while lying underneath the car
and scraping the gasket, when a piece of gasket-remover-laden gasket
falls onto your forehead, you will instantly determine that the
democratic nature of the gasket remover extends to human flesh as well,
and the forehead is particularly sensitive to extremely caustic
When extremely caustic chemicals are suddenly applied to a large
section of your forehead, the result is an instant and involuntary
muscle contraction in the torso, causing you to suddenly sit up, normally about 24 inches or so.
The average Mustang chassis, when raised on jackstands, is
approximately 22 inches off the garage floor.
The sudden and violent application of 2900 pounds of steel to a
burning forehead does not, surprisingly, lessen the effect of the
extremely caustic chemical reaction taking place, but instead augments
the pain with a deep pounding inside the skull as your brain takes a
good shellacking from the inside.
When it comes time to open the exhaust gasket package, the
expeditious way is to use a screwdriver to make a small tear in the
plastic, then run your finger along the underside of the gasket, neatly
opening up the package from one end to the other.
Exhaust gaskets are made of various layers of fibers and steel, and
as you're opening the package, an exposed and sharp steel wire will neatly open up your finger from one end to the other.
1966 Mustang Red and Human Blood Red are remarkably alike when the
blood is wet and liberally sprayed across the top of the fender.
However, when it dries it darkens considerably and thus can't be used as
touch-up paint as you had perhaps hoped.
Gasket remover is remarkably resilient stuff, and although you took
great pains to wipe down the cylinder head with lacquer thinner before
installing your new gasket, the forgotten gasket remover still coating
the flange of the header will immediately go to work the minute the
header is placed against the gasket. Fortunately the gasket makers are
thoughtful enough to include a pair of gaskets in each package for just
such contingencies.
As you are holding the gasket-remover-soaked header in your hand and
removing your now-ruined new gasket, you will feel that the skin on your
fingers isn't nearly as sensitive to the effects of extremely caustic
chemicals as the skin on your forehead. However, when you have sliced
your finger open and the gasket remover gets in the open wound, the
effect is much the same.
Once the second new gasket is in place, the header bolts and
header-to-collector bolts will be just as difficult to install as they
were to remove, as they were to install the first time, as they were to
remove the first time.
But the final, and undoubtedly the most important lesson learned from
this two-day exercise is this:
A clever engine-building trick is to loosely install the spark plugs
on a new motor; if the head gasket leaks into the cylinders, this will
allow the water to leak and spray past the threads on startup instead of
potentially blowing up the motor with hydrostatic lock. However, if the
engine builder then forgets to tighten the plugs once the engine has
successfully started, then exhaust gasses may leak past the threads,
making a distinctive tic-tic-tic sound from the neighborhood of your
header-to-cylinder head junction. You will be told by all your friends
that it is an exhaust leak caused by using the cheap manifold gaskets
which come as part of the entire engine-overhaul gasket set, and you
should have opted for high-quality $35 Fel-Pro header gaskets instead,
and you will spend the next two days removing and replacing a perfectly
good exhaust gasket when all you had to do was simply tighten the spark
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