2.6 Head gasket recommendations

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2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Getsducks » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:20 pm

I just picked up an 88 and PO said it had blown head gasket before it was parked up.

My local engine shop just called and says the head is cracked.

Sooo, I now need a head and would like to know if the type of head gasket is a big deal?

I see Sets on rock auto ranging from $25 Cortina - $150/160 for Mahle/Felpro?

Thanks as always for any help
1989 2.8 5 Spd Trooper LS Stock - SOLD
14 Years of getting me in, around and out of places I probably shouldn't have been in the first place.
1988 2.6 5 Spd 4ZE1
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby itsmehb » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:54 pm

I've done several head gaskets on the 1.9, 2.2, 2.3, and 2.6 engines using both fel-pro and OEM gaskets. Both worked fine for me. The last one was an OEM one I got from Jerry here on the forum.
1990 Amigo, 2.3 5 speed (sold)
1991 Pick up (long gone)
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1985 Trooper 1.9 4 speed (sent back to KS)
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We get too soon old and too late smart!

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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby gruff54 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 6:32 am

I've only use OEM or Felpro, per recommendations I've read here over the years. No problems with either.

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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby 93trooperpooper » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:49 am

oem or fel-pro. do it right the first time. there was a guy (dvork) that made a '' no blow'' head gasket...they were complete junk.
will drive these until they quit and move onto something else.
parts from JERRY LEMOND.
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Getsducks » Thu Apr 30, 2020 4:37 pm

Thanks for the advice

I found this Cylinder head local to me

http://www.westcoastoffshore.ca/Isuzu-2 ... 11510.aspx

Has anyone here used or have any story on this head. It's what comes up when I search for Cific

The machine shop will reuse my rocker, cam, valves and springs.

$775 all in, not sure just yet on parts and labor warranty

First timer here with the 2.6 so any help/tips well wishes are much appreciated

Thanks
1989 2.8 5 Spd Trooper LS Stock - SOLD
14 Years of getting me in, around and out of places I probably shouldn't have been in the first place.
1988 2.6 5 Spd 4ZE1
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Ed Mc. » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:00 pm

Getsducks wrote:Thanks for the advice

I found this Cylinder head local to me

http://www.westcoastoffshore.ca/Isuzu-2 ... 11510.aspx

Has anyone here used or have any story on this head. It's what comes up when I search for Cific

The machine shop will reuse my rocker, cam, valves and springs.

$775 all in, not sure just yet on parts and labor warranty

First timer here with the 2.6 so any help/tips well wishes are much appreciated

Thanks


I don't know how many aftermarket companies make these heads, it's probably just as good as any of them. Certainly won't have the cracking problems of the early OE heads.

I see it comes with a gasket kit, I still wouldn't use the head gasket that comes with. You're just asking for trouble. Fel-Pro and OE are pretty much the ones documented to work.

The Fel-Pro 8215PT gasket is around $20-$30 USD, IMHO it's not worth it taking a chance on an off-brand gasket. Of course, you're in Canadia where you have to pay thru the nose for everything!

Here's one on eBay.ca for $41.77C shipped:

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Fel-Pro-8215-PT ... fy&vxp=mtr

BTW there are several pics of the head at that web page that are wrong; for a nissan forklift engine! But the ones that say "Isuzu" actually are.
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Getsducks » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:11 pm

Thanks Ed
Beauty of a day here today!
I was thinking maybe on the Felpro set HS8215PT2 $163 C shipped from Rock auto.
Not sure what all is in there.. Not a detailed write up of contents.
Well, when Alecs Machine calls me back i'll be paying for my first head.
I wonder what a reasonable Parts n labour warranty would look like from a shop doing this sort of work?
1989 2.8 5 Spd Trooper LS Stock - SOLD
14 Years of getting me in, around and out of places I probably shouldn't have been in the first place.
1988 2.6 5 Spd 4ZE1
A work in progress.
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Ed Mc. » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:19 pm

Getsducks wrote:Thanks Ed
Beauty of a day here today!
I was thinking maybe on the Felpro set HS8215PT2 $163 C shipped from Rock auto.
Not sure what all is in there.. Not a detailed write up of contents.
Well, when Alecs Machine calls me back i'll be paying for my first head.
I wonder what a reasonable Parts n labour warranty would look like from a shop doing this sort of work?


If the gasket set that comes with the head is complete, all you'd need to order is the head gasket itself. I wouldn't be too concerned about the other gaskets in the kit if they look OK. The other sealing surfaces are far less critical than the cylinder head.

Are you having the machine shop install the head? Otherwise all they'd do is machine your valves and reassemble, then hand it back to you.

Or you thinking of having another shop put it back together? Hard to say what they're gonna rip you off for in Canuckistan! In that case I'd try to find a reputable shop that has experience working on ZuZu's. Frankly, though, you got it apart, that's the hardest part of the whole thing. We can certainly walk you thru the reassembly!!!
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby zzzmick » Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:25 pm

I paid $480 for a complete head last year. Good quality. Trying to remember, where I bought it from.
Also I bought a cheap gasket set for all the little pieces but used a felpro head gasket. There are extended discussions about re-torquing after 500 miles on the forum also.
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby DSUZU » Fri May 01, 2020 8:28 am

Never heard of that company. I advise to check with Clearwater Cylinder Heads (Odessa Cylinder Heads - same company). Many here have used them. I have used them (local) and have been in their shop. IMO, they are the best. They only offer the heads or machine service, gaskets have to come from another source. DITTO on Felpro or OEM only for head gasket. NO SEALER OF ANY KIND ON HEAD, BLOCK, OR GASKET. Dennis
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Getsducks » Sat May 02, 2020 4:16 pm

Hey fellas,

I'm cleaning these head bolts up today.

Wondering if anyone knows what size of bottoming tap I need to chase out bolt holes?

Any tips on this would be appreciated.

The cylinder wall feel pretty smooth and I'm now able to turn pistons by hand with relative ease.
I'll attach a picture of what I was looking at when head first came off. And now after soaking and wiping moving and repeat several times.

I borrowed the hex head socket to remove and forgot the size. I must get my own so can you tell me what size I should get? Would 3/8's drive be sufficient or should I get 1/2"?

Head should be ready end of week coming!

Have a good day
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1989 2.8 5 Spd Trooper LS Stock - SOLD
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1988 2.6 5 Spd 4ZE1
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https://www.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=142989
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Ed Mc. » Sat May 02, 2020 4:40 pm

Head bolt threads are 12mmx1.50mm. Get a bottoming tap if you can find it. Blow out the head bolt holes with compressed air or carb cleaner, after tapping them.

Man, that looked pretty nasty in the 1st pic! Was that coolant/water sitting on the piston all this time? Hope things aren't too rusted up. There's a fair amount of etching on the cylinder walls, is any of that deep or just a surface thing? If it's deeply rusted/pitted, might need to be bored. If it's just a slight surface etching, wouldn't be so horrible.

Any coolant in the oil? If it's a chocolate milkshake, I'd worry about the bearings getting eaten up.

I don't recall the Allen wrench size, you could always take a head bolt with you to the store. Thinking about it, it might be 8mm (5/16") but don't quote me on that!!! :drunken:

You'll need a 1/2" torque wrench, might as well make it easy on yourself and get a 1/2" drive socket if you can find one. There will be less flex and you won't need an adapter to step down to a 3/8" drive bit.

That being said, if all you can find is a 3/8" drive then you could make it work. It should handle the torque. But your extension should be 1/2" then to the 1/2-to-3/8 adapter then the Allen bit. Don't use 3/8" extensions off the torque wrench, they're gonna twist quite a bit.
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Getsducks » Sat May 02, 2020 7:18 pm

It was a coolant water mix and I'd say it was sitting like that for a long time. Unsure but last year of insurance was 2007. Apparently PO parked it after the "head gasket blew". I got all the mess cleared out and the pistons did not want to move at first, but after some coaxing and a lot of WD40 and Superzilla I can turn it over by hand on the pulley. The inside of the cylinder walls feel quite smooth to the finger tips. I did use a fine grade of sand paper on the walls. I hope this did not hurt my cause.

Here is a picture of the oil and the level. It doesn't look like water is in there but talk about overfill!!
I'm hoping the PO filled it up to keep the crank/bearings lubed until he could get in there to fix??

I don't know what to think as the information from the PO is non existent.

I guess get the head back on next week and see...
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14 Years of getting me in, around and out of places I probably shouldn't have been in the first place.
1988 2.6 5 Spd 4ZE1
A work in progress.
https://www.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=142989
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Ed Mc. » Sat May 02, 2020 7:26 pm

That pic looks a lot better than previous!
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Getsducks » Sun May 03, 2020 2:48 pm

Better eh
It's a 10mm
1989 2.8 5 Spd Trooper LS Stock - SOLD
14 Years of getting me in, around and out of places I probably shouldn't have been in the first place.
1988 2.6 5 Spd 4ZE1
A work in progress.
https://www.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=142989
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Getsducks » Sun May 03, 2020 3:36 pm

Another question..

The Trooper sat for 13 years (last known insurance).

The tensioner seems ok.

The water pump when turned by hand is sandy/rough feeling and sounds worse so i figure on budgeting for replacement.

Now the timing belt looks new, but is at least 13 plus years old. Should it be replaced even if no visible cracks just because of age? Or is it crazy not just to do it seeing as how I'm in there anyway??

I'm putting an order list together for rock auto, and I'd like to get the goblins before they get me way off pavement.

Any other must replace items or advise is much appreciated

Thank you

Happy Sunday
1989 2.8 5 Spd Trooper LS Stock - SOLD
14 Years of getting me in, around and out of places I probably shouldn't have been in the first place.
1988 2.6 5 Spd 4ZE1
A work in progress.
https://www.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=142989
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby itsmehb » Sun May 03, 2020 4:09 pm

Getsducks wrote:Another question..

The Trooper sat for 13 years (last known insurance).

The tensioner seems ok.

The water pump when turned by hand is sandy/rough feeling and sounds worse so i figure on budgeting for replacement.

Now the timing belt looks new, but is at least 13 plus years old. Should it be replaced even if no visible cracks just because of age? Or is it crazy not just to do it seeing as how I'm in there anyway??

I'm putting an order list together for rock auto, and I'd like to get the goblins before they get me way off pavement.

Any other must replace items or advise is much appreciated

Thank you

Happy Sunday


If it was me I would replace the timing belt and the tensioner.

Good time to put new hoses on as well.

Another member here just replaced his water pump. Threw away the old one without removing the 4 studs that the fan bolts on to. The new pump didn't come with the studs. Just a heads up.

Remember NO sealer on the head gasket, head or block when going back together with it.
1990 Amigo, 2.3 5 speed (sold)
1991 Pick up (long gone)
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1989 Trooper RS 2.6 5 spd. Red

We get too soon old and too late smart!

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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby itsmehb » Sun May 03, 2020 4:09 pm

Getsducks wrote:Another question..

The Trooper sat for 13 years (last known insurance).

The tensioner seems ok.

The water pump when turned by hand is sandy/rough feeling and sounds worse so i figure on budgeting for replacement.

Now the timing belt looks new, but is at least 13 plus years old. Should it be replaced even if no visible cracks just because of age? Or is it crazy not just to do it seeing as how I'm in there anyway??

I'm putting an order list together for rock auto, and I'd like to get the goblins before they get me way off pavement.

Any other must replace items or advise is much appreciated

Thank you

Happy Sunday


If it was me I would replace the timing belt and the tensioner.

Good time to put new hoses on as well.

Another member here just replaced his water pump. Threw away the old one without removing the 4 studs that the fan bolts on to. The new pump didn't come with the studs. Just a heads up.

Remember NO sealer on the head gasket, head or block when going back together with it.
1990 Amigo, 2.3 5 speed (sold)
1991 Pick up (long gone)
2000 Amigo, 2.2 5 speed(sold)
1985 Trooper 1.9 4 speed (sent back to KS)
1989 Trooper RS 2.6 5 spd. Red

We get too soon old and too late smart!

"A true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him"

Golf is just an expensive way to play marbles
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Ed Mc. » Sun May 03, 2020 4:14 pm

If the belt breaks the valves will be crunched. IMHO it's worth the $15 or so to replace.

Other worthy consumables are thermostat and hoses but I think we may have already covered that.

Spark plugs. Check all the vacuum lines on the intake manifold, they're very difficult to get at once the manifold is installed.
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Getsducks » Sun May 03, 2020 4:22 pm

Right on guys

off to spend

I think most of that vacuum is 7/32?

Definitely heater hoses

Thanks eh
1989 2.8 5 Spd Trooper LS Stock - SOLD
14 Years of getting me in, around and out of places I probably shouldn't have been in the first place.
1988 2.6 5 Spd 4ZE1
A work in progress.
https://www.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=142989
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Getsducks » Tue May 05, 2020 2:50 pm

Ok well, chipping away here.

This is the latest...

I talked to machine shop and 3 intake valves are toast.
$45 for Topline intake valves. Looked at $25 for Beck Arnley but was told to go Topline.
Buddy at the shop says they will look at other components today, bare head should be in today!
When my Felpro gasket set comes in he needs some things out of it.

Looking for a cylinder hone today and products for surface prep of head. Any advice here would be great! I have 80 grit sand paper and no clue just yet HA

I still have to drain fuel tank and replace fuel filter (ordered from RA yesterday with timing belt, water pump and other goodies).

Oh and vacuum lines and HEATER hoses...
Does anyone know approximately how much and what sizes of VACUUM line a guy needs?
Also, all the heater hoses. Should I reach out to Jerry for OE or just get a long roll and cut it to fit?

Looking for a distributor O ring. Lordco and RA a swing and a miss so far. I guess I could just get set of O rings and find one thats close?

Belts are pretty crusty so I'll need to get those. I miss the serpentine in my V6. I guess I'll figure out this 2.6 in time.

Thanks as always for your help!

Have a good day
1989 2.8 5 Spd Trooper LS Stock - SOLD
14 Years of getting me in, around and out of places I probably shouldn't have been in the first place.
1988 2.6 5 Spd 4ZE1
A work in progress.
https://www.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=142989
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Ed Mc. » Tue May 05, 2020 3:54 pm

There should be a dist. O-ring in the head gasket kit.

Jerry Lemond told me a long time ago that a lot of the aftermarket valves aren't that great, so if the shop has experience with one brand vs. the other, I'd go with that. These engines are pretty tough on exhaust valves.

Some of the heater hoses you may be able to make up with straight pieces and some plastic elbows, but some are pre-formed and you'd be hard-pressed to make one of them. The twisted heater core hoses at the firewall are very special and you don't want them blowing out. I've had them blow on 2 rigs and you get lots of steam!

Rockauto carries quite a few of the heater hoses, just pay special attention to the pictures and descriptions. If you can't get a particular hose, Jerry is a good resource.

Same for vacuum hoses, I would just take a sample to the auto parts store or measure. If there are special pre-formed hoses you can't find, I'm sure Jerry can help with that. Keep in mind if you do have a specially-formed hose, if space allows you could use plastic elbows, plenty of those available and they're not too $$$.
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Getsducks » Tue May 05, 2020 6:39 pm

Thanks Ed

Trying to post a recent pic but have had no luck all day?!?

I know a rad shop here that re-cored the rad out of my V6 6 years ago and still going strong.
Talked to him today about a pressure and flow test and he asked me if I wanted to re-core this new rad with a third core. Does anyone know of benefit of this for this 4ZE1. All I hear about is overheating and blowing head gaskets so just wondering what else I can do to stack the deck you know

Boy it sure has turned out to be a nice day, I think beer O clock
1989 2.8 5 Spd Trooper LS Stock - SOLD
14 Years of getting me in, around and out of places I probably shouldn't have been in the first place.
1988 2.6 5 Spd 4ZE1
A work in progress.
https://www.planetisuzoo.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=142989
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby Ed Mc. » Tue May 05, 2020 6:55 pm

Getsducks wrote:Thanks Ed

Trying to post a recent pic but have had no luck all day?!?

I know a rad shop here that re-cored the rad out of my V6 6 years ago and still going strong.
Talked to him today about a pressure and flow test and he asked me if I wanted to re-core this new rad with a third core. Does anyone know of benefit of this for this 4ZE1. All I hear about is overheating and blowing head gaskets so just wondering what else I can do to stack the deck you know

Boy it sure has turned out to be a nice day, I think beer O clock


My 3.4 runs great on a 2-core radiator so I don't know if you really need more cooling on a 4-cyl. I've towed over 2000lb up I-5 out of Oregon, going 70+ on an 80+ degree day and it didn't overheat.

So I'd say that a properly functioning 2-row rad will do nicely for your 4-cyl. Remember it takes a 180F thermostat. My 3.4 is running at 195 deg so it has even more of a heat load.

The early heads had an issue with the way coolant flowed thru. So they were fundamentally flawed from the start. Any coolant system problem then becomes an almost-assured fatal incident.

Later heads have a better design and are not prone to cracking. If you start out with a good operating cooling system and keep it that way, there shouldn't be any issues.
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Re: 2.6 Head gasket recommendations

Postby 93trooperpooper » Tue May 05, 2020 9:01 pm

do not use sandpaper in the bore. maybe emery cloth, or crocus cloth.... 80 grit is like pouring sand in the cylinders and starting the engine.....
will drive these until they quit and move onto something else.
parts from JERRY LEMOND.
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