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The guy I bought my 1987 7MGTE from installed a metal head gasket to 58lbs torque after a complete re-build, and it seems to be leakin' coolant into the oil. We worked to burp the coolant for days, but it's been going down ever since we put her back together, and the oil finally got milky with coolant last time I checked it. Luckily, I happened to be at a buddy's garage, so I changed it immediately (20w/50 was all he had, a lil' higher oil pressure, but added protection I guess) and drove it home safely, and am not going to drive it until I either re-torque the headbolts or just swap out the gasket altogether. The temperature gauge has never registered anything high, and the motor has seemed strong, though I haven't cracked 5000 RPM's since I bought it, and don't really plan on doing so in the future either.

My question is can re-torquing the stock head bolts to 70lb (for the first time) possibly save a leaking but possibly intact head gasket, or are they toast the first time anything passes through them?
Also, if the bolts are still tight, I don't think pullin' out 1/4 turn will move any more fluids than already in there, especially cold, so I'm gonna pull 'em out just a little and re-torque them to 58 one-by-one, in order of course. Then to 65 and finally to 70, all by TSRM order. Then I'll give her an oil/filter change after EIGHT FRIGGIN' MILES! Hey, if that's my only expense, I'll be thrilled! I'm hopin' that's the problem, and the head doesn't have to come out. Then again, if that's the case I'll know EVEN MORE about the Supra in another month or so...;-) Christmas contributions would be greatly appreciated.

Peace
Erik

"Sorry man, but it's gonna have to come out..."
 

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Was the head surface ever checked when the engine was apart and was the head checked for cracks? I am not sure that what the torque specs are for your engine, but 58#'s is fairly good. I'm not saying it is enough, but it is adequate, especially if you have not run it hard. I'd retorque and if that does not stop the leak, I would take the head off, check to make sure it is not warped (can do this with a good steel straight edge, and then have it checked for cracks. A good machine shop should be able to do this for you. Just make sure they are familiar with aluminum heads. Good luck. Oh, when you retorque, you do need to back off each bolt and then retorque as you mentioned.
 

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The biggest no-no that people catch themselves doing is unbolting the head from the block improperly. If you simply unbolt the head one bolt at a time, you will surely warp the head. Toyota specifies an un-bolting sequence for the head to ensure it doesn't warp when you unbolt it. I really hope you didnt just unbolt the head the first time, or this could be a problem. As for retorquing the head... 58lbs has been known to be a problem as too little torque to maintain adequate pressure over time. I set my head with 75 lbs of torque using ARP head studs when I completed my rebuild just 2 weeks ago. You should torque to at least 70 lbs, and I would make 3 passes up to that amount. If you're at 58 currently, go for 60, 65, then 70. It takes a little longer, but patience pays off.

More than likely you'll end up pulling the head to check for straightness, but it's always worth a shot to re-torque first.

good luck bro.

- Hams.
 
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