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Re-Torque Head Bolts?


Would it be advisable or discouraged to re-torque head bolts on an old engine that is not being torn down?  I will have my valve cover off during my engine detail process and just curious if that would be a good or horrible idea?  Something tells me it would be a bad thing to do, I should resist the urge, and leave well enough alone.  I am open to comments and suggestions.  Thank you...

As a general rule, no. Some of the later years had the TTY (Torque To Yield) bolts that should not be retorqued! Those you just buy new bolts after a removal. Also, even with an older engine the bolts may have been replaced with TTY bolts. So, considering all that I'd say no.

I have an old Rambler whose 1964 OHV engine is derived off their flathead that originated in 1940. Now THAT engine requires checking the head bolt torque every 5,000 miles.

I will heed your advice and leave things well enough alone!  Thank you...

Yeah, retorquing would be ill-advised at this point IMO. It probably wouldn't cause any problems, but it wouldn't mitigate any risk and has the potential to cause a problem you don't have now.

The TTA (torque-to angle) head bolts have six-point heads. "Early" reusable bolts have 12-point heads. I don't know when the switch was made, but that's an easy way to tell what you have. All the 2.3T engines have 12pt bolts, so they were used at least until 1988 or '89.

Mine is a 1980 and has 12 pt bolt heads.  I will not be re-torquing. 


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