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  1. #1

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    Head Bolt reuse. Sick of conflicting stories and uneducated "Opinions"

    Hi All,

    Id like to start a logical and "non flamatory" conversation around head bolt re-use. Yes, I know there's been dozens of posts about this, but to be honest, most of them either seem to go nowhere, or they just nosedive into unsubstantiated and uneducated comments being thrown around.

    There to be four sets of opinion on this.

    1) Reuse is fine. "Ive been doing it for years and never had an issue"
    2) Reuse is ok as long as the bolts are within Seadoo spec.
    3) I never reuse them, but thats only because thats what ive been told.
    4) I never reuse them because I got substantiated documentation / consistent evidence to support.

    With respect to point 1, I feel like this is probably more the person who is either completely frugal, refuses to buy into the hype of "do what others say", or simply cant be bothered doing the homework.

    With regards to point 2, this seems to be the group that likes to challenge "the flock", but still open to being convinced that their thoughts aren't completely accurate.

    With regards to point 3, I think this is the group that have either run into (or heard of) a few head bolt issues over their time, or have some solid official information (credible) as to why these bolts shouldn't be reused (definitively).

    Prior to 2006, official seadoo manuals specifically stipulated that head bolts could be reused.



    Then, after 2005, for some reason, the manuals changed to specifically state that the bolts had to be changed.



    Now, I've heard / read a few different reasons as to why this is so. None of which have been corroborated by anyone official (or any official documentation / tech bulletin).

    Reason 1: Seadoo technicians continually stuff up the correct torquing process of used head bolts, causing issues with engine. This prompted Seadoo to change their tact and simply says "new head bolts all the time"

    Reason 2: The metal construct of the bolts changed in 2006 prompting Seadoo to have to change their manuals (although i can find no tech bulletin supporting this).

    Reason 3: The makeup of the block / head changed, meaning new bolts had to be used.

    Now - None of these are my reasons, and im not saying i subscribe to any of them, im just saying these are what ive read / heard.

    So, one part of my brain deduces that without any official reason behind the change of direction, then logically the bolts can be re-used.

    Another part of my brain tells me that "Well seadoo knows best, so we should what the latest technical documentation says"

    While another part of my brain says "Seadoo is a Company. Companies need to make profits, and they do this by selling stuff".

    Honestly, im not convinced which part of my brain is the winner at this stage. But what i do know is that there is supported logic for both sides.

    Im interested in hearing from people who are well educated, from any of the four "camps" (sets of opinions), to help me understand where the "truth" lies.

    And for the record, im not trying to tight arse here. I'm a naturally inquisitive person and im trying to figure out why the data ive gathered to date is so disparate.

    Look forward to reading the replies.

    Dave
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  2. #2
    dcuhpw's Avatar
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    You could probably put me in group 2 but I am very cautious on how I build my skis and put reliability above performance. I ordered all new bolts only to find out that 4 of the new oem bolts would not torque properly. I go by “feel” on these bolts and just pick the bolts that give me the best specs be they new or used.

  3. #3
    88-jac's Avatar
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    Just swap them out for ARP studs.. Problem solved.


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by 88-jac View Post
    Just swap them out for ARP studs.. Problem solved.
    I am 100% with 88 here. I'm NOT trying to be a smart ass, Dave. If I were to dis-assemble my 300, using ARP studs is the ONLY way it would be put back together. I am a diesel guy and head studs, in my world, have ALWAYS been the way to go.


  5. #5
    88-jac's Avatar
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    Stretch bolts are junk IMO.

    Anything that says 'turn 90 degrees' blah blah, rather than giving an exact torque figure - get rid!

    You can feel how junk them stretch bolts are when you use them, compared to proper bolts / studs like ARP.

    The clamping force the ARP's maintain is far superior, when you disassemble, you can feel a night and day difference.

    No 'REAL' engine uses stretch bolts!

  6. #6

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    So if I was planning on using ARP head bolts, how do I understand the correct torque settings for that combination of engine, head gasket and bolt?

    And please donít let these comments detract from my original request for information. Whilst understanding the different options outside the stretch bolts is awesome, Iím still very keen to learn more data / opinions.

    Cheers

    Dave

  7. #7
    SplishSplash's Avatar
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    ARP all the way, and mine came with installation and torque instructions. Reusable, stronger, consistant. No "measuring", just piece of mind its right every time.

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  9. #8

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    Thanks guys. Appreciate the info and suggestions for ARP.

    However, directing the thread again back to the reuse of oem headbolts.

    Dave

  10. #9
    Team Bilford's Avatar
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    I don't know the answer, but I want you to know that is the most articulate well asked question that I have seen in many years.

    I have limited experience with stretch bolts. There seems to be an appreciation for them in Europe. Torqueing and then turning X degrees seems so weird. Maule and some of the OEM head gasket folks say that it is necessary to use them on multi sheet head gasket designs.

    Interesting to see that BRP says that you can reuse them if within spec. I have never seen a spec used on stretch bolts in the automotive field, used? Replace. If the ARP bolts are not of the stretch design, have they caused any head gasket failures??

  11. #10
    Bob 1tommygunner1927's Avatar
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