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Old March 30th, 2011, 14:57   #1
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Location: Banbury, UK
Default Cylinder head skim? (if just removing head to port it etc)

hi all,

my car is currently running fine. i'm doing various upgrades and so will be removing the head to fit uprated head fasteners, and will port the head myself too just to clean up any casting marks etc - nothing radical.

i assume i can remove the head, clean the head and block face, fit a new gasket (of the correct thickness - which should be same one thats already on as VW fitted it) and reinstall?

any reason why i should consider checking the head for flatness and skimming as necessary?

do heads actually warp in normal use? and even if they do, they'll flatten down again when bolted back down to the same block?

i'll replace the head studs of course. If i fit ARP uprated studs can i re-use these if the head comes off again?
I've heard conflicting things about them being/not being torque to yield types.
any help is appreciated


Last edited by bhodgkiss; March 30th, 2011 at 15:09.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 17:19   #2
Tom W.
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Heads normally don't warp in normal use. Even so, if you don't know the history of an engine, there's no down side to have the head checked. Diesel heads cannot be "skimmed" or "shaved" -great way to destroy a TDI head- Instead, when a diesel head is warped, they heat the head to a state of plasticity and re-form it. It's quite a process.
Big controversy over using head studs. Yes, they can be used over and over. But, if you use head studs it is important to check the torque every 10k(basicly at every oil change) because there is a tendency of diesel head gaskets to thin over time, causing your head to leak. Many TDI gurus will only use stretch bolts for this reason. I heard that someone was making some aftermarket stretch bolts for high performace TDI engines......
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Old March 31st, 2011, 16:07   #3
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thanks for the info, but loads of people have their head skimmed?
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Old April 1st, 2011, 04:28   #4
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SOP in the UK is to take a very light skim to improve surface finish.
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