Is there a interval for re-torquing head bolts

bajaONE

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Were you having to add coolant?
for 2003 that just re-torqued the head bolts, looked at my notes and only time I have add antifreeze is 1/13/2024, and notes say that on 1/20/24 antifreeze is staying constant and still is. Other than that I did the low level drain and fill twice in 100k miles, once when I bought it and at 50k miles later.

I have found where that is leaking from is on the drivers side of the engine, the plastic part that mounts to the engine. I just saw it while testing the engine after the retorque, it is dripping very very slowly. Will be fixing that soon, as one thing at a time.
 
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bajaONE

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turbobrick, since you brought up antifreeze consumption on the 2003. It hit just me that I was wondering why my oil was so dirty. It was changed 1000 miles ago. could it be headgasket? and now not anymore?

If so, guess I need to change oil and filter to see if this fixed this which with easy start indications are it may have. , what a pain as I have a custom made oil pan protector that is a pain to remove.

Oh BTW I am a dyslexic, so you will always have to figure out what I write. sorry about that. there is a high correlation to dyslexia and hearing issues, i was born half deaf so fit that criteria.
 
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bajaONE

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Oil should be black within 5 minutes of starting the engine after an oil change.

If not the oil pump needs retorquing ;)
sorry this oil is horrible looking vs my normal oil changes at 10k miles.
 

turbobrick240

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Black is normal. Milky is not. If the car is running better now, I'd probably just leave it be. You've got that spare '01 engine/car if needed.
 

bajaONE

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Black is normal. Milky is not. If the car is running better now, I'd probably just leave it be. You've got that spare '01 engine/car if needed.
it was thicker than any oil i ever saw in my mk4 oil changes in 200k miles, so 20 oil changes. Mechanic even noted to me I need to change my oil, which i looked at my notes the next day and saw it only had 1k miles on it.
 

bajaONE

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oil levels never changed. no place to get oil tested in baja.

Before asked the mechanic that noted it and he said probably ring blow by without hesitating did not even mention anti-freeze. Plus he did mention if it ever does not start well then time to do the rings. well I never told him it did not start well and now it does.
 

turbobrick240

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I'd keep an eye on the coolant level anyhow. And maybe do an early oil change to monitor the situation. If the budget allows, you could always order a head gasket and bolts to have on hand just in case.
 

dieseldonato

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we noted that the torque was so high after the first 90 degrees, that it was not worth doing it a second 90 degrees. He said it was very high from his experience on other diesels. Note, he has been doing this on a american truck he has since he bought it new over 400k miles, he retorques it every 30k miles which is recommended.

The head was not removed in the 100k miles I have owned it. What would the failure be if driven since we did this? A blown head gasket? Like my other one has right now at same mileage but two years older. Did it fail because it did not ever get retorqued, is that a possibility of that ones head gasket leaking/failure? Both cars I bought for usd$3,000.00 just fluids tires, suspensions parts and so on maybe usd$500.00 a year for 100k miles each car. The 2016 golf sportwagen costs me about USD$1000.00 a year so far (skid plate, new tires and smaller rims, trailer hitch and wiring kit, proper films to reflect the sun still clear fluid changes). I am told I do not need a new timing belt (at 50k miles) so next year will be suspension so will jump up to about $1200 i think. (would like recommendations on shocks for pot hole roads, some unpaved roads, and speed bumps, but can search for threads on that later)

tomorrow could be the big day if cold enough as I already disconnected the glow plugs and will see if it starts quick or lags like it has for last 3 years. But is now starting right up after we tightened the head bolts. As I mentioned before if this solved that problem I am very happy with the tightening the head gasket.
What American diesel truck, tractor or other wise specifies a head boat re torque every 30k miles? It's not cummins, any version of the powerstroke, or 6.9 or 7.3l idi, and I've never seen a version of the duramax that requires anything like that. Only a few very old diesel engine I've ever worked on required a retorque and that was a straight torque and after a heat cycle. That was basically a recheck, you did not back the bolts off and bring them back up.
Whatever good you think you're doing backing off tty bolts and drawing them back up isn't going to be good for the bolts or head gasket long term. The "benefit" of better starting is anecdotal and more likely from having the glow plugs unhooked, and getting a better connection upon hooking them back up.
 

bajaONE

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I'd keep an eye on the coolant level anyhow. And maybe do an early oil change to monitor the situation. If the budget allows, you could always order a head gasket and bolts to have on hand just in case.
Till I fix the leak to the drivers side of the engine plastic piece will not have a reliable anything reading and not worth changing the oil till I fix that leak.
I have an extra head gasket, with all other gaskets needed. Just do not have an extra head bolt set. Someone coming down in about 3 weeks will bring them.
 

bajaONE

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What American diesel truck, tractor or other wise specifies a head boat re torque every 30k miles? It's not cummins, any version of the powerstroke, or 6.9 or 7.3l idi, and I've never seen a version of the duramax that requires anything like that. Only a few very old diesel engine I've ever worked on required a retorque and that was a straight torque and after a heat cycle. That was basically a recheck, you did not back the bolts off and bring them back up.
Whatever good you think you're doing backing off tty bolts and drawing them back up isn't going to be good for the bolts or head gasket long term. The "benefit" of better starting is anecdotal and more likely from having the glow plugs unhooked, and getting a better connection upon hooking them back up.
took me about 15 minutes the last time someone asked, and found two retired mechanics who said that online. and the guy who just retorqued mine has been doing it.

So again let me ask, what specifically will be the downside to what was done. Give me specific examples of "potential negative " results you have in mind. None have surfaced after a week so far. should I expect the problem in 2 weeks, month, year and so on. Please be as specific as you can here as I am not a mechanic with years of experience obviously, i have asked at least one other poster without a reply. The car already has 200 miles on it since unauthorized surgery. If no-one can specify their concern it means we are going where no man has gone before and with already some positive results it is well worthy of the experiment not on your dime.

It is running better on one front already, as of day one as I mentioned.. I had the glow plugs attached for all the years I have owned it. The last 2 years-3 years is was a hard start to the point I did have to use my lithium jumper for colder starts. I have that same battery in and after this tightening now in the same cold it starts right away. I just disconnected the glow plugs last night and again today it starts right up to show the glow plugs were not why it was now starting better. No changes in the fuel or anything, same 4 year old or so battery, will be putting in more fuel soon.

I am not clear here, we did back one bolt at a time out. Then immediately put that one back in and went to the first torque setting. After, we did this to each one individually. We then in the proper pattern went to second torque reading. Then in the same pattern did the 90 degrees.
 

dieseldonato

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You're over stressing the bolts and not doing the head gasket any favors by removing clamp load then re applying it. You're causing the head gasket to relax and possibly creating weak points between the layers and at worse screwing up the fire ring seal. It's bad practice. Go ask your "mechanic" buddy whay engines in his truck, I quite assure you there no reccomendation by the oem to re torque head bolts every 30k miles. I'll even challenge you to find one manual for any even slightly modern diesel engine where this is considered normal. It's not. I've worked on too many high hour and high milage engines to believe any such nonsense, weather you found 2 or 50 references on the internet.
 
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MrCypherr

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At the end of the day, there is no re-torque for any modern diesel engine by VW/Audi. If anyone thinks by re-torquing them, youre doing something everyone else in the world is not, including the VW/Audi engineers, then I want whatever magical beans they have.
 

bajaONE

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You're over stressing the bolts and not doing the head gasket any favors by removing clamp load then re applying it. You're causing the head gasket to relax and possibly creating weak points between the layers and at worse screwing up the fire ring seal. It's bad practice. Go ask your "mechanic" buddy whay engines in his truck, I quite assure you there no reccomendation by the oem to re torque head bolts every 30k miles. I'll even challenge you to find one manual for any even slightly modern diesel engine where this is considered normal. It's not. I've worked on too many high hour and high milage engines to believe any such nonsense, weather you found 2 or 50 references on the internet.
Ok you gave me not one specific problem and the damage it would cause and/or when, till you do I am the real life experiment still not on your dime.. My rebuttal to this is it is running and better than before, without any specifics from you that I had asked for. The procedure worked for 220 miles so far. By the way I take the experts opinion like you first and you have given me no worst case scenario. IE is the worst case specifically what I have had with the other MK4 I have with a blown head gasket that was not retorqued.

Hey I do a lot of things not in the manuals for products. A for instance on LG refrigerators that the manufacturer says if it does not defrost properly throw it away. Well I developed a bypass because they stupidly did not leave a backdoor to shifting the defrost time on in firmware. I did something no one else in the world figured out and posted it on a repair forum, put in a resistor in parallel to the thermostat that fools the controller to keep the defrost cycle on for a longer time resolving the issue. I have never been one to accept everything manufactures manuals, there are plenty of things the mechanics figure out in the "real world" that the manufacturers do not know, that's what is the beauty of these forums you get the info from the horses mouth that are the doers like you.
 

P2B

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Give me specific examples of "potential negative " results you have in mind.
The most common negative consequence of reusing TTY bolts is the bolt breaks at a later date. There have been numerous reports of engines dropping after engine mount bolts were reused during a timing belt change - at one time it was so common a vendor designed and sold a bracket to repair the ear that breaks off the block when the bolt breaks.

There have been no reports of what happens when you reuse TTY head bolts, probably because nobody does it, but the reduced clamping force would be expected to result in overpressurization of the cooling system when the engine is operated under load as a first symptom.
 

dieseldonato

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Ok you gave me not one specific problem and the damage it would cause and/or when, till you do I am the real life experiment still not on your dime.. My rebuttal to this is it is running and better than before, without any specifics from you that I had asked for. The procedure worked for 220 miles so far. By the way I take the experts opinion like you first and you have given me no worst case scenario. IE is the worst case specifically what I have had with the other MK4 I have with a blown head gasket that was not retorqued.

Hey I do a lot of things not in the manuals for products. A for instance on LG refrigerators that the manufacturer says if it does not defrost properly throw it away. Well I developed a bypass because they stupidly did not leave a backdoor to shifting the defrost time on in firmware. I did something no one else in the world figured out and posted it on a repair forum, put in a resistor in parallel to the thermostat that fools the controller to keep the defrost cycle on for a longer time resolving the issue. I have never been one to accept everything manufactures manuals, there are plenty of things the mechanics figure out in the "real world" that the manufacturers do not know, that's what is the beauty of these forums you get the info from the horses mouth that are the doers like you.
In the real world, no one that works on engines for a living would take a chance of re using single use fasteners in a critical area of the engine. They are literally called stretch bolts and the torque turn stretches them to their design limits. Reusing them results in reduced clamp load, there's been numerous cases of failures with them being reused. People may not always do whay a manufacturer says, but you specifically said your "mechanic" had been doing this because it's reccomended. I still want to know what engine it is and what manual, bullion or update he got it from. There is zero benefit and a very likely chance of fastener and head gasket failure. Somethings are just best left the way intended, and tty head boots are one of them, especially with a multi layer head gasket. By all means be a test Mule, however anything you're doing is unscientific and unverifiable as doing any good what so ever. Guys try this one at a time with head studs and that rarely lasts, what would you be accomplishing with re using bolts that are already stretched out and won't maintain the same clamp load as the first time they were used?
 

bajaONE

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The most common negative consequence of reusing TTY bolts is the bolt breaks at a later date. There have been numerous reports of engines dropping after engine mount bolts were reused during a timing belt change - at one time it was so common a vendor designed and sold a bracket to repair the ear that breaks off the block when the bolt breaks.

There have been no reports of what happens when you reuse TTY head bolts, probably because nobody does it, but the reduced clamping force would be expected to result in overpressurization of the cooling system when the engine is operated under load as a first symptom.
Ok while I understand all those issues and agree, these really are not what we are speaking about except the torque value, The mechanic noted that the torque at the first 90 degrees was very high so he did not want to do the second 90 degrees. So I assume the stretch bolts were hardened and no longer act as stretch. They are now not willing to stretched out. We did hit high torque values. But this is only an issue of bolts, not that heads should not be retensionsed and consequences from that. Those are not the same issue. IE I can get new bolts and those will be arriving in 3 or more weeks.

When you say no-one re-uses head bolts, well that is just not accurate, if i did not supply them to my Mexican mechanic on the other car with the blown head gasket he would re-use them as that is the norm in Mexico. He is mainly a TDI mechanic and has been for 15 years. hey were the engines made in Mexico too?
 

burpod

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nothing good can come out of re-torquing head bolts...

if you think you see changes in behavior with starting, for example, bear in mind, despite the fact you think you only changed on thing. that might not be the case. case in point is a wonky coolant temp sensor, which i've seen plenty of. unless you're actually monitoring that, that could easily change starting behavior. .....
 

burpod

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Ok while I understand all those issues and agree, these really are not what we are speaking about except the torque value, The mechanic noted that the torque at the first 90 degrees was very high so he did not want to do the second 90 degrees. So I assume the stretch bolts were hardened and no longer act as stretch. They are now not willing to stretched out. We did hit high torque values. But this is only an issue of bolts, not that heads should not be retensionsed and consequences from that. Those are not the same issue. IE I can get new bolts and those will be arriving in 3 or more weeks.

When you say no-one re-uses head bolts, well that is just not accurate, if i did not supply them to my Mexican mechanic on the other car with the blown head gasket he would re-use them as that is the norm in Mexico. He is mainly a TDI mechanic and has been for 15 years. hey were the engines made in Mexico too?
you seem to be completely not getting what "torque values" mean :/ and how that relates to stretch bolts...

if you get new head bolts, you best be redoing the head. who knows what's gone on with it as far as warpage. that would be a no-brainer in my mind
 

dieseldonato

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Fact of the matter is, it doesn't matter how much experience your "mechanic" has, he's not doing the right thing by any standards, good business practices or other wise. Let alone re reused the bolts, now you say he didn't even bother to torque them properly. I wouldn't trust a single thing he's doing.
 

bajaONE

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Fact of the matter is, it doesn't matter how much experience your "mechanic" has, he's not doing the right thing by any standards, good business practices or other wise. Let alone re reused the bolts, now you say he didn't even bother to torque them properly. I wouldn't trust a single thing he's doing.

two different mechanics.,

one put in a new head gasket in the 2001 that blew a headgasket. He is a mexican who worked for VW on TDIs. Started his own business mainly TDIs, he has been working on TDIs for 15 or more years. I bet he has worked on more TDI engines than anyone on this forum. He is so busy that I have not been able to get him out here in 3 months. He even rebuilt my transmission on the 2001 when no speeds would work.

The person Canadian who did the re-torquing is a general diesel mechanic self taught. and doesn't matter I did a search on a forum and found two retired mechanics that claimed in a diesel you do it 35,000 miles, if you do not believe me that is fine, search yourself I used google and it sent me to a forum on diesels I am also a member of. He did not do the second 90 degrees, because from his experience we had enough ft/lbs of torque from his experience. And I concurred with his explanation. If it was too low wouldn't I be having problems right away? within 10 miles? 100 miles? we are hitting 90 degrees F during the day. wouldn't the car be hard to start if I did not have a good compressive seal vs now starting better.
 
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bajaONE

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you seem to be completely not getting what "torque values" mean :/ and how that relates to stretch bolts...

if you get new head bolts, you best be redoing the head. who knows what's gone on with it as far as warpage. that would be a no-brainer in my mind
I understand torque and such better than you would realize, when in college paid for my education as a machinist. have worked with stress strain gauges
 

dieseldonato

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Yeah, I'm out. You do whatever you think is right, I'll stick with 20+ year of experience working heavy duty diesel + all the factory training I've received over the years. Non of which agrees with anything you say. Good luck.
 

bajaONE

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nothing good can come out of re-torquing head bolts...

if you think you see changes in behavior with starting, for example, bear in mind, despite the fact you think you only changed on thing. that might not be the case. case in point is a wonky coolant temp sensor, which i've seen plenty of. unless you're actually monitoring that, that could easily change starting behavior. .....
well thats why I ask and now you have given me another area to look at. I do happen to have a recently purchased coolant sensor that only took 2 weeks to get. so you are saying it has been wonky for 2-3 years with zero exceptions and all the sudden is working now? Does this sensors data control the glow plugs? Because I have shown the glowplug s not attached the car starts great when it has not in 2-3 years.
 

bajaONE

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Yeah, I'm out. You do whatever you think is right, I'll stick with 20+ year of experience working heavy duty diesel + all the factory training I've received over the years. Non of which agrees with anything you say. Good luck.
sorry to hear you are out, my loss.
 

burpod

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well thats why I ask and now you have given me another area to look at. I do happen to have a recently purchased coolant sensor that only took 2 weeks to get. so you are saying it has been wonky for 2-3 years with zero exceptions and all the sudden is working now? Does this sensors data control the glow plugs? Because I have shown the glowplug s not attached the car starts great when it has not in 2-3 years.
i'm not saying anything other than what i said. all sorts of things are possible. without looking at data, who knows. almost nobody keeps track of this stuff or takes logs, people run willy-nilly with all sorts of things malfunctioning and make assumptions on whatever they "feel". just like the torquing of the head bolts lol
 

JordanTr

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This comment assumes the second 90* turn takes the head bolts to (and beyond) yield:
Torquing the bolts to yield doesn’t “feel” good since the resistance is relatively constant as you’ve reached the flat portion of the stress strain curve. What TTY does is ensure that each fastener shares the same loading because they’ve all yielded. This helps assure the OEM level reliability required at the head gasket interface.

Once loosened, the bolts will still rebound elastically, however, they will be longer since they’ve been yielded.
Could a TTY fastener of sufficient toughness (class 10.9 likely qualifies) be torqued to yield multiple times and provide comparable clamp load on subsequent torque ups? Probably, but it depends on the conflicting factors of necking and strain hardening.
Is it worth the risk to re-use them as a common practice? No, it’s not worth the risk given their criticality.
Would I reuse the bolts if I was stranded in the middle of a Mexican desert and wanted to get home? absolutely.
 

MrCypherr

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Why is this thread just going around in circles. Every couple comments it seems like its just back at square one again. Then it just repeats itself.
 

bajaONE

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This comment assumes the second 90* turn takes the head bolts to (and beyond) yield:
Torquing the bolts to yield doesn’t “feel” good since the resistance is relatively constant as you’ve reached the flat portion of the stress strain curve. What TTY does is ensure that each fastener shares the same loading because they’ve all yielded. This helps assure the OEM level reliability required at the head gasket interface.

Once loosened, the bolts will still rebound elastically, however, they will be longer since they’ve been yielded.
Could a TTY fastener of sufficient toughness (class 10.9 likely qualifies) be torqued to yield multiple times and provide comparable clamp load on subsequent torque ups? Probably, but it depends on the conflicting factors of necking and strain hardening.
Is it worth the risk to re-use them as a common practice? No, it’s not worth the risk given their criticality.
Would I reuse the bolts if I was stranded in the middle of a Mexican desert and wanted to get home? absolutely.
thanks. your information is different than the others presented so while a few of the others are as pointed out going circular without adding the requested details I have asked for.. thanks for your input.

Canadian mechanic was reading the torque acquired, so when he said did not feel good i also mentioned the torque value was very high. I did not ask him for the specific value. A fact, he has been retorquing his truck every 30k miles with the same head bolts for over 400k miles, ( I had found verification on another forum this is accurate by two retired mechanics posing that) though every person on this thread has inferred it is impossible to do that. yet there he drives with at least 13 times he has done the impossible. He alone with the other forum verification says it is a valid practice with another brand of vehicle. Added my Mexican Mechanic as standard practice does reuse the bolts here in mexico. If it did not work he would have stopped doing that a long time ago as he has been working on TDI for over 15 years and that is his main focus, TDIs.

So as far as more verification goes this morning again car started great at 62 degrees F without glow plug wiring attached. has been driven about 220 miles in 90 degree weather, no loss of antifreeze and oil level not dropping (at least that I can tell) plus this was up a steep grade of 2000 feet two times each of 3 trips. If the head was not sealed properly would I already be seeing hard starts, fuel leakage, loss of power? and how many miles is a good test. None of the posters on the forum have to date ventured to answer these questions.

I can give another example that I experienced, with my second TDI 2001 same milage 260k miles, the Mexican mechanic did put a new head gasket in when it blew the original head gasket. I had all new seals/gaskets and NEW head bolts. That gasket lasted exactly 15 minutes. the head was machined before it, valve work too. it runs and starts fine even with this brand new blown head gasket while not being driven, but drive 100 meters and it spews radiator fluid at the headgasket to outside the engine in a steam.. So from that experience one indicator is you know very quickly. been looking for diesel mechanics with experience to answer that question. how long if there is a failure from a new head gasket, if it is nearly always in first drive i can extrapolate since my friend has done this 13 plus times i am in a safe zone.

Second to this is what is the critical failure which none of the diesel mechanics can even tell me after repeated requests. if the worst is a blown head gasket and my norm with this car is 1-3 miles drives, who cares why do the entire head gasket replacement now when I have a perfectly fine car (I did do the forementioned stress test on purpose of the in question 2003 head bolt tensioned one , three round trip up-down uo gown return 60 miles drives over a mountain steep grade of 2000 feet which I will not be doing on a normal basis, I use the mk7 i have for long drives and these other two mk4s for local town 1-3 mile drives.
 
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