NUTS !!!!

In my manual it states a figure of 48 Ib foot for head bolts ,but in the sunbeam owners club they recommend a 45 lb foot .The 3lb foot difference is to avoid head gasket problems. What would you recommend ?


Staff member
46 1/2 ;)

The Sunbeam club is probably quoting for the alloy head. I doubt weather your torque wrench is accurate enough to be spot on with either figure, just as long as they are pulled down evenly.


New Member
The manual says not to lubricate the threads however if you put them in freshly cleaned in petrol (or your parts washer - lucky you) the threads will have rather more friction than when they were new with cutting oil still on them. My advise (consider me "that bloke in the pub") I run a 1/4" drill in the holes in the block (by finger and definitely not in your black and decker) to make sure there is little, or no muck at the bottom which would cause the head bolts to bottom out before clamping the head correctly. Second I put a little copper grease on the threads (just a spot, and not too much you don't want it getting on the gasket) then torque to 46lbs/ft (what my Chrysler workshop manual states) for my ally head. This stopped my head gasket failing every 1000 miles, 23,000 now so far without problem...
Thanks for the info Paul .I'm not sure if my gasket failed. It all started last Sunday when for some reason I removed the rocker cover filler cap & was horrified to see milky oil on & around it ,so without hesitating I started stripping the engine down. I took the head off but was a bit surprised to see clean oil in & around the pushrod followers .Next I took the oil filter off & again no milk (emulsification),next drained the oil it was almost as clean s the day ,a year ago ,I put it in. Anyway I've put it back together now ,£65 & 2 evenings down.


New Member
Emulsified oil in the rocker cover was common on older engines in my experience and not necessarily an indication of a problem requiring investigation. Particularly the 1725 ally head, BL "S" series, and to a lesser extent BL "A" series, "B" series, and Ford Kent amongst others. The problem is caused by the rocker cover not getting hot enough to evaporate condensation. My engine takes about 47 minutes to get the oil fully up to temperature on average (ambient temperature affects). Unless you are losing water I wouldn't worry.
Scrape the sludge out every 5000, or avoid short journeys, or do what BL did on the "S" series and wrap the oil filler and cam cover in insulating material to help keep it warm...
I find using a modern oil helps too. I use 5W50 fully synthetic racing oil in my engine. I could explain the logic but it is a long read. Not a sign of any milky deposits in the rocker cover for years.
I will wait for someone to criticise use of synthetic/semi synthetic/5W etc before I dig out the science...
Yes I think your right Paul. The longest journey my vans done since I got it is about five miles, thats in 2 years. The plan is in the summer to use it more often . Thanks for reply.