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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!!

After my experience with replacing the valve cover gasket ( it was in rough shape), I've decided to do a head gasket replacement, head cleaning (DI carbon buildup), motor mount replacement, timing chain and parts replacement, intake gasket replacement, exhaust gasket replacement, and turbo refurb.

If you have any pointers, references, etc on any of this, I'm all ears.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Does your RL have issues that indicate the need for such evasive work? How many miles are on the odometer?
75k miles. Oil is slowly seeping from the gasket. I plan to catch it before it goes. The turbo also started making a new (not happy) noise after I got the Stage 2 kit from RPM (charge tubes, high flow cat, increased boost to 26PSI).

I'm super into preventative work. I'll be changing the cam position sensors and the crankshaft position sensor. I'm not afraid of doing all of this work. I just want to make sure I get all resources I can before I do it.
 

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Waste of money. If it ain't broke don't fix it. If doing repair or upgrades that is another story.
 

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Hmmm...oil seeping from between the head and engine block? A a small amount is easy to live with it, but if it was serious I would try this.

Take the valve cover off and tighten the head bolts per sequence order and torque specs. Just maybe the seepage will be reduced or stopped. What's the worst that could happen? You'd be right back to "square one".

Your 26 PSI boost is likely the cause. I would be tempted to add a "tad bit extra" on the head bolt torque spec.
 

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......... I would be tempted to add a "tad bit extra" on the head bolt torque spec.
Almost never a good idea. Torque specs are based on the characteristic of the fasteners and their actual strength, not the load that they are going to experience.
 

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75k miles. Oil is slowly seeping from the gasket. I plan to catch it before it goes. The turbo also started making a new (not happy) noise after I got the Stage 2 kit from RPM (charge tubes, high flow cat, increased boost to 26PSI).

I'm super into preventative work. I'll be changing the cam position sensors and the crankshaft position sensor. I'm not afraid of doing all of this work. I just want to make sure I get all resources I can before I do it.
If you’re hearing a “not happy noise” after previous modifications, it sounds to me that you are already past the preventive maintenance stage and entering the repair stage. The good thing, is that you are open to investing time and money into your Sky. Contact one of the many shops that specialize in the Sky/Solstice and discuss with them your plans for your car. Most likely they have seen and heard it all before and can best advise you.
There is a shop not far from where I live, PAW, I met with Dave to discuss my future plans for my Base Sky. After consulting with Dave, I’ve decided instead of buying the parts and doing it myself, it’s worth it to pay someone that has the experience and expertise with the Kappa platform. This Spring he will be doing some upgrades for me.
I was lucky as a kid growing up that my Godfather was a crew chief for an Indy racing team and guided my away from some expensive mistakes I could have made.
Just my unsolicited 2 cents.....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Okay. Let me put it this way (and I truly/ seriously mean this in the nicest way possible that just comes off dickish in an online format):
I'm doing the maintenance/ renewing/ refreshing of these items. Full stop.

I already bought all of the items, and have been gaining experience/ knowledge with the platform since I bought my Redline 10 months ago.
If I hugely mess it up, it's off to ATK I go for the $2,000 brand new engine.

I would love any resources, references, or otherwise that you have to share.
I take full responsibility for any mistakes I make.
 

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Okay. Let me put it this way (and I truly/ seriously mean this in the nicest way possible that just comes off dickish in an online format):
I'm doing the maintenance/ renewing/ refreshing of these items. Full stop.

I already bought all of the items, and have been gaining experience/ knowledge with the platform since I bought my Redline 10 months ago.
If I hugely mess it up, it's off to ATK I go for the $2,000 brand new engine.

I would love any resources, references, or otherwise that you have to share.
I take full responsibility for any mistakes I make.
Not dogging on your RPM tune, but I believe 24 PSI is really the max you want to push the stock turbo. They may want to dial it back just a bit. Anything over that can actually start to hinder performance and can lead to issues. @Robotech usually has a much better explanation of this as I am just paraphrasing. Other than that I have no advice to provide as I have never torn one of these motors apart. Good luck and Godspeed.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Not dogging on your RPM tune, but I believe 24 PSI is really the max you want to push the stock turbo. They may want to dial it back just a bit. Anything over that can actually start to hinder performance and can lead to issues. @Robotech usually has a much better explanation of this as I am just paraphrasing. Other than that I have no advice to provide as I have never torn one of these motors apart. Good luck and Godspeed.
I would love to hear his thoughts.
One thing I plan on having done is a local turbo shop balancing the turbo wheel.
 

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I would recommend contacting The Ghost about turbo related questions. If memory serves me correctly the max boost out of the stock turbo is about 25 psi, at 26 psi it seems to be pushing the limit for a stock turbo. If you plan on staying that high of boost, you might consider an intercooler, catless down pipe or a different turbo.
We used to play with turbos on my dads old discarded Offy powered midgets when we graduated from racing carts.
 

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Almost never a good idea. Torque specs are based on the characteristic of the fasteners and their actual strength, not the load that they are going to experience.
John is so right. The stock head bolts are also torque to yield. This means you torque them to 22 ft/lbs in sequence (tightening them in sequence is VERY important) and then tighten them another 155 degrees. This stretches the bolt. This means you can put a torque wrench on them and make sure they are at 22 ft/lbs but they could still be loose. There is no torque spec to check at this point. Once stretched, the bolts CANNOT BE REUSED. You will need to replace these bolts. There are four smaller bolts at the front of the head you can reuse as they get torqued to 22 ft/lbs and left alone.

Personally, I would get ARP head studs rather than more OEM head bolts. These studs get tightened to 90 ft/lbs (incrementally, 50 ft/lbs in sequence, 70 ft/lbs in sequence, then finally 90 ft/lbs in sequence), are reusable (if you have to do the head again they will pay for themselves as they cost about the same as the cost of two sets of OEM head bolts) and have more clamping force than the OEM bolts. I have them on my build.

I would love to hear his thoughts.
One thing I plan on having done is a local turbo shop balancing the turbo wheel.
You could just get the RPM big wheel K04 turbo. They get them from a reputable turbo shop who balances the shaft. If you are doing all this, rebuilding the turbo should be on your list too anyway.

As Steve can attest, DO NOT use RTV on your oil return line to turbo flange connection, use the OEM gasket. If you use RTV, it can hinder oil flow and cause the turbo to smoke.

ARP also has a bolt kit for your timing chain guides. Not sure if they are necessary, but a nice bit of insurance. I got them.

As for your boost level, you are probably maxed out but not dangerously so. Depending on where you live, 26 psi may be acceptable (if you are at a high elevation like Denver).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What kind of noise?
Hard to explain, but it's new (and new sounds on old parts are no bueno in my opinion), and may be normal, but I bought a Turbo rebuild kit, and plan to do it anyway.

I would recommend contacting The Ghost about turbo related questions. If memory serves me correctly the max boost out of the stock turbo is about 25 psi, at 26 psi it seems to be pushing the limit for a stock turbo. If you plan on staying that high of boost, you might consider an intercooler, catless down pipe or a different turbo.
We used to play with turbos on my dads old discarded Offy powered midgets when we graduated from racing carts.
I have the high flow cat, so there's that at least. I plan on getting the beefier intercooler at some point. Someone on the Facebook had their stock intercooler explode when the boost was increased.

John is so right. The stock head bolts are also torque to yield. This means you torque them to 22 ft/lbs in sequence (tightening them in sequence is VERY important) and then tighten them another 155 degrees. This stretches the bolt. This means you can put a torque wrench on them and make sure they are at 22 ft/lbs but they could still be loose. There is no torque spec to check at this point. Once stretched, the bolts CANNOT BE REUSED. You will need to replace these bolts. There are four smaller bolts at the front of the head you can reuse as they get torqued to 22 ft/lbs and left alone.

Personally, I would get ARP head studs rather than more OEM head bolts. These studs get tightened to 90 ft/lbs (incrementally, 50 ft/lbs in sequence, 70 ft/lbs in sequence, then finally 90 ft/lbs in sequence), are reusable (if you have to do the head again they will pay for themselves as they cost about the same as the cost of two sets of OEM head bolts) and have more clamping force than the OEM bolts. I have them on my build.

You could just get the RPM big wheel K04 turbo. They get them from a reputable turbo shop who balances the shaft. If you are doing all this, rebuilding the turbo should be on your list too anyway.
As Steve can attest, DO NOT use RTV on your oil return line to turbo flange connection, use the OEM gasket. If you use RTV, it can hinder oil flow and cause the turbo to smoke.
ARP also has a bolt kit for your timing chain guides. Not sure if they are necessary, but a nice bit of insurance. I got them.
As for your boost level, you are probably maxed out but not dangerously so. Depending on where you live, 26 psi may be acceptable (if you are at a high elevation like Denver).
I got stock head bolts for $35. I would never re-use head bolts. I bought all new gaskets.

Purchase list:
Turbo Refresh Kit
Crankshaft Position Sensor
Cam Position Sensor
Exhaust Manifold Gasket
Intake Manifold Gasket
Front Cover Gasket
Head Gasket
Turbo Gasket
Injector O-Rings
Balance Shaft Chain Set
Timing Chain Set
Head Bolts
Engine Mounts



Any suggestions on removing carbon buildup are most welcome!
 

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Not dogging on your RPM tune, but I believe 24 PSI is really the max you want to push the stock turbo. They may want to dial it back just a bit. Anything over that can actually start to hinder performance and can lead to issues. @Robotech usually has a much better explanation of this as I am just paraphrasing. Other than that I have no advice to provide as I have never torn one of these motors apart. Good luck and Godspeed.
24 Lbs of boost should be the max!
 

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Hi all!!

After my experience with replacing the valve cover gasket ( it was in rough shape), I've decided to do a head gasket replacement, head cleaning (DI carbon buildup), motor mount replacement, timing chain and parts replacement, intake gasket replacement, exhaust gasket replacement, and turbo refurb.

If you have any pointers, references, etc on any of this, I'm all ears.
I did all the above you are looking to do.
There are so many time savers and way to many to list but from the Timing Chain - great time to do it to torquing the head on again - some tips to remember and using the correct tool for the water pump pulley while changing the timing chain to even putting the timing chain back on.
DM me and I will give you my cell to walk you through at any point in time.
As a point of reference - my 08 had 121k and had antifreeze "seeping" through the block - changed everything 2x - yup! 2 engine replacements - see my post on the dirtbags over at ZZ "performance" that caused it to happen 2x
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I did all the above you are looking to do.
There are so many time savers and way to many to list but from the Timing Chain - great time to do it to torquing the head on again - some tips to remember and using the correct tool for the water pump pulley while changing the timing chain to even putting the timing chain back on.
DM me and I will give you my cell to walk you through at any point in time.
As a point of reference - my 08 had 121k and had antifreeze "seeping" through the block - changed everything 2x - yup! 2 engine replacements - see my post on the dirtbags over at ZZ "performance" that caused it to happen 2x
Didn't think I would need the water pump pulley again... I gave it to someone on the forum thinking I wouldn't need it anymore hahahahaha... ****.
 

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John is so right. The stock head bolts are also torque to yield. This means you torque them to 22 ft/lbs in sequence (tightening them in sequence is VERY important) and then tighten them another 155 degrees. This stretches the bolt. This means you can put a torque wrench on them and make sure they are at 22 ft/lbs but they could still be loose. There is no torque spec to check at this point. Once stretched, the bolts CANNOT BE REUSED. You will need to replace these bolts.
Exactly
 
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