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I will ask my friend Leo Franchi, that engine and fuel management systems racing circuit guy I mentioned some time ago who evaluated my Base Sky last year. I will report back with his thoughts on this.
Leo Franchi and I just finished discussing your situation.

Leo says that considering your Sky has roughly 75,000 to 80,000 miles, and that a "brand new" GM manufactured (NOT remanufactured) head costs only $300, you are MUCH BETTER OFF replacing your original head with a new one, rather than spending money on your original head in machining, cleaning, and inspecting for cracks. He said your original head is roughly at half-life right now so getting a new head with new valves, guides & such is a big benefit.

He also said that you can safely without consequences, transfer the cams, adjusters and rockers, as long as the cam lobes do not show any sign of wear. If one cam lobe looks questionable, replace that cam.

Leo also said that a little oil seepage through the head gasket is considered normal after 20,000 miles from normal driving. Some engines seep a little, others don't, so don't fret over a little seepage.

Leo also emphasized using the right oil, most especially considering the turbo. Make sure to change the oil more frequently than specified. He says Mobile One is marginal for turbo applications. The turbo utilizes the engine oil and the turbo activates under moderate acceleration which is very frequently. There are better racing oils available for turbo applications. BUT I emphasis where Leo lives his life. To provide a snapshot of his thinking, Leo says the best racing oil is shot after just 300 miles on a race track.

In summary........buy that brand new head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
That's still kinda scary. If you can catch a cold, you can catch Covid. Stay SAFE!
I had to get the test before I could return to school. I'm still recovering with congestion and coughing. It's lasted almost a week at this point. On the mend though!

I'm fully vaccinated and wear a mask at work. We observe lots of precautions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
Not tooooo much to report, but I went to a local race engine builder who do engine and head resurfacing for super decent prices ($50-75). He said he wouldn't be willing to work on it, as our heads require complete disassembly before resurfacing, and said it would be a pain in the ass. He recommended buying a new one, especially at $300~, since a rebuild would be $600...

So... My friend found this:

$350 after taxes FULLY BUILT. Brand new cams, lifters, lash adjusters, EVERYTHING.
I went ahead and bought it. It was a no brainer.
 

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Not tooooo much to report, but I went to a local race engine builder who do engine and head resurfacing for super decent prices ($50-75). He said he wouldn't be willing to work on it, as our heads require complete disassembly before resurfacing, and said it would be a pain in the ass. He recommended buying a new one, especially at $300~, since a rebuild would be $600...

So... My friend found this:

$350 after taxes FULLY BUILT. Brand new cams, lifters, lash adjusters, EVERYTHING.
I went ahead and bought it. It was a no brainer.
That is a good price and a better deal than ZZP, nice find. I hate that eBay charges tax now for us too. I would purposely buy things on eBay just to save on the sales tax.
 

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Not tooooo much to report, but I went to a local race engine builder who do engine and head resurfacing for super decent prices ($50-75). He said he wouldn't be willing to work on it, as our heads require complete disassembly before resurfacing, and said it would be a pain in the ass. He recommended buying a new one, especially at $300~, since a rebuild would be $600...

So... My friend found this:

$350 after taxes FULLY BUILT. Brand new cams, lifters, lash adjusters, EVERYTHING.
I went ahead and bought it. It was a no brainer.
Good for you!

I wonder if the 2.4L loaded head could be had for the same or cheaper.
 

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Not tooooo much to report, but I went to a local race engine builder who do engine and head resurfacing for super decent prices ($50-75). He said he wouldn't be willing to work on it, as our heads require complete disassembly before resurfacing, and said it would be a pain in the ass. He recommended buying a new one, especially at $300~, since a rebuild would be $600...

So... My friend found this:

$350 after taxes FULLY BUILT. Brand new cams, lifters, lash adjusters, EVERYTHING.
I went ahead and bought it. It was a no brainer.
Yea you really can't beat that. I had my head resurfaced, ported, polished, bigger valves, new seats, new guides for about $900 but I provided 85# springs and new Titanium retainers then had to get cams, rockers, and lash adjusters. Probably $2k all said and done. $400 is damn cheap for a whole new stock head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
I'm trying to finish up this injectors refresh kit before my friend comes over and we start really get into the rebuild. I don't know how to safely remove and replace these little white pieces... Anyone have any suggestions?

115619
 

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Nice brand new heads. Did they even include the spark plugs?

You can beat that price. I am very happy for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Pretty sure you need some special tools to put them on, check the service manual.
I decided to say f*** it, and leave the original ones on. I'm not messing with that. Fresh o-rings are good enough.

Weekend Update:

New head arrived, has been properly torqued on, engine has been timed, crankshaft balancer torqued, new belt tensioners on, and new belts on. My expectation is that I'm done next weekend.

Tips/thoughts on timing chains: ignore the new baby crankshaft sprocket (Cloyes kit), go slow, pay attention, and triple check EVERYTHING is aligned/ where it should be. The smaller chain happened to be half off one of the guides after being tensioned. Thanks to the triple check it was caught. FOLLOW THE CLOYES VIDEO TO A T (except taking off the sprockets that are weird to take off and you don't even get new ones to replace... So why even take them off??). It is perfection.

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Discussion Starter · #92 ·
Nice brand new heads. Did they even include the spark plugs?

You can beat that price. I am very happy for you.
It came with new spark plugs! I will be checking the gap before everything is said and done.

I had to do so much scrubbing to the the block head gasket surface clear. Good lord.

Also, the engine manual is a GOD SEND.
 

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Discussion Starter · #93 ·
Side note... My seal puller came 2 hours before I put the timing cover back on... That was a close one...
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