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I am in the process of replacing the head gaskets on my 81 1100 for the second time.

The exhaust started blowing out white smoke in the morning and then after a couple of weeksstarted pushing the coolant out of the radiator.

The first time I used cheap head gaskets and figured that was the problem so I ordered OEM gaskets and pulled the heads off last week. The old head gasketsdid not appear to be bad.

Last night when I was cleaning off the heads I discovered what appears to be a crack around the bottom edge of the combustion chamber.

Does this look like it could cause the symptoms that I have outlined here?

This a picture of the crack. The link below is the full sized picture.



http://www.peterbylt.com/motopics/badhead2.jpg

This is the left side head, I have a spare right side cylinder head will it fit? It looks the same except for the cam. I would put the cam from the original head in it.

Thanks in advance for any information.

Peter
 

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That might skim out Peter. Bring the head to a machine shop and they will be able to tell you if skimming with shave that off. If it is too deep and past the skimming limit, you will need another head.
 

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That doesn't appear to me to be a crack. More likely just erosion and wear due to high speed and constant vibration. OOPS, it isn't a Harley. Only high speed here.

Aluminum heads are not prone to cracking but can. They are more likely to warp so having the head resurfaced would be a good idea.

Have you checked the head with a good, quality straight edge? I think the limit for flatness in .004 inches.

Compare the bolt sizes for the fuel pump mount to the bolt sizes for the front of the head where the seal attaches. If they're the same you should be good to go. You have already seen that the cams are different.

I have a pair of used heads on the shelf here.

Please let us all know what you find.

Lyle
 

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I'd get a better head Peter. Look at the left side of it (in the pic above) where the edge of the combustion chamber is. Is that the metal that I see fatigued? ...Where the sealing ring would go.
 

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valve grinding paste on a sheet of glass will also show imperfections. color it with a magic marker first. I don't think the crack is the issue, more likely the worn area to the left, like Captainmidnight85 said.
 

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Ditto all., casting looks strange at upper left side of pic.
at the sealing surface for gasket.?
Including the two slight indents and the strange looking cast , i would suspect a defective cast head , mill or toss this head .
 

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clean it up take a straight edge across it if you dont have a straight edge available, i would just take it to a machine shop they can look at it for free and give you a estimate for free..


so its free... best 4 letter word i can think up
 

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CaptainMidnight85 wrote:
I'd get a better head Peter. Look at the left side of it (in the pic above) where the edge of the combustion chamber is. Is that the metal that I see fatigued? ...Where the sealing ring would go.
+1

The area to the left would be of utmost concern.

JD
 

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Yes both heads are the same, just the cams turned around.
 

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I might be remembering the manual incorrectly but thought the flatness limit was .002". Not arguing but that number sticks in what I laughingly call my mind.
 

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You can see it a little better in this picture (although it is a little blurry)

But theCrack (and it is a crack) extends along the edge.

I am going to play it safe and use the alternate head.

The alternate head looks to be in very good condition.

If I did not have thealternate head I wouldconsider having it welded and machined but I think replacing the head is the best option.

Although the head gasket did not look compromised the symptoms ofcoolant getting into the exhaust and exhaust into to the coolant would lead me to believe that this would be the cause.



Peter
 

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Since you have a spare head I'd agee that's the easiest and cheapest way to go. It's hard to say exactly where the leak was if there's no indication on the head gasket so there's no surety whether the crack or the radiused area on the cylinder rim is the culprit.
 
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