I had my 26 coupe engine rebuilt in 1983 and I haven't ran it since. It probably didn't have a half hour running on it. I'm starting to restore the car and the valves were stuck. I pulled the head and re-ground the valves and re-adjusted them, the question should I replace the head gasket or just put it back on and re-torque it. Thanks
I hate to mention this, but you will probably have to pull the pistons and free up the rings. Been there, done that, although it was a Model A engine, and didn't sit quite as long, but basically it had been started and run maybe 15 minutes. Started right up, but found I had no power, all the rings were frozen in the pistons and many had cracked from the stresses where they weren't frozen.
I think if your careful, you can do this by only removing the inspection plate--maybe add a day to your project, but might be a real time-saver later.
The head gasket is made to press fit all the edges around the cylinders. Once it has been disturbed is better to install a new one. If the engine turns over easily with the crank, your rings might be OK, but while it's apart, it is easier to pull the pistons and check the rings than after you start it up and then need to pull the head again. However having said that, the rings wear to fit the shape of the cylinders and if you remove them and re install the same rings it might burn oil because it is almost impossible to get them in exactly the same position.
So if it were mine, and it turned over easily, I would just put some oil in each cylinder and let it penetrate for a while and then start up the engine and see how it runs rather than remove the pistons. If the engine is seized, then you will for sure need to pull the pistons.
Agree with Norman
If the head is off put little lite oil in each cylender and turn the engine over if the walls stay wet pull piston you have stuck rings
Now how flat is the gasket might spray with copper coat and reinstall but chances are it wont seal like a new one would.
If it a copper one you can chance 2nd reuse if flat
The other ones are one time use
In my experience the Model A motors are more prone to sticking than the Model T motors.
My T and A were in the barn for 43 years.
A little MMO and the T was OK.
The A was stuck and required a rebuild.
As for the head gasket - why take a chance with using the old one?
If the engine only has a half-hour of running on it, then the rings haven't seated yet, and pulling the pistons won't cause oil usage. In my case, the new motor (except for the 15 minutes running) seemed fine, but it turned out only the top ring was not frozen, so it had good compression when tested, but not when running!
Pulling the pistons also gives you a chance to check the bearings and make certain the crank doesn't have rust spots on the journals (I've seen it happen on a car that sits a long time!)
Chances are the gasket had not even be re torqued. I have reused a gasket that had been used on different engine. Do you really think that every time someone ground their valves they used a new gasket? I would try it.
Richard, I'm with Mark G. Put it back together and go. :-)
I've done it a couple times (more on other type of engines) and once (more on other types) I made a T head gasket out of material from the store.
It lasted for nearly 20 years and wasn't the reason to pull the head. :-)
When I had the money to buy a new gasket? I bought one and we scraped the home-made gasket off the surfaces. :-)
On Green Acres, they made a head gasket for the tractor from some of Lisa's (Eva) Pancakes!
I think Hoyt Clagwell tractors came from the factory with pancake headgaskets...
My error, they were "Hotscakes"
Now my flapjacks wouldn't last a minute!