Cylinder Head Retensioning - 1964 MK2 - 3.4

Hello All,
Just about to crank over the engine after a refurbish, crank grind -0.010, rebored to +0.020, pistons, rings etc. Fitted a single layer steel head gasket and torqued to 54lbs. I have used composite head gaskets in the past on engines with alloy cylinder heads (not XK). The practice was to start the engine run to normal operating temp, shut down and retorque the next day.

Incidentally, when I removed the head for some work last year an original type steel head gasket was in place. I searched for the brand name (on the gasket) and discovered the company stopped making gaskets in the late 60’s. The reason I mention this, is when the head was removed original factory marks were on the face of the head, and the head was almost dead flat, only a slight imperfection at the front, a few thou only. Hopefully the new gasket will give a similar service life…

Question: What is best practice with a steel head gasket, retorque the next day , as above…or set and forget?

Crack each nut back, then torque to spec.

Had to re torque 3 times after 200 mile intervals after that all settled in and torque figures stayed constant

1 Like

I just followed the manual, no re-torquing.

1 Like

I saw too many that needed retorquing to not retorque them.

All the effort that went into the engine build
Seems simple to to re torque the head. A couple of times to meet factory specs

Hi, Thanks for the thoughts, will run with retorque a few times, until stable.

Now for the next issue, no oil pressure at start up…ran for about 20 seconds…nothing at the gauge. Engine was running in the car about 3 months ago with a pressure reading at the gauge, hopefully this is a sender failure.

Is there a point somewhere near the oil filter I can plumb in an oil pressure test gauge…will need to acquire one with the correct BSPP(?) thread first.


You could use the oil galley plug near the filter housing. Its just a bolt with a copper washer.

I believe those 6 plugs are 1/2"-20 UNF thread.

Hi, thanks next step is to find a suitable 1/2 UNF joiner, I am inclined to fit an “auxilery” oil pressure gauge to the 1/2 UNF…keep the one on the dash as well.