Head Gasket Replacement Failure

Wayne Mertz

After Replacing the Head Gasket/ Bolts, etc I still have the water getting into the Cylinders causing the steam coming out of the exhaust. I checked the head with a good straight edge and noticed no warpage. I replaced valve guide seals and others along the way to reassembly, but had a few left over from the kit that I couldn’t figure out where they would go. I am at a loss as to what to do next.

The gasket kit and bolts came to over $300.00 and I do not wish to replace these again. The bolts are a one time use according to the manuals. Should I loosen them and try to retighten? Should I remove the head again, hoping to see a place where the failure is happening? Should I add some type of gasket seal to the gasket?

Any help will be gratefully appreciated.


The head bolts are not ‘one-time’ use items. Providing they are torqued correctly on assembly they can be re-used multiple times.

Did you buy a genuine OEM gasket set to the Jaguar part number?

If the gasket is good, the head is not warped and the bolts were correctly torqued, if water is still getting in to the cylinders (just one or all of them?) then I would suspect a cracked block.

What sort of gaskets did you have ‘left over’, the valve stem seals?

Just a thought I had. Did your original head gasket fail at a position that allowed a lot of water into the exhaust system ?
If that is the case it could be that same water that’s steaming off now rather than the new gasket leaking.
Is the coolant level dropping, or the engine sounding lumpy or misfiring ?

Did you have a machine shop check the head for cracks?

Or alternatively, was there any sign of corrosion on the mating faces of the head and/or block?

Some have had to have the head skimmed to remove traces of a corrosion ‘track’.