Head Studs vs Head Bolts

This is a question often asked. Why should I install head studs when replacing the head gasket on my truck? Why can’t I just use the factory style head bolt?

In a diesel application there is a very high cylinder pressure which is very hard on head gaskets. The factory style Head Bolt is a torque to yield bolt. This means that you torque the bolt to a specific torque and then in most cases do a 90 degree rotation on the bolt which will put it in its optimum stretch point. This will then create the maximum clamping force of that fastener.

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We have found, over the years of working on diesel trucks, that when you add horsepower with things like chips, programmers, injectors, and larger (or multiple) turbochargers you are at a higher risk of creating that high cylinder pressure lower in the RPM range resulting in a blown head gasket.

The design behind a head stud is to have a fastener that does not stretch. This is done by using a high tensile strength alloy and a stud rather than a bolt. The stud allows for a fine thread nut on the top which will result in a more precise torque of the head.

We highly recommend that whenever you are looking at replacing your head gaskets that you add the insurance of installing a fastener that will not stretch and put you back in the same position of replacing another head gasket.

At East Coast Diesel we sell a complete line of the ARP Fasteners. This includes Head Stud kits, Main Stud Kits as well as Rod bolts and many other applications. Let’s face it, who wants to take power away from their truck in order to keep it from blowing a head gasket, hence the reason to install head studs. Call and talk with our knowledgeable staff and allow them to help you select to correct fastener for your application!!!

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