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Old 07-09-2009, 04:44 AM   #1
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torque specs 1996 heads 3.8

i have a 1996 3.8 v6 and i recently lost the head gasket..heads are resurfaced im ready to reinstall everything but my question is the torque specs for this motor are a little confusing to me...i have replaced many head gaskets BUT have only done them on older chevy small blocks and motorcycles.. it says first round go in sequence to 15 ftlbs step 2 go to 29 step 3 go to 36 step 4 says loosen one bolt at a time 2 to 3 turns then step 5 longs 20 to 37 shorts 11 to 18 step 6 tighten additional 180 degrees...now im not a total idiot but i wonder why loosen 2 to 3 turns re tighten then go 180 degrees..it almost seems not totally accurate...but at the same time i know anything about these ....im used to a simple sequence then torque to whatever desired ftlbs thats needed........ any info would be great. cause 37 lbs sounds like a low ftlbs and going 180 degrees i dont know it sounds not exact especially since they are soft aluminum heads..im using new ford gaskets new ford head bolts re surfaced heads springs valves etc ...ive seen other sites where people say torque to 65 some say 90 some say do exactly as book says just looking for any info from anyone here who has experience in this
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
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Re: torque specs 1996 heads 3.8

I noticed that it's the strangest way to bolt down heads too, what I think it does is help those MLS gaskets seat better. Those steps are how it says to do it in the all the Ford Factory manuals so I assume it's right.
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Old 07-09-2009, 02:00 PM   #3
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Re: torque specs 1996 heads 3.8

don't reuse old head bolts. They are stretch and will not give the same clamping force to the head as new bolts

Frequently Asked Questions on Bolting Matters



1994-95 Step 1 15 ft. lbs.
Step 2 29 ft. lbs.
Step 3 37 ft. lbs.
Step 4 NOTE 1
Step 5 Long Bolts 29-37 ft. lbs.
Short Bolts 7-15 ft. lbs.
Step 6 NOTE 2

NOTE 1 Loosen 2 or 3 turns (DO NOT loosen all the bolts at once, from here on
do this step and the next ONE BOLT AT A TIME.
NOTE 2 Tighten an additional 90°


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Old 07-09-2009, 03:15 PM   #4
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Re: torque specs 1996 heads 3.8

yeah i never reuse headbolts...i actually will always use arp studs but i think that was a bit over kill on a 150 hp motor... it was only 50 dollars for a complete set of new head bolts
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