Why Your Cylinder Head Bolts Are So Important

Posted on: 18 August 2020


An internal combustion engine is a masterpiece of engineering. After all, extreme conditions are to be found within the engine itself during normal operation, and it is remarkable that the motor can even survive, let alone function. Much of this magic can be attributed to the overall design of the engine and the way that it is bolted together. Why is it particularly important, therefore, to make sure that the individual fastenings are up to the job and will never fail?

Under Pressure

For an engine like this to work, the fuel must be combined with air and then ignited. This creates a controlled explosion to push down a number of cylinders, turn a crankshaft and provide the drive. During such an explosion, energy is created in the form of heat, and when the vehicle is under heavy load, these temperatures can be extreme. Yet the engine is not one complete item, but a number of smaller components joined together. Engineers and designers have found a way to maintain the engine's integrity by using special gaskets and high-quality bolts.

Block and Head

The two most important parts of the engine are the engine block (housing the pistons and the crankshaft) and the cylinder head (with all of the valves and camshaft). In between these two major components is the cylinder head gasket, made from a very advanced material and designed to expand and contract according to the conditions.

Unwanted Failure

If the cylinder head gasket were to fail, disaster could ensue. Coolant could flow from one of the chambers into an oil channel or vice versa, and this would quickly cause the engine to fail.

Maintaining Pressure and Condition

It's very important, therefore, to ensure that the cylinder head gasket is kept in good condition and that the pressure between the cylinder head (on top) and the engine block (below) is uniform. You will, therefore, need to ensure that the lengthy cylinder head bolts are properly installed, correctly attached and able to put up with the stress. These bolts are, by themselves, carefully engineered so that they can expand and contract within strict parameters.

Course of Action

So if it is time for you to rebuild your engine, you need to ensure that you buy the highest quality cylinder head bolts available for your model. When you change the main gasket, always ensure that it is seated properly and that the bolts are installed according to manufacturer recommendations.

For additional information, reach out to a company that offers products like ARP head bolts.