ARP Head Studs vs. Head Bolts
Part #: HEAD STUDS vs. BOLTS
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HEAD STUDS vs. BOLTS...A TECHNICAL DISCUSSION, Thanks ARP-bolts.com
ARP’s factory Tech Representatives are often asked which is better, cylinder head studs or bolts. The answer, invariably, depends on the installation. On many street-driven vehicles, where master cylinders and other items protrude into the engine compartment, it’s probably necessary to use head bolts so that the cylinder heads can be removed with the engine in the car.
For most applications, however, studs are recommended. And for good reason. Using studs will make it much easier to assemble an engine (especially a racing powerplant which must be serviced frequently and quickly!) with the cylinder head and gasket assured of proper alignment. Studs also provide more accurate and consistent torque loading.
Here’s why. When you use bolts to secure the head, the fastener is actually being “twisted” while it’s being torqued to the proper reading. Accordingly, the bolt is reacting to two different forces simultaneously. A stud should be installed in a “relaxed” mode – never crank it in tightly using a jammed nut. If everything is right, the stud should be installed finger tight. Then, when applying torque to the nut, the stud will stretch only on the vertical axis. Remember, an undercut shorter stud will have a rate similar to a longer, standard shank stud. This provides a more even clamping force on the head. Because the head gasket will compress upon initial torquing, make sure studs and bolts are re-torqued after the engine has been run.
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