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W5 head Torque, uh oh...

Hi all, I purchased my Rugby in Feb this year after purchasing it from a fellow in our local club/museum where it had sat for 20+ years. After getting the old girl back on the road I found the engine to be fumy and decided it was time for a pull apart look at the rings. I then took off the head and sump, removed the pistons and found that all pistons and rings were well and truly scraped, The bores after a light hone were perfect as were the bearings, valves etc, ( the engine was rebuilt in 1976 and had done little work, so how did the pistons got like that??).

So with new pistons and rings back in place and a new copper head gasket I purchased from New Zealand, I was up up and running with a sweet smooth W5 engine.

I took the car to a town nearby for its first run about 18 miles away, sat on 35-40 mph as I didn't want to push it. Ran well with no mishaps there and back. Parked at home for 2 hours and thought, ok, I'll take it back to the museum.

When it started it had a intermittent brass bearing type sound, My first thought was the water pump but sadly it wasn't. The noise went away so off I went to the museum. As i got there the sound came back and it ran like an old dog.
I then noticed weeping from along each side of the head, and when i had my hand near one side I could feel presure from the head gasket area.

The head was tensioned evenly down to 65lb in stages. I believe now that the head gasket is gone between 2 and 3 as shorting out these plugs does nothing. Even retensioned to 65 again, it stopped the pressure leak but it still is missing on 2 and 3.

So before I remove the head again to check, my question is, was this enough tension or is there some sort of procedure for the head tensioning? Also sould I use a sealant as well?
I apologize for the long story but any help is greatly apriciated.

Kevin Hitchcock

Where Are You From? Portland, Australia

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1929 D40 Tourer

Re: W5 head Torque, uh oh...

Kevin, I will send you a scanned copy of the tightening sequence of a W5 head.

I would post it if I knew how to get it on the website. If anyone wants a copy,
email me.

Where Are You From? Kamloops B C

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1926 Star Depression Pickup

Re: W5 head Torque, uh oh...

Thanks Ken. I followed the tightening order and went down in 20lb stages and a 5lb for the last. I think the mistake may have been after the short run I should of retensioned the head again. I missed that line in the workshop manual. Oh well, learn by your mistakes they say.
I went down to the Powerhouse museum today and removed the head. I found what I suspected, the gasket was blown between 2 and 3 cylinders.

So now after reading alot of the forum last night I have dropped the head off to the local engine shop to get it shaved.( would it hurt to got shave a bit more for more compression?) We checked the head and found a .005 thou dip between all cylinders in the narrow part. Not much but maybe enough to cause havoc. I have also set them the task of finding some new head studs as well.
I have ordered a new head gasket from New Zealand and hope to have it by christmas. So now it's just a matter of waiting. I shall keep you all informed how I go.
On a side note, I find the radiator will discharge alot of water/coolant from the over flow while not hot. It seems to thow it out after a filling it to normal level. Maybe the flow may be too much, or the set up of the overflow may be incorrect. The radiator was redone locally years ago and retains the correct tanks. Old cars, you got to love them......

Where Are You From? Portland, Australia

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1929 Rugby D40 Tourer

Re: W5 head Torque, uh oh...

Hi Kevin,

Coppercoat sealant works well when you go back together....I am wondering who you sourced your new pistons and rings from?


Where Are You From? Leavenworth, WA / Yuma, AZ

Do You own a car built by Durant? A-22 touring / 40 coupe / H-40 Flint

Re: W5 head Torque, uh oh...

Hi Bill,
I purchased the pistons and rings from JP Pistons in Adelaide, Australia.
Their address is Po Box 21,Greenacres, SA, 5086 Australia. The cost was $195 au each plus postage.

Where Are You From? Portland, Australia

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1929 D40 Tourer

Re: W5 head Torque, uh oh...

Thanks Kevin,

Yes, J.P. Pistons have made pistons for most of my old cars...It looks like their prices have gone up conciderable since I started buying piston assemblys from them, it also looks like our monitary exchange rates are about the same now...I guess its like everything else, the price of eggs keeps going up.
Take care, Bill

Where Are You From? Leavenworth, WA / Yuma, AZ

Do You own a car built by Durant? A-22 touring / 40 coupe / H-40 Flint

Re: W5 head Torque, uh oh...

I just had my W5 engine rebult last year by the EGGE CO. with new pistons they make them right there and i was very happy with the price.

Where Are You From? Utah

Do You own a car built by Durant? '29 M4

Re: W5 head Torque, uh oh...


Used to have same problem with radiator. Used to fill it and every run through the overflow all the water from the upper tank was lost. Found that just filling slightly over the tubes upper end with almost the upper tank empty did not overflow any more. Temperature is fine controled with motormeter even during hot summer days and long runs.

Best regards


Where Are You From? Argentina

Do You own a car built by Durant? M2 Rugby Touring 1928

Re: W5 head Torque, uh oh...

egge made my pistons for 6-14 22a motor...lasted over 40 years...but of course thats because it sat in a barn all those years...i had head shaved to level it and they ovrdid it...i had to use double head gaskets to lower compression to get car to run....but that was 1970's...and yesterday's gone.

Where Are You From? plmouth meeting, penna...southeastern pa.

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1929 model 60 coupe and sedan, 1925 star model F

Re: W5 head Torque, uh oh...

Hi All. Just letting you know that after a good christmas and New Year, my new head gasket arrived. So back to work on the old girl I go... It took about 2 hrs to work the old studs out, cleaned and checked the block, all straight.

Installed new ARP studs, the coated the gasket and on with a newly machined flat head. Tensioned to 65lb and started on second kick. Drove home approx 8kms and retensioned the head.

Oh no.... One stud pulled the thread on the block. So all apart again, helicoiled that thread and a couple of others that looked suspect aswell. Coated the helicoil in loctite hydraulic sealer and the put some sikoflex on the studs to help seal from the water jackets.

All now running well, have retensioned the head now 4 times and barely any change in tension. I have done around 100+ kms so far and the engine has lots of pull, ran at 35-40 mph for the first 50-60kays then up to 45+.
She just wants to stretch her legs, I wasn't looking and was up to 55mph without knowing and still accelerating. So I hope it holds together. Thanks for all advice given to me, it helps heaps.
On a side note, I noticed my pistons are level with the top of the block, Is this normal?

Here's a pic of the old Rugby and a mate on his Indian as extra's for a local movie by one of the towns historians about women of the bush, set in the 40's.
Thanks again, Take care, Kevin

Where Are You From? Portland Australia

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1929 Rugby Tourer

Re: W5 head Torque, uh oh...

Have now sorted the radiator problem.

As I had the radiator tanks removed and cleaned went I got the old girl on the road, I knew it had to be something else than blocked cores/overheating.

I pulled the caps of all the vintage cars at our local museum whilst on door duty one day. I noticed the the overflow tube on all came up just below the cap. Mine came up an inch and half short of this. Quite low. So out with the radiator, unsoldered the tube and inserted it further in, resoldered and put it back in. Have not had to top up the radiator and no water has overflowed since. YAY...

Mmmm, now to get the handbrake to let me go away for the day to Orford this weekend for a vintage engine display day...Would be a good 120 mile round trip.


Where Are You From? Portland, Australia

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1929 d40 Rugby Tourer


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