Best head bolts to buy?

Posted by watchdog153, Oct 29, 2010
Newbie Forum - Beginner/newbie/general DSM modification questions. First mods, how to run 10's when you haven't run 12's yet, any tech question that doesn't fit in another tech forum.

  1. watchdog153

    watchdog153 Probationary Member

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    Stockton, California
    Im getting my rebuilt head back from the shop tomorrow morning. I was hoping someone could help me with some info on what head bolts i should buy...

    I was thinking ARP are the best? Is that true? Also i was seeing alot of "studs" when i was expecting "bolts". Do the stud sets come with nuts? Are the stud sets even for head gaskets? Or are they for intake or exaust manifold?

    Whats the best Head Bolts to buy for my 95' eclipse gst, 7 bolt, 4g63? Im planning to run about 20lbs of boost.

    Also any tips on installing them? Like do i need to use some kind of lube?

    Thanks for any replies
    #1
  2. Tanro

    Tanro Proven Member

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    Madison, Alabama
    ARP Headstuds.
    #2
  3. 907gs-t

    907gs-t Proven Member

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    Big Lake, Alaska
    This is what's going on my GS-T when I get my head back from the machine shop.
    #3
  4. Talipse96

    Talipse96 Proven Member

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    Brodhead, Wisconsin
    Just look on some websites and read about ARP studs and how they are made.
    #4
  5. CardShark

    CardShark Proven Member

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    Sherman Oaks, California
    I have ARPs on my 6-bolt on my 2G. Cheap, work great and have been proven to work on DSM's for some very high horsepower levels.
    #5
  6. Jeff99GS

    Jeff99GS Proven Member

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    Cleveland, Ohio
    Yes ARP's are very good, also ARP L19's if you want super strong studs.

    All ARP's come with the nuts and MOLY lubricant to reduce friction. You NEVER want to install head bolts or studs without some type of Lube. The friction without lube will cause your torque numbers to read incorrectly.
    #6
  7. Sp1kE

    Sp1kE Proven Member

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    stratford, ON_Canada
    the big boys around here swear by the stock headbolts, claim they are better than the standard arp's
    #7
  8. Jeff99GS

    Jeff99GS Proven Member

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    Cleveland, Ohio
    Yeah the stock 6 bolt head bolts are pretty strong. They are larger in diameter than the stock 7 bolt head bolts.

    Here is some pics. The 11mm ones are from a 7 bolt engine. The fatter 12mm ones are from a 6 bolt engine.
    But you also have to remember if you are putting in a larger diameter head bolt on a 7 bolt head you need to enlarge the holes slightly. One of the head bolts is also the oil supply galley for the head. If you stuff a fat bolt in the hole without enlarging the hole, you will effectively cut off the oil supply to your head.

    Attached Files:

    #8
  9. BrokenTsi

    BrokenTsi Supporting Vendor

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    Rome, New_York
    I'm using A1's but I'm pretty sure they are discontinued. I've always used ARP's but I had a problem with my head lifting one season and I decided to try something different.
    #9
  10. 99gst_racer

    99gst_racer Moderator

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    Coloma, Michigan
    Our engines used head bolts from the factory, but ARP only offers head studs as a performance replacement. Studs are a much better option than a bolt. You'll see much more accurate clamping with studs. The standard ARP's are perfect for any 4G flowing less than 60-65 lbs/min, so you'll be fine with them. The kit also includes moly lube.
    The stock headbolts are pretty capable, but they don't have near the tensile strength of the standard ARPs. Who thinks stockers are better (other than Kurt E.)?
    #10
  11. donniekak

    donniekak DSM Wiseman

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    Surprise, Arizona
    First off, anyone that could have been talking about the 7-bolt head bolts being stronger than anything we both know they are wrong.

    The 3000gt guys have the same thread pitch, and shaft size as the 6-bolt dsm bolts. They have some headlift problems with their heads at high power. Many of them switched to standard arp's, and had their heads lift sooner. The service tech at 3sx makes 800 whp on stock headbolts.

    Personally for me, i've had headlift at the same boost levels with 6-bolt stockers, and regular arp's. I don't think that regular arp's are an upgrade for the 6-bolt guy's, more of a sidegrade, as they seem to be about the same.

    I either run stockers, or the arpl19/A1h11/map ultimate duty studs.
    #11
  12. watchdog153

    watchdog153 Probationary Member

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    Stockton, California
    Great info thanks everyone, looks like ill be going ARP then seeing i have a 7 bolt. I have read the description on how they are made by the way. That description is the only way i could justify spending over ten dollars per bolt LOL
    #12
  13. 2slow4utsi

    2slow4utsi Proven Member

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    Eastpointe, Michigan
    +1 ARP L19s and other H11 yadda yaddas are HUGE overkill for almost every DSMer in the game. Most people don't need more than your standard OEM bolts. I've seen close to 500awhp on OEM.
    #13
  14. Dr Funkenstein

    Dr Funkenstein Proven Member

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    Bangfield, Massachusetts
    Not to thread-jack, but if I plan on keeping my car pretty stock (baring an intake and exhaust down the road) should I even bother getting ARP head studs, or just keep the OEM bolts?
    #14
  15. 99gst_racer

    99gst_racer Moderator

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    Coloma, Michigan
    I ran 30 psi on a 50-trim and made 400 WHP on factory original 7-bolt head bolts, and never pushed a drop of coolant. :) That's more abuse than most people would think that they can handle, but they did it no problem.

    The problem is that many people don't install their ARP's properly. They don't torque cycle them to level out the friction at the threads, many don't use moly lube, and they overtorque the crap out of them, which makes them weaker. And then when they push coolant or lift the head, they blame the product. I've seen it dozens of times. I've also seen properly installed ARP's pushed well beyond what most people think they're capable of. All in all, they'll only ever perform as well as they were installed.
    A brand new set of OEM bolts would be just fine for you. But like I mentioned, studs aremuch better to use than bolts in general. So, if you come across a good deal on a set of ARP studs, that wouldn't be a bad option either.
    #15
  16. 90gst_sean

    90gst_sean Proven Member

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    Seattle, Washington
    Personally, in my early dsm day's, I had a hell of a time with blown headgaskets, I trashed two graphite gaskets before I switched to ARP's and a Mitsu MLS headgasket.

    I was trying to remember if I did the studs and MLS at the same time or if I did the ARP's - blown - and then installed the MLS... but, I'm almost sure I did them both at the same time, so don't go getting all excited about it being the MLS that salved the issue because that's not what I'm saying; I just can't say for sure, but together they work GREAT!

    UPDATE: I fact, if anyone is interested... years ago, when the blog thing was new, I went through all the receipts I could find and entered them into a blog page:
    http://www.dsmtuners.com/forums/blogs/90gst_sean/87-receipts-data-transfer.html
    If you look at 07/33/06, you will see that I purchased the MLS and ARP's at the same time. And if you look even closer you will see that I have in fact blown 3 head gaskets over the years: the 1st gasket around 06/2005, the second 05/2006, and the 3rd and final gasket around 07/2006. So there you have it, and supported with evidence! :hellyeah:

    I should update that receipt page, you think?
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
    #16

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