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I asked this question in another thread "Engine casting numbers - where?" a few minutes ago and then decided to repost as I went off topic. Here is the copy and some additional info.

On the bottom side of the head on the thermostat end, is a stamp that says "020". Does this mean that the heed has already been resurfaced with .020 inches of material removed and that the machine shop stamped it to indicate this or do all 3rd gen heads have this stamp maybe to indicate the maximum amount of material that can be milled off. It would be helpful to know as I am considering having the head tested at a cylinder head machine shop vs just bolting everything back on and compression testing, then running and checking for leaks of coolant, oil and compression. I checked the head with a piece of straight glass and could not find any warp. There are no cracks visible. It appears that the head was reworked and maybe stainless steal inserts put in. The seats don't look like the powdery kind that are OEM and drop out. I am only going by looking at pictures of the OEM seats and comparing because I do not have real world and relevant experience to know the difference. I realize that the safest bet is ti have the head pressure checked and straight edged at a machine shop. I am trying to just do it a little on the cheaper side and all I would be out is the head gasket set if there is a problem.

If there was a warp that I could not detect or an internal crack that I can not see I would not see the point in taking in a head that has already been milled .020 inches. I would probably buy a rebuilt head.

Another question I have is: I cleaned up the combustion chambers and external part of valves with head components all attached to the head. I turned the camshaft to make sure there were no sticking vales and to make sure I could see into each valve seat. The only thing I could see is some rust on the undersides of the valves and on the valve seats. Will this rust just sough off once it is back running. I do not have the tools to take off all the springs etc. to take apart the head components.

A bit of background: Massive coolant leak with water present at every cylinder, engine not running (sudden shutdown), dry compression pressures of 50, 40, 60, 60 before rust cleanup and whole can of WD-40 to cylinders. Crankshaft turned tight before cleanup and wd-40. Turns easily now so problem was rust and no oil in cylinders and pistons. Most rust at 1 and 2 cylinders. I guess that head gasket failed all the way across (all 4 cylinders) The gasket came off the block as the whole piece but there was a gasket remain across the whole head including the orange part of the gasket. Maybe it seperated when I took it apart.

So is this bit of rust between the undersurface of the valves and the seats an issue or just start it and go with it? My only concern would be if this rust somehow changed the seal and surface of the valve / seat interface.

Should I take more action to remove this rust? As I said I am a bit reluctant to tear apart the head.

Anybody know about the head stamp or is this OEM?

Thank you
 

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About the Stamp the only one I now of is the one on the intake side that have the part number. When a friend and I took his escort head to the shop I took a peak at another head and I saw those number you are saying. And so far it common on machine heads so it the piece goes to another machine shop it operator knows if it been worked before.

As for the rust lube it with a good quality oil I'm not saying brands because not every one have the same opinions about oil brands. Let it sit and by hand move the part, it moves freely no need to worry no more.
Remember that the head is a part that it not supposed to take too much humidity and having it around disassembled will bring more rust to it. So keep it lubed with light motor oil not and not WD40.
 

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untoldstories said:
Massive coolant leak with water present at every cylinder, I guess that head gasket failed all the way across (all 4 cylinders) The gasket came off the block as the whole piece but there was a gasket remain across the whole head including the orange part of the gasket.
How does the intake gasket look? The one that's up agaist the head. I've seem em warp on the SPI's, allowing coolent to get into the intake manifold.
 
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