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Advice on head sealing on a 800hp car

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Hi there all!

On a car im working with we had a head gasket failure(will attach pictures). its a vq37vhr engine which is a alu block. The car was pushing 1.6 bar and doing around 800 on the crank.

The owner wants to build his engine with darton sleeves to avoid new problems only we are still trying to figure out which head sealing we are going to use. Is an MLS sufficient of would you advice to divert to O-rings? This in combination with the sleeves. I would love to hear your input on this.

Kind regards!


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Hello i have built several of these for drifting and just use the mls gaskets and arp studs

the thing that must be done correctly is the machining

check the head and block after machining to make sure it is done correctly dont use extra sealant or spays on the gasket and make sure everything is 100 percent clean

Regards Ross

Hi Ross,

Also thanks for this reply. The blow head gasket was an BC MLS. and the head was using L19's. thats why i have doubts on using the exact setup.

Kind regards,



when the engine was stripped down were the head studs still tight?

i know 3SGTE guys swear by stepped washers in the head, the logic is the aluminium head yields and the washers embed in the head and relax the tension on the stud and the head is then prone to lifting. ARP make them as well.

One's local hardware store should also carry hardened steel washers that have a large diameter and are generally recommended for exactly that reason.

As for the actual gasket - they are well known as requiring a FLAT(!) and SMOOTH(!) block AND head. Some gaskets require a fairly rough machined surface, but these need a very fine cut.but

I use the same combination on my engine as you had- l19 and mls with 3 bar of boost and up to 100hp nitrous injection - no issues so far.

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