Sometimes it seems that everything is out to get you, as a customer of All Head Services has recently experienced.

The customer had sent in the cylinder heads off an L98.60 litre V8 VE Commodore for reconditioning. The cylinder heads were reconditioned and returned to the customer who refitted them.  After starting the engine, there was a noise from the upper engine area so the customer carried out some diagnosis then removed the cylinder heads for inspection. Upon removal, it was found that the pistons had been hitting the head gasket around the fire ring.

After some further investigation, it was found that an LS1.57 litre head gasket had been incorrectly packaged in the VRS gasket kit instead of L98 6.0 litre head gaskets. The LS1 has a bore diameter of 101.6mm.  The gaskets look identical apart from the bore diameter difference. This 2.6mm overlap allowed the pistons to hit the gasket fire ring of the gasket which is flush with the head. This caused significant damage to the pistons as it compressed the ring lands. The customer then had to fit an exchange engine as a result.

The moral of the story is to always double check that the parts you have been supplied are correct for the application.  Just because they should be right does not mean that they are. A few seconds checking can save hours of rework and drama.