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I used a flexible 320 grit disc to clean the mating surfaces. There is a great deal of opinion out there regarding what and what not to use to clean the mating surfaces. I tried a razor blade but the gasket was so stuck I could not get it off with the razor blade without being to aggressive and scratching the head so I went with the 320 flexible disc which worked well and left minimal swirl.

My goodness, 320 grit!? On the head/block mating surfaces? That's likely your problem. You need to work your way up to about 1500 grit to give the those surfaces a nice finish.

What color is the smoke right now, after all this work? Is it constant? I'd say you might even have a cracked head or block which is only coincidental to the fire. I seriously doubt the fire actually caused this problem if it didn't even melt the valve cover, it's probably just one of those things that happens at the same time as something else and makes a guy say "huh?"
 

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Since the smoking started after installing new head gasket, I'm thinking something is wrong in this area. Remove head and LIGHTLY emery mating surfaces to clean. Clean and install head with 3 bolts finger tight. Go around mating surfaces with .005" feeler. This should NOT go into joint. Remove head and inspect top of tapped holes for any threads that may have pulled up. Flat file or countersink (recommended) as nec. I'd run a tap into the holes also. Wire brush bolts and put an anti-seize compound on threads. Install bolts and remove to spread anti-seize, wipe any excess off of block. Put anti-seize under head of bolt, install washers & rotate washer a turn, then anti-seize bottom of washers. Install gasket, spacers, and head. Snug bolts with VERY LIGHT wrench pressure. Torque in "star" pattern to around 8 ft-lb. Go around again at 12 ft-lbs, then 14 ft-lbs, then your 15.5 ft-lbs. Go around one more time at 15.5 ft-lbs. Run engine, maybe 1/2 throttle, to get to operating temperature. Shut down, allow to cool to ambient temperature, and re-torque your heads.
 

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I only pushed the rpms to spec which is 3400, could I have still blown the engine? I'm ok with that if that is the case, I just need to know so I can move on if that is what needs done.
If you just upped the rpms to 3400, then that shouldn't have caused a problem with your engine.
 

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As mentioned do a compression check. I would also use a radiator tester and pressurize the cooling system. You need to do some diagnostics before you tear into the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Orcus79, yes a huge bummer, doubt I have it in me to trouble shoot more. I think I'm going to just part it out unless others convince me otherwise:

dixie460, I suppose I can take the heads off again and try to resurface, its going to be awhile till I have the time and energy to do this. Frankly I'm tired of throwing time and parts at this thing and I'm about ready to throw in the towel since I'm less than 50% sure resurfacing the mating surfaces is going to do it. Smoke is a constant white cloud. I have not ran it for more than 10 min since the amount of smoke is startling, probably scaring my neighbors. Maybe I need to run it longer to burn off what is in there??? I'm also thinking that the smoke is not directly related to the fire, what I do think is related to the fire is it would not run at >2700 RPM after the fire?

rwmeyer, The smoke only got a little worse after the head gasket job. I guess now two people think I need to resurface...

dave_r, Thanks for this bit after what Been There Twice said I thought it was over.

Don't shoot me but I'm also thinking of trying some type of stop leak product. I really need this thing to get the leaves up :(
 

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How about pulling the muffler and running it for a short time? This would let you know if the problem is isolated to one head. I would think smoke from both sides would suggest bad things. On the other hand, no smoke may suggest that your muffler is full of something that burns off when you run it.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Just ran it without the muffler and there is smoke and coolant dripping from the oil filter side head exhaust outlet.
 

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That would be the right side head on the engine looking at it from you sitting on the seat. Therefore, if coolant and smoke if coming from the exhaust port, you have a cracked head, and you are burning coolant that is making the smoke. NOTE: If there was oil and smoke "only", and no coolant leaking from the exhaust port, you would have a broken ring and or a crack/hole in the top of the piston. There is no oil ports in the cylinder wall, or in the head...just the coolant passage.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
So its not just a bad surface? I guess ill take that head off and have a look. If there is a crack I should be able to see it right?
 

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Harlan, You may or may not be able to see the crack. Look online or check local auto parts stores for a "liquid penetrant."

This is a 3 step process:
1. Clean & wash with solvent/parts cleaner. If a cleaner is supplied wit the kit, use that. "Other" cleaners may not be compatible with the penetrant and/or developer.
2. Spray dye penetrant LIBERALLY on area(s) to be inspected. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS supplied with kit. Basically you'll need to remove all excess penetrant after a specified time.
3. Spray developer on area(s) to be inspected. Allow to sit for a minute or 3 and you should see the crack show itself! Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Liquid penetrant is a good suggestion but from what I can find it would cost less just to replace the head with a used one. There is one on eBay currently for 27$.

Armed with the knowledge that I was just getting coolant out of only one side I went ahead and took the oil filter side head off. I cleaned it up and gently sanded with 600, 800, 1000, 2000 using a piece of steel as a sanding block with even pressure. Looks good except there are a few scratches that must have been sustained when I was trying to use the razor blade the first time :( I see no obvious cracks but there could obviously be something there I'm not seeing.

Question 1: Should just go with the used part or waste another head gasket and try the head I have after smoothing things out best I can?

Question 2: There was a little bit of oil surrounding each puddle of coolant inside the block is this normal or indicative of another problem?
 

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Question 1: Head is clean & smooth, but are mating surfaces flat? Hold/mount head (no gasket) on block with 2 or 3 bolts finger tight and check joint with a feeler gauge, .005 MAX allowed.
Question 2: Cooling and lubrication are two seperate systems and, although not totally familiar with your engine particulars, I know of no areas where they are separated by a gasket or seal. You could (??) have a cracked block!

Pull dipstick and look at oil: normal color or milky?
After engine sits for about a day, loosen oil drain plug and observe what comes out. No need to remove drain plug, just loosen until you get a steady dripping. Oil floats on water/coolant, so if you have coolant and oil mixing, the coolant will be in the bottom of your engine with oil floating/sitting on top of it.

Check head/block for flat, check oil and get back here, Bob
 

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I have seen traces of oil in cylinder when doing a head gasket on a FD590V. There is the oil return from the valve train.
 

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Harlan, Please excuse my ignorance, but as I said, I don't know the particular's of your engine. Is this an overhead valve engine (valves in head) or an L head engine (valves in block)? Bob
 

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Harlan, Please excuse my ignorance, but as I said, I don't know the particular's of your engine. Is this an overhead valve engine (valves in head) or an L head engine (valves in block)? Bob
Ohv.
 

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There is a procedure to follow when you remove a head from a engine block... if you don't there is a greater possibility that you can 'warp" the head by removing one head bolt fully and not 1/4" turn out going in a circular motion on the head bolts removal. Many a person have done that and paid the price. Removing head bolts is just as great as when you are installing the head bolts in sequence in torqueing them down.

There is another problem that occurs here on this FD611V V-twin as it is a water-cooled type, and there is a good chance the thermostat may have struck closed and the pressure has blown pass the water inlet tube between the block and head on the right side and leaks pass the head gasket. It don't take much for the leak to occur and the only way to find it is by a pressure check from the radiator side.
However, it is rare that all this coolant-smoke occurring after you had the fire. But, strange things happen.
 

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I agree with Been There 110% about de-torquing heads when removing! USE YOUR TORQUE WRENCH and back of to about 50% torque in the same sequence you torqed them. They can then be fully loosened & removed. Something else to keep in the back of your mind is how many tomes you've used the head bolts. Torquing stretches the bolts and, like an elastic band, you can only stretch so many times. For head bolts, 3-5 is the magic number (to me, 5 is pushing it though and I replace them for/on the 4th usage).

Not sure if I agree on thermostat failure theory though. I believe (??) thermostat blocks flow to upper hose from water pump, and lower hose is "free-flow" to/from radiator & block.

Either way (if I'm right or wrong!) pressure testing is a good idea. Do you have a compressor? Do you have a low pressure regulator for your compressor? "Test plugs" (rubber plugs that expand outward when tightened and have a fitting passing through them) are available at box stores. Install test plug in radiator fill, attach air line, and set regulator for the rating of your cap...15-17 psi??. Apply air pressure, listen, and also watch to see if pressure drops...works best if you have a valve between regulator and tank.

Keep us posted on what you do and outcome! Bob
 
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