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...just head gasket replacement with head resurface, I've done many of those with the block just as clean and good as yours and got perfect results. That's why you use a gasket instead of just bolting the head on the block. Small pits are filled in by the new gasket, as long as the block isn't warped or cracked. If you were worried about piston replacement you should pull the engine and strip the block and have the cylinders, connecting rods and crankshaft reconditioned by a machinist. It doesn't look like you asked for any of that. Put it back together and you'll be driving, without a worry in a few hours.
 

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Confused! So, it is a no no to hone the the cylinder wall, with the pistons in(with the block on car)? I just checked out the attachment and plan to use it tomorrow:)
Please clarify, thanks!
Why do you want to touch the cylinder walls? Please explain.
To deglaze the cylinders and put new rings in, pistons have to come out, which means oil pan has to get dropped to remove connecting rods. You'll create microscopic metallic dust with the deglazing process - the worst kind of dust for the engine - so you'll have to clean everything very, very well. It would be highly recommended to remove the crank to avoid contamination and to aid in cleaning, but that would mean removing transmission, flex plate, oil pump, at which point you might as well take the block out.

And all of that assumes that you'll be able to create the correct cross pattern with whatever drill you'll be using (have to match drill speed to up/down movement), you have the correct torque wrench to put everything back together, and you won't contaminate the engine in the process. With new rings, you'll have to check ring gap and potentially file the rings accordingly, especially if you go with aftermarket rings.
 

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The dealership repaired the pitting in the engine block (lower engine) using JB Weld and a razor blade to remove the excess when they rebuilt my 1990 camry engine around 242K miles. The top engine head was sent to machine shop to check for flatness and fix if needed along with replacing valve seals and check valve guides. So far no problems in 60k miles.

As for my 1992 corrolla, engine completely rebuilt with dealer supplied parts by me to the local machine shop on lower and upper part of engine to include pistons and rings, intake and exhaust valves, valve seals and toyota headgasket, coolant and misc seals. The crank bearings, pistons and rings were the next size up (I think 25 mils bigger ). They said they can rebuild an engine one more time with the next size up from this before the cylinder walls between cylinders becomes too weak.

You can use a gasket remover chemical made for removing stubborn gaskets, vs. having to spend alot of time scrapping them off.

BTW, the head surface needs to have a certain roughness for the gasket. This coarseness is given a number. I forget what this number is called off hand. It varies depending on whether a metal head gasket or the old style gasket is used.
 

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For my 1999 Camry 4 cylinder, the owner of the shop that did the head rebuild, told me to not use a scotch brite as that would round off the edges of the holes and such. I used strong stiff razor blades on end and meticulously rubbed the engine block. There will be some discoloring. Chased out the head bolt threads with a tap and used a die to clean the new head bolts before using them and then oiled them down. He also told me to use a very flat straight edge and some sandpaper to rub on top of the block as you don't want it perfectly smooth. I then used acetone to meticulously clean the top of the block. I used a multilayer head gasket and did the torque sequence exactly as specified (torque then 90 degrees). Also sent the injectors to a shop to clean them. Still had honing marks on the inside of the cylinders. No problem yet after more than two years.
 

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You can't round edges of an iron block with Scotch-Brite the metal is too hard. I get the concern though, if you do sand the deck you have to have a very precise and perfectly flat sanding block or better yet use a precision granite block. I've done the sanding thing concluded it is not necessary if the block deck is bad enough to need sanding you either need a new block or take it to a machine shop.
 

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I'm just relaying what the owner of the head and engine rebuild shop told me. He used to own a 1998 Camry. I don't think his concern was that it needed sanding, just that you don't want it too smooth (roughness). And he was pretty adament about not using a Scotch-Brite so I didn't. Anyway, I'm sure there are multiple ways to tackle this. I only wanted to do this once, had never done a head gasket before, and tried to follow his recommendations. There are a lot of smart people with lots of experience on this forum and I appreciate the comments, yourself included.
 

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Depends on the Scotch-Brite pad there are 8-9 choices ranging from a grit equivalent 1500 to about 80. That's like saying don't use sandpaper because 2500 grit will polish the metal too much. Maroon pad gives about the right finish in my experience, but to each their own.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
All comments are very informative and helpful! I learned a lot as this is my first engine job: did timing belt, valve cover, and distributor before, but the difficulty level is not comparable to this one;-)

To sum up: I didn't do anything on the block, left the pistons and walls untouched other than thorough cleaning in multiple passes. The block mating surface was cleaned best I could, using just scotch brite. The head came back from the shop in pristine condition, valves re-lapped, seals replaced, valve clearance adjusted, etc.

I'll put the head back on this weekend, my next challenge is going to be timing the camshafts and crankshaft...

I can't believe I have been driving this car without the rear engine mount bolted, the big nut was simply not there! Well, strange enough, the car ran smooth, quiet, without any vibrations, how lucky I have been!

There were also other bolts missing: one for exhaust manifold and another one for its bracket, darn it!

Thanks for all of you contributed to this thread, I am sure it will be a useful resource for later comers;-) I gave a thumbs up to each of you...btw, I remember there was a thank you button in the old version of the site.
 
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