Originally Posted by FTL
I found a used head on ebay for $200 and went ahead and got it. Hopefully, it will be in as good of shape as the seller says it is in.
A question: When I was removing the head, the block pulled loose from the pan. It did not tear the gasket. I am thinking that I can just clean the sealing surfaces and bolt it back up. Any thoughts?
Should be OK if you really need to watch the $$$. There is a big o-ring at cylinder base so even if the base gasket isn't perfect it shouldn't blow out. A little Gasket sealer wouldn't hurt. My current base gasket is garbage and I still only gave a little seepage (It was a temp fix that now has a few thousand miles on it
Spend the extra money on an OEM head gasket though. I know the Vesrah one I got was not very good, other brands may be better. I bought a gasket kit and ended up raplacing the head gasket with OEM. A visual comparison will tell you if the aftermarket one is any good. It was pretty obvoius. The kit will include a base gasket and exhaust gaskets which you will also need plus a bunch of others you may need. The head gasket it the only one of questionable quality.
I know it's very tempting to go as cheap as possible, but it will likely come back and bite you (BTDT). Since you don't know the history of the head, at the minimum, lap the valves and replace the valve seals. I took mine into my dealer (who I trust) and had it done. I sent the cams along and had them do the adjustment. It saved me having to buy shims. They just put the correct ones in and kept my old ones for the 'shim bin'. The price was reasonable since they didn't have to deal with removal or instalation on the bike.
While you have the head off, check the piston rings and cylinder for wear. It may be a good time to get a hone and rings.
The leaky exhaust was likely making the bike run lean, but I would seriously consider replacing the intake boots.
You can end up with a partially rebuilt engine that may have issues in a few years or a mostly rebuilt engine that will last many thousand miles.