Written by: Mike Ervin
following are the steps needed for cylinder head removal and installation.
- Disconnnect the negative battery cable.
- Drain the cooling system.
- Remove the air cleaner assembly.
- Remove the air conditioning compressor, but do not
disconnect any air conditioning lines. Secure the compressor to one side.
- Disconnect the AIR hose at the check valve, if equipped.
- Loosen all the drive belts, and remove the alternator,
power steering pump, and the air pump (if equipped).
- Remove the oil dipstick. Label the spark plug wires
and disconnect them.
- Disconnect the exhaust manifold from the head being
removed and reposition the manifold aside.
- Remove the valve cover. Scribe the rocker arms with
an identifying mark for reassembly. It is important that the rocker assembly is
reinstalled in the same position as it was removed. Remove the rocker arm nuts,
rocker arms and pivot balls.
- Take a piece of heavy cardboard and cut 16 holes (or 8
holes if you are only removing one head) in it the same diameter as the pushrods being
removed. This cardboard holder will keep the pushrods in order (and hopefully out of
harm's way) while they are out of the engine. Remove the pushrods.
- Check to make sure all wires are disconnected from the
- Remove the cylinder head bolts, and remove the cylinder
head gasket. If the head seems stuck to the block, gently tap around the edge of the
head with a rubber mallet until the joint breaks.
- Use a tap of the correct size to chase the threads in the
head bolt holes in the block. Mount each bolt in a vise run a die down the threads
to remove corrosion and restore the threads. Dirt, corrosion, sealant, and damaged
threads will affect torque readings.
- The mating surfaces of the cylinder head(s) and block
must be perfectly clean when the head(s) are installed. Position a new cylinder head
gasket, then install the cylinder head to the engine block. Compositon gaskets must
be installed dry, do not use sealant on these gaskets. If a steel gasket is used
(steel shim type) apply a thin, even coat of sealant such K&W Copper Coat to both
sides prior to installation. Steel gaskets must be installed with the raised bead up.
- Coat the threads of the cylinder head bolts with sealing
compound such as Permatex #2 and install finger-tight.
- Tighten the bolts to 65 ft. lbs. in three stages.
Go over all of them to 20 ft. lbs., then 40 ft. lbs., then the final 65 ft. lbs..
The torque sequence is work in a criss-cross pattern from the center of the head out to
- Reverse the removal procedure to complete
installion. Be sure to install the rocker arms and pushrods in their original
positions. Adjust the valves.