Cylinder head is still stuck

The cylinder head on my Wife’s treasured 120 FHC is still stuck. It has now been about three weeks of tapping the studs and soaking them with penetrating oil. I also have two small bottle jacks on the left side between the pan rail and the head with wood blocks between the jacks and the head.

Further advice, encouragement, miracles would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Eric

Have you tried removing the studs? I know a stud remover won’t fit, but you can weld an extension on and give them a twist.

I’d post this on the E-Type forum too.

Are you sure you’re unbolted (6ea) from the front “underside” of the head and timing cover?
Apologies if this has been repeatedly checked.
Good luck.

There’s the “rope trick”. Remove the cams first so all valves are closed. Feed some rope down the spark plug holes. Then crank the engine. The pistons should push the head up.

One must be careful with that: it can bend a rod.

You can remove the cams and crank the engine. No more than normal compression, the vacuum will suck air past the valves. I popped a Model A head when I was a kid… completely forgot that til now…

With this trick you should be able to do 2 x cylinders at the same time; if you did both 5 and 2 at the same time it would spread the load on the head…

Not sure if the timing chain will like it.
Have you tried removing the studs with two nuts? The 6 nuts at the front are important of course. And get a crane, attach it to the head some safe way and lift the car up, maybe it drops down after a few days.
Did you try running it with the nuts loose?

Besides, hydrolocking the cylinders has not yet bent anything while cranking, but I guess the later engines have much stronger rods…

I meant cranking it with a socket wrench on the damper bolt. I guess I thought that would be obvious. You don’t need much rope, just enough to lift it 1/4" at the top of the stroke.

I figured that was your intent: just wanted it clear to those who might try to crank it with the starter.

To the OP: I would sometimes try for weeks soaking the studs with penetrant, even once assembling it back together enough to start the engine… which failed to pop it loose!

In those cases, the only option was to weld on a standard nut, to the stud, then go back and fort and back and forth and…for as long as it took.

I finally got the head off by removing the studs. I would have never been able to lift the head off the studs by any means as most were heavily corrroded to the head. It took several weeks of soaking, tapping to loosen them and there is one stud I never did get out of the head. Once the studs were out the head came off easily. I have a new set of ARP studs. The head is shot. A perforation in the water jacket in one of the exhaust ports.

Thanks to all for your encouragement and advice.


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See if that can be welded. I’ve seen some absolute scrap-yard trash brought back to life.

Likely it’s from the inside, meaning there’s LOTS of other possible thin areas.

If it were a Bugatti Royale…but it’s not.

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