XJ40 - 1994 Head Removal

(Geekay) #1

I’ve reviewed prior posts and tried to look at the photo album which does not seem to work. I am near the point of lifting the head from the car. It appears to me that it has to be raised vertically to clear the front timing tensioner and the manifold bolts on both sides (manifolds loose but held to the side of the engine compartment) and the EGR pipe. I still need to:

  1. Rubber band the chain to the tensioner.
  2. Remove the water valve at the rear of the block as it will not clear the right side of the intake manifold.

As I’m changing the gasket and overhauling the head I have removed camshafts/rotor etc. The head is free to move.

I’m a one man band. I have not removed the hood. It seems to me that I need an engine hoist to do this correctly and avoid risk of damage to the head or engine block during removal, not to mention easy re-installation. I’m no wimp but this seems impractical or at least very awkward with even 2 people lifting. I’m not interested in rigging up some unsafe system to my garage ceiling joists and SWMBO will not be participating :smiley:

I’ve read posts that suggest the head can be removed by one person but frankly some of the suggestions seem implausible.

I’d like to hear opinions. A HF 1 Ton hoist would only be $150 so that’s where I’m leaning, thinking I can put 2 straps under the head and bring the head out to the exhaust side.


PS - LoL - Just noticed the wrench in the picture that was there on the water valve. It’ll come out soon enough.

(Robin O'Connor) #2

Its 10 yrs+ since I did the head on my ‘40 not sure if I stood on the sides on the engine bay and man-handled it off by myself, probably not.
The HF engine hoist would be a good investment and if you have no further use after the job is done you can always on sell :slight_smile:
I would be inclined to remove the bonnet/hood so that you can access the engine bay from head on.

(Geekay) #3

That’s my thinking

Definitely a benefit but back to one man operation again. IIRC Bryan N said they’re a pain to re-align too.

But I’m also wondering about getting the head back on - over dowels. It seems that it would not be easy without dowels and I’m thinking old bolts are a risk of damaging the surface of the head.


(Mike Stone) #4

It has been closer to 20 years since I did the head gasket (and valve stem seal) replacement on my car but I do recall that removing the hood as Robin suggests was an excellent move, made access so much easier. Especially because I removed the radiator for external cleaning and for de-rusting and rust-proofing the radiator support bracket. I removed the head by myself (carefully), it is not as heavy as you might imagine, but then again I was closer to being a young buck back then. As was suggested by a J-L’er back in the day (Brett Gadzinkski perhaps?) I used two old head bolts with the heads cut off and the ends of the bolts rounded off as ‘guide pins’ for aligning the head on reinstallation.

(Geekay) #5

I can see the benefit of removing the hood for this purpose.

How did you do it? Were you standing on the exhaust side outside the car and just lifted it up and out or did you lay something across the fenders as an interim stopping point. I remain concerned about it getting a little trapped on the way out (not having a hand free to jiggle something) and perhaps damaging the surface of the head.

I’m no young buck either. I recently finished wrestling an X300 diff. Its the awkward nature of the lift that is concerning me. Away from you and having to go vertically first.


(Jag.Man) #6

First thing I would say is take the hood off, it’s not that big a deal putting it back on. Generally when you take it off there is a paint outline where the hinges were so it’s easy to get it back in the same place and it makes EVERYTHING else so much easier. I replaced my head gasket in 2013 and for the life of me I can’t remember how I got it off (no hoist), but here’s a pic of getting ready to put it back on and I did use cut-off head bolts. I straddled both fenders and had my wife remove the 2x4s. Not very sexy but it worked.

(Geekay) #7

Nice picture. I’m trying to visualize this because I’ve seen comments about straddling both fenders before. My legs are only 34" inseam so it seems to me that you need to be 20 feet tall to straddle the fenders.:thinking: I see a piece of wood right at the side of the exhaust manifolds.

Did you grab the head and lower it onto the bolts without incident on your own. How heavy is the head?

Still struggling with removal. Going to look at a Hoist this morning.

Also - not sure what year your car is but if 93-94 did you remove/install the water valve before/after removing/installing the head?


(Jag.Man) #8

Good morning Gary, I too have a 34" inseam but I’m only 6’ tall, lol
The piece of wood was holding the EGR pipe out of the way. As Mike said it’s not as heavy as you might think but if you are on your own a hoist would be a good option. As I said earlier I did lower the head on my own. I straddled the fenders, lifted the head from the 2X4s, my wife removed the 2X4s and I lowered the head onto the guide bolts. I removed the water valve before removing the head and replaced after putting the head back on. I have a 94 VDP, if you left click on a poster’s name it will show you what cars they have.

If you go here you can see pictures of the replacement. After the Jag blew the head gasket I didn’t have time to work on it so it sat in the garage for two years before I decided to fix it. Like a dummy, I didn’t drain the water and you can see the results. I did take the head to a shop in town to be milled and complete valve job. I did all the engine clean-up myself. As you can see the leak was cylinder 5. The miracle is after getting it all back together the compression on #5 was within 5 pounds of the other cylinders. These are really tough engines.


(Geekay) #9

Good Morning! Odd - that’s me too. 6’.

Well…… after my last posting I said to myself…“How hard can this be for someone who recently wrestled a cast iron X300 diff around”. Also I didn’t much like the work to rig up a hoist as I had already removed the cams. So after a brief attempt to remove the water valve I lifted the front of the head over the chain area and carefully lifted the rear end up clearing the rear exhaust manifold, and simultaneously pulled the head toward me so that the water valve cleared the intake manifold. Its tight there near the wiper motor. Off on the bench. No big deal.

You can clearly see water in cylinder 5. I only inspected the gasket briefly but I could not see a breach. But notice oil between cyl 4 and 5. Beads of water all around. I also looked at the head, again briefly, and could not see a crack.

I’ll press on in a few days on the cleanup.I’d like any tips on cleanup and also on lapping valves etc. I do have an OTC spring compressor and replacement oil seals.
Thanks for tip on left clicking poster and the links to the pics.

I like the 2 x 4 resting area above the block when re-installing. Of course I also have hoses to replace.


(Jag.Man) #10

Be certain you replace the “Bastard Hose” while you can easily get to it (the one in the top photo above cylinders 1&2). Spare no expense on the cost of the hose, get the best one money can buy. That is not a hose you ever want to replace at any other time.

(Robin O'Connor) #11

I think its 99.9% of the time that the HG has gone on no;5 cylinder, thats where my ‘40 went.

(Geekay) #12

For certain. I had the pleasure of replacing one on my X300 about 2 years ago. Fun. The one from the water valve to the heater is fun too.

(Geekay) #13

Interesting - I wonder why?