[xk-engine] Cylinder Head removal - advice welcome

We are trying to get the cylinder head removed from our donor
engine. Having
removed everything and released the tension on the top tension
chains the head
appears stuck the studs. we have the engine suspended from a crane
with straps
around the head and manifolds, but have only got milimeters of
movement so far.
having made wells around the studs and the stud holes in the head
and filled
them with Plus Gas we are waiting for the penetrating oil the take
effect and
then the effect of gravity on the weight of the block seperatre the
two.

Is there anything else we can do?
Is plus Gas the best type of penetrating oil?
Would it be better to take the studs out even if there is a high
risk of
snapping the stud in the block.

Any advice is welcome
Howard–
Howard, Leeds UK XJ6 series 3
Leeds Yorkshire, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from Leeds Howard sent Sun 13 Sep 2009:

Hello Howard,

I cut the insulators off a couple of spark plugs and welded on nuts
to help remove the head. Probably a more positive pull than straps
around the manifolds. I have pics posted in the ‘‘tools’’ section of
my XK140 restoration site:

Hope this helps

Dave S.–
1957 XK140MC OTS, 1964 E-type OTS, 1973 Maserati Bora 4.9L
Orange/CA, United States
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Howard:

If you take the studs out, the head if off. You cannot rule out snapping a
stud. You can remove the freeze plugs and inject penetrating oil in the
stud threads to mitigate the risk. You did not indicate reuse of the block
but if so, you would want to replace the studs anyway.

I am not familiar with Gas Plus and unable to comment. Sounds like an
antacid.

Regards
Lou
71 XJ6----- Original Message -----
From: “Leeds Howard” howard.ambleside@tiscali.co.uk

We are trying to get the cylinder head removed from our donor
engine.
Is there anything else we can do?
Is plus Gas the best type of penetrating oil?
Would it be better to take the studs out even if there is a high
risk of
snapping the stud in the block.

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In reply to a message from Leeds Howard sent Sun 13 Sep 2009:

Not to insult your intelligence, but you did remember to
remove the four nuts under the front of the head. Other than
that, you may try double nutting the head studs, and
shocking them back and forth with an impact wrench.
Sometimes the electrolysis will cause the aluminum to weld
itself to the studs.
Joel–
ex jag, '66 E-type S1 4.2, '56 XK140dhc, '97 XJ-6
Denison, TX, United States
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There is a rumour that pouring coke onto the studs and letting it sit will
eat out the old corrosion. Never tried it, but if the penetrating oil isn’t
working …-----Original Message-----
Sometimes the electrolysis will cause the aluminum to weld
itself to the studs.

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In reply to a message from Mark Eaton sent Sun 13 Sep 2009:

I recently read a mix of 1/2 acetone and 1/2 ATF penetrates better
than all the commercially available rust-busters. Never tried it,
but if anyone does please report back.

Dave S.–
1957 XK140MC OTS, 1964 E-type OTS, 1973 Maserati Bora 4.9L
Orange/CA, United States
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In reply to a message from Leeds Howard sent Sun 13 Sep 2009:

Put the spark plugs in the head and crank the starter motor,the
compression should lift the head off. Unless your millimeter of
movement has already broken the seal.
P.–
Peter J. Smith, 1966 3.8S MOD
Carson City Nevada, United States
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In reply to a message from Leeds Howard sent Sun 13 Sep 2009:

I have always had my best luck using a bottle jack - with the base
resting on the the ledge of the block and the working end under the
overhanging head.

I usually do this at the four corners of the head. Sometimes, find
that I have to do each corner a tiny bit at a time until the head
frees itself from the gasket.

As mentioned, make certain that you have removed the four bolts
that go through the timing chain cover into the bottom of the head.–
Glen - 69 E-type OTS, 2000 XK8, 59 MGA
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In reply to a message from Glen Jarboe sent Mon 14 Sep 2009:

I’ve had situations where you can lift the front of the car
but the head will not come off. You can try penetrating oil
etc but goo luck. Usually there enough corrosion all the way
up the stud.

You can try lifting the head and put a nut on the studs
giving them a sharp tap on the top of the nut with a hammer
but this may not work. I’ve had engine heads lift an inch or
so but still be stuck. Whatever you do dont put anything
between the block and head. At this point theres usually
only 2 or 3 studs giving a problem and these can be removed.

In the end the best way is to remove the studs if you are
careful it can be done without breaking them off and always
use new studs on a rebuild.

Alex P–
alex paterson
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Leeds,
I recently had to remove the head from a short stud 4.2L E. It was massively
stuck. I resorted to the technique reported by Glen Jarboe with the
exception that I used a dummy manifold to press against with the bottle
jack. In addition, I used a spreader tool to help jack the corners although
that was of little help. Working from side to side, jacking and blocking the
opposite side I was able to raise the head an inch. Examining what I could
of the exposed studs, I could see that at least five were seriously impacted
with combustion soot. Not wanting to insult the head further, I got out the
Sawzall with a short bimetal blade and cut the head free. I drove the
offending studs down through head with a weighty hammer and cold rolled
steel drift lubricated with carb cleaner spray. I did get some photos which
I’ll post on Snaps when I get a chance. The head survived but did need a
0.020" surface cut to clean up scratches left by too long a saw blade which
was vibrating side to side as the studs were being cut. I did check for
twist and cam rotation before spending any money on additional machine work.
FWIW there are six 5/16" studs in the front of the head, not four. :wink:
Bob Grossman-----Original Message-----
From: owner-xk-engine@jag-lovers.org [mailto:owner-xk-engine@jag-lovers.org]
On Behalf Of Glen Jarboe
Sent: Monday, September 14, 2009 9:51 AM
To: xk-engine@jag-lovers.org
Subject: Re: [xk-engine] Cylinder Head removal - advice welcome

In reply to a message from Leeds Howard sent Sun 13 Sep 2009:

I have always had my best luck using a bottle jack - with the base
resting on the the ledge of the block and the working end under the
overhanging head.

I usually do this at the four corners of the head. Sometimes, find
that I have to do each corner a tiny bit at a time until the head
frees itself from the gasket.

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In reply to a message from Bob Grossman sent Mon 14 Sep 2009:

Bob
I forgot about the two in the front.
Joel–
The original message included these comments:

FWIW there are six 5/16’’ studs in the front of the head, not four. :wink:
Bob Grossman


ex jag, '66 E-type S1 4.2, '56 XK140dhc, '97 XJ-6
Denison, TX, United States
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That’s OK Joel, I forgot to mention that I had already broken 5 of the studs
attempting to unscrew them. A lucky head save on this one.
Bob Grossman-----Original Message-----
From: owner-xk-engine@jag-lovers.org [mailto:owner-xk-engine@jag-lovers.org]
On Behalf Of ex jag
Sent: Monday, September 14, 2009 8:57 PM
To: xk-engine@jag-lovers.org
Subject: RE: [xk-engine] Cylinder Head removal - advice welcome

In reply to a message from Bob Grossman sent Mon 14 Sep 2009:

Bob
I forgot about the two in the front.
Joel

The original message included these comments:

FWIW there are six 5/16’’ studs in the front of the head, not four. :wink:
Bob Grossman

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In reply to a message from Leeds Howard sent Sun 13 Sep 2009:

I recently removed the head on my XK150 that had not been turned
over for over 35 yrs using wooden wedges. You can get them at any
hardware store or home center. Use them in ~ reverse sequence to
the head bolt tightening procedure, and only a little at a time.

The machine shop that redid the engine said there was no damage to
the head/block mating surfaces.–
59 XK-150 OTS
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In reply to a message from 8238 sent Tue 15 Sep 2009:

Ever hear of the rope trick?
Loosen the camshafts so all valves are closed.
Feed some rope down the spark plug holes so it is piled up
on top of the pistons.
Turn the crankshaft and the pistons will push the head up.–
XK120 FHC, Mark V saloon, XJ12L Series II, S-Type 3.0
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In reply to a message from Rob Reilly sent Thu 17 Sep 2009:

Rice works too. Fill the two cylinders that are at bdc with rice
through the spark plug hole and hit the starter motor. Probably
better to turn the crank with a wrench instead of the starter
motor, if that works.
Remember to clean out the rice when you are done. That is why the
pros use rope.
P.–
Peter J. Smith, 1966 3.8S MOD
Carson City Nevada, United States
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In reply to a message from carsoncitysmith sent Fri 18 Sep 2009:

The coke trick sounds interesting. Columbians will love it.
probably expensive though…

I have always wanted to try separate a cylinderhead using
the power of osmosis and germination. Pour seeds in the
chambers, add water, wait for germination, et voil�.

Or at least this is theory: I remember being taught at high
school that a cereal ship was sank by its cargo being soaked
in water during an attempt to stop a fire. Apparently the
hull burst and the whole thing sank… Urban legend? Any
myth busters out there?–
1975 XJ6C - LHD
Malahide, Ireland
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Well, the Myth Busters guys did try the fast growing bamboo through the
torso trick, and it (unfortunately) did work very very well.

And Hydroforming is being more commonly used to form steel exhaust manifolds
etc, which is just pressurised oil or water being applied to the inside of
steel plates …

How about jamming it in gear. Pouring some lighter fluid down the spark plug
hole and put the plug back in. Stand at a distance while your able assistant
triggers a spark on the spark plug … Works great with Potato cannons …-----Original Message-----

I have always wanted to try separate a cylinderhead using
the power of osmosis and germination. Pour seeds in the
chambers, add water, wait for germination, et voil�.

Or at least this is theory: I remember being taught at high
school that a cereal ship was sank by its cargo being soaked
in water during an attempt to stop a fire. Apparently the
hull burst and the whole thing sank… Urban legend? Any
myth busters out there?

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In reply to a message from Mark Eaton sent Wed 23 Sep 2009:

I had to remove the head from my ‘74 4.2 last weekend and
after all the bolts were removed the head wouldn’t budge. I
tried heating up the head and pouring penetrating oil down
the studs to break their hold on the head. I spent two days
doing this and it still wouldn’t budge. I put a three foot
long crow bar under the head and it still wouldn’t move. I
then went to the auto parts store and bought a 2 ton bottle
jack which I wedged between the motor mount boss and the
head. Surely this would do the trick, right? No, instead I
blew the seals in the jack. I went back to the store and got
a 4 ton jack and with this I was able to lift the passenger
side of the head 1/8’’. When I tried to lift the opposite
side the first side just dropped back on to the block so I
had to jump from side to side all the while building a stack
up on the lifted side to prevent it from collapsing after
the jack was removed. Three hours later I had the head off
but now I was looking at 14 rusty head studs and I had heard
horror stories about them snapping inside the block. Well
the Jag gods were with me that day because I got every one
of them out with a pipe wrench. One of them was only 1/4’’ in
diameter from all the rust! The threads on the studs looked
perfect so my guess is they had never been removed before.
New studs came in the mail yesterday so I can’t finish this
story yet.

Good luck with your head and go get yourself a 4 ton jack.
Make sure it’s under 7 1/2’’ tall.–
TFee
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