Newbie Head Job - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie Head Job

Hello Everyone, firs off thanks to Vin and Rich for their early guidance. I found this site thanks to Vin's "Head Gasket" thread. I myself do not own an AR, but I find myself putting one back together as it were. Since I'm a newbie here I don't know how to link things properly so allow me a little cut and paste from my first posts on Vin's thread...

I am a B- level home wrencher, I have done a head gasket replace/head planed on a Saab 900 and I have a friend with a 1987 Spider Veloce and he wanted me to do this and I said yes. Short story is I received the car with the cracked head already removed, lol. Guess someone did "half" my work. Bad news is I received all the miscellaneous parts in one big box, lol. I've sorted them and taken a photos which I hope to post. I am not a member here yet, this is a first "guest" post. Most of the pieces will be obvious to me, but I thought some of you might like to follow along this rebuild and guide me. Some questions I have since my Saab jobe didn't involve a new head: Should the head bolts be replaced (had to with the Saab)? My friend is getting a new head and having it shipped to me, should I expect it to have "manifold studs" in it, or will I have to find and buy? Should I pull and resuse the valves from the old one, or start fresh (valves scare me, lol). We'll start with this and I will register later and see if I can upload the pics I have of the miscellaneous parts all sorted out and the old head. Thank you all in advance. Oh and to add irritation from the start, I live in Hawaii, so all parts that i need will need to be shipped here, lol.

Jeff

I have another post there with beginning details and pics so i will try to link it here. Rich suggested I start this new thread, thanks Rich.
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post #2 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 12:54 PM
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jeff hang tight until you get the replacement head. Hopefully it has everything in it, valves, cams, manifold studs etc.

74 GTV with 10548's and Ingram pump
71 Spider 1750 BOMBER ; 1995 LS 78K tight fast car
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post #3 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, still too new to post links even to another thread here. Oh, well, guess I'll have to not be lazy and do all again here, lol
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post #4 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 01:14 PM
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Jeff,

Welcome to the ABB. You have come to the right place and you are registered! You'll probably not be able to post photographs for a while and usually have to have 10 or so posts. Like goats said hopefully the new or newly rebuilt head will come 'fully loaded' with valves, springs, cams, adjustment shims and chain tensioner already installed.

You'll probably receive a few different opinions but go with what sounds most plausible to you. I like all o-rings and seals to be Viton because it does not get hard and leak like rubber and I like to install 'roll pins' in the block where the oil flows into the head. (My 'new engine' kit from Spruell Motorsports is on the kitchen table waiting for me to put it all together. You can also get parts from several other vendors. I like Classic Alfa in the UK and Centerline International in Co.)

I believe you can clean the head studs and nuts to reuse them. Lots of info in the engine building section too.

Also, search Youtube for tips on 'Alfa Romeo head installation'.

Mark
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post #5 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Aloha, It appears as if now I am a member. Relative to my my earlier post, lets see if I can post some photos.

1. Things out of the box and sorted
2. Bit of a close up.
3. Bottom side of head
4. Close up of cams and journals with some whiteout applied by the unknown remover. Timing marks to be on two nearest cam gears.
5. Engine compartment

It appears as if the engine is not TDC so I'll have some issues there that I need advice on, as well as any input on the other journal placement issues. Having talked with my neighbor, more of an A home wrencher (great guy, lol) I'm hoping that my friend sends me a head with valves in it, else we're talking a whole "valve job" (nnnnooooooooo !!!)

Thanks again in advance for any feedback,

Jeff
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post #6 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 01:21 PM
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Don't turn the engine until you lock down the cylinder liners.

Cars ruined my life! 😱
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post #7 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Jeff,

Welcome to the ABB. You have come to the right place and you are registered! You'll probably not be able to post photographs for a while and usually have to have 10 or so posts. Like goats said hopefully the new or newly rebuilt head will come 'fully loaded' with valves, springs, cams, adjustment shims and chain tensioner already installed.

You'll probably receive a few different opinions but go with what sounds most plausible to you. I like all o-rings and seals to be Viton because it does not get hard and leak like rubber and I like to install 'roll pins' in the block where the oil flows into the head. (My 'new engine' kit from Spruell Motorsports is on the kitchen table waiting for me to put it all together. You can also get parts from several other vendors. I like Classic Alfa in the UK and Centerline International in Co.)

I believe you can clean the head studs and nuts to reuse them. Lots of info in the engine building section too.

Also, search Youtube for tips on 'Alfa Romeo head installation'.

Mark

Thanks, Mark, the head is fully loaded as I understand it now (info came after the initial posts which I just copied/paste). It is actually coming from the Centerline place. A couple of my current questions are about the "buckets and shims", as everything was dumped in a box, I have know idea of matching original combinations; 4 of the cups had shims in them, 4 did not, but even the 4 that did I'm not sure they were there originally or just "fell" in, lol. The other is the block itself and the TC being off and not at TDC and cleaning the cylinders. If i try to rotate the crankshaft to get to TDC or to clean the cylinders, won't that f things up?

Thanks again for all help, thanks for the hello and tips, Mark

Jeff
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post #8 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Don't turn the engine until you lock down the cylinder liners.
Check, saw that issue in Vin's thread. Thanks, Vabene
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post #9 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Jeff,

Welcome to the ABB. You have come to the right place and you are registered! You'll probably not be able to post photographs for a while and usually have to have 10 or so posts. Like goats said hopefully the new or newly rebuilt head will come 'fully loaded' with valves, springs, cams, adjustment shims and chain tensioner already installed.

You'll probably receive a few different opinions but go with what sounds most plausible to you. I like all o-rings and seals to be Viton because it does not get hard and leak like rubber and I like to install 'roll pins' in the block where the oil flows into the head. (My 'new engine' kit from Spruell Motorsports is on the kitchen table waiting for me to put it all together. You can also get parts from several other vendors. I like Classic Alfa in the UK and Centerline International in Co.)

I believe you can clean the head studs and nuts to reuse them. Lots of info in the engine building section too.

Also, search Youtube for tips on 'Alfa Romeo head installation'.

Mark
I believe there are already "roll pins" in the block. Can you see them in the engine compartment pic? They're annoying me as i try to clean the block surface, lol.
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post #10 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 01:52 PM
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2 and 3 had pretty good water ingress, the piston tops cleaned up real good! You might spend some time (first lock the liners down as noted before) cleaning up 1 and 4. Check liner protrusion over block surface etc. There is an easy brooklands book to describe what to do. You got this no problem

74 GTV with 10548's and Ingram pump
71 Spider 1750 BOMBER ; 1995 LS 78K tight fast car
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post #11 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 04:37 PM
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post #12 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by koloaman View Post
I believe there are already "roll pins" in the block. Can you see them in the engine compartment pic? They're annoying me as i try to clean the block surface, lol.
I can see your roll pins but they look too deep to me. Maybe its the picture.

The purpose of the roll pin is to keep the o-ring (and I like Viton too) in place while you assemble as well as from falling in on itself some day and causing an oil leak.

Vin

1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
1987 Spider Quadrifoglio - Red on Grey - Rosa - Sold
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post #13 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 04:50 PM
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Good on you for tackling that project... Those cam journals look pretty rusty, might be something to be careful of. The cam caps should go back in the head as they are numbered for location. I don't see the funky bolt for the chain tensioner, that presses on the wedge plate, hope it's still in the front of the head. When rebooking up the timing chain you will have to be careful to get the kinks out of it along the bottom of the idler pulley. Seems way more taken apart than it needs to be.... Should be fun either way.

Cheers,

Carson, 4 Alfa's, 9 Cars, 4 Motorcycles
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post #14 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by koloaman View Post
Thanks, Mark, the head is fully loaded as I understand it now (info came after the initial posts which I just copied/paste). It is actually coming from the Centerline place. A couple of my current questions are about the "buckets and shims", as everything was dumped in a box, I have know idea of matching original combinations; 4 of the cups had shims in them, 4 did not, but even the 4 that did I'm not sure they were there originally or just "fell" in, lol. The other is the block itself and the TC being off and not at TDC and cleaning the cylinders. If i try to rotate the crankshaft to get to TDC or to clean the cylinders, won't that f things up?

Thanks again for all help, thanks for the hello and tips, Mark

Jeff
Its good that you are getting a fully loaded head. Saves a bunch of work and ensure the head will be flat. You know, I would call and confirm they checked that.

I see that you have 8 buckets and 8 shims. Thats the right number but yes, you are right, you have no idea which went where. Unfortunate but I don't think that bad.

You will need to check the valve clearances so take the time now and measure the thickness of the shims. I have a spreadsheet that helped me when I did mine. Send me a PM with your email and I will send to you.

While you might get lucky and all the valve clearances come in spec, they probably wont since they are all mixed up, so keep them organized after you measure them.

As mentioned, YOU DO NOT WANT TO DISTURB THE CYLINDERS, they have an o ring at the bottom of them, so get some pipe and lock them down before you move the cylinders.

Lastly. I would clean up the head bolt and stud threads. The thread is M12 x 1.5. Here is when I did mine during my engine rebuild. Be sure to cover the block as you dont want shavings to fall in.

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Good luck,

Vin

1991 Spider Veloce - Red on Tan - Rosa Bionda
1987 Spider Quadrifoglio - Red on Grey - Rosa - Sold
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post #15 of 77 (permalink) Old 05-17-2019, 09:48 PM
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After you secure the liners and you want to put the engine at compression TDC for #1 cylinder the thing you want to look at is the position of the distributor rotor. If it’s pointing forward that’s #1, if backward that’s #4. After you put the heads on the gotcha is that the cams have two index marks 180 deg apart so make sure you are using the right ones. The #1 lobes should be pointing out, away from each other.

Paul - 1972 Spider - (2)1991 164S's - 1983 308 - 2001 Discovery - 1997 F350
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