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Discussion Starter #1
I have read of people having a hard time removing the head. But I can't find what you did to get it free. I have 1979 spica motor. I can't get it to separate. Thanks for the help
 

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There is a tool that consists of a steel plate with a central hole and a stud that screws into a spark plug hole. The plate rests on the top of 4 cylinder head studs and you tighten a nut on the central stud that pulls up the head. This usually works. I have a home made one that I can photograph it it would be helpful. Another technique is to stuff rope down two of the plug holes, either 1&4 or 3&3 and turn the crankshaft with a breaker bar so that the pistons push the head up. Sadly there are times when nothing works. Rich Hanning - 65Sprint recently cut through the studs to separate the head and then he beat out the studs one at a time and even then a couple of them did not want to come out - and he sacrificed the block doing it.
 

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There are quite a few approaches to loosen a stuck head. Rope and/or the head puller tool are good starting points. Apply penetrant around each stud and then tap on a sacrificial nut on each stud to help work the penetrant down between the stud and the head. Others have used MEK or a mild acid solution instead of penetrant.

My L-Jet Spider apparently contained weak or non-existent antifreeze for a period of time. As Ed mentioned, I had to sacrifice the block to free the head. Corrosion was extensive between the head and three of the studs. I was able to remove two of the three with a three pound hammer. A cylinder head machine shop removed the third portion of a stud by drilling it out. I think this was a fairly extreme case so be persistent and chances are you'll successfully separate the head from the block.
 

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As Rich pointed out, start w/the rope trick. Stuff 1/2 inch diameter rope into two cylinders near the top of their travel (about 2-3 inches of travel left). Stuff in as much as will go, and then some. Then rotate the crank thru TDC. the head should "pop" up.
This has always worked for me - on TR's on Alfa's on xxx.
The advantage of this method is its pushing up from the center of the head as opposed to prying from the edge, uses crank as leverage without stressing it and it will not damage the valves.
 

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I'm going to give you my recent methods as I needed all of them!

Couldn't use the rope trick, as the cam chain was already off, I was buggered if I was going to reassemble it just to crack the head off.

Special tool needed as head was stuck fast....... Ok this lifted it about 30mm with the head level with the top of the studs, but couldn't get any higher.

Wooden beam hinged on wing tops, with spreader beam. That didn't lift it higher.

Friend and me with wooden beam under head......nope.

Wd40 down head bolts.......nope.

Caustic soda down head bolts.......a bit more.

Engine hoist.......nope.

Lift car by head with engine hoist........ A bit more.

Back down... More caustic soda, bounce car again.......bit more

And again

And again.

After 12 lifts with the engine hoist it finally came off.

Head bolts were really corroded.
 

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Just to make sure, there are two bolts that hold the front of the head and the front cover together on the underside. You wouldn't be the first person to forget to remove them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just to make sure, there are two bolts that hold the front of the head and the front cover together on the underside. You wouldn't be the first person to forget to remove them.
Ha ha no I would have if I didn't spin the motor over on my engine stand and see them. So I have been working on it. And realize it is only 3 of the studs that are stuck. It has moved about a half inch. About 8 more inches to go. Thank you for all the input
 

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I once had so much difficulty getting a head off that had come up some of the way (75 TS). The only thing that worked eventually was getting a port a power (small hydraulic ram) between the head and the block and pushing it off! Using bits of wood I was able to not damage the head or block and the reassembled engine works well.

Luckily I was on holiday because it took me and a friend 8 days of solid work to get it off.
 

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I once had so much difficulty getting a head off that had come up some of the way (75 TS). The only thing that worked eventually was getting a port a power (small hydraulic ram) between the head and the block and pushing it off! Using bits of wood I was able to not damage the head or block and the reassembled engine works well.
I am happy for you that it worked. I tried that on a badly stuck head and it broke a piece of the cylinder head. They come in many degrees of stuck. The worst ones will never come off - Rich Hanning had one of those.
 

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I am happy for you that it worked. I tried that on a badly stuck head and it broke a piece of the cylinder head. They come in many degrees of stuck. The worst ones will never come off - Rich Hanning had one of those.
I knew that nine of the ten studs were free but the last was very stuck. If the port a power hadn't worked I was going to resort to the hack saw!

I was fortunate enough to have room to put a piece of jarrah (local hard wood) on both the head and block which provided enough protection. Otherwise I suspect I would have damaged one or the other.
 

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I have a heavy dead blow hammer made of metal with lead shot inside, all of which is encased in heavy rubber. I recently used this hammer to remove my 2L head. After many whacks with this hammer the gasket seal was broken and I was able to move the head up the head bolts using a 2X4 lever and wooden blocks. This engine had no corrosion and the head had only been on there for twenty one K miles so was probably an easier case than some. DC
 

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how do the Pistons look?
round

Honestly, unless they have holes in them, there isn't much you can tell at this point. Once you remove and clean the pistons, measure the height of the ring gaps and inspect the piston sides for deep scuff marks. Defects in those areas are what will require new pistons.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I will take better pictures of the sides. I can't feel any groves they look really good to me but I have never done this before so I have no idea what is good and bad. What is the best way to clean them?
 

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What is the best way to clean them?
Oh, just put them in the dishwasher alongside the crystal.

Well, if you don't want to do that, you can use a solvent (*) and then clean the solvent off with Simple Green, Purple Power, or some other industrial strength soap (dish detergent would work). Use a wire brush to get off the burned-on carbon, but only wire brush the tops.

*) I use gasoline as a solvent (wear gloves, work outside, don't smoke!), but know that others don't agree. Alternatives are diesel fuel or paint thinner.
 

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MEK is a solvent that works well for removing carbon deposits. Only real MEK works, not the stuff labelled as MEK substitute. It is as flammable as gasoline to take the same precautions.
 

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To clean my heavily coked 2L pistons I first brushed them off in a pan with paint thinner to remove oil. After wiping them dry I used a fine grit 3" nylon pad on an air tool to remove the carbon on the piston top. This leaves a dull shine on the aluminum. I find lacquer thinner (home depot) to be a wonder solvent. This completely removes any oil or other residue and evaporates quickly. I then polished the piston tops with aluminun polish to inhibit further carbon buildup. DC
 
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