Leave the manifold on the head. Remove the Spica hard pipes at the pump. Undo the couple support brackets near the pump but you can leave all the pipes and clamps attached to the head, then get at them when the head is on the bench. Leaving the manifold on makes it a bit less balanced (and heavier) to pull the head up the studs, but on whole I prefer it. The studs can be an issue in themselves, but let's hope it's not corroded and comes off readily. There is a factory tool to help with that if needed. Make sure to remove and protect the TA.
The high pressure lines do deserve a lot of respect. I once overtorqued one of the nuts. A few hundred miles later, the line split near the collar and the engine started to miss... telltale sign of an impending disaster. The nuts need to be oiled up before assembly and torqued to 15 ft-lb. No more.
Removing them takes about an hour, putting them back in place depends. If you've removed them yesterday, it's going to take an hour. If you removed them 5 years ago, it's a Chinese puzzle. Ask the guy who twice removed Webers to return a car to Spica.
I have great respect for the hard lines which is why I seek to remove them as little as possible. I did just pull the SPICA pump for other reasons, its back in place now. I like the idea of pulling the head with the manifold. Since it has (sadly) only been a few thousand miles it shouldn't be too corroded in place.
While I have the radiator out I would not mind adding some marks to the crank pulley. I know there is a lot of torque on this but I replaced it when I rebuilt the motor so it should not be too crazy. My question is whether it is safe to use the motor and transmission as a means to resist the forces on that nut? If not how did you all go about this with motor in situ?
Can you let the chain drop? Yes, I've done it often. You can also lift the head, sit it on the tip of the studs, and tie the chain underneath (I've used bicycle spokes to hold it from falling down).
I'm medium strength and I've installed heads with Weber manifolds attached without undue effort. Spica should not be that much heavier. As a safety, you can lay a piece of plywood on top of the fender, of course with some sort of cushion underneath, should you drop anything.
Please make sure that the t actuator is off.... that could be an expensive lesson learned. You can let the chain lay in the lower cover and use a magnet to lift it up when ready
Dont turn the engine though. Good work
Im going to replace a variety of parts while im in there. I thought the later cars that have the two 6mm bolts at the front of the valve cover did not use two aluminum washers under the valve cover bolts, but rather six fiber washers. Does it matter?
From new, they all used 4 fiber and two aluminum. Aftermarket gasket sets sometimes supplied 6 fiber. Makes little difference, imo. As for the chains, I make extenders with mechanics wire. Cut two pieces, about a foot long, tie each piece of the wire to each end of the chain. Then make a small loop the end of each wire. When you drop the chain end into the front case, it is easy to grap the loop with a hook tool and pull up the chain. Do you have the cylinder liners held down firmly? A must! After you have the liners held down firmly, and the chain laying away from the crank gear, you can rotate the crank if you like.
Yes the aluminum washers make a difference. The rear rubber half moon seals at the end of the head are compressed in place by those 2 washers on the valve cover. They will not break and they maintain the tension on those seals as well. Good luck
Thanks guys. I usually associate Reinz with 'the good stuff' but for a few Porsche gaskets and the BMW head, it was frowned upon. Is there a "better" headgasket than the Reinz? By better I mean more durable, reliable, better fitting etc. Not asking for race style performance, asking for longevity.
The good news is the head came off easily with help from a friend. The bad news is I was excited to look in the suspect bore and rotated the motor without retaining the liners and numbers two and three came up. I know there can be issues with the seal at the base of the liner. Is there a way to remedy this without removing the block?
Push them down, and cross your fingers... they're not so high, the or-ings are still captive between the liners and the block. I would say it will be ok, but others will share their experience.
Regarding your question about head gaskets, Reinz is the better brand offered by all the Alfa suppliers I have checked (Classic Alfa, Spruell, Alfaholics, OKP) except Centerline who also carry a copper head gasket as a third option.
I remember copper gaskets were in fashion back when Shankle was active, but I've never used them.
Remove the coolant drain plug and remove any excess coolant. May need a turket baster to get the last bit. Look with a flash light and check for oring bits. Usually as long as the liners have not twisted, the seal should be ok. This is much better if the engine was recently rebuilt too. Good luck