Cylinder Head Replacement Tips

Before installing the cylinder head, use an aerosol gasket ­remover to soften traces of baked-on cylinder head gasket. A scraper using a straight razor blade can be especially effective at cutting away gasket residue without damaging the engine block or head. Next, make sure that the blind bolt holes in the cylinder block are clean and free of solid or liquid debris. In some cases, a thread chaser might be needed to clean corroded threads.

After cleaning, a machinist’s straight edge should be used to measure warping in the cylinder head and engine block. If warping exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications, the head needs to be ­repaired or replaced.

Before final assembly, an aerosol parts cleaner should also be used to remove any traces of dirt or liquid contamination from the block and head surfaces. Keep in mind that most modern cylinder head gaskets should be installed dry, without additional sealants. A pair of guide pins can be fabricated to guide the cylinder head into place to prevent damaging the cylinder head gasket. These pins should be slotted at the top for easy removal with a screwdriver. Because over-torquing can ruin modern intake manifolds, follow correct bolt torque sequencing and values when assembling the manifold, plenum and related parts.

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