Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
10/2/20 8:43 a.m.

It’s going to happen sooner or later. 

Something in your engine will break, wear out or require an upgrade, forcing you to—gulp—pull a cylinder head. This job can be quite overwhelming and complex, especially if you’re working with an overhead-cam engine, but it&r…

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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
10/24/20 12:21 a.m.

My first engine rebuild was a FIAT 1600 twincam.  My V-8 buddies were giving me props since the head was in three pieces (the cam stands were separate) and the at-that-time exotic cambelt.  However, I found it a lot less intimidating than figuring optimum pushrod length for  proper rocker tip wear patterns on the valve stem.  All I had to deal with were bucket tappets which were relatively foolproof.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
10/24/20 12:34 a.m.

Also, I think it would be a great help to people if you showed them your method for tying up the timing chain and how you maintained and checked the cam timing afterwards.

frenchyd PowerDork
10/24/20 9:42 a.m.

In reply to Jerry From LA :

Jaguar V12's are terrifying because there are two heads and this whole mess of tubes and wires.  ( the fuel line is even air conditioned to prevent vapor lock) 

   But once you get into it it's simple and straight forward.  With a bonus.  Jaguar builds a simple stand that holds the timing chain clear so you don't  have to replace the timing chain.
Jaguar has used the same cam guage since 1948. It's right in the tool kit. Put the engine on TDC #1 slide the cam guage over to confirm timing and you are done. If you want they have notches in the timing gear that gives you a 2&1/2 degree change every notch and if you want less than that reverse the timing gear and you have 1&1/4 degree change.   

Vajingo Reader
10/26/20 12:00 a.m.

Half the engines I've met, it's been easier to just pull the engine and replace it with a junkyard engine. 
call junkyard>find engine> it's already pulled on arrival>truck home>pull old engine (which involved nearly everything the head removal almost had)>install new engine. Drink beer. 


Spend hours cross shopping parts, prices, availability, and finally order parts>parts arrive (hopefully) weeks later>Oh look, the wrong parts were sent>back to the beginning> pull nearly everything required to pull the whole engine>Take head to machine shop>cross fingers it doesnt get screwed up>weeks later, go to install parts>Oh, look, some of the parts got destroyed/missing/incorrect. Drink beer, but NOW complain. 

Vigo (Forum Supporter)
Vigo (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/26/20 10:45 a.m.

I cant remember if this was the first head i pulled but the first engine i rebuilt was at 16y/o, and I couldn't find a single thing wrong with it to explain the knocking noise it made until... i got to bolting on the CRACKED FLEXPLATE!! angry I had pulled it without noticing the cracks because there was a shim plate over it that covered the crack. Upon reassembly, i realized how much big of a rabbit hole i'd gone down over a misdiagnosis.

So that was a good learning experience. If i could go back, i probably wouldn't change a thing. I still get to say i rebuilt my first engine when i was 16. I spent a total of ~$120, not counting the $16 flexplate.. blush

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