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Removing crusty heads
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Loren Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:38 pm    Post subject: Removing crusty heads Reply with quote

I searched the forums and couldn't find any posts on removing heads from crusty engines that didn't involve a sledge hammer and prybar so I though I would share this tool idea in hops that it might help some one else down the road.

A few weeks ago I picked up a crusty old 36hp engine that looked like a good rebuild candidate. I started tearing the engine down and all went fine until I tried to remove the heads, they wouldn't budge. The cylinder studs were corroded and the heads were not coming off with out a fight. I tried the usual prying and prodding, but I didn't want to booger up the head fins so I didn't get too far. After a few days of thinking it over I came up with this tool and it worked great at getting off both heads with out causing any damage to the heads or engine block.

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be sure to remove all the head bolts, these two often get clogged with dirt and are hard to see. I had to remove all the packed in dirt before I could remove the bolts.

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here are the tools I made. I used some 5/8" steel tubing from the hardware store, 5/8" all-thread, two nuts and two flanges from an old muffler. I had to extend one of the tools to clear the fuel pump stud. Make sure you weld the tubing horizontal to the head and try to center it on the cylinders, this will help keep the head from binding up. I only made this one set of tools and flipped them to remove the other head.

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Here is one side of the head. I put a bolck of wood at the end of the bolt to protect the block

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here is the other side, notice the block of wood protecting the block

All you have to do is bolt the tools onto the exhaust ports and turn the nuts. This will extend the bolt and push the head off the engine. Be sure to move back and forth from tool to tool, tightning each one a few turns. If you tighten too much the head will bind. I had to back the nuts off a few times and whack the head with a rubber mallet to keep the head from binding. Just take is slow and make sure the head is not binding.

For a first try these tools worked fine. Next time though, I will weld a nut to the end of the all-thread and use a wrench to keep it from spinning while I tighten the adjusting nut.
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Min ein er et stykke fole
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats a great idea..If I can't get a head off using a rubber malet I will give it a shot..
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runamoc Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea, better with the welded nut and bolt modification. I usually get the heads to come off, but some times the cylinders are stuck to the heads. Back to the hammer Confused
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anthracitedub
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good job!!! Probably come off easier if you would remove the valve covers and get the other 4 head bolts.

Just kidding.
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glutamodo Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too bad that trick won't help out when you have the cylinders stuck to the heads, as I've seen a couple of times on stale-air 40HP, due to too much build-up between the primary seal at the combustion chamber and the secondary seal at the copper crush seal. I've had them stuck on so badly that I literally had to destroy the cylinder to get them apart.
-Andy
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hazetguy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks like a good idea, but how will that work if you have broken exhaust studs?
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Min ein er et stykke fole
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like your idea Loren but a Small Rubber mallet is all thats needed.I would not mind having a set of those thou.....I removed these heads after 15 years of tree sap, water,snow,ice bla bla bla...There was actual ice inside when removed..tap back and forth on the exhaust studs and walla Very Happy

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ice inside..this thing was solid..
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oh ya..the carbs were removed all that time also..the motor was full of frozen ice/water
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veeweeman
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should start a horror engine picture thread and see who can display the most unusual engine story...that's a good one...I myself had seen some bad VW motors but that one takes the cake Shocked Shocked

VWM
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rtroy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Loren,

Interesting solution. I have a spark plug that I use for this purpose. I took a bum spark plug some years ago and broke away the ceramic leaving the threads and the place for a wrench. To this I added a metal tube that had a grease nipple threaded in - I simply welded the tube to what remained of the spark plug, grease nipple out, of course.

When I want to use the tool, I thread it into a spark plug hole of interest, attach a grease gun and start pumping. This tool can be used both for moving stuck pistons from cylinders and for removing stuck heads - you must, of course, first put the piston at top dead center to remove heads using a minimum of grease, but bottom dead center would work, too. You can also pour a liquid into the hole first to fill up the volume if you like - engine oil is cheap enough and helps lubricate, if needed, and you can use used oil if you want...

My solution solves the problem of cylinders stuck to the heads, too, but what I like about your solution is that unlike mine, your can continue to push even after the seal is broken whereas my solution loses pressure and stops functioning.

Thanks for adding to our collective tool box,
Richard
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billmetric
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NICE! a bit too late for me, I just recently distroyed a 36hp head with the same problem, I even tried sticking the VW jack in the exhaust port and tried to press the head off that way, I soaked it in PB blaster and Kroil for weeks ahead of time and it was not budging, the center upper head studs were rusted in there and one of the cylinders is still stuck in the head, ended up just beating the crap out of it for a few hours untill all the fins were mangled and the exhaust ports were all beat up, I still have a few more engines to tear down and will try this next time! Thanks Very Happy
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