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Old 11-19-2004, 05:01 PM   #1
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Default Top End Rebuild

I figured I would just start a new thread with everything put in it, since I had several before.

As I am sure you already know, I started my top end rebuild a few weeks ago, and I have been working very hard since. So far, I have removed these parts:

- Air Compressor
- Charcoal Canister
- Airbox
- Windshield Washer Fluid Bottle
- Coolant Overflow Tank
- Ignition System
- Alternator
- Power Steering Pump [unbolted, but not removed]
- Throttle Body
- Intake
- Front Header, and pipe that goes from front header to rear header
- Valve Covers

I am running into some issues with the heads, however. I have everything that was attatched to the heads removed, and the bolts off [my arms still hurt from getting those suckers off. I can bench 125lbs, and had a two foot long PVC pipe, and still struggled]. Anyways, my first question is why isn't the head coming off? Do I need to remove the rockers/rods/valve springs first? Or do I just need to put more effort into it?

My second question is, are the rockers supposed to be tight, and not move? Or should they be loose? I had the one all the way on the right tight, and all the rest were loose enough, that I could pull the rod out of the socket in the lifter.

Now onto the headers.. like I said, I have the front header, and pipe that goes from the front header, to the rear header [about 10"-12" long], well, I didn't notice any lips on it. Padgett had pics of his headers, and the large lip it had, was that on the rear headers? The only thing restrictive on these, are the 3/8" build up of carbon I was able to remove. It smelled good though .

So far, that'* it as my questions go, I am sure I will have more as time progresses.


-justin
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Old 11-19-2004, 05:58 PM   #2
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The lip is on the rear collector at the headpipe connection (where the O2 sensor screws in).

If you have removed all of the bolts and not removed the rocker bar first the valve springs should be exerting enough pressure to pop the head loose (I always remove the push rods first to avoid side stresses but not everyone does). If not check for a bolt you missed. Sometimes I need to pop the head a bit with a rubber mallet but should not be difficult unless a prior mechanic went bananas with Permatex (and maybe Locktite on the head bolts - see a red or blue coating on them ?). Nice thing about an iron block and heads is that some gentle prying probably will not hurt.

Having to play Godzilla to get the factory head bolts off is not unusual: age, corrosion, engine sealer, and overtightening at the factory all play a part.

Personally, I assemble engines with nothing but white grease to initially soften the gaskets a touch and anti-seize on bolt threads. Am also a fanatic on surface prep: if it ain't clean, it won't seal. Is why it takes me two hours to do a water pump - ten minutes off, ten minutes on, and the rest getting all of the old gasket off (of course if I did the last one, it is much faster).

I *always* clean the head bolt threads after removing the heads - is just part of the process. If you cannot just spin the bolt in and out with your fingers further than necessary, you cannot torque the bolt accurately.
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Old 11-19-2004, 06:25 PM   #3
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Okay, I haven't gotten the rear collector off yet. That explains the lack of a lip.

I have all the bolts off, unless there is a magical bolt that allows the head to move around, while still being torqued to incredible strengths. I got 8 off.. and my FSM says 8 also. There wasn't anything on the threads of the head bolts.. except oil [every single bolt I have removed was covered in oil, that oil leak I had, must have been there forever, because the intake was covered in burnt oil all around the seals, and I know oil shouldn't be on the seals. I am glad the previous mechanic didn't work on the engine this far. He overtightened everything, to the point where I was breaking bolts left and right, until I got to the parts on the car where he left alone.

I concur on the cleanliness. I spend a lot of time cleaning. However, I try to get everything off, before breaking out the simple green.

I know about the torquing down. It looks like I am going to have to get a threading kit, because all the crap on the bolts, are probably in the block, and of course, would give inaccurate torque readings, like you mentioned.

Straitor, and I believe Bill too, said I need to buy new head bolts.. and that they are one time torque blah blah blah. Well, do I need to buy new head bolts? If I do, do they have to be from GM, or could they be some Grade 8 bolts from Lowe'* or wherever?


-justin
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Old 11-19-2004, 07:16 PM   #4
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I know my 87 and my 93 both use Torque To Yeild head bolts, Thye can only be torqued once. I bet yours does too. Grade 8 from Lowe'* won't work. You have to buy head bolts.
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Old 11-20-2004, 12:31 PM   #5
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I am not planning to take the heads to a machine shop. I am planning to do everything myself. I was going to replace the valve seals, however I have no clue how, I haven't looked in my FSM, either. Is it possible for me to replace them myself?

My heads didn't have header gaskets.. however there was one that went from the tube from the front to rear headers. It was the same material that was on the EGR valve.

I am buying the overhaul gasket set from gm-car-parts.com, it is $120, if I remember correctly, and it apparently has everything from the oil pan gasket, to the TB gasket.

I want to try to get the front head off today, before I go to Chicago, is there anything else I need to remove to get the heads off? I have all 8 bolts off, and the rods come out cleanly, so I know they aren't sticking. The rockers and valve springs can stay in place, right? I don't know how much they weigh, but I pulled a muscle in my left arm, and it is possible that I am not strong enough to pick it up.


-justin
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Old 11-20-2004, 02:11 PM   #6
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This is not good.. not good at all.

I can't get the heads off, there is something holding them on, right by the lower radiator hose. I can't get the hose off [thanks *** hole who never changed it], I tried cutting it, but to no avail. I got the heads off, just enough to see a HUGE, puddle of coolant sitting in my piston at BDC. I need to get the heads off today! RIght now! I can't get a vacuum cleaner in there, since I don't have enough space, and I am just freaking out right now. Somebody please help me! My FSM and Haynes manuals have no documentation of this thing, so I have no clue how to get it off [it'* not a bolt].


-justin
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Old 11-20-2004, 03:31 PM   #7
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I have no clue what brackets you are talking about..

These pics absolutly suck, my camera decided today it isn't going to work all that well, so I hope you can make the pics out.

Here is a pic of where it is located in broad view


Here is a very crappy pic of more exact location.. the thing that is holding it up, is right by the horizontal cut in the Lower Radiator Hose.


Here is the best shot I could get of the crap sitting in the cylinder.. call it what you want, but that was my coolant.



-justin
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Old 11-20-2004, 04:13 PM   #8
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After some more searching, I found the bracket holding it on. It only says this in the Haynes, and only under "Engines" versus the "Engine Overhaul" catagory, because of course people that want to learn what an engine looks like without valve covers need to know that there is a bracket holding the front cylinder head on by the A/C compressor.

Guess it'* time for me to run off to Sears to pick up a Torx tool set.

EDIT: What kind of rotary tool attatchment should I pick up to do the porting? Any brand recommendations? I just have a generic rotary tool, if it matters.


-justin
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Old 11-20-2004, 05:37 PM   #9
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just my 2 cents if youa planning on doing the heads yourslelf personally i wouldnt because of how you need everthing installed right and make sure that the vavles a lapped in and so on and so forth or else many problems can occur such a vavls no seating right and the guides not being installed rightand then you will get blow by i strongly suggest getting them machined many others will also agree
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Old 11-20-2004, 11:25 PM   #10
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Well, if that happens.. it happens. I'm going to take my chances, because I can't afford a machine shop.. and I want to learn.

A little update. I got the heads off, cleaned up the spilled coolant, and poured in some 5w30 oil, and smeared it all around to prevent any left over coolant from becomming a problem. I also noticed that the center cylinder is filled with hard carbon, while the other two are much cleaner.. what'* up with that? Can I get the hard carbon off by any chance? Or at least minimize it?


-justin
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