Skip to main content

Reply to "In-car head removal"

Originally posted by C. Engles:
Dear Robbie,

I suppose it could be done with two or three guys. I would not attempt it alone.

I have done it a handful of times and use the common cherry picker lift. Remember the limited "headroom" over the head. Apply a short length of chain to the head. Remove all the bolts except two--one fore and aft. Loosen those two notably. Connect the lift arm to the short chain. Mind the "headroom". Proceed to gently jack the arm up. It will lift the head off. The still-attached-loose head bolts with prevent any excessive upward movement.

Once loose, drop the arm and head carefully back down. Remove the two loose bolts and then jack the head up. Once clear, pull the lift and cylinder head out of the engine bay. No strain on the back except kneeling in the engine bay for the wrench work. No strain on the neck nor shoulders. No twisting of the old back. Much reduced likelihood of inadvertent damage and injury.

Warmest regards, Chuck Engles

Yes the cherry picker lift is certainly a good idea! Of course going back with aluminum heads is so much easier. When I switched over to aluminum heads on my last engine, I had my wife hand them to me one at a time and I took it from there.