How difficult is it to remove/reinstall the stock heads while the engine is still in the car? Maybe I should have asked if it is even possible .. or do you have to be nuts or double jointed to try it? What is the consensus? Thanks.
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by MarauderMike:
It can be done. Suggest two people, one outside the car to take the head. Strong arms will help.


You are exactly correct. Those stock cast iron heads are heavy and having another set of strong arms on the outside of the car is a huge help!
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
All good suggestions above. One thing not mentioned is that it's a LOT easier if you remove the deck lid. Another tip is to line the engine bay with moving blankets (cheap and thick). I also made a platform for working in the engine bay which made doing the job alone a much easier prospect. It's really not that difficult a task but if you need to refinish the engine bay as well, pulling the engine does make THAT task a LOT easier!

Mark

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quote:
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.
I did this recently without a helper. It was easier to get the heads off than to put them back on. If I do this again I will try to use an engine crane to levitate the head over its final position. Otherwise you risk damaging your new head gaskets.

It is significantly easier to do this type of work on an engine stand. Doing it in the car was difficult and I was not fully prepared for the effort needed to reinstall the heads. The heads are heavy and awkward.
It looks like I am about to do this as well unless Seafoam sitting on my intake valves works a miracle in the next couple of days.

Intake valve on the #2 piston causes 80% leakdown on that cylinder. I am glad I did not try to start that. Kaboom!
Not a biggie we do 'em all the time. Remove deck lid first. One mechanic job, half day w/air tools. Once all is loose, lift it from the pegs, slide it upward to rest on the block/engine valley for a moment, lift and slide little at a time. Lay it into the padded t/axle area, get out, lift the head from the car. Set it on the bench & bust it down. Pay attention when replacing head gaskets, don't want to do the job twice. Shark
An iron 351C head weighs 62 lbs with the studs and rocker arms on. A typical aluminum 351-C head (same configuration)= 18 lbs. The part will dribble oil and water on you while pulling. I also know a good sports therapist specializing in pulled muscles if you try this alone.
quote:
Originally posted by PanteraDoug:
Yikes! Whimpy, whimpy, whimpy. The iron heads are only 60 pounds each. What are you guys all women?

Get a nice set of aluminum heads or is that not politically correct ladies?

Lets not get all dirty and greasy now? Ooo! Yucky!


Nothing wrong with aluminum heads as far as I am concerned. I can't complain about my switch to them or even sequential port fuel injection!
quote:
Originally posted by Robbie:
Since my manhood has been challenged .. no aluminum heads for me. Although if I knew of a quality source I might do an undercover investigation. Big Grin


CHI makes some fantastic aluminum heads for the Cleveland engine.
quote:
Originally posted by Perry H:
FWIW - I read the aluminum heads comment (and the wimpy one) as a good natured joke/ribbing.

Since you can’t see if someone was smirking when they typed it, best not to assume the worst in email or forums.


You're kinda new here. PanteraDoug is a VERY sensitive kind of guy. Wink

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