How to Install a Diesel Cylinder Head

  • 4-6 hours
  • Advanced
  • 250-400
What You'll Need
Cylinder head
Gaskets
Pushrods
Bolts
Wooden/plastic scraper
Screwdrivers
Gasket

A diesel cylinder head has multiple functions. Importantly, it serves as the top seal for the engine cylinder. It also contains the cylinder intake and exhaust valves that manage engine breathing. Here’s how you can install the cylinder head.

Step 1 – Getting Started

First, clean the cylinder head and the gasket surface of the cylinder block. Also remove any kind of oil or dust particles that can be clogging the threads of the head bolts or the bolt holes with the help of a thread chaser. Use a solvent to remove those old deposits using a plastic or wooden scraper.

Step 2 – Install the Gasket

Check the gasket surface of cylinder head and the block for any warpage. Next, place the new gasket on the block and install the head assembly. Make sure that you do not rub or slide the cylinder head across the block, as there are locating pins on the blocks. Ensure that a new gasket is used that has not been compressed previously by using tightening bolts, as a cylinder head gasket gives a strong seal only once. Make sure that the new gasket matches the one it replaces. Now, install the pushrods and the rocker assembly. Then position the crankshaft to the TDC marking.

Step 3 – Tightening the Bolts

Make sure that the cylinder head is placed in proper alignment with the cylinder block. Tighten the cylinder head bolts by following the proper torque sequence. It should be noted that while tightening the bolts an initial torque and a final torque should be applied.

Step 4 – Install the Camshafts

Using a new gasket, install a new intake manifold and tighten the retainers accordingly. Now, place the camshafts on the cylinder head blocks and align the bearing caps over it. Tighten the bearing caps bolt in stages applying torque from center onwards.

Next, with a driving tool, carefully place the new oil seals into position. Install the No. 4 timing cover and the timing pulleys onto the camshaft. Make sure that the matchmakers and pins are in alignment. Rotate the engine till the matchmakers align.

Step 5 – Connecting the Wiring

Connect the coolant hoses from the outlet on the front of the cylinder head and from the heater outlet on the left end of the cylinder head. Also connect the wires joining the temperature and pressure sending units. Tighten the alternator mounting bolts and install the upper alternator bolts. Install the exhaust manifold. Connect the exhaust bracket from the exhaust pipe and the wire from glow plug bus. Also connect the accelerator cable and fuel injection pipes.

Finally, connect the negative terminal of the battery and the ground strap from the cylinder head or the intake manifold. If you are not sure about the connections, most user manuals come with the wring diagrams. Install the engine undercover.

Step 6 – Final Checks

Once again go through the entire setup and recheck if all the components are tightly held. Refill the cooling system and run the engine till it reaches the optimum operating temperature.