How to Install an Aluminum Cylinder Head

What You'll Need
Aluminum cylinder head
3M scrubbing pad
Brake cleaning fluid
Cam gear locking tool/ Screwdriver
Socket and Torque Wrench

An aluminum cylinder head is a type of cylinder head, which forms a part of an automobile with an internal combustion engine. The cylinder head consists of a platform, part of the combustion chamber, poppet valves, and a spark plug. Cylinder heads can be changed to give the vehicle more power; however, it is not an easy task and may require a lot of laboring. Depending on the make of the car, there may be various engine accessories between the engine and the cylinder head. Here’s how you can install an aluminum cylinder head, but keep in mind that this job does require a certain amount of know-how and time.

Step 1 – Cleaning the Engine

Before you can install a new aluminum cylinder head, it is important to clean the internal parts. It may be more tedious to clean the parts when you are installing the aluminum cylinder head inside a car. Installing it in an engine on a stand is not that tedious. To install the cylinder head properly, it is required that the cylinder head mounting surface and the block surface be very clean. You may use a 3M scrubbing pad to clean off the dirt and the grime. It is best to use a dry pad as any water you use on the engine may mix with the oil. After you have scrubbed the grime off, take a rag and spray some brake cleaning fluid on it. Use this to wipe the surfaces clean.

Step 2 – Aligning the Cylinder Head

Different makes have different ways to align the cylinder head. Read the instructions carefully, and accordingly align the cam gear in such a way that the valves are in the correct position. Once the valves are properly aligned, you can use a cam gear locking tool to lock them in place. If you don’t own a cam gear locking tool, use a screwdriver and nuts and bolts instead. However, when installing, make sure that the gears do not move. If the gears are not kept in place, they can damage the valves and you will have to change them too before you can move on. Align the timing marks marked on the crankshaft with those on the block according the manual.

Step 3 – Installing the Cylinder

Place the head gasket of the new cylinder head on the block, right side up. To fix the gasket, use the Dowell pins on the engine block. These can help you make sure that the placement has been done correctly. Now set the cylinder head and again use the Dowell pins to make sure the placement is proper. Lubricate the head of the bolts and drop them in their places on the cylinder head. Using your hands, turn them around a few times and then use a socket and a torque wrench to tighten all of the bolts.