How to Rebuild a Cylinder Head How to Rebuild a Cylinder Head

What You'll Need
Socket and ratchet
Valve spring
Needle nose pliers
Wire brush
Straight edge feeler
New oil seals
Gasket scraper

A cylinder head is a detachable plate that is used to cover the closed end of a cylinder in an internal combustion engine. Replacing the cylinder head may take time, effort, concentration and organization. However, if done properly you will feel a sense of relief and pride for having done it by yourself.

Step 1 – Removing the Parts

Before you can totally rebuild a cylinder head, first you need to remove all the existing parts including the rocker arm, valve, valve keeper, oil seal, valve spring and the other valve assembly. To do this, you would need the ratchet and socket, the valve spring compressor and the needle-nose pliers.

When removing each part, make sure you place them in plastic bags that are properly labeled. This is to help you recognize each part as well as organize your parts while doing the job.

Step 2 – Cleaning the Cylinder Head

After you have taken out these parts, it is now time to clean the cylinder head. Clean the cylinder head from the old gasket material, the sludge, the carbon buildup, and any remaining deposits settled on the cylinder head. Make sure that you clean out any deposits on the head, coolant, and oil passages of the cylinder head. Use the solvent, gasket scraper, and a wire brush to clean the cylinder head.

If the deposits in the cylinder head are a little bit harder to scrape off or have hard buildup then it is best to bring the cylinder head to an auto shop to have it professionally cleaned.

Step 3 – Inspecting the Cylinder Head

Once you are done cleaning the cylinder head, take the time to inspect the cylinder head. Check the cylinder head for any cracks. Also, see if the valve seats have burns, cracks or pits.

It is also crucial to check for any wear and tear on the camshaft. Also, check to see if the camshaft is within the manufacturer's specifications by using a micrometer. The specifications of the camshaft should be in the vehicle service manual.

Step 4 – Checking for Damage

Checking for any damages in the cylinder head is the most crucial step when rebuilding it. By checking the cylinder head, you are able to determine if you require professionally assistance, if any serious damage to the cylinder head has been made as well as make the necessary repairs for them.

You do need to check the rocker arms, pushrods, valve guides, studs, and stems for any damages. In case too much damage has been made on these parts, it is advisable to bring them to an auto repair shop to have it repaired.

Step 5 – Assembling the Cylinder Head

After all the checking and inspecting you can now start rebuilding the cylinder head. Put back all of the Parts of the cylinder head the way you took them off. Use a new oil seal to assemble the cylinder head. It is important to note the location of each valve, otherwise the cylinder head will not work properly.

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