|To make a tool for securing the grooved ends of the camshafts, I decided to use just a simple piece of wood (1" x 4") as a bracket and two pieces of the steel stock (1/8" x 1.25") to fit into the camshaft grooves. I cut a piece of 1x4 to about as long as the width of the head (red outline). I then put the bolts back in the end of each camshaft (yellow circle) and left them protruding to the edge of the head so they would touch the wooden 1x4 in the next step. I then dabbed just enough engine grime on the heads of each of the bolts so that when I held the 1x4 parellel with the head (red outline) and pressed it against the bolt heads, I was left with an impression of the outline of each bolt head on my piece of wood. The blue circles show where the bolts to secure this will go.|
|I then held the 1x4 in place, with the steel stock inserted into the camshaft grooves on either side, and traced onto the 1x4 the outline of the cam position sensor housing and the outline of the distributor housing. Then I made another tracing of both of them on paper, punched the bolt holes into the paper with the tip of the pen, applied it to the tracing on the 1x4, and determined exactly where I needed to drill two holes so that the piece of wood could be secured with a distributor housing bolt and a cam position sensor bolt (T40).|
|Next, I the inserted the bolts and secured the 1x4 bracket onto the engine with them and with the steel stock firmly inserted into the camshaft grooves. I did have to drill a hole large enough for the head of the T40 bolt to be countersunk, due to the short length of it.|
|The timing belt ends of the camshafts are much easier to anchor. Reattach (on the timing belt end) two of the T30 bolts that secured the black cover to the top of the engine. Wrap one end of a wire coat hanger around one of the bolts, pull and tightly wrap it around both ends of the camshafts, then pull it tightly around the other bolt and secure it as shown. You are now ready to start removal of the head.
Remove the 40 bolts securing the top cylinder head to the bottom cylinder head (10mm). There are 24 of these along the center of the engine surrounding the cylinders, and 8 along the front and back of the engine. These should be removed starting with the outer edges and working inward in a criss-cross pattern.
|There are parting lugs (yellow circle) at every location where there is a dowel (red circle). There are 5 of these, 2 in front and 3 in back. I took two regular screwdrivers, laid the blade of one flat on the bottom lug, placed the other screwdriver blade on top of the first and pryed upward against the bottom one. This touches none of the "sealing surfaces." Once the gap between got bigger, I could fit the male end of a 3/8" extension on top of the screwdriver blade and do the same. Using this method, you can break the top cylinder head free from the bottom one without having to hammer anything or mar any of the "sealing surfaces."|
|Once the top cylinder head is completely broken free from the bottom one, carefully lift it off (making sure the camshafts stay secured to the top portion) and sit it upside down somewhere so as not to scratch or damage the camshaft lobes. The anchoring tools on each end can now be removed, the camshafts can be removed (keep them from being damaged), the oil seals can be removed (and discarded), and all of these disassembled components can be cleaned. Take care not to scratch the smooth sealing surfaces, keeping in mind that aluminum can be damaged by anything made of a harder metal (such as razor blades, putty knives, scrapers). I used degreaser, gasket remover spray (very strong stuff), and pieces of old credit cards that I cut to fit whatever location I was scraping off. The plastic would abrade and wear down before any damage to the aluminum head could occur, since the aluminum is harder.|
|Your remaining lower cylinder head should look something like this. I sopped up all of the motor oil I could with the blue paper (shop) towels that I like to use. I did this in order to try and prevent having a big mess when I removed the head bolts and the lower head portion.|
|The old head gasket has been removed in this picture. Notice how it is a little clean around the edges of the piston on cylinder 5. This indicates there was definitely a head gasket leak that was allowing coolant into the combustion chamber, which then turned into steam which cleaned some of the carbon off.
You can now take your head to a machine shop and have them check it for warpage, vacuum test the valves to see if you need a valve job (mine did), put new valve stem seals in, and plane it or resurface it if needed. The lower portion of the head is all they should need (or needed of mine). There was a 2 day turnaround at the shop I took mine to, so that gave me some time to do other things like cleaning the upper head portion, the PCV system, the engine block, the intake manifold, the camshafts, the cam pulleys, prepping the intake components with new gaskets, replacing all the O-rings and seats on the fuel injectors, replacing the water pump, and just about anything else I could think of to clean and prepare for reassembly.
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