Unable to separate head from block due to head gasket sealer - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:40 AM
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Unable to separate head from block due to head gasket sealer

Does anyone know an easy way of separating an aluminum 4 cyl. head from the block. I tried prying it with a 3 ft bar to no avail. The asbestos gasket was installed with Permatex Gasket Sealer. (and i've triple checked all head bolts are removed).

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Old 02-01-2011, 11:48 AM
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should never pry on the head gasket mating surface itself.. stick the wooden handle of a hammer in 1 of the ports and jolt it up a couple times
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:50 AM
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if i were you, id try using a leak down tester!!!!
fill one of the end cylinders with air pressure, make sure the valves are closed. 100 psi @ least.

then try prying the head off again.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt167
should never pry on the head gasket mating surface itself.. stick the wooden handle of a hammer in 1 of the ports and jolt it up a couple times

espically on an aluminum head, i dont like using ports for leverage, i usually put a bolt in the accessory bolt holes.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:22 PM
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Gasket sealer should not over power a 3' bar. Double check for bolts. Sometimes they are hidden in the corner or between valves. If you check a torque sequence chart it should identify where all the bolts should be.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:35 PM
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It does sound like a bolt may still be in it.

Last resort- Put the plugs back in it and spin the engine over w/the starter. Thread some head bolts back in finger tight so the head doesn't pop off.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:01 PM
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Pay close attention for any other bolts. Some engines have bolts on the ends that are not head bolts, but are there to help seal oil, or water passages. Very common on ohc engines.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:07 PM
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In old Triumph/Austin manuals, they recommended loosening all the head bolts a few turns, then turning the key in order to pop the head loose with combustion pressure. I saw my Dad do this a few times.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h0trod389
if i were you, id try using a leak down tester!!!!
fill one of the end cylinders with air pressure, make sure the valves are closed. 100 psi @ least.

then try prying the head off again.
Never thought of that, that's a good one! I've had a few heads be complete boogers. Usually because the tractor or motor I'm working on hasn't moved in 40 + years.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:10 PM
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What is the head on ? what kind of engine?
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ_1080
Never thought of that, that's a good one! I've had a few heads be complete boogers. Usually because the tractor or motor I'm working on hasn't moved in 40 + years.
If you do that make sure you do as somebody else mentioned and loosely screw in a couple head bolts. You don't want the head popping free in an uncontrolled fashion. It would probably also be best to make sure the cylinder you pressurize is at BDC.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:25 PM
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I was able to get mine off an old Pontiac 6 by cranking it over. The valves were closed, but the pressure had equalized in the three cylinders in the down position and the rising pressure lifted it right off. I might have someone holding the head in case it decides to pop off the pins.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ_1080
Never thought of that, that's a good one! I've had a few heads be complete boogers. Usually because the tractor or motor I'm working on hasn't moved in 40 + years.

when i was a wee lad, i remember my pops doing this on his ford I-6's talked to him today and asked what he used, turns out he defiled a sparkplug, tapped a hose fitting into it and hooked the air up that way, he says he still has it and he said he would give it to me, dont really need it, but it would be a nice convo piece.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:20 AM
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I've used the cranking engine (with plugs in the head!) often, but if this is an overhead cam engine it should not be done. It only works with engines that have the cam located in the block.
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Old 02-02-2011, 09:18 AM
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How about a cast iron flathead with studs instead of bolts, my Rambler was a challenge!

I bolted a chain to the intake studs and used the cherry picker.

Brian
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