Friday, November 11, 2011

How to Easily Remove a Cylinder Head on an Auto With Frozen Bolts

If you are removing a cylinder head for repairs, you don't have to remove the nuts, and break-off the stud bolts or ruin the exhaust manifold. Don't even remove the retaining bolts holding the exhaust manifold(s) to the cylinder head or the bolts attaching the cross-over pipe to the exhaust pipe either.


  1. Use a hacksaw to cut the cross-over exhaustpipe on a V6 or V8. This is because the nuts going to the stud bolts in both areas are usually rusted and frozen and cannot be removed without breaking them off, and then extracting the broken stud.

  2. Make the saw-cut where it will be easily accessible. You will want to plan for clearance for inserting an exhaust splice-connector when doing reassembly.
  3. Remove the valve cover and the intake manifold and then unbolt the cylinder head.
  4. Lift both the cylinder head and the exhaust manifold off together. This is without having to remove the exhaust manifold from the cylinder head. So you have the portion of the cross-over pipe still attached -- all in one piece without any more cutting.
  5. Make your repairs and clean the head thoroughly.
  6. Clean engine block surfaces where the gaskets make contact. This is for a good seal where the head will be reinstalled.
  7. Lift and replace the cylinder head as a "unit" after getting your gasket positioned. Remember to plan for inserting the exhaust splice-connector when doing reassembly without ever removing the exhaust manifold or those frozen bolts between the cross-over pipe and exhaust pipe.
  8. Insert the exhaust splice-fitting (usually a 2" x 2" O.D. connector), and tighten down the 2 U-clamps either before or after the cylinder head is torqued down. It is easy to insert this piece and to make a tight fit.
  9. Use a ruler or Vernier calipers if necessary to confirm the size of the pipe, if you are not sure of the size, as necessary. The size may be different in some parts of the exhaust tubes.
  10. Avoid exhaust fumes in your car's cabin. Check into having it welded later at a muffler shop if it loosens after vibrating and bouncing around for a period of time. Some pipes are stainless steel and are difficult to weld.
  11. Listen for a leak as a pipping, snapping or a popping sound or a larger leak may be a "grrr, brrr" (growling) sound.



Things You'll Need

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