Steps to Repair a Cracked Cylinder Head

Materials: Ratchet and socket set, valve spring compressor, and needle-nose pliers. You will also need cleaning materials such as solvent, wire brush, and gasket scraper. Have new oil and coolant with you, too.

Warning: To avoid shock, always remember to start by disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery.

Step 1: Draining the oil and coolant

Drain coolant by opening the radiator drain cap and oil by removing the plug on the oil pan.

Step 2: Removing the Cylinder Head Parts

Use a valve compressor, pliers, and ratchet and socket to disassemble the different components in this sequence: intake and exhaust manifolds, timing belt, and rocker arm or arms.

Remove also the valves, valve keepers, valve springs, seals, rocker, and other parts. Place each part in a labelled container. It will make assembly easy.

Step 3: Removing the Cylinder Head

Using the manufacturer's recommended sequence, untighten and remove the head's mounting bolts. Take the head off the engine block.

Step 4: Cleaning the Cylinder Head

The head will be covered by sludge or material build up, such as carbon. Remove the deposits from both outside and inside. Clean the oil and coolant passageways, too, using the materials mentioned at the beginning.

Step 5: Examining the Cylinder Head

Once clean, the cylinder head is now ready to be inspected. Check it for cracks and pits. Fix openings with a sealant such as epoxy. There is no difference between aluminium cylinder head repair epoxy and the one used to on iron heads.

Using a micrometre, measure the camshaft to see if the dimensions are correct (within the specifications of the manufacturer). You can consult the car manual for the specs. Do not forget to inspect the camshaft for signs of wear.

Step 6: Inspecting Cylinder Head parts

Check the valve guides, rocker arms, studs, and other components for excessive wear. Replace damaged parts.

Step 7: Assembling the Cylinder Head

After ensuring the head is clean and every part in good condition, it is now time to assemble the parts. Use the same disassembly procedure to place the components back. The valves and other parts must be in their correct position, or the cylinder head will not work as required.

Step 8: Re-installing the Cylinder Head

After assembling the parts, it is now time to mount the cylinder head back on the engine block. Follow the steps to remove the head, ensuring to mount every component correctly. Do not forget to put new oil in the oil pan and new coolant.

A word of caution here: Some components may be confusing, and you may not be sure about their location during assembly. If in doubt, it is advisable to seek cylinder head repair service from your mechanic.

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