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Old 10-04-2019, 11:26 AM   #1
thom
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Default cracked cyl head

This morning I found that the head on our '28 coupe is cracked. A friend has some spares so I can get one from him and I have already ordered a new gasket. It will be a few days before I can get the head resurfaced though.
I noticed a strange noise which was pressure escaping through the crack, I suppose.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:01 PM   #2
Jeff P. / MN
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

Wonder if that is my problem also......started this morning. It has the sweet smell of antifreeze.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

unfortunately looks and smells like it. The good thing is that it is a relatively easy fix.
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

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Originally Posted by Jeff P. / MN View Post
Wonder if that is my problem also......started this morning. It has the sweet smell of antifreeze.
nah,a little smoke is ok ..it might just be a gasket..
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Old 10-04-2019, 12:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

I now have the distributor out, the upper hose and outlet off, the belt off, and all the head nuts off. I do not have the lifting tools that screw into spark plug holes so I'm struggling trying to get the head off. I have tried turning the engine with the starter, with the plugs still in, hoping the compression would help break the seal, but no luck so far.
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:01 PM   #6
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

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I now have the distributor out, the upper hose and outlet off, the belt off, and all the head nuts off. I do not have the lifting tools that screw into spark plug holes so I'm struggling trying to get the head off. I have tried turning the engine with the starter, with the plugs still in, hoping the compression would help break the seal, but no luck so far.
Have you tried soaking the studs with Kroil or ATF?
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

Why not put the distributor back in and crank it up . If it starts it will break the head loose instantly . If you didn't move the distributor cam it will still be in time . The intermediate shaft has an of set slot and will only reconnect one way . If uou have some old spark plugs , you can make a pair of the lifting tools by welding on some eye bolts that can be got at the local hardware store . I made mine that way .
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:20 PM   #8
Jeff P. / MN
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

“Why not put the distributor back in and crank it up . If it starts it will break the head loose instantly.”

That is what I did the last time I needed to remove a stuck cylinder head on my Model T. I may have to do that again on my A.....tomorrow.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

I have tried turning the engine with the starter after I removed the distributor but I could put the distributor back in and put it back in time if that's what it takes.
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:37 AM   #10
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

As Purdy said, it should not be out of time as long as you didn't move the dizzy cam. Jack
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:00 AM   #11
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

This technique works well to get the head loose enough to get it off. Place the lumber on top of the timing gear cover, and drive the wedge in under the water pump.


By the way, the first thing that should be done for a suspicion of a crack effecting engine performance or a leaking cylinder head gasket is a COMPRESSION TEST.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:17 AM   #12
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

It is tempting to use putty knives and screw drivers to help in lifting heads off. Using screw drivers or similar can and often will damage the edge of your block. Resist the temptation to do that. Putty knives can help in breaking the seal but remember you have valves in there and if you drive putty knives in to deep you can damage/bend them.
If the head only wants to come up a short distance once you get it broken free don't hesitate to drive it back down and start the lift again. Going back and forth and keeping it level when going up will go a long ways in getting it off.
Sometimes it is worth the expense and the wait to get one of the head pullers from a vendor.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:27 AM   #13
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

I used a scissor jack to persuade the front of the head to move up a bit, gently.
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:28 AM   #14
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

Depending on how long your head has been on the engine, it might be easiest to pull all the studs.
Test a stud, and see what difficulty you have pulling it. I recently put a 6.1 head on my truck. It took me 15 minutes to get the head off by pulling all the studs out first. MAC tools makes a great stud puller. All but one came out without any thread damage.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

I finally got my phone to send a pic of the cracked head to my PC so I could post it here.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:57 PM   #16
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

have you thought about a high comp head? A used head should be surfaced by a machine shop. or honed. But that takes some knowledge and skill and enough effort to activate some tennis elbow.
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Old 10-05-2019, 03:41 PM   #17
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

I tried starting the engine but it wouldn't start. I guess it blew the gasket when the head cracked? There is no sign of coolant in the oil or on the plugs, that my eyes can see. I have broken the seal enough that I can feel & hear compression leaking out of the driver's side. I have the replacement head and have cleaned it, and have a new Fel-Pro gasket. I sprayed Deep-Creep penetrant around the studs. Someone suggested a scissor Jack between the timing cover and the water pump. I might try that next.

Last edited by thom; 10-05-2019 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

Be careful not to bend the head studs .
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:52 PM   #19
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

I got the head loose and raised up enough almost high enough to clear the studs, but can't lift it any higher by myself. I have some help coming in the morning.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:03 PM   #20
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Default Re: cracked cyl head

We got the head off and I've done some cleaning on the engine, not through yet though.
So far everything looks good to my eyes. I have sent the replacement head to be resurfaced and probably won't have it back until Wednesday or Thursday. I found that the engine has been bored .080 when rebuilt.
I can feel no "slop" in the pistons or in the valves, and see no cracks anywhere, looking closely between the valves. The open valves and seats look good. What else can I check while the head is off?
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File Type: jpg 20191007_143043.jpg (31.8 KB, 81 views)

Last edited by thom; 10-07-2019 at 02:08 PM.
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