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Old 04-17-2013, 05:14 PM   #1
Alex Dragone
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Default Need Help...Head is stuck

Does anyone have any good ideas on how to pull a stuck head off of the block? I am trying to change my head gasket/head and the old head is really on there. I have been soaking around the studs with PB blaster for the past few days and its still on there pretty good. If anyone has any ideas I would really appreciate to hear them. Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:30 PM   #2
1931 flamingo
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

Did you try turning the engine over with the starter after the head nuts have been loosened and the plug wires off??
"Gord by the Bay" (posts here) makes a puller that others swear by.
You could also try a search (black bar top of the page). There is also a way to stuff rope into the cyl thru plug hole and HAND crank, but I believe there are bad side effects to this method.
Paul in CT
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Old 04-17-2013, 05:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

As 1931 Flamingo suggested . Do a search this subject has been addressed many times . Do not suggest the rope approach , could bend a rod . Vendors sell a device you can use to help on head removal .
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

I have used the rope method many times (once today, even) to loosen stuck heads. In 52 years I have never damaged a rod, or anything else. I think the "rope bending a rod" is a myth; if someone has actually had this happen, I'd like to hear about it. Until then I'll remain skeptical, and continue to use a rope.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:05 PM   #5
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

Alex, mine was stuck/seized awful, soaked, drilled studs, etc, no luck.
Bought a cheap oriental meat cleaver 1/8" thick at the top & tapered gradually to a thin knifelike edge. Sliced it into 4 wedges with a cut off tool. Being careful NOT to hit a valve, drove them into the head gasket packing at all 4 corners of the head. After alternately driving them all the way in, doubled them up in opposing corners & drove them in again. Worked slick & NOT even a scratch on the head or block. These slightly tapered wedges applys TREMENDOUS PRESSURE!
My 2 long front studs & 2 rear studs were totally rusted to the head, almost as if they were welded together.
On my other car, one stud was a bitch, it was corroded & stuck, but not rust colored, but a charcoal grey color as if something strange seized it, electrolisis???? or ??? Color was sort of blueish almost like it was welded. Couldn't double nut it, so I drilled a 1/8" hole through the nut & stud, ground the shank end from a 1/8" drill bit & used it to pin the nut to the stud and with a 6 point socket, screwed the stud out. As it screwed out, the whole head lifted! Once the head was off, removed the pin & drove that stud back & forth several times before being able to drive it out with a punch. What caused that is a mystery & it was only ONE stud that did that!!! And it was NOT the cable clamp stud but one near it on the R/H side. Bill W.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

If the engine is still in the car and it runs, then loosen the head bolts nuts, drain the radiator, remove the fan belt, and start the engine. When the head lifts the engine will shutdown. See Les Andrew's book page 1-80.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:44 PM   #7
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

When all else failed, always had luck with the following:

1. Sharpen the end of a table knife on an emery wheel.
2. Start on the center side of the head, (on the driver's side), by placing the sharpened end of the knife in the "center" of the thickness of the head gasket & tap with a hammer driving the knife "inwards" about 1/2".
3. Repeat step 2. on right & left of the first center gasket indentation until the entire gasket is indented on the driver's side.
4. Repeat step 2. method on front of engine "and" on passenger's side of engine.
5. Make several hardwood wedges with oak, hard maple, or other very hard wood, about 5" long x 1" wide, tapering from about 3/4" thick down to 1/16" thick.
6. Insert sharp edges of wood wedges in recesses in head gasket joint created with knife, on the perimeter of the head, similar to that of step 2., 3., & 4. & again tap wood wedges in with a hammer.
7. As head begins to move upwards, even a very "tiny" bit, be extremely careful to maintain the head joint "parallel" to the top of block joint to avoid wedging the head bolt holes on the studs.
8. Lubricate head stud holes as head moves upwards.
9. If steel wedges, chisels, sharpened screw drivers are used "temporarily"at any point, extreme care should be taken so as not to damage the cast iron head or block.

Last edited by H. L. Chauvin; 04-17-2013 at 08:46 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:52 PM   #8
BILL WILLIAMSON
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

Yes, H.L, the block is very fragile at the outer edges, I know of a good Ron Kelley engine that was ruined when the owner "PRIED" a big chunk out of the side of the block when trying to get the head off. Bill W.
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:16 PM   #9
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

see #6, works every time. engine will only run for a half-sec before lifting head slightly. Once that happens all compression is lost and engine will stall. Done.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

I was a about two weeks getting the head off our Model A. I drained the water, turned the engine, no luck, soak the stud nuts with kronoil, kept working the head at the corners only. Then I took some old spark plugs and made two lifting eyes for #1 and #4 plug holes, hooded the hydraulic hoist to the lifting eyes and put a strain on the head while working at the corners of the head, (never pry on the side of the head) finally she started coming off the block, had to work with the hoist to keep the head even on the studs. Had the head resurfaced and replaced the studs with chrome moly, some the old studs were stretched just below the nut, watch for this.

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Old 04-19-2013, 11:37 PM   #11
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

see #6 works every time...
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbirdtbird View Post
see #6 works every time...
I tried it twice and it didn't work either time. After loosening the nuts the engine didn't have enough compression to start, but the head was sure stuck on the studs. I had to use the thin wedges to get the head off, even when using a head puller.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:05 AM   #13
H. L. Chauvin
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

Humble opinion:

1. #12 works every time -- as per *7 -- after "all" else failed.

2. Although a tiny air gap can be created on either the upper or lower side of the head gasket when the engine rotates with plugs installed, (w/combustion or no combustion), many times the rough, rusted studs in the head's rough, rusted bolt holes create most of the subsequent very difficult friction problem for head removal, "especially" after the head has remained on the engine for a longer period of time.

3. When re-installing a head, it is "always" a good idea to first use a tap to first clean the engine block bolt threads, followed by applying something like "Permatex" aluminized Anti-Seize on the threads in the block & on the threads on the "new" head bolts & screw them in by hand. (Re-using cheap, stretched weak head bolts & nuts is about as wise as re-using, ragged broken shoe strings to go to a tuxedo banquet, & can cause unwanted temporary loss of all religious thoughts -- removing one (1) broken Model A head bolt only once is really enough for a lifetime).

4. Next, remove the new bolts, apply Anti-seize to both bolt & block threads again, then install bolts a second time to insure all threads are "well" coated with this anti-seize compound. (Anti-seize on head nut threads is optiional, (even in high humidity areas), if one liberally provides Anti-seize on head bolts).

5. One could be hard headed & try petroleum grease products like in the old days; but after a very long period of time, the volatiles in the grease evaporate with heat, then a thick, caked black substance is left behind which absorbs moisture, & allows rust to form in bolt threads & to form between head bolts & head bolt holes.

6. After a long period of time, after the grease breaks down with time, one finds through experience that the former use of grease as opposed to Anti-seize on head bolts are the reason so many people break head bolts in blocks when head bolts are removed; & after a long period of time, using grease on studs & bolt holes also causes one to use wedges for future head removal.

7. After hand tightening bolts, liberally apply Anti-seize to "all" of the out-side of all head bolts; and, with a Q-tip, liberally apply Anti-seize to "all" bolt holes in the head including the hole in the head for the distributior.

8. The guy who later removes a head protected like this, & the guy who removes the head bolts, & the guy who removes the distributor protected like this will appreciate all of the extra effort; however, with a Model A, the guy who applied the Anti-seize is many times the same guy who will appreciate his own efforts!

9. Above written only to help someone with future, "often" difficult Model A removal of head bolts, heads, & distributors -- minor coolant leaks & high humidity makes head & distributor removal matters worse in a shorter period of time.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:36 AM   #14
Gord. B by the bay
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

Time to try "GORD'S EASY Head Puller 100% history of removing Heads.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:48 AM   #15
glenn in camino
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

I just removed a head that had been on for 30 years by removing the nuts and soaking the studs with Kroil for a couple of days.
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:07 AM   #16
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

I tried #6, but the motor started & ran normally! I knew I was in for it then.....Using the spark-plug hole eyebolts, I lifted the front end of the car off the garage floor for two days, while using PB Blaster & stud impacts. No dice. Finally bought a puller, which did the job....barely. Bent one of the puller studs when the rear of the head refused to budge. I now have the 6:1 head on & all is well. Good luck....
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gord. B by the bay View Post
Time to try "GORD'S EASY Head Puller 100% history of removing Heads.
Gord, B by the Bay
Hi Gord,
I sent you an email yesterday about this. Please check and get back to me when you can!

Thanks.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

I had the same problem and after trying prying and hoisting it up with engine bolts in two of the spark plug holes (lifted the whole car and the head was still stuck) I finally ended up purchasing a head pulling tool from Brattons. It cost me less than $100. and has come in very handy for various members of the Model A club I belong to. See if you can borrow one before you buy one.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:18 PM   #19
Gord. B by the bay
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

Hi Ray I sent you a message you should havew it I will check and redo Sorry Gord. B by the Bay
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:50 PM   #20
Gord. B by the bay
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Default Re: Need Help...Head is stuck

Ray let me know if you received message on the puller Many Thanks Gord. B byh the bay
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