Cylinder Head Swap
March 19, 2017


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Now that the Triple ZS Carbs and the Ratco linkage are all done, it was time
to correct an oil leak at the back of the cylinder head and to have a look inside
the engine to see what's  going on and what's wearing.  Luckily, some worn
valve guides and a good used head to start with helped speed this along.

**** Viewers are warned that if they attempt any mechanical repairs or modifications,
or follow procedures referred to here, they do so at their own risk, and no liability will
attach to either myself or Her Majesty's Service, Inc.****

This is what we started with.  I bought it from a seller on eBay.

The head was cleaned and all freeze plugs were removed.  It was
also resurfaced, but was not at the 10.0 to 1 compression, which was
fine with me.  I gambled, hoping that it wasn't and won the bet.

All in all, it was in pretty good shape for starting out.

The core plugs were all removed and it was cooked out well.

This shows the head after getting it back from the machine shop and
getting it ready for paint prior to installation.

The shop insisted on coating the head with a protector to prevent rust.
this type of coating makes for a great primer for the finish coats.

I had new valve guides, springs, stainless steel exhaust valves and
hardened seats installed.  There was an additional .080" removed.

I opted to have the combustion chambers CC'd to verify the actual
compression and it was only 8.0 to 1, so I had plenty of metal left
to work with to get it where I wanted it to be, which was 9.0 to 1.

Before swapping the head, I ran a compression test on each cylinder
to insure that there would be no compression or ring wear issues.  All
of the readings were at 150lbs. across the board, so I had a good start.

The plugs were all good, actually a little lean, but more to follow on that later.

I wanted to do one last check, from the old days, to conform my
suspicion about the valve guides and it was correct.  The vacuum
gauge fluctuation is a sure sign of worn guides (if other things are OK).

So, everything looks good, let's get this ready to be installed.  First,
we need to make it look good. 

After masking, I used Dupli-Color High Heat Ceramic spray applied in
three even coats within one hour and allowed to dry at 75 degrees for
a minimum of five days.  It's extremely durable after that.

This is what I had after drying and before rethreading every bolt or stud hole.

I used taps to re-thread every bolt or stud hole n the head, before
installing the new studs.  I also used Never Seize on each stud and
bolt, including the spark plugs.

I got all new studs and matching nuts and washers from TRF.

I used the head stud kit from ARP for the replacement of the originals.
Grade 8 studs and nuts with special lube and torquing requirements.

Lastly, the completely reconditioned rocker shaft assembly from TRF.
They did a great job on this.  It's brand new, with a hardened shaft.

Next, to the shop for teardown.  Erik at Her Majesty's Service did the
work as usual.  I'm glad that the car was there after what comes up
in the next few pictures.  This was not the average five hour swap.

So far, so good.  Looks easy up to now except for that rust around
the number three stud near the intake manifold.

Here's a closer look at the rusted stud.  This is going to be a problem.

No matter how much soaking with rust penetrator we tried, that corrosion
between the head and the stud would not break loose, so out came
the torches and the heat.  Note that we had rope in the cylinders as well.

Well, when all else fails, use leverage.  This took another hour of wrangling
with the weight of the entire front end pulling down to get it apart.

Finally off and you can see the three to four inches of rust that was
between the stud and the head causing it to rust together.  There is a
water jacket in that area and I've never had rusty looking coolant.

Cleanup time begins and this is tedious, but very important to do correctly.
Clean and tap all threads prior to doing the block cleanup as a lot of
junk will come out of there.  We re-cleaned the threads after the
block cleanup as well to insure that everything was spotless inside.

Getting closer, but the threads need another cleaning and so does my paint!!

That's getting better.  I still have a nice cross hatch in the cylinder bore
after 55,000 miles.  I guess that changing oil a lot does help.

Time to install the ARP Studs.  You must use their supplied lube.
These parts are all coated with black oxide.  The best that you can buy.

All set and ready for the Payem head gasket.  Another expensive, but
top of the line part.  Who wants to do this twice because of a cheap gasket?

The Payem head gasket in place.  Nice sealing rings on cylinders and
on the oil passages at the end of the block.

This is a critical sealing area, well know for the infamous "Oil leak at
rear of TR6 head" debate.

There is one hole on each end of the head for oil into the rocker arm
shaft supports.  It's very important that this is clean and never blocked.

Now that the head is in place, the ARP lube goes on the top of the studs.

It's also a great lube for the rocker arms for the initial start-up.

Time to set the lash and Erik hit it right on the money.  Quiet as can be
after start up and getting it hot.  This will be reset after the head retorquing
in the next 500-600 miles.

I got the top & left side ready while Erik played with the three manifolds.
These always require some tweaking to keep the carb shafts aligned, but
we learned from the installation and it went quickly, this time.

Erik sets the curb idle and we're ready for a road test on a nice sunny day.

After a very quick trip up and down RT195, there are no leaks, so it's
clean up time and the finished product below.

All ready for the next 50,000 miles, but with the carbs, ignition
headers and higher compression, the ride will be a lot more fun.

Next project will be the NGK Air Fuel Ratio Meter installation.

40 Industrial Road
Cranston  RI 02920 
(401) 352-0888 2017

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This site was last updated 03/19/17