Head Gasket Replacement: Phase 1: Disassembly & Head Removal

Please note that my comments will always refer to the photo above them.

Engine bay

Here's where I start. This is the back of the engine bay, intake side. The two cross-bars mount in the center by the firewall and go out to the fenders. Clipped onto the bars are metal vacuum lines.

Cross bar cente

Another shot of the bars and the vacuum line clipped in place.

Cross bar - exhaust side

This is the cross bar as connects to the left-side (exhaust side) fender. You can see where a rubber hose connects to the metal vacuum line. Also visible are the break vacuum pump (far left), the brake master cylinder reservoir (center), and the radiator fluid reservoir (right).

Cross bar - intake

This is where the cross bar attaches to the right-side (intake side) fender. I've already removed the air cleaner and stuffed a rag into the MAF unit to keep bugs out.

Air Pump - sideAir Pump - RearAir Pump - out

Three shots of the air pump—two hooked up, and one removed and on my garage floor.

Exh Head Shield

The exhaust manifold heat shield in place.Exhaust Heat ShieldThe heat sheld removed.

Exhaust Manifold - frontThere are two exhaust manifolds. This one is toward the front of the engine.

Exhaust Manifold - rearThis one is toward the rear (firewall) of the engine. You can't really see it from here but the crankcase oil dipstick (yellow handle) tube is held in place by a bolt that goes into the manfold.

Removing the manifolds was a pain in the ass. There are eight bolts holding each of them in place.The four in the corners and the top two in the middle were relatively easy to reach and remove. In fact I thought they were they way too loose. The two on the bottom, on the other hand, were torqued down by a gorilla, and I was very worried that I was going to round off the bolt corners before I managed to get them off.

I couldn't really reach the rear manifold because the front was in the way. The front was obstructed largely by the air-conditioning compressor (not shown). Eventually, after much screwing around trying to move the a/c compressor out the way (and failing), and with various lengths and types of end wrenches and a lot of DW-40, I finally got the two bolts out of the front. A couple knocks with a hammer and a stub of 2x4 broke the manifold off the gasket, and it came off. Once the front manifold was off, it was relatively easy to reach the underside rear manifold bolts and get them off.

Engine block - manifolds gone

Continued next page.

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