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Old 02-16-2020, 12:01 PM   #1
nealt
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Default Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

This is just a high level post to see how much trouble I'm going to get into... on a 97 SC2 DOHC.

I'm planning on replacing my cylinder head with a rebuilt one from J&C Enterprises... with engine in the car. And since it's all apart, I will be doing the timing chain at the same time.

Does anyone have any experience with the quality of J&C Enterprises rebuild heads for $309?


One of my main concerns are un-anticipated road blocks, or missing a very useful tip that would make the process go much easier.


For instance a tip would be to leave intake/exhaust manifolds on the head, and remove them once the head is off the engine. Or a tip is to jack up the engine higher to get better access to the timing system from above?


One thing I am worried about are the rusted bolts/studs. The exhaust pipe bolts to the manifold are rusted. The exhaust studs to the head are pretty rusty as well. I suppose several heat/cool cycles would be the best prep work to get those loose?

I'm assuming I would need to replace all the gaskets (head, valve cover, intake, exhaust, exhaust pipe flange), head bolts, timing chain kit, new exhaust studs and bolts. Did I miss anything?

Also, since this is a complete rebuilt head with all new valves, I don't think I need any specialized tools for this procedure. Is that correct? For instance, do I really need a crankshaft sprocket retainer tool? Even if the crank rotates, won't I easily be able to still see the key and know the orientation of the crank?


I would appreciate any valuable "lessons learned" from folks who have done this before.


I found a nice link at auto zone for the procedure. Is this thorough enough?
https://www.autozone.com/repairinfo/...00c1528017e749

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Old 02-16-2020, 12:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

Doing the timing chain in-car is about as much fun as having a tooth pulled with no pain killer. Can't see ****, can't reach **** and the whole job feels like it's just ****.

For the crankshaft sprocket you take the old one and shove it in from the from side of the cover, then spin it to line up with the keyways while simultaneously holding the cover up and angling it into the oil pan while not angling too much to fit around a couple dowel pins AND while not messing up the RTV gasket AND getting it done before the RTV sets (30-60min goes by quick when you're swearing up a storm fighting stupid crap that shouldn't be in the way...lol).

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Old 02-16-2020, 01:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

My suggestions:

Remove the head with manifolds in place, but install it with manifolds off.

Agreed, access to that timing cover with the engine in the car is miserable, but I would still do that rather than yank the whole engine. Be sure to get all the screws in the front of the cover, one is kind of hidden. Also be sure to get the screws from the pan up to the cover. The pan does not need to be loosened from the block.

No special tools are needed for timing alignment, but the big screw holding the belt pulley to the crank can be bear to remove. There are a variety of methods favored, but keep in mind that you should accurately torque that screw when it is re-installed. "Bumping" with the starter or using an impact wrench are useless for the re-install, so you might as well figure out a proper way to hold the crank/pulley at the time of removal. No special tools are needed for that holding.

You have to raise the car enough to get underneath, there is a brace from the block to under-side of intake manifold, but all else is done from on top or through the RF wheel well.

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Old 02-16-2020, 05:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

I have no idea how good J & C Enterprises is, but another option is Pakes machine shop in Janesville, WI. I highly recommend them. The downside is the overall process will take longer.

Don't be shocked if you have to drop and reseal the oil pan. The corner is a bear.

Definitely swap in an aluminum valve cover while you have it apart, if you haven't already.

You will need new TTY head bolts. People claimed you could torque them with the cams in place but I don't see how.

Are you replacing the timing set? Yes or no, you don't need special tools except a couple of 3/16" (I think) rods to hold the cam sprockets in place. You spin the crank so the proper cylinder is at TDC and line up the chain by the marks on it. An old timing set may not have marks.

Use an old crank sprocket stuck in through the timing cover to get the cover back on. If you don't have one, Poplar Grove is not too far from Peoria. I have one.

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Old 02-17-2020, 09:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

The question I'd ask is why do you think the head needs to be replaced?

Otherwise the advice already given is all good. Timing chain isn't hard to set up but is critical that it is done correctly. It does require two 3/16" diameter pins however drill bits work as well.

I'd pull the head with the intake on, exhaust manifold off and put it back together the same way.

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Old 02-17-2020, 10:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

Because I have 0-30 PSI compression in cylinder 4 (adding oil for compression test made little difference). Muffler exhaust is sucking in air at idle. It runs fine above 1500 rpm. Just poor idle.

My theory is.... I believe this was a side affect of a piston soak on a too warm of an engine that cause the solvent to bubble up and clean the exhaust valves which most likely cleaned/dislodged some carbon buildup around the valves causing it not to seat properly. I noticed a difference immediately after the soak, but it didn't get bad until 30,000 miles later.

My concern is about the rings and cylinder walls on piston 4... are they still good? If not, maybe I do nothing, and leave everything as is.

Another concern is the how well a new valve will seat if I re-use my existing head.

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Old 02-17-2020, 02:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

The cylinder walls and rings will probably be in OK shape, although the oil rings are probably still stuck a bit. The oil ring problem ensures the rest up in the cylinder is "well-lubed" and doesn't seem to wear much.

The new valve should seat OK, but you will have to grind/lap it into the seat. That is a cheap-and-easy procedure. But, aren't you getting a re-built head? You should not have to fuss with the valve(s) at all.

You don't even need 3/16" pins, the chain and sprockets have timing marks on them. Use those marks and you don't have to worry about slack in the chain as you do using the pins, and don't have to guesstimate as to the exact crank position.

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Old 02-17-2020, 05:38 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

Don't the pins keep the springs from moving the cam to a non-ideal position?

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Old 02-17-2020, 06:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

I was planning on just pushing the easy button and getting a rebuilt head, but I've recently found a few mixed reviews on rebuilt cylinder heads on our forum, especially from member ehunter concerning J&C heads... I'm a little leary now on taking that route. Perhaps I should take my original head in to a local shop just to get the bad valves replaced and no more if everything else checks out okay.


See post #19
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=193328

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Old 02-17-2020, 09:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

Post 19 for the Canadians:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...9&postcount=19

Inside joke.

I totally recommend Pakes. If you want to rebuild the whole engine while it is out they will do an awesome job for you.



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Old 02-18-2020, 12:02 AM   #11
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

When you use the timing marks on pulleys and chain, the exact cam position doesn't matter; there is no problem if the cams move a bit due to spring loads or slack in the chain. And, "slack" is inevitable because the chain can't be properly tensioned until the chain is already on and the sprockets secured.

I concede, a lot of people like the pin method, but I can't figure out why...

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Old 02-18-2020, 07:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

I concede that as long as the marks all line up you are good. I didn't try it without the pins because the manual said to use them. The pins were very easy to use. The cams were in the right spot with no struggle.





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Old 02-23-2020, 11:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

I plan on replacing the timing chain set as well. I don't hear much clatter, but thought it would be good to replace it while its off anyway.

I have noticed that members recently stated that they have had to reshape the top guide and "grind" down the boss on the movable guide.

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=233767

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNuc View Post
That describes what I found with the last Cloyes set from RA. Reshaping the top guide is a real pita but it can be done. As I said it is lower cost and probably from the same factory as all the rest of them. The movable guide boss almost always has to be face filed to get it to swing free, common fault. The movable guide is to be expected but the top guide is not. You have to slot the bolt holes to line up the top guide.
Will the reshaping that one has to do be evident when the old parts are compared with the new parts? Is this now a common problem with replacement timing sets for DOHCs? Is it really a crapshoot on getting a timing set that fits right out of the box?

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Old 02-25-2020, 07:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

I didn't even know this was an issue. We just put ours on. Almost 20K miles on it now.

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Old 02-25-2020, 08:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

Waiex191, what brand of timing set did you get?

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Old 02-25-2020, 09:36 AM   #16
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
Post 19 for the Canadians:
http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...9&postcount=19

Inside joke.
Much appreciated! lol

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Old 02-25-2020, 11:03 AM   #17
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

Quote:
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Waiex191, what brand of timing set did you get?
I bought an enginetech rebuild kit. Not sure the brand of timing set it came with, sorry.

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Old 02-25-2020, 11:06 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

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Much appreciated! lol
Ironically, when I click on my link now it brings me to an old ehunter post. I think the forum is corrupted.

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Old 02-25-2020, 11:11 AM   #19
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waiex191 View Post
Ironically, when I click on my link now it brings me to an old ehunter post. I think the forum is corrupted.
Ha, that's where I thought you were sending me. I didn't really read the context of this post however when I looked at the thread nealt posted that is post #19.

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Old 02-25-2020, 12:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Cylinder Head Removal - DOHC

I would not use a timing set that did not fit "as manufactured"; at least not until trying several name-brand sets (including GM, if still available).

I do not modify obviously-crappy new parts to make them fit until I am convinced that good parts are no longer reasonably available.

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