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Cylinder head removal


KnightOwl

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I watched a couple YouTube videos yesterday about head gaskets/cylinder head removal, but I was very disappointed that both showed the easy removal of the front head but neither showed the tools of choice for getting to the (insert expletive) rear manifold, downpipe, and head bolts.

 

Both videos also said head bolts are not to be re-used?

 

What are your favorite weapons of choice for getting to these cramped and stubborn areas?

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Removing the 3800 head does not require any specialty tools. I have a 1/2" extendable ratchet i use as a "breaker bar" to remove bigger bolts like head bolts. 

 

It's very straightforward to pull the head. There really aren't any "gotchas".

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What engine/car are we talking about?

 

60 degree engines aren't too bad, but 90 degree (Buick V-6), and LQ1's are an entirely different matter.

 

Additionally, the stuff you read about head bolts not being reused is definitely correct....most everything built in the last few decades are "torque to yield", which relies on bolt stretch to get proper torque on the head.  Reusing the bolts is a big no-no, and not worth the risk, compared to the cost of replacement.

Edited by Galaxie500XL
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What engine/car are we talking about?

 

60 degree engines aren't too bad, but 90 degree (Buick V-6), and LQ1's are an entirely different matter.

 

Additionally, the stuff you read about head bolts not being reused is definitely correct....most everything built in the last few decades are "torque to yield", which relies on bolt stretch to get proper torque on the head.  Reusing the bolts is a big no-no, and not worth the risk, compared to the cost of replacement.

 

 

3800 in 2002 Grand Prix

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Pardon my ignorance, but please explain....

 

 

 

Cylinder head bolts: 37 ft/lbs + 130 degrees + 30 degrees up-to-10/98.  37 ft/lbs + 120 degrees 10/98 and later.

 

 

 

I get torque to XX Ft/lbs, but the rest?

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The additional angle to tighten the bolts after the proper torque value is different based on production date.

 

160 degrees on earlier engines, 120 degrees on engines made after 10/98.

 

I'd bet there are people that may have better/different information based on actual experience.

 

 

EDIT: Rereading that, I believe what they mean is to tighten 130 degrees for EVERY head bolt, then go an additional 30 degrees after all of them got the 130 degree turn.

Edited by Galaxie500XL
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The additional angle to tighten the bolts after the proper torque value is different based on production date.

 

160 degrees on earlier engines, 120 degrees on engines made after 10/98.

 

I'd bet there are people that may have better/different information based on actual experience.

 

Somewhere or another is a list of the casting numbers.

 

What's really neat is that there was at least one casting that was L36/L67, naturally the FI ports were machined. I wonder if that list is on 3800 pro

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I gotta admit, the more I read about this, the more intimidating this project gets. There is a level of work I'm comfortable with, and I've done a little of this stuff years ago with an engine on a stand before it went in the car, but those days are long past. Not to mention the overall expense of doing this the right way, but I refuse to cut corners on the chance I'll have to pull the thing down again because I fouled or failed to do something right, due to my own ignorance.

 

I replaced the lower intake and rocker arms on my Bonneville and that project took four days. Granted I installed a lot of mod parts and painted things to make it look pretty, but none of it was so heavy duty. The whole top swap is feeling like I either leave the car NA or sell it for something that doesn't need so much in the way of wrenching. I mean, if a trans fails under a LS4, I wont be the one pulling it anyway...that level of work goes to the shop.

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I already have a L26 aluminum upper intake. I might just do rockers, HV3, L67 HVTB, do the exhaust P-logs, Downpipe, and call it a day. I did both my other 3800s that way and they weren't rockets but still fun to drive....and they sounded good :)

 

 

 

 

 

All that stuff probably puts you somewhere in the 250hp range I would think

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Yup! It's definitely not a project for the faint of heart, though that being said, I rebuilt an engine with youtube videos, haynes manual, forums, a good machine shop, and luck! 

 

And hey, you can always get crazy like me and polish you upper intake! :) Oh, and I'll eventually post a how-to on this, but do NOT plug the stovepipe or drill through the side to tap it to vacuum. I'm not going to get into the technical aspects here, but for now, please just trust me, if you do this, you might not notice immediate side effects, but you are 100% eliminating your pcv system doing so.

 

I've done tests with a scan tool and at least on my system, there's no difference between running a breather on this and running it to after the maf sensor and before the throttle plate. Check out my setup. I'll try to post some closer pictures but the throttle body adapter I got actually has the factory pcv port tapped so you don't have to drill the throttle body for the pcv intake. Personally I'm a fan of the throttle body adapter, but breather works in a pinch!

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Yup! It's definitely not a project for the faint of heart, though that being said, I rebuilt an engine with youtube videos, haynes manual, forums, a good machine shop, and luck! 

 

And hey, you can always get crazy like me and polish you upper intake! :) Oh, and I'll eventually post a how-to on this, but do NOT plug the stovepipe or drill through the side to tap it to vacuum. I'm not going to get into the technical aspects here, but for now, please just trust me, if you do this, you might not notice immediate side effects, but you are 100% eliminating your pcv system doing so.

 

I've done tests with a scan tool and at least on my system, there's no difference between running a breather on this and running it to after the maf sensor and before the throttle plate. Check out my setup. I'll try to post some closer pictures but the throttle body adapter I got actually has the factory pcv port tapped so you don't have to drill the throttle body for the pcv intake. Personally I'm a fan of the throttle body adapter, but breather works in a pinch!

I'll keep in touch with you on the details before I pull anything apart.

 

And to "Grandprix1", 190whp is probably not missing 250hp at the crank by much...which is the rated figure I had in mind. The stock rating of 200hp for the L36 isnt measured at the wheel I'm sure. Net hp as installed with accessories I think is the formula for rating.

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just the top longer bolts got the extra 30º.

 

for real its not all that scary, nothings gonna jump out at you.  once you got the fuel rail off and all the plugs around the lim and tb, its all bolts. no tricks.

 

un bolt the lim, then valve cover/ covers, then rockers and pull out the push rods, rear exhaust manifold bolts. then the head bolts, pop head off.  rear head you need to pull the alt bracket off. front one the coil bracket needs to come off. the dog bone mount makes a nice handle on the front lol 

 

clean the block up where the gasket was, reverse directions.  rockers get reusable rockers bolts, (25 bucks) all you do is tq em to 25 fp. thats it, no tricks there either. simple. im sure the rockers scare most people a lot for some reason. 

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While I'm brainstorming all this....I noticed ZZP offers a 4.2 pulley for the L36 M90 conversion kit to help offset the higher compression, but if you do a top swap, the biggest you can get is the stock 3.8 pulley. So how do you offset the higher compression? Or do you tune for it and run octane booster? I mean if 3.8 is stock for the L67 how much extra punch is that pulley adding on the L36?

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Don’t use the SSM90 kit either. Build your own kit. You can do it for less then $500 if you take your time and shop around.

Oh I've already found I can get an entire L67 engine for $300, but build your own kit means a top swap. ZZP doesn't sell their custom machined LIM as a stand alone piece. The issue is finding one in a salvage yard without sky-high miles that will basically need rebuilding...or reworked heads with better springs/ ground valves before they go on the engine. I would be kinda off to throw a set of 100k mile heads and blower on a 60k mile block

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It's not any different than any other boosted application on controlling kr. You've got methanol injection, timing, cam overlap, and intercooling at your disposal to reduce kr. Only difference is you have to be extra careful with the higher compression to monitor these things.

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Not to mention, I don't say this to diss zzp at all, but what they did is no different really than say adding injector bungs to a carburetor intake. If you can find a machine shop to do it you can buy fuel injector bosses like these: https://billet-speed.com/products/fuel-injector-bungs-efi-conversion then all you'd really need to fabricate is the fuel injector rails, and from the looks of their kit, they are just modified stock L67 rails. I'm actually going to check with my local shop to see what they'd charge for this as this might be what I do too, not because I don't want to remove the heads, but because I already sunk around $500 restoring them... lol

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At this point I think I'm just going to stick with some N/A mods and call it good.

 

This was the engine bay in my Bonneville and I'd like to shoot for something that looks this good. I guess maybe I'll shoot for bit more show than go as long as its fun to drive and sounds decent.

 

BGHengine-bay2-L.jpg

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