Another Head Thread (1 Viewer)

Dec 14, 2010
Top of Idaho
First I'd like to get all the obligatories out of the way. This forum and its members have been an invaluable asset in the past 8 months since, well actually before, I bought my wonderful '93. Even before I got it, it was a wonderful repository of information on purchasing the vehicle; even if I did essentially ignore it when I went out and got new-car fever, and bought a 250,000 mile, moderately neglected one.

I got this neglected one because, considering to the normal prices on 80-series' around here, combined with scarcity, I couldn't resist the bargain. Still, leaky radiator, leaky axle, exhaust leak, leaky PS reservoir, leaking valve cover, electrical to cab accessories was gone. But you just can't resist that new-car fever. And I figured there was enough money in salvage and the new Michelins on it that I couldn't lose that much. Also, despite being neglected, it definitely wasn't abused; looked as though it hadn't been so much as driven over a curb (which I of course remedied).

Well after replacing a valve cover gasket, spark plug wires, some brake pads, rotors, some crush gaskets, and tracing that electrical problem down to a failed wire (yeah, the wire, just one wire in a bundle, between any connectors) and jumped it, I got a good 8 months/7000 miles of mostly trouble free service from it. Just an exploding PS hose right in the middle of the first snowfall (I assume it was already damaged, as it was the low pressure side), and the battery calling it quits (hidden buildup between terminals and clamps) also during snow.

Anyways, a little over two weeks ago, as I was driving home, the car suddenly became obviously lacking a cylinder. Coaxed it home, it certainly felt like it was missing more than one cylinder, but I played it off in my mind as the engine just really doesn't like absent cylinders. I checked the spark plugs first, then called it quits for the night as I couldn't see anything. Next morning I looked around, noticed the exhaust was inhaling, so I thought stuck exhaust valve. Drove the thing around back to my garage in low range, WOT, attempting to surmount the many snow berms that had been plowed up, that lay between me and the garage.

Being the masochistic man I am, i just tore into the engine; too lazy to go searching for a compression tester that would fit down those half-mile long spark plug tubes. I had wanted to get the valves adjusted and head rebuilt anyways, and replace the HG as PM.

Followed the FSM all the way through (other than disconnecting the exhaust pipes, screw messing around with any of those bolts, just took out the manifold-head stud bolts). Job wasn't terribly difficult, other than that ridiculous wiring harness. Why does one (and only one) O2 sensor run across the engine bay, through the manifold with everything else, only to double back over top the transmission? About 11-12 hours of actual work (not spent eating cheeze-its or watching tv in the shop), I finally had the head pried off. Fortunately the problem was pretty evident, which is nice (nothing like tearing an engine down to find nothing clearly wrong, fixing what you can, putting it back together, then discovering you fixed nothing). Head gasket had disintegrated between cylinders 5 and 6, trading compression between the two. Explained the inhaling and the fact that it ran really badly. I was impressed with how good the internals looked as a whole. Cam bearings looked great, still crosshatching on the cylinder walls, not much carbon buildup on the cylinders, valves looked good enough (other than cyl 6, EGR I assume...).

Anyways, now I'll get to the point and stop wasting your time with another boring "MA HEAD EXPLODE" story.
1. I was just planning on following the FSM for the reassembly. However putting stuff back together is almost always more tricky than taking it apart. So if there are any huge tips, common oversights, or whatever that you know, that would be great.
2. While the engine is still torn down and I can reach stuff, and before I meet the revered CDan, what might i as well replace, reseal, clean, etc.? I already have the fuel filter, all the vacuum tubes, and some hoses lined up, and the obvious cleaning (throttle body, intake, etc) Still getting the head rebuilt and adjusted.
I would replace the PHH, but the previous owner seems to have taken care of it; and despite being nothing but some slightly above average heater hose and decent worm drive clamps, it shows not the slightest evidence of leak, despite also looking like its been there for a while. I'm usually not one to argue with success.

Preemptive Thanks.
May 13, 2009
SW Colorado
1. I was just planning on following the FSM for the reassembly. However putting stuff back together is almost always more tricky than taking it apart. So if there are any huge tips, common oversights, or whatever that you know, that would be great..

For the love of the Cruiser Gods please take pictures and label things before tear down (or during). An assistant can help notate the label to the part. Hoses and connections is where this is helpful mostly. I used cable label tape (CAT5, etc) for my lines. As I took items off (intake for example), I would take a ziplock labeled for that bulk part for the screws, bolts, etc. Helps me put things back to where I needed.

I found these hints helpful, especially if you think a project will take 2 weekends and then takes 7 months.:rolleyes:

Dont rush. Take your time. You should do fine.

::EDIT:: I see you already took it off as re-read the post. Doh
Aug 26, 2009
flat earth Midwest
On that PHH, I'd say do it anyways since it should be easier to reach -- or even if it's not. After looking at lots of PHH pics, looks can be deceptive. If it's just regular heater hose and looks old, then it'd be a good move to upgrade.

A leaky PHH will stop you as dead in your tracks as a HG will.

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