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Head swap advice?

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Brad.Cogan Avatar
Brad.Cogan Bradley Cogan
RAF Cosford, Shropshire, UK   GBR
1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Wray"
2007 Fiat Grande Punto "Pepper"
I have a new (to me) cylinder head for my 1500 that I have had converted to run on unleaded, have finally deburred, cleaned off all of the media blast deposits and am in the process of painting it. In a couple of days it will be ready to swap in place of the one that's currently on the car.

I've never gone this in depth into an engine as I'm a bit of a noob. Just looking for a bit of advice on what to do, what not to do, specialist tools I'll need and any other advice anyone can think of.

Many thanks!



Brad Cogan

1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 'Wray'
2007 Fiat Grande Punto Active 1.2 'Pepper'

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Lizzard d id
san jose, ca, USA   USA
I'll gladly give you a hand with that , just send a ticket for an airplane ...

I don't know of any special tools needed for a head swap . Do you have a nice torque wrench ?

Brad.Cogan Avatar
Brad.Cogan Bradley Cogan
RAF Cosford, Shropshire, UK   GBR
1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Wray"
2007 Fiat Grande Punto "Pepper"
What I know so far is:
-Remove intake/exhaust manifolds
-Remove valve cover
-Undo bolts on rocker assy and remove.
-Undo head nuts in reverse tightening order bit by bit
-Remove head
-Replace with new head and gasket (does it just go on dry or do I need sealant?)
-Do everything as above in reverse?

Do I need any new bits?
Do I need to remove any studs to put into my new head or anything?

Just don't want to get half way through and get stuck on something a bit of preparation could prevent.



Brad Cogan

1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 'Wray'
2007 Fiat Grande Punto Active 1.2 'Pepper'

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Andy-Sherry Avatar
Andy-Sherry Gold Member Andy Martin
Portland, OR, USA   USA
Undo the rocker assembly bolts a bit at a time also as rockers will under some pressure from springs make sure you have correct head gasket as there are two
recessed block and non recessed and install gasket right way up
Thermostat housing will need new gasket on re assembly when lifting head off beware you don't get any push rods coming out with it as they need to stay in their respective holes also will need new manifold gasket



Andy&Sherry
1974 Spit 1500 Carmine Red
1977 Spit 1500 Pink Panther Pink

Always learning something



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-12 05:29 PM by Andy-Sherry.

Brad.Cogan Avatar
Brad.Cogan Bradley Cogan
RAF Cosford, Shropshire, UK   GBR
1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Wray"
2007 Fiat Grande Punto "Pepper"
Didn't think about the rocker pressure from the springs. Is the rocker assembly easy enough to put back on?

And yeah I've got a pretty accurate torque wrench and all of your standard tools. Got a full gasket set too.



Brad Cogan

1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 'Wray'
2007 Fiat Grande Punto Active 1.2 'Pepper'

Brad.Cogan Avatar
Brad.Cogan Bradley Cogan
RAF Cosford, Shropshire, UK   GBR
1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Wray"
2007 Fiat Grande Punto "Pepper"
So the pushrods stay in? I've heard it's not a good idea to mix them up.

Any sealant on any gaskets or just throw them on dry?



Brad Cogan

1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 'Wray'
2007 Fiat Grande Punto Active 1.2 'Pepper'

Lizzard d id
san jose, ca, USA   USA
In reply to # 1477737 by Brad.Cogan So the pushrods stay in? I've heard it's not a good idea to mix them up.

Take the push rods out , take a bit of cardboard and push the pushrods through the cardboard . Label the cardboard 1 2 3 4 . That way they will be held in order .



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-12 06:02 PM by Lizzard.

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clshore Carter Shore
Beverly Hills, Florida, USA   USA
To reinforce what is posted by others:
1) You MUST ensure that you have the proper head gasket for your MOTOR, not your CAR!!
In the 40 years since your car was built with a 1500, ANY Spitfire motor could have been swapped in.
Check the motor serial number to be sure.
2) Assuming it is a 1500, you MUST fit the gasket properly.
There is a tab on one edge of the gasket that must be placed to the rear of the motor, see the picture here:

https://www.bpnorthwest.com/head-gasket-spitfire-72-to-80-midget-1500.html?gdffi=7c26fa82af054ed48c16509776f45115&gdfms=1992AE25F6A34DCA8CC5E4508E600816&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIoJzYot_S1QIVkxuBCh0VHwCGEAYYASABEgJdLfD_BwE

It is otherwise a fairly straightforward procedure.

Lizzard d id
san jose, ca, USA   USA
Drain the coolant . Disconnect the battery .
-Remove intake/exhaust manifolds
-Remove valve cover
Go to the valve adjusters , loosen all of them as much as possible , then use the lock nuts to lock the adjusters all the way loose .
-Undo bolts on rocker assy and remove.
Remove the push rods , stick them in cardboard .
-Undo head nuts in reverse tightening order bit by bit
-Remove head
Scrape the block clean , get down to bare metal , don't gouge .
-Replace with new head and gasket (does it just go on dry or do I need sealant?)
Sealant is good , find the oil hole , seal all around that hole , top and bottom , try not to get sealant into the oil hole .
-Do everything as above in reverse?

Do I need any new bits?
Hope not , never know , things go funny sometimes .
Do I need to remove any studs to put into my new head or anything?
Nope .

Just don't want to get half way through and get stuck on something a bit of preparation could prevent.
Send me that ticket then please , I'll bring some american beer .



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-08-12 06:19 PM by Lizzard.

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trrdster Avatar
trrdster Wayne Tate
Spencer, NC, USA   USA
I use the cooper spray head gasket sealant. You can hold it up with a coat hanger in one of the holes and spray both sides. Always had good luck with it.



Wayne
1970 TR6
2000 Jaguar XK8
1949 Triumph Roadster 2000
1978 Spitfire (rust victim)
1971 GT6 (tarp covered for 12 years, rusted inside out)
1980 Spitfire (getting all the good GT6 parts, all poly suspension and Spax shocks)

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA   USA
I don't sort push rods.

Ever.

I just check them on a sheet of plate glass to be sure they aren't bent.

Roy Avatar
Roy roy o
Marietta, GA, USA   USA
Don't forget the water pump housing bolted to the front of the head . Again , everything must be clean !

skyking1231 Avatar
skyking1231 Silver Member Frank Strobel
Mt. Sinai, NY, USA   USA
1975 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Lil' Rose"
Clean! Make sure head and block clean...a final step is some acetone on a rag or paper towel wipe head...block...and also the gasket. Make sure stud threads are clean...nuts as well...also you have all the washers for the nuts. Calibrate your torque wrench....easy. (There are videos on how to do this..... my new one was off by 3 pounds....yours could be more or less). When torquing head and following the sequence....torque them down in steps..ie 20lbs...then 30lb then Final torque setting as an example.

Treat the new gasket as if it is fragile like an egg....in other words...dont bend it or crease it.


The process is pretty straight forward.....just take the time to prep...

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA   USA
Use copper spray on the intake/exhaust gasket but not on the head gasket.

I put the intake and exhaust on the head while it's still on the bench and treat it as a single unit going on the block.

It sure makes it easier to get at those notorious bottom manifold nuts.

Brad.Cogan Avatar
Brad.Cogan Bradley Cogan
RAF Cosford, Shropshire, UK   GBR
1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 "Wray"
2007 Fiat Grande Punto "Pepper"
Thanks for the help you guys!

I'll take out the pushrods but keep them in cardboard so they stay the same order.

I'll double check that it is the right gasket.

Copper sealant on the intake/exhaust gasket and around the oil and coolant channels on the head gasket.

Clean all surfaces before reassembly including those on the pump surfaces.

Anything else you guys think?



Brad Cogan

1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 'Wray'
2007 Fiat Grande Punto Active 1.2 'Pepper'

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