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Swapping Heads. Needs Advice

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ras111 Avatar
ras111 Gold Member Richard Singerman
Dollard des Ormeaux, QC, Canada   CAN
I am putting on my original head after installing new larger valves, valve guides, and springs. Head skimmed to 2.99. Was already high compression head from my 76. I removed the current head and pulled off the gasket. Some questions:

1). What should I use to clean the top of the pistons? Or am I better off leaving as they are. Worry about damaging cylinder walls.

2). Should I use special “cam” lube on the lifters after I clean them? Is oil ok?

3. What to use to clean the top of the block?

4). Should I wash down cylinder walls with varsol or something else?

Anything missing? Hope to get new head installed this week.

Thanks

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teeka56 Avatar
teeka56 mike leisner
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
You should get plenty of feedback on these questions.
My 2 cents :

1) since they will get “dirty “ again shortly, I would just remove any loose bits, care not to let the particles go down oil ways or into coolant passages.

2) you didn’t say you are changing cam, so leave all that alone unless there is some visual damage. Oil is just fine.

3) plastic scraper, wipe mating surface with your favorite cleaner - brake cleaner, thinner, solvent. Not gas. Super clean is best. You want the new gasket to seal.

4) oil cylinder walls liberally, sure it will smoke a bit on startup, but you want lube on the walls and upper rings.

Change oil and filter very soon after running to insure any loose bits are removed.

Good luck

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
I used oven cleaner.

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Lizzard d id
san jose, CA, USA   USA
In reply to # 1526596 by Doug in Vegas I used oven cleaner.
Oven cleaner eats aluminum , so be very very careful . And it eats paint also .

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
In reply to # 1526604 by Lizzard
In reply to # 1526596 by Doug in Vegas I used oven cleaner.
Oven cleaner eats aluminum , so be very very careful . And it eats paint also .

It eats baked on crap in the oven too.

SpitMan Avatar
SpitMan Doug Walls
Brandywine, MD, USA   USA
1970 Triumph Spitfire MkIII "Lil' Red Fox"
1998 Chevrolet Corvette "Silver Fox"
2007 Chevrolet Silverado "Workhorse"
2013 Chevrolet Malibu "Pearl Baby"
Hopefully, you numbered the pushrods an lifters if you removed them. It is important that the same lifters remain with the old camshaft.
Clean as best you can but most importantly the mating surface of the block to the head. Follow the info that Mike gave.

tapkaJohnD Avatar
tapkaJohnD John Davies
Lancaster, Lancashire, UK   GBR
Quote OP, " Head skimmed to 2.99. Was already high compression head from my 76." A "high-compresion head" on a Nirth American Triumph can be as low as 8:1 so that may not mean much.
But "Skimmed to 2.99" means as little.
Did you bother to check the chamber volumes? That is the only way to be certain what is your CR, and over doing it is a one-way street, which you are already far down.

On your questions:
1/ Why do you "Worry about damaging cylinder walls."? You wnta to clean the pistons, which isn't necessary, unless they are grossly coked up.
2/ Cam lube is essential for new cams and lifters (aka cam followers). You don't mention those, so no need.
3/ Take out the studs, you can't clean the block face with them on. Use an engine block scraper to clean off all old gasket. keep the bits out of the bores, then clean with brake cleaner.
4/Never heard of "Varsol" this side of t'Pond, but a google tells me that it's a degreaser. Why on earth would you want to do that?

What about these valve springs? Are they 'extra-strong'? NOT a good idea. Double springs, if you intend to rev it hard.

JOhn

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roncohudd Avatar
roncohudd Gold Member Ronald Huddleston
Muenster, TX, USA   USA
1967 Triumph Spitfire "Lucy"
1969 Triumph Spitfire MkII "Lucifer"
1997 Ford Ranger "Little Red"
2001 Yamaha MC XV1600A "NOT THE HONDA"    & more
Wipe a thin coat of grease all the way around each cylinder. Put rags in each of them to catch the debris. When finished then turn it over slowly. The left over debris will stick to the grease. Wipe each cylinder out with clean rags. Then oil well before replacing the head.

ras111 Avatar
ras111 Gold Member Richard Singerman
Dollard des Ormeaux, QC, Canada   CAN
Thanks guys - interesting idea Ronald.

Yes - I did number the push rods as they were removed - used the cardboard trick. Lifters will be removed and cleaned one at a time.

Will leave the pistons as is. Was going to try cleaning the tops. Somebody 'old school' mentioned flushing the cylinders with varsol - wasn't too sure about that which is why I asked.

Will clean the block top surface as suggested - the old gasket came off cleanly - no gasket residue left on the block, so just a clean up of the surface is needed.

Do you guys use gasket sealer on the new gasket? I never have, but seen some videos where people do. Form-a-gasket sealer by Permatex.

Not changing the cam at this time - just swapping heads.

Yes - I did measure the chamber volume after the head was skimmed - roughly 35cc with a chamber height of roughly 11.5mm

The original head had single valve springs. When I redid it, I used the double springs. Both seem to be 'original' on the 1500. Any reason why I should NOT use the double springs?

Thanks

Richard

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TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
1978 Triumph 1500 "BLK-BRY"
In reply to # 1526640 by ras111 Thanks guys - interesting idea Ronald.

Yes - I did number the push rods as they were removed - used the cardboard trick. Lifters will be removed and cleaned one at a time.

Will leave the pistons as is. Was going to try cleaning the tops. Somebody 'old school' mentioned flushing the cylinders with varsol - wasn't too sure about that which is why I asked.

Will clean the block top surface as suggested - the old gasket came off cleanly - no gasket residue left on the block, so just a clean up of the surface is needed.

Do you guys use gasket sealer on the new gasket? I never have, but seen some videos where people do. Form-a-gasket sealer by Permatex.

Not changing the cam at this time - just swapping heads.

Yes - I did measure the chamber volume after the head was skimmed - roughly 35cc with a chamber height of roughly 11.5mm

The original head had single valve springs. When I redid it, I used the double springs. Both seem to be 'original' on the 1500. Any reason why I should NOT use the double springs?

Thanks

Richard

Doing pretty much the same thing on the head I just bought on E-Bay..... Sounds like you're doing things reasonably well..... head gasket sealant.... You'll get tons of varying opinions..... I'll not offer mine - other than say 'Form a Gasket' is NOT amongst the options.....

Double valve springs?? More pressure on lifters/cam?? Maybe so.... but I really like that extra spring in there when one breaks and the other one keeps the valve from ruining a perfectly good piston..... That's the direction I'm taking..... Others may not agree... but you know what they say about opinions.... LOL.....

Z

mkivmarty Avatar
mkivmarty Marty Yanik
N.E.Ohio, USA   USA
In reply to # 1526640 by ras111
Do you guys use gasket sealer on the new gasket? I never have, but seen some videos where people do. Form-a-gasket sealer by Permatex.


Richard

Do NOT use any gasket sealer on the head gasket. None necessary. I did use some copper gasket spray the last time I changed the head gasket, but a decent Payen gasket by itself should be OK. Remember to retorque the head after a couple of heat cycles.

Marty

TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
1978 Triumph 1500 "BLK-BRY"
In reply to # 1526689 by mkivmarty
In reply to # 1526640 by ras111
Do you guys use gasket sealer on the new gasket? I never have, but seen some videos where people do. Form-a-gasket sealer by Permatex.


Richard

Do NOT use any gasket sealer on the head gasket. None necessary. I did use some copper gasket spray the last time I changed the head gasket, but a decent Payen gasket by itself should be OK. Remember to retorque the head after a couple of heat cycles.

Marty

Sounds like Marty did/does pretty much what I do.... a light "copper spray" of a appropriate sealer.... Once again--- you will get a ton of advice of different brand head gaskets...... You'll have to make up your own mind....

I, for one, tend to use Fel Pro for all my gasket needs..... though you will find disparaging remarks galore if you do a good search of the archives... ( I don't have to be right.... I just have to be happy with my personal results)..

Z

Doug in Vegas Avatar
Doug in Vegas Douglas D
Las Vegas, NV, USA   USA
I never use sealer and I install the headers on the bench prior to lowering the head on the block.

TheZster Avatar
TheZster Steven Z
SAINT LOUIS, MO, USA   USA
1978 Triumph 1500 "BLK-BRY"
In reply to # 1526722 by Doug in Vegas I never use sealer and I install the headers on the bench prior to lowering the head on the block.

+1 on a Spit.......

ras111 Avatar
ras111 Gold Member Richard Singerman
Dollard des Ormeaux, QC, Canada   CAN
OK on head gasket - have a Payen and will install clean - no sealant. I've done this before without issue.

NEW QUESTION: While cleaning the lifters, I noticed some are pitted on the bottom. Should I replace all of them or leave as is.

I actually have a new set of lifters as I was going to change the CAM as well....which I am NOT doing right now. Any concern running with the current lifters? Any issues putting in NEW lifters with my original CAM?


Thanks
Richard

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