View Full Version : Head removal was fun until this part.

09-02-2004, 10:55 PM
ok so i have taken it all apart down to the head. i have tried the leave the plugs in and use compression to part the head from block. The head will not budge.I used a block of hardwood to try and tap it loose, no dice. Is there another method aside from incantations, incense burning, or animal sacrifice to remove the spitfire head? The previous owner had ground down the faces of the rockers, i think this was to avoid buying shorter pushrods.

09-03-2004, 12:23 AM
Now there was mention of the "rope trick" on one of the areas of the forum a while ago.....I know that Basil has used this and is a big believer in its usefulness. I think that you feed in the rope through the plug hole, when the piston is at the bottom of its travel, then turn the engine, using compression to force the head free. If you e-mail him I am sure he could elaborate for you. I'll have a search in the meantime.

09-03-2004, 12:30 AM
In the past I used pry locations at the ends of the head. A sharp screwdriver and a few hits with a 3 pound hammer alternately worked ok. Certainly try and not pry from just one end.
IT WILL break loose. Just remember to even out the approach.

I haven't tried it myself but someone once mentioned putting 3 feet of rope into cyinder 1 and then 6 (thru spark plug hole and leave end out)and turning the crank with a long pry bar to force the head up....sounded extreme to me.
You will get it off. be patient(LBC moto).


Paul Johnson
09-03-2004, 01:09 AM
Some 40 years ago I learned the secret. Taking the engine out of a Bugeye, I had disconnected and labeled everything I could find. The engine wouldn't budge. Called in a friend, who look, tugged, looked, tugged. Then he smoked a cigarette (that was when it was still safe to do so), looked at the car, let loose with a volley of words that curdled the leaves on the nearby magnolia tree. Birds fell from the sky. The grass turned brown. He then looked up at the sky, pointed out Pegasus, gave one more volley of profanities, kicked the left front tire a mighty one, and out it came.

09-03-2004, 01:27 AM
When in doubt tap it from the side.

09-03-2004, 07:07 AM
I have yet to fail to remove a stuck head using the aforementioned rope trick. Just feed in some rope, (I use nylon starter rope for a lawn mower) into cylinders 1 and 4, and turn the engine over with a wrench or socket until the head pops loose. It may help to remove the studs prior to doing this.
Avoid driving a screwdriver or such between the block and the head, as this can cause damage to either or both that will be expensive to fix. Not to mention the fact that screwdrivers are meant for driving screws, not used as chisels or wedges.

09-03-2004, 09:39 AM
"Not to mention the fact that screwdrivers are meant for driving screws, not used as chisels or wedges."


09-03-2004, 10:42 AM
Is Pegasus to the north or south? thanks

09-03-2004, 11:20 AM

Do you remember the words he used? - They may come in handy one day for one of us!

09-03-2004, 12:03 PM
After having the same problem, it took 8 hours to get the head off, this is what I would do.

Make sure all the studs are out. You will find that it may be rusted to some of the studs or that a few of the studs have a slight bend to them.

Now that you have all the studs out do the rope trick. My guess is you have an air gap now and you will never be able to get the head off with compressed air or moving the pistons to compress it.

Last resort would be to do what I did. My mistake was not to remove the studs. But the last resort was to get a cherry picker, make a bracket to attach to the head and then pick the car up off the ground by a foot and beat on the studs until the head comes off. I do not recommend this.

Good luck. Tom

09-03-2004, 12:20 PM
Maybe you could fill the cylinders with water and crank her over - I heard it's tough to compress water. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/jester.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif
(please don't take this post seriously - I figured we could all use a chuckle!

09-03-2004, 09:11 PM
Yeah, Bob, and then you wind up with the special "S" shaped connecting rods! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

09-03-2004, 11:52 PM
After all the above input to any and all potential solutions you should be able to break the silly thing loose.

Last "on the fringe" thought is to hookup the intake/carbs and start it up! Just kidddddding...
All said and done make sure you fix it up right. One of my local buddies just had the head redone(110k miles) and it blew out the rings. Bad decision. Now it's a TR6 2 cycle engine!
good luck,

09-04-2004, 12:48 AM
A word of warning using wedges and screw drivers and pry bars; /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/nonono.gif /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hammer.gif

You will, /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif that is you WILL damage the head beyond repair and possibly the block too./ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yesnod.gif

The Rope trick is documented for the Stag is located at:

I wrote if for use on Stag and TR7 heads, but it works for other heads too with no damage to the parts.

Your choice, your money.

We are a bit more careful because heads are getting a bit scarce and expensive.

Next best tool is a head removal plate that we have in our club for club members to use, works only on Stag and TR7 heads, but one could be made to work for other heads with studs.

Good luck!