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If it is in the car try to start it. If it doesn't run still see if compression will loosen it. Use lots of penetrating oil and maybe some heat. Good luck.

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A previous owner may have re-used a head gasket, doping it with Indian Head Gasket Shellac (hope not--that was the case on my 1922 Paige as described below), AND/OR there may be corrosion on the studs where they pass through the cylinder head.  For the latter, dose the studs liberally with a 50/50 mix of acetone and ATF, and tap them (with nuts on loosely) to aid penetration.

 

What I wound up doing on my Paige was to make a lifting apparatus (bases of two old take-apart spark plugs with eye-bolts through them) attached to a screw-type engine lifting/tilting device, in turn hooked to a cherry picker engine hoist.  In my case, the car hung from the cherry picker, with wheels off the ground one inch, for four days before the gasket parted and let go (I was doing something else and the noise startled the hell out of me).  The head was kept in position on the studs.  I spent four hours cleaning the block deck and the head of the copper which had been, in effect, super-glued by the shellac and heat. 

Edited by Grimy
correct typo (see edit history)

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Wow!  It held the weight of all that for 4 days...  Strong stuff!  Maybe try some heat?  Propane torch around perimeter of head?

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4 hours ago, MikeC5 said:

Maybe try some heat?  Propane torch around perimeter of head?

Will try that next time!  But the shellac, which I didn't know about until the head finally came off, covered the entire head and deck surfaces, so it would likely need heat all over the head, not just the perimeter.  What happened, so far as I can tell, is that the asbestos center separated, leaving the copper glued to the head and deck.

 

I didn't know about the Indian Head sealer until the head finally came off.  That's serious stuff--I have used it to secure lower radiator hoses on corroded/eroded water pump necks which then have to be cut off the pump.

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Hi Terry - Welcome to the forum. You state you have most of the studs out. The assumption is you have all the retention devices holding the head on the block removed and only the studs, on which nuts would be, remain. Having said that I heard of, have not tried, a method that used rope threaded into all of the spark plug holes and reduced the area on top of the pistons with a somewhat compressible substance. Once there is an amount of rope on the top of each piston then turn the engine over. In theory will push the head off the block. Maybe someone who has tried this can chime in with yes this works or worst thing ever done. 

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1 hour ago, Wheelmang said:

Hi Terry - Welcome to the forum. You state you have most of the studs out. The assumption is you have all the retention devices holding the head on the block removed and only the studs, on which nuts would be, remain. Having said that I heard of, have not tried, a method that used rope threaded into all of the spark plug holes and reduced the area on top of the pistons with a somewhat compressible substance. Once there is an amount of rope on the top of each piston then turn the engine over. In theory will push the head off the block. Maybe someone who has tried this can chime in with yes this works or worst thing ever done. 

 

So long as you don't push so hard as to bend a rod.

I like the idea of pulling via the spark plug holes along with some heat.

The corrosion that happens in the head at the studs can be pretty stubborn.

The general consensus for penetrant seems to be 50/50 ATF and Acetone. (not sure about this AND heat)

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