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Stuck cylinder head: 1928 Lycoming 8 in line


John Gelfer
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Car is a 1928 Gardner Roadster. These motors were more commonly used in Auburns. Removed all 27 nuts off the studs and tried to lift the head off.  Using an engine hoist, the car actually lifted off the jack stands and the head  stayed on. Squirted PB Blaster on the studs the last 4 days and tried again today with no luck. the engine overheated enough to cause some coolant loss (white clouds from water vapor in the exhaust). Luckily, no water contamination in the oil. Any tips on getting the head off?

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Is it an aluminum head? They grow together over the years and resist coming off. Aluminum heads worse than iron, they used to sell a tubular cutter that slid down over the stud and cut around it.

 

One guy had a similar problem with a Packard. He welded eye  bolts onto 2 old spark plugs and screwed them into the head. Connected them with a heavy chain. Laid a steel plate on top of the studs. Put a hydraulic jack on the plate and used that to lift on the chain. Gave it all the pressure he dared and left it overnight then pumped it up again. It took a few tries but eventually the head came loose.

 

Another idea is to use an air chisel to rattle the head and try to vibrate it loose.

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Slow and easy is the method to use.  Nothing is ruined yet  Can you drive a old screwdriver between the head and block at several different places to start a rocking process that will let the oil start to move around the studs. 

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It has been awhile , well, long while since working on a flat head inline, of any kind.  I was about 20-21.   1948 Pontiac.   I simply bumped the starter a few times, if memory serves.  Plugs in , leave a few nuts on head studs, or a few bolts in place.  Try it, can't hurt.

 

  Ben

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I have often thought removing a stuck on head could be done using your shop air compressor. On a inline 8 two cylinders at any one time should have both their valves closed. If you removed all the spark plugs and used a air fitting which screws into the spark plug hole you could determine which cylinders these were.  Then put shop air (175 lbs) on the first  and leave it set a while.  If no luck put a second fitting into the other cylinder at the same time  and let it sit.  Perhaps other readers might have tried this.

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