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55 Commander - Head Removal

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  • Engine: 55 Commander - Head Removal

    Hello all,

    After two weeks of failed attempts at removing a broken bolt from the passenger side cylinder head by flux welding a nut and washer & nut... I am putting down the welding gun. I was not able to get a good weld strong enough to get any movement on the nut, and in my last attempt, took a chip off the head off as well.

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    I've resigned to the fact that I will need to remove the head to access this broken bolt and drill it out. This seems like a daunting task to me as I have never done anything like this before. Looking at the setup, I think I will need to remove the carburetor (might as well rebuild), then remove the intake manifold, then valve cover, then remove rocker arm assembly.

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    Any helpful hints would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • #2
    When you get the head off, take it to an automotive machine shop and have them drill it out and clean up the threads. BTDT...

    Comment


    • #3
      Do you have a shop manual? Reprints are obtainable from vendors, and the procedures for this job are easily followed in that book. Yes, the intake manifold comes off, then each head. Take lots of pix before taking on this job, so you remember where things bolt on etc.!

      Comment


      • #4
        It could have helped if you had removed the Head bolt that the Exhaust Manifold Bolt runs into.
        Then you could get some PB Blaster, Kroil or other Penetrating Oil or Rust Buster into the Threads of the Exhaust Manifold Bolt Hole to help loosen it.

        Since you live in the L.A. Basin where I used to live, I can tell you that when I was there until 1998 there was a Co. in the SW L.A./Gardena area that I would guess is still there called Tap-X they have Lasers that burn the Bolt out without touching the threaded Hole.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          When you get the head off, PM me.

          Comment


          • #6
            UPDATE:

            Finally carved out some time to get remove the cylinder head for easier access to the broken bolt. Found out I have a non-stock radiator w/ no access to petcock, and drained most of the coolant from the lower rad hose. Attempted to remove the block drain plug to more thoroughly drain the block, but the bolt would not loosen. Tried PB Blaster, tried heat, tried impact and it would not budge.

            Resigned to removing the block as is and hoped for the best. Got the rockers off no problem, removed push rods (kept them in order), and had to coax the head off the block with a rubber mallet. That SOB is heavy!

            In the process more coolant (not too much) spilled out the bottom (made a mess on the shop floor and some splatter in the engine bay) , some spilled into the piston chambers which I quickly sopped up with paper towels. Didn't look like any got past the pistons. Piston chambers also look machined, very clean and smooth.

            Got the head on the bench, and now have a clear shot at that busted bolt. Finally, one step closer. Its been since September of last year since the last time I heard it running.

            Here's some pics.

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            Right now, I plan on drilling it out and re-tapping. I have reverse thread drill bits hoping it will back out as I go through the process. People I have spoken to recommend EZ outs, but I have read too many "bad idea" stories explaining how the EZ out snapped in the process and the metal is harder than any drill bit (other than diamond), and would cause a major major problem.

            Praying to the classic car gods for good karma.

            Alan, you still able to help out a rookie?
            Last edited by jhicban; 07-31-2017, 11:18 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jhicban;1066931.
              People I have spoken to recommend EZ outs, but I have read too many "bad idea" stories explaining how the EZ out snapped in the process and the metal is harder than any drill bit (other than diamond), and would cause a major major problem.
              This happened to me a few years ago and I had to go to a machine shop. I wish I did it first. You might have to use an helicoil here.
              Best of luck.
              sigpic

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              • #8
                On reassembly you will want to remove the water manifold. it will make the job easier. also weld up a couple of "T" bolts to thread into the 5/16 rocker stand holes in the head, convenient length was 4in. these will make setting the head in place easier. make sure the dowels are in the hole and not cocked a little.this used to be a one man job but as time marches on recruiting help is wise. Luck Doofus

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                • #9
                  j -

                  PM Alan.
                  Good guy, knows his stuff.
                  Pretty centrally located in the L.A. area, easy to get to.

                  Mike

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                  • #10
                    I remove frozen bolts like this all the time in my shop. In my experience EZ-outs work maybe 10% of the time. On exhaust bolts they generally don't work. Broken EZ-outs can be removed with carbide drill bits but, it's not easy. I strongly suggest that you take it to good machine shop where they can set it up to drill straight through the center of the broken bolt. I see a lot of broken bolts where the customer tried to drill it out and they got it off center into the threads. Once you're into the threads it's heli-coil time. Neal

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                    • #11
                      You can also take a torch to that broken stud, since it is a thru hole to the head bolt. The "steel" of the bolt will melt out & leave the threads of the "cast iron" head alone. I do this often when repairing old blacksmithing forges.
                      Mike Sal

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                      • #12
                        jhicban, when I ask a question like this, I always wonder if the owner would have been better off not knowing.



                        Maybe it's just a reflection from the flash, but I'd suggest wiping down the shadowed area with solvent and taking another close-up photo, because in the above, something looks odd.

                        jack vines
                        PackardV8

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                        • #13
                          I agree with Jack, from here, it looks like there could be some pitting in the cylinder walls which isn't good for ring sealing. More pictures would be helpful. Bud

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                          • #14
                            Thank you for the concern, and I will definitely take a closer look today. I was just very happy to finally get the head off and maybe I missed something.

                            I will take some better pictures today with better lighting. The cylinder walls feel smooth to the touch, I didn't notice pitting or any abrasions. Also, the only carbon build up I see is on the top of the piston head.

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                            • #15
                              UPDATED PICS:

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                              Walls feel smooth, no pitting, didn't feel any uneven surfaces. Should I be covering them up with tape or something while I work on getting the busted bolt out of the head?
                              Attached Files

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