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How do you remove cylinder head on 1964 Spitefire

Hi David,

First drain the cooling system. Then rmove the valve cover and then the rocker arm assembly Put all of the nuts and bolts that you remove in a small container and lable that container what section you removed them from. A good idea at this point is to get a piece of cardboard about a foot long and about 6 inches wide or more and fold it down the middle. Then punch holes (8 holes down each folded half) And mark the holes 1 to 8 and install each push rod so they can be put back in the engine the exact way they came out.

Remove the waterpump and put the bolts in another small container and lable the container so it will be easier to find which bolt whent where.

When you start removing the head bolts you should start loosening the head bolts in the center of the head and only loosen them about 3/4 turn and work your way back and forth on the head bolts working your way to each end of the head and then go back to the middle ones and loosen them all the way working your way from the center toward each end.

Sometimes the head will be stuck to the block. You must NEVER try to drive any wedge in between the head and the block to break it loose. Instead look at the front and rear of the head and you will see that the head in places sticks out over the block. There is where you should use that part of the head to pry on to break it loose.

Tell me why you are removing the cylinder head. There are several very important things to look for with a head off and many items to do before putting it back on.

You should also get a service manual for your car before putting the head back on no matter what reason you removed it.

Let me know.


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Howard M. Fitzcharles III


Triumph TR-4 up & Spitfire, and Engine theory


Dealership line mechanic on MG, Triumph, Jaguar for 15 years, Instructor in commercial mechanics school 2 yr. Product information manager for piston and valve manufacture, Instructor & hotline answer man for import car parts importer 15 yrs.

Associate member SAE EAA member

Import Car magazine

ASE Master Auto with L-1 certification up to 2000

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