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Guest Message by DevFuse

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How do you clean heads?

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4 replies to this topic

#1 The FNG


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Posted 19 September 2011 - 11:16 PM

I took both heads off of my 91 Loyale EA82 and I need to clean them. I was going to use brake cleaner, but I didn't really want to spray down the hydro lifters. I actually would like to test and clean the lifters and remove the valves too. So here are my questions:

1) How do I get the valves off? My spring compressor doesn't seem to be doing it.

2) How do I remove the hydro lifters?

3) How have you done it/ What is your experience?

By the way, I'm using a spring compressor that looks kinda like a gear puller. Also, I will not go to a shop to have any work done. I want to do it my self so I know how it works and how to fix it if it breaks, etc.

#2 man on the moon

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 11:55 PM

I have gotten the valves out in the past without a puller by (roughly) the following:

1--Put the head 'block side' down on some sort of frame; two boards, a couple wrenches, some stacked cardboard, etc (you need the small lift to keep the valves from accidentally smacking the floor if you push too much)

2--Stand on the edges of the spring, or use a ginormous pliery type tool of some sort (protect the metal of the head if you use a mickey mouse tool).

3--The little clip thingys that hold the valves and springs in place should now be accessible for removal. The valves can also be removed at this point.


As for the lifters...good luck, you'll need it. As for cleaning, brake fluid and a wire brush or fine grain sand paper does well (800ish).

#3 idosubaru


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Posted 20 September 2011 - 06:23 AM

i know a guy who bought an ultrasonic cleaner to clean the HLA's.

mizpah engineering *rebuilds* HLA's for $3 or $5 each, well worth it to have those done right. the main problem disassembling them is the assembly rings crack when you try to remove them. ends up not being a *that* big of a deal as i've seen them installed cracked and have never seen an issue...but, not exactly a good feeling.

you can disassemble them to clean them, but it's a tedious affair i won't ever do again. i guess it's cool to do it once but is otherwise lengthy, not cost effective, and problematic....

the even trickier part sometimes is getting them out of the heads, they often do not want to come out.

the valve spring compressor i have doesn't work well at all on subaru's for some reason but does get them off if you go at it enough.

then just spray the heads down with brake cleaner like you said.
if you're having the heads resurfaced they can probably hot tank them for you, that's ideal to make sure you get them spotless.

#4 nickolai


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Posted 20 September 2011 - 10:01 PM

I have a spring compressor that looks like a gear puller also, and it was sort of difficult to get it to bite at the bottom of the spring, but with some patience I was able to get it. Underneath the spring will be a valve stem seal that pulls off easily enough with decent pliers. And I used a gasket scraper and wire brush to clean the mating surfaces of the heads/block, as well as autoshop degreaser on the rest of everything which worked pretty well. I Can't help you with the HLA's. I just left mine alone and tried to pretend that awful ticking didn't exist!:rolleyes: I used cheap ebay head gaskets, and I highly recommend AGAINST this practice! I didn't have very good luck with them. Get the Felpro ones like everyone says. I did have good luck with the cheap ebay timing belt kit though, and have read accounts of others having good luck with them as well.

#5 The FNG


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Posted 20 September 2011 - 11:08 PM

ya, I got the felpro gasket set and I am trying to use everything in the kit so that none of it goes to waste like the valve seals. The HLA's are fine, I have no ticking or had no ticking before it came apart. I just wanted to preserve them and not get cleaner/degreaser on them while cleaning the heads. Otherwise I assume they work fine.

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