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Thread: Cylinder Head Stuck

  1. #1
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    Default Cylinder Head Stuck

    I'm trying to remove the cylinder head, but I think the gasket has fused the head and the rest of the engine. What can I do to remove it?
    I'm finally trying to fix that misdrilled hole.
    1980 GS550E

  2. #2
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    Hey, ZPS, welcome back, I don’t think we’ve heard from you since your first ride video, months ago. Glad to here from you.

    You should get lots of advice on getting that long-stuck-on head gasket freed up. Methods may vary depending on if the engine is still mounted in the frame or sitting on your work bench. Start with the least aggressive, penetrating oil, PB blaster around the gasket edge, keep soaking it periodically. You may try tapping with a hammer against a wood block against the head, coming at it from different angles but mostly upward. Be very careful not to hit in an area where you could break off a fin. (Ask me how I Know).

    oh, and before any of that, triple check that you have in fact removed all the nuts and bolts securing the head to the barrels.
    Last edited by Rich82GS750TZ; 03-05-2021 at 08:27 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich82GS750TZ View Post
    Hey, ZPS, welcome back, I don’t think we’ve heard from you since your first ride video, months ago. Glad to here from you.

    You should get lots of advice on getting that long-stuck-on head gasket freed up. Methods may vary depending on if the engine is still mounted in the frame or sitting on your work bench. Start with the least aggressive, penetrating oil, PB blaster around the gasket edge, keep soaking it periodically. You may try tapping with a hammer against a wood block against the head, coming at it from different angles but mostly upward. Be very careful not to hit in an area where you could break off a fin. (Ask me how I Know).

    oh, and before any of that, triple check that you have in fact removed all the nuts and bolts securing the head to the barrels.
    I posted some more videos on my channel (TheGSRider on Youtube), including going through a surprise derecho.

    The engine is still on the bike. I have Deep Creep, an air compressor, a rubber mallet, a sledgehammer, a small prybar, oven cleaner, and an air hammer.
    1980 GS550E

  4. #4
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    I had an old BMW R75/5 and nothing would get the head off, I resorted to the farmer's trick of feeding some clean clothesline down the spark plug hole and rotated the engine firmly but not slamming it. I am anticipating this may raise eyebrows but it worked a treat for me, and I'd do it again if I had to. Beats banging on the fins IMO.
    Tom

  5. #5
    Redman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZombiePotatoSalad View Post
    .
    .
    .
    THe two #11 ??

    And this #9 ??




    Had 850G for 14 years. Now have GK since 2005.
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  6. #6
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    If the #9 bolt is on the front of the engine, then yes, I'd already removed that. It was covered with grime, so it was the last one to be removed, but I finally found it.
    1980 GS550E

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldGSfan View Post
    I had an old BMW R75/5 and nothing would get the head off, I resorted to the farmer's trick of feeding some clean clothesline down the spark plug hole and rotated the engine firmly but not slamming it. I am anticipating this may raise eyebrows but it worked a treat for me, and I'd do it again if I had to. Beats banging on the fins IMO.
    How exactly does that work? How far do I thread the rope in? Do I tie the other end to something? How do I remove it? I don't want the line to break inside my engine.
    1980 GS550E

  8. #8
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    I brought the engine up to about an inch or so before TDC - you MUST be sure the valves are closed - remove cams is best. Feed in as much as it will take in the spark plug hole, completely stuffed it with no room for more. As I fed it in, pushed around toward the sides with a wooden dowel, moved it around as best I could to make sure it spread out a bit. But it's probably not that important. Then put a wrench on the crank bolt and bring toward TDC slowly, and off she goes. on a 4 cylinder I would probably stuff the outer 2 cylinders. Soft cotton clothesline from the discount store worked for me. The amount of upward pressure is considerable. Just keep an eye on things and don't try cranking on it. If it doesn't work with a 'reasonable' amount of pressure, stop and pull out rope. I'm sure someone could damage something (wrist pins? rods themselves?) if it is horrendously stuck and they cranked the hell out if it.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZombiePotatoSalad View Post
    How exactly does that work? How far do I thread the rope in? Do I tie the other end to something? How do I remove it? I don't want the line to break inside my engine.
    Last edited by oldGSfan; 03-05-2021 at 11:03 PM.
    Tom

  9. #9
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    cowboyup3371 is offline Forum LongTimer Past Site Supporter
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    As was suggested, wood blocks and a rubber mallet should knock it free

    Cowboy Up or Quit. - Run Free Lou and Rest in Peace

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  10. #10
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    I agree try that first. Last resort for me was this trick and many have used it with success but if you do, be gentle and careful.

    I get a bit nervous whacking soft aluminum so I'm careful to find the right place. I think a lot of fins get broken! Some engines have an obvious area to tap, others not so much. I have normally been able to shake heads free with 'normal' methods but the BMW was absolutely immovable any way else, and I've removed many dozens of cylinder heads.


    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyup3371 View Post
    As was suggested, wood blocks and a rubber mallet should knock it free
    Last edited by oldGSfan; 03-05-2021 at 11:25 PM.
    Tom

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