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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried unsuccessfully 3 times to put the passenger side head back on alone and destroyed the head gasket. So I am going to get the other side off and take the old stuff to scrap then try again with the engine hoist. If I ever have to do this job again, I will pull the whole engine out then swap and put it back in. What a sob it is to try to finagle the 50 lbs cylinder head inside the engine compartment and then down on the head, and to top it off I could not for the life of me get the dowel pins and wholes to line up. Its not a matter of strength as much as it is the angles and small space to move without damage to other things. Mark
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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When my V8 developed an issue I related to probably being my old heads.. I simply pulled the engine (in an afternoon), had the heads done, and popped the engine back in the following weekend. Trans, bumper, even hood stayed in place. It was quick because everything had already been done, and now it was just plug and play. I also put it back in almost completely assembled, intake, headers, water-pumps and pulleys, heck even plugs and wires (even oil filter).. all done on the engine stand. Torquing heads, intake, and exhaust, (plus everything else) on the stand is fun, and a piece of cake.

I would NEVER dream of attempting doing heads while in the van.
Too messy, too hard.. and I'm getting too old to twist into weird positions.. lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I have never done it this way so I figured it would be quick and easy-live and learn lol. So now both heads are in the scrap pile in my big ford along with the junk engine I bought for 100 bucks just for the heads. But I sold a few parts so subtract that from the engine's price, now I paid 70 bucks for the set of used heads. And I will get at least 40 bucks for it at the scrap yard. Now if I can get it together and running I will be ahead of the game a bit. Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was waiting for a few parts, so I decided to pull my engine back out to properly install the heads and intake manifold and get the torques right. All that is still to be removed for pulling is the motor mounts, torque converter bolts and flywheel bolts. I will pull it, bolt it to my engine stand, put it together then drop it back in. Hopefully it will be running by the end of this week.
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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Last time I did a quick pull & reinstall of my V8.. it was also for a head job. It came out one weekend, and went back in the next. I assemble and do as much as I can on the stand. This includes adjusting lifters, as well as installing intake, valve-covers, thermostat and senders, headers, water-pump, harmonic and crank-pulley, oil filter, even oil, plugs and wires (on the stand before it goes back in).

Everything is properly torqued on stand. After installing and running the engine, I don't re-torque heads, but I do re-torque the intake and exhaust header bolts.

("right-click open new tab" to see any photo to see larger)
Pumping up lifters (using modified distro) and adjusting valves on the stand...
(if you do this don't forget to install the oil sender.. lol)
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Automotive design Bumper


I prep my Felpro gaskets with "Copper-Coat" (by Permatex)
I think I only did the block side...
(since these particular special-purpose gaskets are pre-coated)
Building Wood Rectangle Font Art


Also "Copper-Coat" my intake gaskets
(have done both head and intake sets this way for decades)
Shoe Hood Helmet Automotive tire Motor vehicle


Heads are decked and ready... (2.02/1.60 valves)
(Gaskets are prepped.. bolts are prepped..)
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I've always re-used my bolts (been doing it this way all my life..lol)
This time I chased the threads and used this ACDelco product on them..
Liquid Solution Fluid Drink Gas


Here's how my engine looked when it was ready to go in (minus carb)
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I didn't even pull bumper or hood last time either (note even plug wires in place).
Proper connection to engine lift (tight and angled correctly) make it all quick and simple.
Tire Automotive parking light Wheel Automotive side marker light Vehicle


I shared my photos to give you some inspiration!

Coincidentally I've been fixing some of the "missing photos" on my old V8 upgrade threads, so some of these photos are pretty fresh. lol

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks great, mine is (now) AWD so no headers but should be pretty much the same job since motor and trans mounts are brand new. As I said before this is a used engine so I just hope to be able to drive it to California next summer then replace the engine with a fully rebuilt vortec 350. With 4 barrel intake and TBI on adapter. I have been doing a lot of both reading and watching video's for ideas to get the most out of the new engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The engine is out of the van and on the engine stand! Tomorrow is supposed to be T storms, so I will attempt to roll the engine on the stand into the barn first thing in the morning, so I can put it together while it's raining outside.
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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I rolled an engine in my yard to my shed on a makeshift plywood runway...lol
In this case.. I moved it while still attached to cherry picker (for better stability)
Plant Rectangle Land lot Grass Tree
Plant Tree Wood Grass Shade


The engine is out of the van and on the engine stand!
So where are YOUR pictures??
Or do I have to keep posting mine... lol
 

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1998 LS AWD Forest Green metallic
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Thanks for the pictures... I guess it is really happening;)
Why all the deconstructed wiring? That makes the job look a lot worse that it should be...but then I have not had the pleasure of doing even a stock motor replacement. I hope I never have to. I am getting pretty old for that stuff. My first engine rebuild was in 1962, on a German Lloyd Alexander 600. It was a small 2-cylinder air cooled (think Harley-Davidson style motor) in the station wagon. Lloyd was part of the Borgward family of cars.
Rod J
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some wiring is for the second battery, some is for the winch that will be mounted in the future and some is for add on accessories, I was doing the wiring before the engine problems started. I will have it wrapped before the engine goes back in, though. I just finished about 95% of the exhaust system, then filled the radiator and noticed it leaking out of the oil drain plug.
 

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2000 Lifted 4x4 Astro 92 V8-350 Shorty
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I usually paint the heads BEFORE I install them.
Much easier to do off the engine.
I'm assuming you're NOT going to paint that nice intake
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The two-tone "add-on" look has always been my signature on small blocks
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
This is at best a temporary engine, so I hope to be able to drive it soon, then when I get back to California I will buy a 5.7 vortec and build it right. It may have to get me to California, but once there it's scrap except the intake and a few other parts. I am seriously thinking .30 overbore and flat tops.
 

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You never know how long "temporary" is going to last.

In my old days, I even used to pull an engine just to clean it up and repaint it.
I got tired of cleaning and re-painting timing covers, so now I just use chrome ones.. lol. Same for valve covers. My intakes are always aluminum, and never painted (unless clear or aluminum paint). Oil pans your don't see.. so no big deal either way.

So in my photo.. I might have painted the heads (because I just had them done).. but I never re-painted the block. The heads were easy and quick, especially while being off the engine (too easy to pass up). But I cut corners when it's pretty much unnecessary.. in my case my block looked "good enough".. even though it was last painted several decades ago. I washed it (when I pulled it) before popping it back in the following weekend.

The one thing that drives me crazy are people who paint EVERYTHING in one bland shot. But that's me.. I like mine to look "aftermarket and assembled" and not like one big quick blob.

Truth is.. much of the engine is covered with accy's anyway.. alternators, pulleys, water-pumps, steering pumps, hoses and lines.. you don't really see much of the engine anyway. With all that wiring in your photos.. it will be well concealed.. lol

Washing my engine block (most recent pull)..
(not really a lot of area to see once everything assembled)
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But hey.. some people even paint their undercarriages and frames too.. lol
PS: Enjoying your photos!
(although that engine bay wiring shot almost gave me a heart attack)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well the engine is mostly back together, but I am waiting for a few small parts. I ordered a top end gasket set from Rock auto and somehow all the gaskets were good except the valve cover gaskets. Somehow they managed to put the wrong valve cover gaskets in the kit, and they are 2 inches to short. So I ordered 2 valve cover gaskets and the temp sensor that goes into the cylinder head got broken so I had to order one. Once they come in, I will be reinstalling the engine. Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
OK so everything is back together and will be going back into the Astro tomorrow. Rain Thursday so it won't be done by Friday as I had hoped.
 
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