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Dismantle the Engine

Replacing a Faulty Head Gasket Part II: How to Dismantle the Engine

Once you have all the essentials and the manuals in place you can start the process of dismantling the engine of your car. Remember, it is best to seek professional help as this procedure involves many complexities and skipping of even the smallest of steps can land you in a mine of trouble.  Additionally, to avoid hefty car repair costs, employ these car hacks to make your life easier.

Seek professional help from In Town Automotive’s car technicians for a successful and safe replacement of faulty head gaskets.

Engine 1

To complete the project yourself, read along to know more!

Step 1 of Part 2 – Disengage the battery

It is of very important that you disengage the car batteries whilst performing chief repairs like replacing car head gasket as it is very easy to accidentally activate the starter assembly on some vehicles.

Note: Do not forget to detach the negative or black cable on the battery first.

Word of Caution: Loose-fitting wire connections have the imminent risk of short circuits and can damage very sensitive and costly equipment or emit fire-inducing sparks. This is extremely dangerous so ensure that you disconnect the battery before you do anything else.

Step 2 of Part 2 – Drain engine oil and engine coolant

Engine Fluid

Make sure that you drain out the engine oil and engine oil drain port completely.

Position the drip pan below the engine to collect the old oil and open the oil drain plug. This way, if the engine coolant trickles on top of the crankcase, it will flow out instead of settling in the engine.

Note: Remember to get rid of the old engine oil in the oil pan so that you do not add new oil on top or else you will have to mend the entire engine assembly right from the start.

Drain the coolant from the radiator drain port or by removing or unfastening the lower radiator hose. Ensure that you remove the cap of the radiator.

Tip: In some cases, the lower intake manifold or the cylinder head will have a coolant drain port of its own.


Step 3 of Part 2 – Eliminate all the components from the cylinder head

All the elements attached to the cylinder head have to be eliminated.

  • You may lose track of things as several nuts, clamps, bolts, sleeves and fittings entail the completion of this step and it is very likely hat you may lose track of things. Try clicking pictures or pen down a description of each part to help you remember where everything goes once all the elements are ready to reassemble the engine.
  • Bag and put a label on everything. It will rather be a good idea for you to keep some components and their respective fasteners in the same bag. One part may have fasteners that are of varying lengths. Mark these as these would go back exactly where they came from to keep any kind of engine problems and damage at bay.
  • A number of bolts involved in the tear down are known as “torque to yield”. These are usually stretched upon installation and will require replacing once they are taken out. Keep an eye on these bolts and remember to switch them with new ones.

Word of Caution: In case of being reused, the ‘torque to yield’ fasteners have very good chances of breaking off into the engine block or cylinder head. The broken parts will have to be hooked out and if the hole is damaged, it needs to be repaired.

Step 4 of Part 2 – Take out the fasteners in sequence


Quite a lot of car parts such as the cylinder head, valve cover, exhaust manifolds, and intake require the elimination of the fasteners in a certain sequence to avoid warping and cracking. This information is usually explained in detail in the vehicle service manual.

Some vehicles are provided with overhead camshafts which may either be dual overhead camshaft DOHC) or single overhead camshafts (SOHC). This essentially means that the camshafts are located in the cylinder head. With these types of engines, the crankshaft and camshaft may be connected with a timing belt or chain.

Note: The timing belt or timing chain assembly needs the following of a set of procedures for being taken out in order to shield the internal elements of the engine. Pay keen attention to the procedures and timing marks as these are vital to the functioning of the engine. The assembly may suffer quite a bit as a result of significant damage if mistakes are committed.

Some vehicles may have an exceptional engine design referred to as the overhead valve (OHV). Many OHV engine designs have the camshaft housed within the engine block and make use of pushrods, rocker arms and lifters in order to set off the valves in the cylinder head.

Generally, the engine timing elements were kept out from the removal of the cylinder head, but if these parts are removed; they have to be fitted in exactly the same order.

Note: Different types of engine designs employ different lengths of pushrods for the intake and exhaust valves. If these elements are mixed up in any manner, engine damage is quite probable.

Several timing belt kits come with a marked belt for easy installation. The markings on the belt may differ for every type of timing belt kit and will be perfectly aligned with the markings on the components of the engine.

The cylinder head gasket or seal lies under the cylinder head assembly. The material used for this can either be metal or any material that can get crushed after the installation of cylinder head bolts and torque. From time to time, both materials are used in the production of the cylinder head gasket.

This gasket must be capable of resisting pressures and temperatures of combustion. Frequently you may look for breaks amidst two cylinders or a break an oil or coolant port seal has cracked open.

In case you have to undertake the repair and replacement of head gasket on an urgent basis, you can take advantage of In Town Automotive’s finance option.

Get in touch with us today to know more!