GM Camaro 1967-1981 Repair Guide

Cylinder Head Reconditioning

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This engine rebuilding section is a guide to accepted rebuilding procedures. Typical examples of standard rebuilding procedures are illustrated. Use these procedures along with the detailed instructions earlier in this section, concerning your particular engine.

REMOVING THE CYLINDER HEAD



See the engine service procedures earlier in this chapter for details concerning specific engines.

IDENTIFYING THE VALVES



Invert the cylinder head, and number the valve faces front to rear, using a permanent felt-tip marker.

REMOVING THE ROCKER ARMS



Remove the rocker arms with shaft(s) or balls and nuts. Wire the sets of rockers, balls and nuts together, and identify according to the corresponding valve.

REMOVING THE VALVES AND SPRINGS



See Figures 1 through 7

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Fig. Fig. 1: Use a valve spring compressor tool to relieve spring tension from the valve caps



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Fig. Fig. 2: A magnet may be helpful in removing the valve keepers



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Fig. Fig. 3: Be careful not to lose the valve keepers



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Fig. Fig. 4: Once the spring has been removed, the O-ring may be removed from the valve stem



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the spring from the valve stem in order to access the seal



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Fig. Fig. 6: Remove the valve stem seal from the cylinder head



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Fig. Fig. 7: Invert the cylinder head and withdraw the valve from the cylinder head bore

Using an appropriate valve spring compressor (depending on the configuration of the cylinder head), compress the valve springs. Lift out the keepers with needlenose pliers, release the compressor, and remove the valve, spring, and spring retainer. See the engine service procedures earlier in this section for details concerning specific engines.

CHECKING THE VALVE STEM-TO-GUIDE CLEARANCE



See Figure 8

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Fig. Fig. 8: A dial gauge may be used to check valve stem-to-guide clearance

Clean the valve stem with lacquer thinner or a similar solvent to remove all gum and varnish. Clean the valve guides using solvent and an expanding wire-type valve guide cleaner. Mount a dial indicator so that the stem is at 90º to the valve stem, as close to the valve guide as possible. Move the valve off its seat, and measure the valve guide-to-stem clearance by rocking the stem back and forth to actuate the dial indicator. Measure the valve stems using a micrometer, and compare to specifications, to determine whether stem or guide wear is responsible for excessive clearance.

Consult the Specifications tables earlier in this section.

REMOVING CARBON FROM THE CYLINDER HEAD AND VALVES



See Figure 9

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Fig. Fig. 9: A wire wheel may be used to clean the combustion chambers of carbon deposits

Chip carbon away from the valve heads, combustion chambers, and ports, using a chisel made of hardwood. Remove the remaining deposits with a stiff wire brush.

Be sure that the deposits are actually removed, rather than burnished.

HOT-TANKING THE CYLINDER HEAD (CAST IRON HEADS ONLY)




CAUTION
Do not hot-tank aluminum parts.

Have the cylinder head hot-tanked to remove grease, corrosion, and scale from the water passages.

DEGREASING THE REMAINING CYLINDER HEAD PARTS



Clean the remaining cylinder head parts in an engine cleaning solvent. Do not remove the protective coating from the springs.

CHECKING THE CYLINDER HEAD FOR WARPAGE



See Figures 10 and 11

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Fig. Fig. 10: Check the cylinder head for warpage along the center using a straightedge and a feeler gauge



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Fig. Fig. 11: Be sure to check for warpage across the cylinder head at both diagonals

Place a straight-edge across the gasket surface of the cylinder head. Using feeler gauges, determine the clearance at the center of the straight-edge. If warpage exceeds .003" in a 6" span, or .006" over the total length, the cylinder head must be resurfaced.

If warpage exceeds the manufacturer's maximum tolerance for material removal, the cylinder head must be replaced.

When milling the cylinder heads of V-type engines, the intake manifold mounting position is altered, and must be corrected by milling the manifold flange a proportionate amount.

KNURLING THE VALVE GUIDES



See Figure 12

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Fig. Fig. 12: Cross-section of a knurled valve guide-the tool raises little edges or steps which decrease the inside diameter of the guide to specifications

Valve guides which are not excessively worn or distorted may, in some cases, be knurled rather than replaced. Knurling is a process in which metal is displaced and raised, thereby reducing clearance. Knurling also provides excellent oil control. The possibility of knurling rather than replacing valve guides should be discussed with a machinist.

REPLACING THE VALVE GUIDES



See Figure 13

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Fig. Fig. 13: On cylinder heads with press in valve guides (check with a local automotive machine shop), the valve guides can be hammered in using the tool shown

Valve guides should only be replaced if damaged or if an oversize valve stem is not available.

See the engine service procedures earlier in this chapter for details concerning specific engines. Depending on the type of cylinder head, valve guides may be pressed, hammered, or shrunk in. In cases where the guides are shrunk into the head, replacement should be left to an equipped machine shop. In other cases, the guides are replaced using a stepped drift (see illustration). Determine the height above the boss that the guide must extend, and obtain a stack of washers, their I.D. similar to the guide's O.D., of that height. Place the stack of washers on the guide, and insert the guide into the boss.

Valve guides are often tapered or beveled for installation.

Using the stepped installation tool (see illustration), press or tap the guides into position. Ream the guides according to the size of the valve stem.

REPLACING VALVE SEAT INSERTS



Replacement of valve seat inserts which are worn beyond resurfacing or broken, if feasible, must be done by a machine shop.

RESURFACING (GRINDING) THE VALVE FACE



See Figures 14, 15, 16 and 17

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Fig. Fig. 14: Make certain to inspect the valves completely before reinstalling them into the cylinder head



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Fig. Fig. 15: The valve face angle should be ground using a special machining device, as shown



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Fig. Fig. 16: Valve stems may be rolled on a flat surface to check for bends



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Fig. Fig. 17: Use a micrometer to check the valve stem diameter

Using a valve grinder, resurface the valves according to specifications given earlier in this chapter.


CAUTION
Valve face angle is not always identical to valve seat angle.

A minimum margin of 1 / 32 " should remain after grinding the valve. The valve stem top should also be squared and resurfaced, by placing the stem in the V-block of the grinder, and turning it while pressing lightly against the grinding wheel.

Do not grind sodium filled exhaust valves on a machine. These should be hand lapped.

RESURFACING THE VALVE SEATS USING REAMERS OF GRINDER



See Figures 18 and 19

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Fig. Fig. 18: Correct and incorrect valve seating in the cylinder head



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Fig. Fig. 19: The valve seats can be reamed with a hand reamer tool, as shown

Select a reamer of the correct seat angle, slightly larger than the diameter of the valve seat, and assemble it with a pilot of the correct size. Install the pilot into the valve guide, and using steady pressure, turn the reamer clockwise.


CAUTION
Do not turn the reamer counterclockwise.

Remove only as much material as necessary to clean the seat. Check the concentricity of the seat (following). Coat the valve face with Prussian blue dye, install and rotate it on the valve seat. Using the dye marked area as a centering guide, center and narrow the valve seat to specifications with correction cutters.

When no specifications are available, minimum seat width for exhaust valves should be5/64in., intake valves1/16in.

After making correction cuts, check the position of the valve seat on the valve face using Prussian blue dye.

To resurface the seat with a power grinder, select a pilot of the correct size and coarse stone of the proper angle. Lubricate the pilot and move the stone on and off the valve seat at 2 cycles per second, until all flaws are gone. Finish the seat with a fine stone. If necessary the seat can be corrected or narrowed using correction stones.

CHECKING THE VALVE SEAT CONCENTRICITY



See Figure 20

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Fig. Fig. 20: A special dial gauge can be used to check valve seat concentricity (run-out), which should not exceed 0.002 in.

Coat the valve face with Prussian blue dye, install the valve, and rotate it on the valve seat. If the entire seat becomes coated, and the valve is known to be concentric, the seat is concentric.

Install the dial gauge pilot into the guide, and rest the arm on the valve seat. Zero the gauge, and rotate the arm around the seat. Run-out should not exceed .002".

LAPPING THE VALVES



See Figures 21 and 22

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Fig. Fig. 21: Lapping the valves by hand can be done either with a tool which is rolled between both hands ...



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Fig. Fig. 22: ... or with a lapping tool inserted into a hand drill

Valve lapping is done to ensure efficient sealing of resurfaced valves and seats.

Invert the cylinder head, lightly lubricate the valve stems, and install the valves in the head as numbered. Coat valve seats with fine grinding compound, and attach the lapping tool suction cup to a valve head.

Moisten the suction cup.

Rotate the tool between the palms, changing position and lifting the tool often to prevent grooving. Lap the valve until a smooth, polished seat is evident. Remove the valve and tool, and rinse away all traces of grinding compound.

Fasten a suction cup to a piece of drill rod, and mount the rod in a hand drill. Proceed as above, using the hand drill as a lapping tool.


CAUTION
Due to the higher speeds involved when using the hand drill, care must be exercised to avoid grooving the seat.

Lift the tool and change direction of rotation often.

CHECKING THE VALVE SPRINGS



See Figures 23 and 24

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Fig. Fig. 23: Use a caliper gauge to check the valve spring free-length



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Fig. Fig. 24: Check the valve spring for squareness on a flat service; a carpenter's square can be used

Place the spring on a flat surface next to a square. Measure the height of the spring, and rotate it against the edge of the square to measure distortion. If spring height varies (by comparison) by more than 1 / 16 " or if distortion exceeds 1 / 16 ", replace the spring.

In addition to evaluating the spring as above, test the spring pressure at the installed and compressed (installed height minus valve lift) height using a valve spring tester. Springs used on small displacement engines (up to 3 liters) should be ;mp1 lb of all other springs in either position. A tolerance of ;mp5 lbs is permissible on larger engines.

INSTALLING VALVE STEM SEALS



See Figure 25

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Fig. Fig. 25: Make certain to install the valve stem seals prior to installing the valve springs and other components

Due to the pressure differential that exists at the ends of the intake valve guides (atmospheric pressure above, manifold vacuum below), oil is drawn through the valve guides into the intake port. This has been alleviated somewhat since the addition of positive crankcase ventilation, which lowers the pressure above the guides. Several types of valve stem seals are available to reduce blow-by. Certain seals simply slip over the stem and guide boss, while others require that the boss be machined. Recently, Teflon guide seals have become popular. Consult a parts supplier or machinist concerning availability and suggested usages.

When installing seals, ensure that a small amount of oil is able to pass the seal to lubricate the valve guides; otherwise, excessive wear may result.

INSTALLING THE VALVES



See the engine service procedures earlier in this chapter for details concerning specific engines.

Lubricate the valve stems, and install the valves in the cylinder head as numbered. Lubricate and position the seals (if used) and the valve springs. Install the spring retainers, compress the springs, and insert the keys using needlenose pliers or a tool designed for this purpose.

Retain the keys with wheel bearing grease during installation.

CHECKING VALVE SPRING INSTALLED HEIGHT



See Figure 26

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Fig. Fig. 26: Measure the valve spring installed height from the bottom of the spring seat to the lower edge of the spring retainer with a small ruler

Measure the distance between the spring pad the lower edge of the spring retainer, and compare to specifications. If the installed height is incorrect, add shim washers between the spring pad and the spring.


CAUTION
Use only washers designed for this purpose.

INSPECTING THE ROCKER ARMS, BALLS, STUDS, AND NUTS



See Figure 27

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Fig. Fig. 27: Before installing the rocker arm nuts, inspect them for signs of fractures-replace them with new ones if any such damage is evident

Visually inspect the rocker arms, balls, studs, and nuts for cracks, galling, burning, scoring, or wear. If all parts are intact, liberally lubricate the rocker arms and balls, and install them on the cylinder head. If wear is noted on a rocker arm at the point of valve contact, grind it smooth and square, removing as little material as possible. Replace the rocker arm if excessively worn. If a rocker stud shows signs of wear, it must be replaced. If a rocker nut shows stress cracks, replace it. If an exhaust ball is galled or burned, substitute the intake ball from the same cylinder (if it is intact), and install a new intake ball.

Avoid using new rocker balls on exhaust valves.

REPLACING ROCKER STUDS



See Figures 28 and 29

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Fig. Fig. 28: Use a stack of flat washers and nut to draw the pressed in stud out of the cylinder head



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Fig. Fig. 29: The stud bore can be reamed oversize for the new stud by hand

In order to remove a threaded stud, lock two nuts on the stud, and unscrew the stud using the lower nut. Coat the lower threads of the new stud with Loctite, and install.

Two alternative methods are available for replacing pressed in studs. Remove the damaged stud using a stack of washers and a nut (see illustration). In the first method, the boss is reamed .005-.006" oversize, and an oversize stud is pressed in. Control the stud extension over the boss using washers, in the same manner as valve guides. Before installing the stud, coat it with white lead and grease. To retain the stud more positively drill a hole through the stud and boss, and install a roll pin. In the second method, the boss is tapped, and a threaded stud installed.

INSPECTING THE ROCKER SHAFT(S) AND ROCKER ARMS



See Figure 30

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Fig. Fig. 30: On engines equipped with rocker shafts, inspect the rocker arm-to-rocker arm shaft contact area

Remove the rocker arms, springs and washers from rocker shaft.

Lay out parts in the order as they are removed.

Inspect rocker arms for pitting or wear on the valve contact point, or excessive bushing wear. Bushings need only be replaced if wear is excessive, because the rocker arm normally contacts the shaft at one point only. Grind the valve contact point of rocker arm smooth if necessary, removing as little material as possible. If excessive material must be removed to smooth and square the arm, it should be replaced. Clean out all oil holes and passages in the rocker shaft. If shaft is grooved or worn, replace it. Lubricate and assemble the rocker shaft.

INSPECTING THE PUSHRODS



Remove the pushrods, and, if hollow, clean out the oil passages using fine wire. Roll each pushrod over a piece of clean glass. If a distinct clicking sound is heard as the pushrod rolls, the rod is bent, and must be replaced.

The length of all pushrods must be equal. Measure the length of the pushrods, compare to specifications, and replace as necessary.

INSPECTING THE VALVE LIFTERS



See Figure 31

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Fig. Fig. 31: Before installing the old lifters, make certain to inspect them for excessive wear as shown

Remove lifters from their bores, and remove gum and varnish, using solvent. Clean the walls of the lifter bores. Check lifters for concave wear as illustrated. If face is worn concave, replace lifter, and carefully inspect the camshaft. Lightly lubricate lifter and insert it into its bore. If play is excessive, an oversize lifter must be installed (where possible). Consult a machinist concerning feasibility. If play is satisfactory, remove, lubricate, and reinstall the lifter.

TESTING THE HYDRAULIC LIFTER LEAK DOWN



Submerge the lifter in a container of kerosene. Chuck a used pushrod or its equivalent into a drill press. Position the container of kerosene so that the pushrod acts on the lifter plunger. Pump lifter with the drill press, until resistance increases. Pump several more times to bleed any air out of lifter. Apply very firm, constant pressure to the lifter, and observe rate at which fluid bleeds out of lifter. If the fluid bleeds very quickly (less than 15 seconds), lifter is defective. If the time exceeds 60 seconds, lifter is sticking. In either case, recondition or replace lifter. If lifter is operating properly (leak down time 15-60 seconds), lubricate and install it.

 
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