Monday, May 26, 2014

Spare Engine - Reassembling the Head

Now that the head is all painted and looking fantastic in its not so original red coat, it's now time to put the whole thing back together and store it away.

The red looks fantastic.
In order to assemble the head, I ordered a few parts from Mini Sports. While I was at it, I also ordered a gasket kit and a thermometer, which I will need further down the line. The parts I needed for this build were the valve stem oil seals and the temperature sender.

New bits, always a good sight!

Generally I am not one to grumble, but the temperature sender looked a bit grotty when it arrived. It seemed to be covered in a green waxy substance. Maybe it was a protective coating I'm not sure, but after a quick shine, it was looking great. Also one of the valve stem oil seals was missing a spring. Luckilly I accidentally over ordered and had some spare, but if I hadn't it would have been a real pain in the neck.

Valve stem oil seal missing a spring.

Now I had all the parts, I started with the easy job of putting the temperature sender in place and it looked pretty good I have to say.



Now the job of putting the valves back in to their respective guides. For this I needed my trusty valve spring compressor to enable me to get the spring retainers and collets in place. To make sure everything was well oiled, I dropped the retainers and collets into some oil prior to assembly. Does this help? I'm really not sure, but I suspect it can't harm.

Who ordered the retainers and collets in oil !

Luckily, after lapping all the valves, I'd numbered them with a marker so I was able to put them back into their correct positions. The valve stem oil seals simply push onto the valve guides, there is a lip on the top of the valve guide that makes a satisfying 'click' when the seal is seated correctly. Once they were all in place, I used the valve spring compressor, and managed to get the first of the retainer and collets on with very little hassle.

1 down, 7 to go...

So far so good, and it was the same story for the other seven valves...



I now needed to plonk the rocker assembly into its correct place. The whole thing sits on four studs which are mounted into the head itself. I used the 'double nut lock' method to get the studs screwed down into the head. If you have never heard of it, you basically put two nuts on the thread of the stud, lock them together with two spanners and use them to screw the other end of the stud into place. It's a bit tedious, but is very effective. The two longer studs go on the outside as they also hold the rocker cover in place.

Studs in

With the studs in place, the rocker assembly simply sits on top of them and is bolted down.

Rockers on.

That really is as complicated as it gets folks, that doesn't mean I didn't have fun though. Although this was a very simple rebuild, it was still a very enjoyable one which gave a great sense of achievement when I stepped back and looked at what has been created.


If you read back over previous blogs, you can see that an awful lot of prep work has gone into getting the head to the position it is in now. I just hope that all the work pays off and it works as I want it to. But for now the head gets put into a plastic bag and stored away for a few months (possibly years the way things are going!!) until there is a reconditioned block to sit it on. Speaking of the block, I'd better get busy getting one ready...





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