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Collector and Classic Car Insurance for Less

Episode 3: Project COVID-1953 – Cleaned Engine Heads

Episode 3 – Today, Rick Drewry is going to spend some time cleaning up the engine heads and doing some valve lapping. Now, you may be wondering, what exactly is valve lapping? Well, if you haven’t done it before, don’t worry! It’s basically sanding down the valve surfaces to make them smooth, and it only takes a minute or so for each valve. After Rick gets the heads cleaned up and the valves sanded down, the heads are painted, and everything is put back together. Up next, he’ll be ready to tackle the short block.

               Episode 3 – Video Transcript

Rick Drewry: I started messing with the heads today. The heads were disassembled. They look in good shape, other than being dirty. I cleaned them up; a lot of elbow grease getting the carbon out of there, a lot of brake cleaning, parts cleaner, and anything I could use to get that off of there. Then, I replaced the valve guides with some good quality valve guides. Not those umbrella valve guides which are junk that came from the factory.

Then, I did some valve lapping. If you don’t know what that is, that’s basically like a rubbing compound that you put on the valve where it meets the seat, and you spin the valve, and that basically grinds it. Not hard. I mean, it just smooths things out. So that way, it cleans that surface; the mating surface, of both the valve and the seat so when it’s closed, it’s a nice, tight seal, and it’ll just basically make the engine perform better. You don’t have any valves leaking, so to speak. I did that on every one of the valves. Both intake and exhaust. I cleaned the intake and exhaust ports, and reassembled, put new keepers in, put the springs back in, and painted the heads. So they’re back together, and everything looks good.

I also checked with a feeler gauge to make sure they were in a straight line, to make sure that they’re flat, and there is no warpage. There shouldn’t be. When I got them, they were only used for like a thousand miles. Then I ended up buying the heads. I got the heads separate from the engine itself. So the heads should be in good shape other than, like I said, being a little dirty, with a little bit of carbon. Not a lot. It was minimal. So it’s all cleaned up, ready to go. They’re painted. And now, they’re just going to sit there until I get the short block ready. We’ll do that next!

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