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Clear Your Head

Clear Your Head

It’s the weekend, which is the optimal time to clear your head. Unless it’s the head on your motor, in which case that’s more of a workweek thing.

Obviously this post won’t be talking about the power of positive thought and the mental benefits of bikram yoga. This head clearing is all about the dark, dirty crap that ends up collecting in your engine over time. And the longer that engine works, the more it’s going to need a cleaning. Such is the case with Mark’s Land Rover. He and the fam are moving up to Washington, and he wanted to ensure that all his cars would leave Fluid in tip-top shape so he’d have the maximum amount of time in the PNW without having to worry about car repairs. Mark’s Land Rover had a leaky head gasket, so we dove on in to replace it and give the motor a bit of a freshening up as well. By the time the camera made it to the Land Rover, the heads were already off the block:

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As you can tell, the valves have a bit of carbon buildup, and the heads in general look a little janky from years of use.

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The piston faces aren’t looking so hot, either.

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Even the pushrods were showing their age with a buildup of gunk that stained them near-black.

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But all that changed once we put our hands on the various pieces of the motor. First, we cleaned off the head’s surface that mates to the block, then went and cleaned out each cylinder’s valves, giving it one hell of a spruce-up.

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Same goes for the awkwardly tiny intake outlets, sine we’d be replacing that gasket, as well.

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Even the piston heads and block surfaces were no match for the mighty cleaning power of electric tools!

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As a neat little aside, when we had the heads off, we noticed that the pass-through between the camshafts and where the tappets meet the pushrods looks like it was cut out of the single-piece block by somebody in a bit of a time crunch. It’s not really smooth, not very uniform, but it gets the job done. That sentence explains just about every British non-supercar ever made.

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Oh, and since we had them out, we cleaned off the pushrods, as well.

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Currently, the engine’s being put back together, which is not a small task. There’s a line of parts alongside the Land Rover that basically spell out how to do it, but it’s not a short line whatsoever. Either way, we’re at it as always, and now that Mark’s Land Rover’s head is clear, we’re looking forward to the weekend when we can hopefully clear our own.

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