[s-cars] Is taking the head off difficult?

Igor Kessel igor at s-cars.org
Fri Aug 16 14:37:39 EDT 2002

"Walsh, Edward" wrote:
> Guys,
> If my HG is blown and I decide to take the head off myself, would I be
> setting up for a 12 Corona disaster?  I have swapped out springs, changed
> the VC gasket and stuff like that, but never performed open heart surgery.
> Other than a Bentley, do I need any special tools to remove the head?

I heven't done an AAn head thus far (knocking on my head eeer... I meant
wood), but I've doen plenty much 10v, 8v heads and even a Benz head here
and a Mitsu head there. In fact I am doing the 1.8T head off my wife's
A4 this very moment.

In a nut shell yes, it is doable, it's just not your average elementary
"brake pad replacement" type service.

You will need a few tools:
1. A special Audi 10mm "triple square" 12-point bit/socket #3410 to
remove the old head bolts.
1a. A special Audi 10mm "polydrive" 6-point bit/socket #3452 to install
the new head bolts.
2. A good torgue wrench.
3. A generic valvve compressor. Normally rentable from Pep Toys and the
4. A lapping compaund (you _WILL_ do the valves, right ;) )
5. A special Audi tool #3256 for locking up the Harmonic Balancer if you
will be replacing the timing belt
5a. A special Audi tool #2079 for torque multiplication for torquening
that huge 27mm central bolt in the Harmonic Balancer.
6. Special plyers for the old valve guide oil seal removal. They are the
ones with the needle nose jaws with half rings welded onto them.
7. A special hollow drift for installing the new valve guide oil seals.
I have made my own out of a pice of steel tubing of the appropriate
8. Polishing pads for your drill for cleaning up hte inside of the
combustion chambers.

> While I am at it, would it be an efficient time to:
> -Change timing belt
> -Change serpentine belt
> -Change water pump

Absolutely YES!

> What else?

1. Install all new head bolts. They do stretch, thus they are not
reusable. BTW Audi has made them the odd 11mm DIA for a reason, as to
force you to replace them with proper factory made bolts and not some
cheap substitute. Tha last thing you want is to deal with EZ-outing the
broken bolt out of the engine block.
Several years ago I posted to the Motherlist my notes on the lenght of
the stretched vs. new bolts after I had finished the head job on my
[them] '89 200TQ. In a nutshell if you put them side by side, the old
bolt was longer than the new one by A FULL THREAD CREST!
2. Run a machinists' Straight Edve along the bottom of the head and
measure the MAX gap with a feeler gauge. Plane the head if it is warped
outside the spec.
3. Replace antifreese.
4. Change oil

I'll post more if I think of something else.

And above all, don't rush! Take your sweet time. Oh, and disconnect the
battery first. I could tell you a few horror stories with the bent
valves and all but I am bound by my word given to the respective car
owner's ;)

Igor Kessel
two turbo quattros

> Thank you kindly, Ed
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