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All Spark and No Bark

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Mine were not hard to drill at all, so assuming you have the standard bolts you should be OK. Centre punch the bolt head to get you started in the centre, the a pilot drill then size of the bolt shank (or very slightly less). The bolt head on mine cracked off slightly before I got to the bottom of the head, probably due to the cylinder head clamping force.

Take it steady and you will be OK


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1 hour ago, FridgeFreezer said:

There actually is technique to undoing a bolt, especially one that you think might stick and/or snap.

Hard to describe, but if you've got a breaker bar and a good quality (tight-fitting) socket on it, a few jolts or bounces of the bar (without putting huge force on it) can crack it free. If it's not coming, swinging on it with all your might is usually just a way to break it, round it, or send yourself flying when the socket slips off.

Badly fitting / cheap sockets are a surefire way of rounding a bolt off. For something high-torque you want decent 6-point (not 12-point) sockets to give you the best chance.

Believe it or not, that's exactly what I did! Even down to ruining my 6-point socket.

I've spent the rest of the evening sulking taking apart and assessing the rockers. I think it's two new shafts due to some fairly significant groves along each one, but I can't tell with the rockers themselves. They have scored the underside of the shaft, which you can see in the rockers themselves, but it is fairly minor. 





Most of the grime came off with a good dose of brake cleaner on a rag (the above is the result) and there were few big particles of anything, what was there was definitely carbon.

Then I just cleaned it up with degreaser and a scotch pad.



So new springs, two new shafts and a rocker to replace the one with the gored out hole?

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1 hour ago, MikeAK said:

Mine were not hard to drill at all, so assuming you have the standard bolts you should be OK. Centre punch the bolt head to get you started in the centre, the a pilot drill then size of the bolt shank (or very slightly less). The bolt head on mine cracked off slightly before I got to the bottom of the head, probably due to the cylinder head clamping force.

Take it steady and you will be OK


Thanks, I'll give it a go. Really disheartening when I had a weekend planned out, but I guess that's Land Rovers.

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7 minutes ago, ThreePointFive said:

... drilling 8 bolts reliably without hitting the block and ruining threads is highly unlikely.

You only need to drill down to the depth of the head, as Mike AK suggested; probably only 1/2 to 3/4". The last drill bit needs to be the same diameter as the bolt stem just under the head; then the head should snap off when twisted.

Have you tested the rockers for radial play? If there is any, buy new shafts and 16 rockers. That bluing on one of the shafts seems to indicate dryness, perhaps the the person before you, assembled it with the shaft in the wrong orientation.

Good luck!

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Left-handed drill bits are also a marvellous thing for getting stuck bolts out, TSD put me onto them.

Mind you, hammering a cheap sacrificial socket over the head and having another go can also work, a bit like those stuck bolt extractors that Irwin sell.

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I had a set of those when I was initially stripping the car in 2010 and could never get them to work, I probably had a cheap set though.

I've tried drilling all morning and I'm getting nowhere, again I might have carp drill bits but they just don't bite. I'm going to try an extractor socket set (arriving tomorrow) but if that doesn't work I'm going to take it to the place that did my exhaust stud when that sheared off as I have completely run out of patience with it. This engine is a constant ball ache.

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I am now at the point I should have been on Friday night, and the heads are off.

Quick Product review:

These bolt extractor sockets are great, I could have got al the bolts out without drilling anything, now I have a lot of clearing of swarf to do. They bite the bolt and the harder you pull, the more they grip.

This 3/8" breaker bar that I bought to use with those sockets, however, lasted 20 minutes from the time of delivery to looking like this:


That is the one downside to the extractors, 3/8" is a weird size and I don't have anything else that's not 1/2", and as they are designed for stuck bolts you are clearly going to be exerting high torque through them, but 3/8" bars are too weedy. I ran out and got the last one from Halfords as I didn't want to write another day off, and that lasted.

I have been kicking myself over allowing the bolts to round out on me. To have more than half go, I was sure it was something I was doing. Using those extractors (and breaking the breaker bar) I can now appreciate the ridiculous tightness they were under. It's hard to exaggerate, the engine was lifting/sliding all over the place on the stand just trying to get the force through the bar. In the end I used an old steering column tube I have lying around, and even then it was still pretty tough and that added about 1m of leverage... I can't believe the thread weren't stripped out on the heads. The must have been held in with some compound, as there was a pretty disgusting stench each time I got a bolt out, like whatever it was had decomposed.

Even with the extractors it wasn't easy as the end bolts sit in their holes that are just big enough to take the socket but they perfectly lock it in place on its flats against the sides of the valve housing, intake runner and the end of the head so you can't turn it. 


Some modification with an angle grinder later...


So having felt like a clown all weekend for failing at something that should have been easy, I now don't feel too bad about it.

So, on to the damage assessment. I won't give any comments here so you can make up your own minds.

Driver's side:


Water is from the head as I removed it (and the rust was dragged in to the cylinder at the same time).




Passenger side:






Only comments I will add - the damage to the gasket on the driver's side may have been caused when the head slid off as the last bolt was removed (I needed 3 hands). I am not sure. 

The passenger side is much 'cleaner' than the driver's. The carbon in the cylinders is denser and more ingrained, a far amount of the passenger side has wiped off.


While I'm at it, I did drop the sump but not much to report yet. A few bits of sludge were in the bottom (not really photoed), unsure what the yardstick is for acceptable/bad but it was difficult to photograph properly. I will say, a very strong magnet got very little result, if it is metallic, it's not steel at least.



Doesn't show much, but the colour of the underside:


Is there any easy way to assess bottom end things without massive deconstruction, or is it just a case of getting it apart?


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Check out the cylinder on the far right; note the concentric ring showing in the aluminium of the block, on the right hand side of the cylinder. It is more pronounced than on the rest of the cylinders. I think that that cylinder liner, may be slipping and was what caused the tappet like rattle in your film. 

My block was very similar and I had it re-lined with Turner's liners. No. 8 looked just like yours does.

Give the block a really good clean on the top faces and send a photo to Turner Engineering and get their opinion,

Cheers Charlie


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I think that's the shadow of the cylinder wall, the light source is up and right but I will take a look.

I've done a ton on cleaning and have lapped the valves, just need the replacement seals, springs rocker shafts and the one replaced rocker, and then the heads are done.

I have been trying to decide if I am going to take the crank end apart to see what is going on. There are so few times I want to have the engine apart, that I might as well. I still don't want to get into piston rings so what I want to do is just take the big ends off and take a look but leave the pistons in the cylinders. The manual (which I have been reading thoroughly so as not to ask too many stupid questions) says the big ends need to be replaced if the caps are taken off, so those will get replaced no matter what.

I lack the proper tools for checking ovality of the cylinder walls which bothers me, but perhaps not doing the piston rings is the job I should not avoid. But then, do those and the con rod bearings probably should get done.... where do you realistically stop?

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Just do them, they're simple enough when you're that far in.

Checking bore ovality can probably be done with a piston and feeler gauges? Never tried it, but take a piston without rings, pop it in the bore, and measure the clearance. Then rotate 90 degrees and do the same? Should give you ballpark I think.

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Ordered some bore gauges and a straight edge for checking head warping (I didn't have anything I could guarantee was straight enough).

Decided to go the whole hog as I want the engine right. Ordered the crank/conrod bearings, piston rings, etc. The only thing that I'm not replacing now are the top conrod bearings and the crank itself.

Not cheap and probably excessive but if the block is in good shape, at least I will have taken my unknown engine and made it a known quantity.

It was always my intention to rebuild the original 3.5 after the 90 is finished anyway, so this is good practice.

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