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Mopar A-Body Small Block Head Removal

The Mopar (Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth) A-Body (Dart, Duster, Demon, Scamp, etc) engine compartment is rather small. A lot of the work to be done to an engine that is installed takes some tricky manuvering, or shifting the engine around.

I recently purchased a new set of heads for the 360 that's installed in my Duster. I wanted to remove the old heads without pulling the engine, and found that it was a little complicated. Here's the sequence to follow to complete this task:

1. Disconnect battery, or at least the negative side of the battery.

2. Remove the valve covers and associated hoses.

3. Disconnect the exhaust pipes from the manifolds or header collectors.

4. Drain the radiator and block (open the drain plugs on the side of the block).

5. Unbolt the headers.

6. Remove the spark plug wires and spark plugs.

Passenger Side Head Removal:

1. Remove ALL of the bolts holding the head on. There are 10. I found that if you only remove 9, the head won't come off.

2. Grasp the front and back of the head, pull up. If you have head studs (like I do), pull it STRAIGHT up.

3. Open a beer and enjoy.

Driver's Side:

1. Remove ALL of the bolts holding the head on.

2. Jack up the driver's side of the car, place a jack stand underneath the driver's side front.

3. Unbolt the motor mounts (both sides).

4. Place a block of wood on your floor jack, position the jack underneath the oil pan.

5. Jack up the engine as far as it will go. This will give you enough room to have the header drop down to get the head off. If you have head studs (like I do), the head will hit the steering column if the engine isn't jacked up.

6. Grasp the front and back of the head, pull up.

7. Open another beer and enjoy.

Submitted by:

Mikel Beck

Mikel Beck is the owner of a number of web sites, the latest being The Happy Hour Pub. http://www.happyhourpub.com.


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