There are many roles of cylinder head in a vehicle. It performs many functions such as housing intake and exhaust valves, necessary linkages and fuel injector and passages for the air mixture and fuel. One cannot do a thorough job of inspecting cylinder heads if they are greasy, dirty, covered with any paint or rust.
It is very crucial to clean surface of cylinder heads in order to examine aluminum castings for any hairline crack or any other catastrophic damage which can lead to misfire and compression loss.
In following article, we will learn how to clean cylinder heads at home as its cleaning process is quite complex and you need to study to clean it thoroughly. Read on following entire article for cleaning process.
- Parts cleaner or brake cleaner
- Large bucket or tub- Plastic scraper tool
- Small spray washer
- Compressed air
- Chemical resistant gloves and eye protection
- Shop rags or paper towels
Step 1: Wear safety gears
Cylinder cleaning process includes the use of chemicals and air pressures that are a serious hazard. It may affect your eyes or may irritate your skin so first put on chemical resistant gloves and spectacles for eye protection.
Step 2: Disassemble cylinder head completely
Cylinder contains so many small parts. Ensure to disassemble its head completely so that you can clean it appropriately. Typically, cylinder head has exhaust and intake valves, its supporting hardware, one or two camshafts, others like ignition coils and spark plugs.
You should remove all this small parts and store it somewhere safely so it will not get misplaced while assembling.
Step 3: Remove head gasket material using plastic scraper
Cylinder head may have some gasket material which is essential to remove it using plastic scraper but be extremely careful while remove or it may damage or scratch the “mating surface” of the head. Little damage or scratch will lead leaks and gasket failure when you again start cylinder after assembling.
Step 4: Place the cylinder carefully in the tub
One you are done with the cleaning process of gasket material, put cylinder head safely in tub. If you are going to use liquid parts cleaner, pour parts along with cylinder head in and if you are going to use spray cleaner, you do not require pouring it in the tub.
Step 5: Scrub the head
With cleaning agent and a rag, start scrubbing every portion of the head where you can access. Spray or pour that area where you are not able to reach.
Cleaning agent will smash burnt oil or carbon deposits. If you will scrub some areas, it will be more beneficial. Take your time in scrubbing but ensure do not use any steel made brush or any other hard things; it can lead damage the surface.
Step 6: Take warm water in second tub
Ensure to take a tall enough tub so that cylinder head can be submerged completely in water. Fill up this tub with warm water.
You will have to do this process outdoor or in a room where you can drain water. For this step, you should make sure that tub must be a large enough so head can be sank completely.
Step 7: Submerge the head with the warm water
Place the cylinder head in warm water gently. The water will make its way through those areas where you were unable to reach. It will also help removing the cleaning agent which you have used in the previous step.
In this step, you should make sure the water should completely submerge with the head and if it has not been submerged, add some more warm water in it.
Step 8: Remove the cylinder head and wipe it using a rag
After keeping the head in the warm water for a few minutes, lift up the head carefully out of the tub and keep it on a flat counter. Start wiping the head with a clean rag and ensure to remove as much water as possible. In this step, you will not be able to wipe it down completely but it rag will help you to dry it faster.
Step 9: Clean the head by using spray washer
Spray washer is a particular type of equipment which has been designed especially to clean automotive parts. By using this you can access to clean the exposed internal areas as well as external areas.
You may buy smaller spray washer from auto parts stores. Smaller spray washer will be affordable and it will help to reach to all the area of cylinder heads where your hands cannot be reached.
Step 10: Drying process
After cleaning through hot tank, keep cylinder head out from the tank and place it on flat surface. Now the final step is to make the head dry. You can use compressed air to blow water which is store to some place where you are not able to reach.
Try to dry it completely as much as possible, leave the head on a counter and let it be dry, ensure to place a clean paper so that dust doesn’t fall into it.
Take off paper after 2 or 3 hours and now your cylinder head is ready for re-assembly and if you want to store if it is not in use, you should apply high quality oil on it and ensure to spray the head with WD40 before keeping it with a heavy duty plastic bag and keep it in some safe place where it will be no any chances to get it damaged by accident.
Thus, this is process of how to clean cylinder heads at home and if you are not going to re-assemble it immediately after cleaning, you may keep it stored after taking care of some points which we have mentioned so there will be no any risk of falling dust in it and it will not get even damage.
If you will take into the consideration above all the process, you can clean cylinder head at your home and you will not require taking any help from professional mechanics.