The first job was to take off the rocker cover which is a simple job of and done by removing the two nuts on the top of the cover and lifting off the cover to reveal the oily mess of the rocker shaft and valve gear.
To remove the cylinder head the rocker shaft has to be removed first (on some engines the studs that hold the rocker shaft also go into the block and are used to hold the head in place so must be slackened in the correct order or the cylinder head could distort). On the Spitfire engine these studs only go into the head so the 4 nuts can be taken off without fear of damage to the head. The rocker shaft was then placed in a box for safe keeping and will be cleaned up later.
To remove the head there are 10 nut/studs to be slacken off in the reverse order to the tightening sequence given in the engines manual. I got all the nuts off but a couple of studs came off at the same time which is not a problem. The head was tapped with soft faced hammer and could be lifted but would only move about 1/8 inch. I had to remove some more of the studs before the head would lift free from the block. I tried some wooden wedges but these just broke without having much effect on the head. To remove these studs a stud extractor could be used or the two nut technique. This involves threading 2 nuts onto the stud (fully on so there is no thread showing out the top). The two nuts are then tightened together and the bottom one turned in the direction to take the stud out. Two spanners are sometimes needed one to extract the stud by turning the bottom nut anti clockwise while using another spanner on the top nut to keep the two nuts tight together.
With the head removed the push rods were taken out an pushed through the lid of a cardboard box (see picture) in the order that they came out of the engine so that they could be replaced in that order when the engine is put back together. Next off was the water pump assembly which I have no idea how to clean up so will put to one side for now.
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