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Unread 07-18-2013, 10:38 AM   #1
AVR2
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Safe to hang cylinder head from crane with stock bolts?

This is probably going to make me sound really clueless, but...

I'm going to be using an engine crane for the first time ever this weekend, to drop my 4.0L cylinder head back on (it's way too heavy for me to do it by hand without running serious risk of damaging the mating surfaces and gasket).

I'm planning to attach the chains at the side using two of the stock manifold bolts, and at the front using one of the T-stat bolts. Will they support the weight of the head or is there a risk of them shearing?

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Unread 07-18-2013, 10:46 AM   #2
zj97ltd
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T-stat hole is probably ok, but I'd use the longest bolt that'll fit. The more threads you're grabbing, the better.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 11:34 AM   #3
dnuccio
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what he said^
you should be fine. in auto shop at school, we use a bolt at the front of 1 head and at the back of the other head to lift small block chevy engines.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 12:33 PM   #4
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The local engine shop will lift an entire long block with one 3/8 bolt. Your head should be fine.

When it come to fastener length though I'd pick a bolt just long enough to tighten down your chain (or better yet lifting tab) to the head with 1.5 thread diameters in the head. If your chain is 5/16" and your bolt is 3/8" you'd need a bolt at least 3/4" long. You want to tighten the bolt down in shear to eliminate bending loads.

A grade 5 bolt under 1 inch diameter is made of steel with a proof strength of 85,000 psi. A 5/16" bolt has a thread tensile stress area of 0.0525 square inches. So it could support a load of 4,462 pounds. Sounds like a lot and it is. Shear strength is only about 60% of that so you are down to 2,678 pounds. You are also loading the bolt in single shear so there are bending forces but you can probably safely lift a thousand pounds or so with that one bolt. Would I? No, but the math doesn't lie.

A couple bolts on the head will be fine.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 01:40 PM   #5
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Cool, thanks. I'm not sure what all that "tighten the bolt in shear" stuff means, but I figure I'll be OK

I've borrowed a crane with load leveller, and the chains have large hooks on the end, so what I'm planning to do is put the bolts through the chain links, with large thick fender washers on them.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 01:49 PM   #6
dnuccio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjosh93 View Post
The local engine shop will lift an entire long block with one 3/8 bolt. Your head should be fine.

When it come to fastener length though I'd pick a bolt just long enough to tighten down your chain (or better yet lifting tab) to the head with 1.5 thread diameters in the head. If your chain is 5/16" and your bolt is 3/8" you'd need a bolt at least 3/4" long. You want to tighten the bolt down in shear to eliminate bending loads.

A grade 5 bolt under 1 inch diameter is made of steel with a proof strength of 85,000 psi. A 5/16" bolt has a thread tensile stress area of 0.0525 square inches. So it could support a load of 4,462 pounds. Sounds like a lot and it is. Shear strength is only about 60% of that so you are down to 2,678 pounds. You are also loading the bolt in single shear so there are bending forces but you can probably safely lift a thousand pounds or so with that one bolt. Would I? No, but the math doesn't lie.

A couple bolts on the head will be fine.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 02:47 PM   #7
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Good move using washers with the bolts. Like everyone else said, the bolts will hold up just fine, and do get as many threads in as possible.
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Unread 07-18-2013, 07:56 PM   #8
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Why not just route a piece of 550 cord thru the Oil fill port and the Front vent tube port?
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Unread 07-18-2013, 08:03 PM   #9
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Use the rearmost manifold screw hole you can access, and the frontmost mounting bracket bolt on the opposite side - this will give you better balance, and make it easier to align the head.

Both holes should be threaded 3/8"-16, so get 3/8"-16x1.5" or 2" screws and 3/8" fender washers. Use two washes under the screw head, to better hold the chain link (you don't need to, but it's good insurance.)
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Unread 07-20-2013, 12:18 AM   #10
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If the bolt holes are standard thread, just run to the hardware store and grab some eye-let, or hook bolts...then hook your chain to them...I used 2 3/8 bolts to lift out a big-block mopar...no problem...your only talking about 60-80 pounds for a cylinder head...
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Unread 07-20-2013, 06:36 AM   #11
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Two bolts on the head are certainly enough. Just remember the bolts need to be tightened - a loose bolt can ruin the threads fairly easily if it wobbles in there.. Thread the bolts in to a depth of around 1/2" to 1", and use a nut + washer to lock it in place against the head mating surface.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 09:56 PM   #12
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I'd me more worried about dinging the new head gasket trying to swing the head in with a hoist. You gotta swing it in and line it up, keep it level, and lower it down evenly. The head weighs what, 65 pounds. I'd just manhandle it.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 11:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjosh93 View Post
I'd me more worried about dinging the new head gasket trying to swing the head in with a hoist. You gotta swing it in and line it up, keep it level, and lower it down evenly. The head weighs what, 65 pounds. I'd just manhandle it.
If you're a big guy (like me) with plenty of reach, that's certainly possible.

But, unless you're somewhere north of 200 muscular pounds, over six feet, and wear sleeves at least 32" long, you'd be better off letting the hoist take the weight and guiding the head down.

TIP: Go get some 1/2"-13 threaded rod. Cut two pieces about 3" long, and two about 6-7" long. Dress the cut ends, use a grinding wheel to cut a slot in one end of each rod - about 1/8" wide.

Put the short rods in the rearmost or second-rearmost holes, the longer ones in the frontmost holes.

Guide the head down onto the studs, then lower.

The long forward studs may be removed easily with the fingers, the rear studs should be unscrewed with a flat screwdriver and extracted with a small "magnet-on-a-stick." You cut a groove in all of them so that you can use a screwdriver if your fingers aren't quite enough...

Throw the studs in your toolbox so you have them for the next time. Yes, use steel allthread - I'd normally advise brass, but a magnet won't work for brass.
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Unread 07-20-2013, 11:56 PM   #14
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6'6" and 270. Guess I qualify as a big guy

Good advice on the alignment dowels. I do the same thing with transmissions, much easier.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 01:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5-90 View Post
But, unless you're somewhere north of 200 muscular pounds, over six feet, and wear sleeves at least 32" long, you'd be better off letting the hoist take the weight and guiding the head down
This. I was able to get the head off by hand because I wasn't worried about damage to the gasket or mating surface, but putting it back on is a whole different story. I just don't have the height or strength to hold the head out away from my body while aligning it with the block and guiding it around everything that could scratch up the bottom.

As for alignment dowels, I cut the heads off two of the old head bolts and cut a slot in in the top to unscrew them with. I also turned another old head bolt into a tap by grinding slots into the threads, but there doesn't seem to be much crap at all inside the bolt holes.
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