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John Hicks
John Hicks, Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 215
Experience:  I have been working on cars since I was 7. Currently self employed doing mobile auto repair.
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how 2 get the head off of a 1989 honda accord

Customer Question

how 2 get the head off of a 1989 honda accord
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  John Hicks replied 5 years ago.
What size motor?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
2.0 sohc
Expert:  John Hicks replied 5 years ago.
  1. Disconnect the battery ground cable.

  2. Drain the cooling system.

  3. Remove the air cleaner and intake duct assembly.

  4. Label and remove the brake booster, PCV and charcoal canister vacuum hoses from the intake manifold.

  5. Remove the engine ground cable from the cylinder head or valve cover.

  6. Relieve the fuel pressure using the proper procedure. Disconnect the fuel lines.

  7. Disconnect the accelerator cable at the throttle body or carburetor. On automatic transaxle vehicles, also disconnect the throttle control cable.

  8. Disconnect and tag all the wire harnesses and vacuum hoses from the cylinder head, intake manifold and throttle body/carburetor. Disconnect the spark plug wires, then position them aside.

  9. Disconnect the upper radiator hose. Remove the heater hoses from the cylinder head.

  10. If equipped, remove the cruise control actuator. Do not disconnect the cable; move the actuator out of the work area with the cable attached.

  11. Remove accessory drive belts.

  12. Disconnect the inlet hose from the power steering pump and plug the hose immediately to prevent fluid leakage. Remove the power steering pump from the cylinder head and position it aside.

When the power steering hose is disconnected, the fluid will flow out. Cover the alternator with a shop towel to prevent the fluid from leaking into it.

  1. If the alternator is mounted to the cylinder head, remove it.

  2. Remove the power steering and alternator brackets if they are mounted on the cylinder head.

  3. Remove the distributor. Be sure to scribe a line relating the position of the distributor to the engine for easy installation.

  4. If equipped, remove the cylinder sensor next to the distributor.

  5. Remove the valve cover.

  6. Remove the timing belt.

Do not crimp or bend the timing belt.

  1. Remove the exhaust header pipe nuts and the header pipe bracket (if equipped). Pull the pipe away from the exhaust manifold.

  2. If equipped, remove the EGR crossover and air suction pipes.

  3. On Accords through 1989 and Preludes through 1991, the cylinder head can be removed with the intake and exhaust manifolds either still attached or removed. On other models, the manifolds should be removed first.

  4. On some engines, it will be necessary to remove the camshaft holders, camshafts and rocker arms to access the cylinder head bolts. If so, refer to the proper procedures in this section.

  5. Remove the cylinder head bolts in sequence (take notice of any bolt holes occupied by longer bolts). Failure to follow this procedure may cause the head to warp.

    1. On 1984-89 Accords and 1984-91 Preludes, work from the ends toward the center. Loosen each bolt about 1/2 turn each time and make several passes to release the tension evenly.

    2. On 1990-95 Accords and 1992-95 Preludes, follow the loosening sequence shown in the illustrations. Loosen each bolt about 1/3 turn each time. Repeat the sequence until all bolts are loosened.

  6. Remove the cylinder head. The head may resist removal, even with the bolts out. Tap the edge of the head with a plastic or rubber mallet; lift the head straight up to remove it.

A breaker bar is helpful for loosening the cylinder head bolts

A breaker bar is helpful for loosening the cylinder head bolts

Have an assistant help lift the cylinder head assembly off the engine

Have an assistant help lift the cylinder head assembly off the engine

  1. Remove the cylinder head gasket and clean the mating surfaces.

Never reuse the old gasket

Never reuse the old gasket

Carefully use a scraper to remove any remaining gasket material

Carefully use a scraper to remove any remaining gasket material

Always tighten the bolts with a torque wrench

Always tighten the bolts with a torque wrench

  1. If applicable, remove the intake and exhaust manifolds from the cylinder head.

To install:

  1. Install a new head gasket on the engine, making certain it is positioned correctly. The cylinder head dowel pins and the oil jet must be in place. Refer to the illustrations if necessary.

  2. Install the head. Lower it straight down onto the block, aligning it correctly.

  3. Apply clean engine oil to the bolt threads and the contact face of the bolt head. Install the head bolts finger-tight.

  4. On all models except 1988-89 DOHC Prelude and 1992-95 Preludes with 2.3L and VTEC engines, tighten the head bolts following sequence A. On 1988-89 DOHC Preludes, use sequence B. Use sequence C on 1992-95 Preludes with 2.3L and VTEC engines.

    1. On 1984-89 Accords and 1984-91 Preludes, tighten the bolts in two passes. The first pass should bring the bolts to about 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm). On the second pass, tighten the bolts to their final torque of 49 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).

    2. On 1990-93 Accords, tighten the bolts to 29 ft. lbs. (40 Nm) on the first pass, 51 ft. lbs. (70 Nm) on the second pass, then tighten the bolts to their final torque of 78 ft. lbs. (108 Nm).

    3. On 1994-95 Accords and 1992-95 Preludes, the bolts are also tightened in three passes. Tighten the bolts to 29 ft. lbs. (40 Nm) on the first pass, 51 ft. lbs. (70 Nm) on the second pass, then tighten the bolts to their final torque of 72 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).

      Cylinder head bolt torque sequence A

      Cylinder head bolt torque sequence A

      Click to Enlarge
      Cylinder head bolt torque sequence B

      Cylinder head bolt torque sequence B

      Click to Enlarge
      Cylinder head bolt torque sequence C

      Cylinder head bolt torque sequence C

      Click to Enlarge
  5. If applicable, assemble the intake and exhaust manifolds to the head. Use new gaskets.

  6. If applicable, install the cam, rockers and camshaft holders.

  7. If equipped, install the EGR crossover and air suction pipes.

  8. Connect the exhaust pipe to the manifold using new nuts.

  9. Install the timing belt.

  10. Install the valve cover.

  11. Install the cylinder sensor (if equipped) and the distributor.

  12. If applicable, install the alternator.

  13. Install the power steering pump, then connect the inlet hose to the pump.

  14. Install the accessory drive belts. Adjust the belt tensions.

  15. Install the heater hoses.

  16. Install the cruise control actuator if it was removed.

  17. Connect the spark plug wires. Connect all the wire harnesses and vacuum hoses to the cylinder head, intake manifold and throttle body/carburetor.

  18. Connect the throttle control cable and/or accelerator cable at the throttle body.

  19. Connect the fuel lines.

  20. Install the brake booster, PCV and charcoal canister vacuum hoses.

  21. Install the air cleaner and intake duct.

  22. Refill the engine coolant. It is recommended that the engine oil be changed whenever a cylinder head is removed.

  23. Connect the negative battery cable.

  24. Start the engine, allowing it to idle. Bleed the cooling system. Check the work area carefully for any signs of fluid leakage or any indication of the timing belt rubbing or slapping the covers.

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John Hicks
John Hicks
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I have been working on cars since I was 7. Currently self employed doing mobile auto repair.