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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Written By: Obsidian

First some tips.

The most obvious tip is this one.

If you are not an experienced mechanic and/or do NOT have any friends that are mechanics around, do NOT attempt this project! It is NOT for the feint of heart and can quickly go sour. If you do this project INCORRECTLY, you will blow your engine and you will be at fault. I am writing this as a friend to you and I will NOT be held responsable for your actions. I am NOT going to be held responsable for anything you read here. This is your own doing and I don't want anyone bitching! You've been warned.

1. Make sure to clean all RTV surfaces completely.

2. You MUST remove the timing chain and the camshafts to do this properly.

3. TDC (Top Dead Center) should be easy to find for the experienced. For the in-experienced, well, you honestly shouldn't be doing this but I will show you an easy way to find it.

4. The haynes manual is actually pretty damn good to use for this. If you haven't already, I recommend purchasing it and reading through it before starting. I ended up using the haynes manual and the FSM. When the FSM (Factory Service Manual) was vague, I referred to the haynes.

5. Gear wrenches are your friends. Not the cheap bastards either.

6. Before putting a lot of things back together, make sure to have plenty of oil on hand or a certain type of lube that a lot of the V8 boys use. Main reason is running things dry when you do your first start up is a very very very bad thing to do.

7. Keep the coils unplugged when you do your first start up. This will help oil get to everything before the engine starts spinning at a high RPM. A good 5-8 second burst with the starter should be fine.

8. After finding TDC, mark the timing chain AND the sprocket with the paint marker. This is for when you put the timing chain and sprocket back together, you won't have to worry about setting your timing. I actually marked three teeth and boy, it helped IMMENSELY.

9. If you happen to not do the timing chain tensioner correctly and end up droping that little peice into the timing chain assmebly, well, welcome to the club. Luckily enough, that guy is magnetic and if you do it correctly, you can fish him out with an expandle magnet.

10. The 02-04 QR25DE's have a different torque spec and sequence than the 05-06 QR25DE's. If you have a new engine from nissan, you should try and figure out what year it was made. I couldn't tell and Nissan couldn't tell me either. I ended up just using the 03 specs for my engine and modifying them slightly. More on that later. Here is a copy from the FSM about the sequence.


1. Tighten to 72ftlbs.
2. Completely loosen.
3. Tighten to 26-32ftlbs.
4. Tighten additional 75 degrees.
5. Tighten additional 75 degrees.
6. Done.


1. Tighten to 37ftlbs.
2. Tighten an additional 60 degrees.
3. Completely loosen.
4. Tighten to 26-32ftlbs.
5. Tighten additional 75 degrees.
6. Tighten additional 75 degrees.
7. Done.


11. If you think you may be stripping something, and you shouldn't, you should try and track down a heli-coil kit. You need the M12 x 1.75mm kit. BTW, this kit runs around $70. Luckily I didn't need mine and I returned it. Car Quest was the ONLY company in three cities and states that carries this kit!

12. Buying new head bolts is HIGHLY recommended. You can get them from Nissan for either 7.70 a bolt (manufacturers price) or a little over 10 (recommended price). Remember, you need 10, and make sure to call Nissan before starting so you can have them in hand.

13. Recommended gaskets to replace:
Headgasket (duh).
Both upper and lower intake manifold gaskets.
Throttle body gasket.
Header gasket.
Valve cover gasket.
*optional* cylinder head thermostat gasket. I did this because I gutted my thermostat. If you're not removing this peice, then you should be fine.

Suggestions from tn65:

1. Use a box or something like a bag to keep bolts separated. Label the bags with where they came from.

I'm normally good for not doing this as I have a memory that somehow works for me in this. However, this project took 3 extra days and by that time, I forgot a few of them. This is a GOOD TIP!

2. Use tape or something else to label what hose goes where and what plug goes where.

3. If you're using the 07-09 QR25DE headgasket, use a uni-bit drill bit to drill the rear oil passage.

I ended up using a normal drill bit and it was a pain in the tail to do right.

4. Use zip ties or something to hold the timing chain up after you remove the camshaft sprockets.

5. You can actually leave the lower intake manifold on the head.

I removed mine, wasn't hard at all.

6. You do not need to completely remove the timing chain for this job.

7. Make sure to follow the FSM EXACTLY for the removal of the camshafts. If not, you risk cracking your cams.

8. The top timing chain cover can be a real PITA if you dont have the right extensions to get to that 10mm bolt on the bottom of the cover.

I used a 10mm gear wrench and had no problems.

9. Since you are here anyway, back flush your coolant.

I didn't need to do this as mine was as green as new. I used the radiator drain to get the level down and after it stopped, I stopped. I ended up using 1 1/2 gallons to refill it completely.

10. Run a compression test when you get done.

Suggestion from RedDragonV09:

Make sure to mark where the timing chain cover bolts go. You must put them back in the same spot as some are longer and if you put a short bolt in a long bolt spot, you will have a oil leak.

Tool list.

*edit stop*

2 gallons total coolant.
Oil filter.

Tools that I ended up using. This is NOT a complete list but I will try to complete it as much as possible.
10mm, deep and normal.
12mm deep
14mm Deep and normal. Make SURE to have a 6 point for the header nuts.
17mm Deep and normal.
I also used a couple of E-Torx that I can't remember right off hand. I used these for replacing the header studs and also to remove the studs on the lower intake manifold and also on the thermostat housing on the cylinder head.
Large adjustable. Recommend an 8" long handle.
Also 1 or 2 small adjustables. Ya never know.
Normal pair of pliers.
special tools:
10mm hex head
*optional* fuel line quick disconnect peice. I ended up just setting my fuel rail off to the side. I didn't remove the line at all
A VERY small allen wrench. I used this to hold the timing chain tensioner peice in place.
A LOT of straight razor blades for removing old RTV.
A can of right stuf RTV. It dries in 10 minutes and is good to go. Only downside to this is that you have to bust your ass to make sure you're ready to go. I got a 3 ounce can and it was plenty enough. Hell, I ended up doing my oil pan again and I still had extra.
Something small with a flat end. Like a jewelers screwdriver (actually what I used) to help dig the old RTV out of the peices.
Steel and Brass wire brushes. Get at least two of each.
A paint marker. A small thing of nail polish may work also but you need something that will not easily be removed.
2 8" 1/4" drive extensions.
2 8" 3/8" drive extensions.
Torque wrench. You need one for inch pounds and foot pounds. Inch pounds needs to hit around between 10-100 inch pounds. Foot pounds should be 10-120 preferred but they're kinda hard to find.

M12 x 1.75mm tap.
M12 x 1.75 die (optional, really only needed if you're trying to re-use your head bolts. If you're getting new ((recommended)) then you don't need it).

Possible Modifications while you're here:

Block guard. I recommend it for raced motors but make sure to have it before doing this.

Gutting the thermostat in the head. While this is probably one of the least known mods to our cars, for anyone who actually races them it is GOOD to remove. The thermostat in the cylinder head is actually a higher temp one than the one in the block. By gutting this thermostat, you actually make the temperature throughout the engine a constant and help prevent headgasket failure. It's actually widely believed to be one of the main causes for headgasket failures in cars that are raced frequently.

Throttle body Bypass.

Throttly body smoothing and polishing.


1. Remove your battery. Various tools. 10mm deepwell for the bracket.

*optional* Remove your coolant reservoir. It's easy to do and it makes this job SO MUCH EASIER. It's one 10mm screw and you don't have to disconnect it. i ended up sitting it in the opening by my grille.

2. Remove your alternator. This can be QUITE the pain in the ass. 14mm bolt on top/side. 10mm bolt on the bracket hold down. Remove the electrical connection. The belt is going to be a BITCH to get off. You can use a 14mm wrench to loosen the belt tensioner and have someone remove the belt. There is another 14mm socket on the bottom. It's a bitch to get to but if you remove your coolant reservoir then it's easy. You're going to have to remove the alternator bracket to get it out. Use a 14mm wrench (Gear wrenches FTMFW!) to get them out. Once it's done, pull the fuckers out.

3. Remove your strut bar. It's two 17mm nuts and bolts. I shouldn't need to go any further than that. If I do, stop immediately and reverse what you've done.

4. Remove your air intake assembly, at least enough of it to work in that area. I only had to remove a small peice of my CAI.

5. Remove your upper intake manifold. About 5 12mm bolts and 2 12mm nuts. You may and/or may not have to remove the two brackets holding those electrical connection steady on the passenger side. If you do, they're 10mm bolts. Make sure to remove all connections and vacuum lines that go to other places. There is the brake booster line that is right in the middle and also the vacuum line all the way to the driver's side right behind the throttle body that needs to be removed. The other one can stay. The small vacuum that goes to the butterfly valve needs to be removed also.

*optional* Remove your throttle body from the intake manifold. It's not necessary but it's good to clean behind it and such. It's going to be either a allen head bolt (don't remember which size) or whatever you have on there. I have 4 10mm bolts with my throttle body spacer.

6. Remove your fuel rail. This is sorta kinda halfway tricky. I believe it's 2 12mm bolts. The tricky part is not losing the two bushings behind the fuel rail where the bolts go through. Do NOT lose these. Remove the rail from the lower intake manifold but GENTLY tugging at it to break the o-rings free. I normally start at one side and work my way down. You DO NOT need to remove the injectors from the fuel rail. Once it is remove, verify that the o-rings are on the injectors. If they are not, then dig them out of the manifold and put them back on the injectors. You may want to wipe them down. *optional* Use a fuel line quck disconnect and remove the fuel rail from the fuel line. I didn't need to do this. I simply set my entire assembly off to the side around the transaxle.

*optional* Remove the lower intake manifold. This is not really that hard to do and I did it. There is a couple of tricky parts but nothing too bad. First, you have to remove the 2 12mm nuts on either end. Then if I remember correctly, you have 1 12 mm bolt on the top in the middle, and 2 12 mm bolts on the bottom. The 1 on the top is easy. The two on the bottom required a 8" extension and a 12mm deepwell to get to. It's easy enough. Break them free and you should be able to get your hand inbetween the runners to turn them out. Then you need one of those e-torx to remove the one stud on the passenger side. Don't lose this guy. I removed both of them for the hell of it.

7. Remove the 4 bolts holding various equipment to the lower intake manifold. These are fucking PMSing BITCHES! First, remove the 10 directly on the back side. Not so bad. Then, get the two that are underneath and to the passenger side. These suck. Remember, there is FOUR total.
I'm pointing to the two brackets here in this picture.

8. Remove your header. This shouldn't be too bad depending on which header you have. I have the XS so it's fairly easy to me. Make sure to unplug your o2 sensor (or sensors for you 02-03's). The nuts on the top are 14mm. Make absolutely SURE you use a 6 point socket. If it's been awhile, you may want to go ahead and hit it up with some sort of lubricant. I use PB Blaster. That stuff is THE SHIT. You will also need to remove a few other various bolts throughout. I'm not quite sure as I have the XS header. My stuff is slightly different. There is a bolt that your header bolts to on a small portion of the block. Don't forget him. Also the spring bolts (if you have them, I have solid bolts) that attaches the header to the mid-pipe. For you 4-2-1 guys, remove the upper portion from the lower portion. Once done then remove it. If you're having problems then you can use an e-torx and remove the header studs from the cylinder head. I actually replaced all of mine because they looked like complete ass to me. This e-torx is one size larger than the ones for the lower intake manifold and the cylinder head thermostat housing.

9. Remove the timing chain covers. These are ALL 10mm bolts. You will probably need to use a 10mm wrench on some of these (Again, gear wrenches FTW. If you're a mechanic and you don't have a set, slap yourself) Pull off all of them on the front cover (the one that is on the passenger side.) Here is a picture of where it goes and what's underneath.

10. You must find TDC now. For the easy way, follow these simple instructions: You will need to remove your spark plugs.
1. Take a 17mm ratchet/wrench and apply it to the exhaust cam sprocket bolt.
2. Find a long tool. I used two 8" extension for a 1/4" drive ratched.
3. Place your tool into your #1 cylinder through the spark plug hole. Make sure it doesn't drop completely inside. You must be able to retrieve it and you must be able to see it.
4. Once it is in there, attempt to tighten your camshaft sprocket. It will cause the entire drive chain to cycle. While it is doing this, your pistons are moving up and down.
5. You should see the tool reach a high point and then try to cycle back down. As SOON as you see it stop going up, STOP. Remove the little black peice in your timing chain assembly at the very top. That is your chain guide. Mine broke as soon as I tried to cycle the other way so I'm trying to save yours.
6. Back track by trying to remove the sprocket bolt until you see that high point again. Stop.
7. Congratulations. You have found TDC in a few very easy steps. MARK THOSE CAMSHAFT SPROCKETS AND CHAINS!
8. You may need to wipe some excess oil off before being able to make the sprockets. After doing this, DO NOT ROTATE THE ENGINE!

11. If you haven't done so already, drain your oil and coolant. Use a suitable container and all you have to do is open your radiator cap, then crawl under the car and look for a small hole through the plastic under the radiator. There should be a small tab you can grab and turn to open it up. That will drain your coolant SLOWLY but very controled. This should be all you need to do.

12. Now you need to go ahead and remove your valve cover and coils. Your coils are held on by a 10mm bolt. Remove that and pull your coil out. *optional* remove your spark plug. Mine are 5/8 socket size and I used a peice of fuel line (extra) to pull them out. The valve cover is held on by 10 10mm bolts. Go ahead and remove them. Pull your valve cover off. I recommend sitting it down upside down and use a paper towel or something to cover it up and keep trash out.

13. Remove the timing chain tensioner. This can be a real bitch so have patience. I used a SMALL allen wrench in this project. A quick picture to show what it need to look like.

What you need to do is take the extender part there (the silver one) and push it ALL THE WAY into the assembly. Once you get it in as far as you can, use a pin (or like I did, an allen wrench) to hold it in place. Once this is done you can release the assembly. After that, remove the 2 10mm bolts and remove the assembly.

14. Now to remove the camshaft sprocket bolts. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE MARKED THE TIMING CHAIN AND SPROCKETS WITH SOMETHING THAT WILL NOT COME OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!! The sprocket bolts are 17mm. You need a deepwell and I also recommend a 6 point. There is a hexagonal design built into the camshaft. Use a wrench on it and hold it there on the camshaft. Once you have a good grip, take the sprocket bolt out with the ratchet. This will probably require two people as there is a lot of torque on these guys.
Here is a picture of the hexagonal part of the camshaft.

Do not move the engine or camshafts at all. You will lose your timing and you WILL hate life. Once you have them both remove, lie the sprockets to the side with their respective bolts. Do NOT wipe those marks you made on them off.

15. Remove the camshaft caps. All of these guys are 10mm and they don't have a lot of torque. If you remove them out of the proper sequence then you have a great chance at breaking your camshafts. BTW, those aren't cheap and they're probably not in stock at your local Nissan. Here is a picture of the proper sequence. Do NOT completely remove them all at once. Break them a bit, then move on. After they have all been broken, then remove them. There are two bolts on the inside of the timing chain cover that may a little tricky to find at first. Don't forget about them.

16. Remove the camshaft. These should just come right out now. Make sure to be gentle with how you lay them down. Lay down each camshaft so you know which it is. If you mix them up, the intake cam's end looks weird compared to the exhaust cam's simple round end.

17. Well, now you're ready for the big guy. Take that 10mm allen head socket and get ready. You're probably going to need a cheater bar or a good breaker bar. You need to remove the head bolts in the following order.

Make damn sure to follow this order or you risk SERIOUS damage to your head and/or block.

18. Once done, pull your head off. Be careful, the bastard is heavy. Once it's off set it on a nice flat surface on top of something soft. Then make sure to put something over the top of it (valve cover would work great) so to keep the trash out.

19. Remove your old headgasket. It may be caught on two dowel pins around the #1 cylinder.

*optional* If you're using the 07-09 headgasket, compare them like so:
1. Clean the old headgasket off.
2. Lay the old headgasket on top of the new one. You should see one part where there is no hole in the new one.
3. It is recommended that you drill or in some way, make a hole here as it's an oil drain back to the block. Here is a picture of my final outcome.

4. Once done drilling, ensure all surfaces are clean and that the cut you made has no jagged edges and will bolt flat to the block.
5. It should be ready to go. Leave it off to the side and take care not to damage the new headgasket in any way.

20. Clean your gasket surface. For the inexperienced, a simple wire brush will do fine. Hell, it will do fine either way. I have a kajillion razor blades so I went with this route. I press the blade against the surface at a 80-90 degree angle and scrape with even pressure towards the side of the block. Be very careful as you can gouge the aluminum block with that small razor blade. Make sure everything is good, including around the cylinders, and wipe it clean. Here is mine after I was finished.

21. Clean up the RTV EVERYWHERE. This will probably be the longest process as for some reason, Nissan LOVES THE SHIT! You can use the razor method but ensure to remove the old RTV from the little crevices where it is made to go on the timing chain covers. I hated this part. You have several places to do this. Here is a list:
1. Timing chain front cover.
2. Timing chain cover where the front cover bolts up.
3. End cap for the camshaft brackets. Where those three bolts are by #1 cylinder.
4. Cylinder head where it goes against the timing chain cover.
5. Timing chain cover where it goes against the cylinder head.
6.Timing chain cover where the camshaft bracket goes.
7. Small area on the inside of the timing chain assembly on the cylinder head side that for some reason on mine had RTV. Clean it off the head and on the timing chain side.
A picture of the shit that you have to clean.

22. Run a tap into the cylinder head bolt holes in the block. It's a M12 x 1.75mm. Make DAMN SURE it goes in there straight, or you're fucked. Use some type of lubricant to help it out. oil work fine. I used PB blaster. Here is a picture of the standard amount of metal I pulled out.

After pulling this out, I sprayed it off with PB blaster again to clean the shit off and went to the next hole. Once done, I ran it down each one again to see what happened. I was good to go with no crud so it's off the the next step.

*optional but recommended* Use compressed air to blow out any crud from when you tapped your head bolt holes. If you do this then you need some tape. Here is a pic of what I did.

This is to mainly keep that shit from going down into the oil or coolant passages. I didn't get a whole lot out but it made me feel better.

*optional* If you bought new headbolts, then keep going. If you didn't, then you need to make sure the thread is good. In order to do that then you need a M12 x 1.75mm die. Run your bolts through the die ALL THE WAY until it stops at the unthreaded portion. I only had to do this to two of my bolts and I definatalely cut some metal. Although it wasn't much, it was enough that it threw my torque specs outta whack. Sorry, no pic.

A picture of my layout once I was at this point. I had all of this laid out perfectly on sheets of show towels.

Reassembly Stage.

23. Go ahead and break out that oil. Once you are sure that all of your gasket surfaces are clean then place your new headgasket on the block with the dowel pins where they're supposed to be. One of my dowels was actually pushed ALL THE WAY IN to my cylinder head.

24. Place a bead of RTV all along the side of the timing chain cover where it is going to be mating up to the cylinder head. Do not forget about that one guy that had a bead of RTV around it and it kinda looks like a bolt should go through it. You should make a good bead of RTV so that it squeezed out one you put the cylinder head back on there.

25. Place the cylinder head back onto the block. The dowel pins that are holding the head gasket in place should now help the cylinder head into one spot. Let it drop into place and get ready to start tightening down the head bolts.

26. This is a VERY important step. There are two ways to do it by the FSM and a third if you try it a different way. We are now going to torque down the head bolts. Refer to the top where the different ways for the different model years are listed. I am going to list my bootleg way here.
1. Make sure to dip all of the bolt into oil and place them in there respective spot. If you pulled a bolt from hole x, it should go back into hole x. If they're new bolts, then it doesn't matter. Once all 10 are pre oils (be generous with the oil) then go ahead and use the 10mm head head socket and tighten them all down finger tight.
2. Using the following TIGHTENING SEQUENCE...

Tighten the bolts to 72ftlbs.
3. Loosen all bolts completely. Then tighten back down to finger tight.
4. Tighten all bolts in the proper order to 37ftlbs.
5. Tighten all bolts in the proper order to 75ftlbs.
6. Tighten all bolts in the proper order to 95ftlbs.
7. Tighten all bolts in the proper order to 110ftlbs.

A quick note here. I had ALL but ONE bolts tighten to 110ftlbs. #5 in the tightening sequence hit 95ftlbs. After that I had problems getting it to 110ftlbs. I left it where it was. This is ONE of TEN and it still has me worries. This was a new bolt and the threads in the hole were fresh. I have no explanation as to why it did this, but it did.

**This is what I used, as the entire degree method just fucking sounds stupid to me and It's a good way to strip a bolt.**

27. Apply oil to all of the valves in the head in a generous amount.

28. Another very important step. Re-install the camshafts. Go ahead and pick them up and make sure they've collected no trash. Place them back onto the head the same way they came off. The little part that sticks out where the sprocket goes on the exhaust came should be pointed up. The one on the intake cam should be pointed towards the rear of the car. Now, apply oil to the entire camshaft, giving special attention to where the caps go. Install all the caps in the EXACT SAME SPOT they came from. Do not tighten down the caps fully just yet. Give generous amounts of oil throughout this procedure to help ensure that your camshafts will be lubricated upon first start up.

A quick thing to mention, then you place the end cap on, make sure the RTV surfaces are clean. If they are then make sure to apply RTV in the channels and also to the back side where it will be bolting onto the timing chain cover. The torque for these guys is a MAX of 104 inch pounds. Here is the proper torque sequence according to the FSM. Needless to say, I didn't really follow this.
1. Tighten in order 9, 10, 11 to 17 inch pounds. (pretty much just tighten it down until it starts to get a bit tight. When it STARTS to.)
2. Tighten in order, 1 - 8 to 17 inch pounds. (Remember that the intake and exhaust cams are both numbered 1 -
3. Tighten all bolts 1 - 11 to 52 inch pounds.
4. Tighten all bolts 1 - 11 to 104 inch pounds. (104 inch pounds is about the equivalent of 09ftlbs. just to give an example)

29. Another crucial step. Reattach the cam shaft sprockets. This isn't all that hard but you can royally fuck your timing which could royally fuck your engine. Attach that wrench or whatever you used before to remove it, to the camshaft hexagonal part. Grab the sprocket for whichever one you're doing first and align the timing marks to the chain and mesh them together. Now, with the chain on try and put it on the camshaft. It's probably gonna fight a little bit but try to turn the camshaft a little with the wrench and she should go in like butter. Each camshaft sprocket has a small hole that will fall onto a protrusion on the camshafts. Make sure this falls in place or you risk cracking your camshaft/sprocket and ruining your engine. Once you get it in put the bolt in to hold it in place. Now repeat on the other cam. Tighten these bolts to 94-115ftlbs. I tightened mine to 100ftlbs. Double check your timing marks to make sure they're still dead on. Reinstall that black chain guide.

30. Give more oil to the valve train, she's about done. Once done with the oil, put the valve cover back on to stop debris from getting in there.

31. Reinstall the timing chain tensioner. Put the two bolts back in finger tight. Remove the pin you used and let the guy push against the chain. You may need to use a wrench on the intake cam to help relieve some of the pressure on the timing chain so that you can do it a ton easier. Make sure to lube this guy up too.

32. Now to reinstall the timing chain front plate. Apply your RTV and make sure you have all of the bolts ready to go. Apply your bead all around the front cover and install it. Once pressed againt the timing chain cover, put some of those bolts in. There is a particular way that Nissan wants you to bolt them up so I'm going to try a bootleg picture here. It says in the FSM to use 9-10 ftlbs. That is a lot on these little guys. i tightened them up but what I felt was right. Normally that is bottom them out and then giving just a little bit more. You should see RTV press out all around. You can wipe up the excess if you want.

Just imagine looking at the front of the cover.
2 4

33. Reinstall the lower intake manifold. Remember that if you completely removed it then you're going to have to put the studs in AFTER you've lined up the manifold. Don't forget your gasket.

34. Reinstall those PMSing BITCHES on the back of the LIM.

35. Reinstall the fuel rail assembly. I used oil to help those o-rings slide in a lot easier. Make sure they're clean. They should go in with only a small amount of force needed. Put those bushings in UNDERNEATH the fuel rail where the bolts hold it in place. Doing it after you put the injectors in keeps them from flying around. Put the bolts in and tighten them up.

36. Reinstall the upper intake manifold. Don't how that wiring harness goes. Don't forget the gasket. If you removed the throttle body then go ahead and re-install it now.

37. Go ahead and reinstall your spark plugs.

38. Tighten down the valve cover. Here is the tightening sequence. Don't forget the gasket.

5 1 3 7
9 10 Driver's side.
6 2 4 8

Front side

39. Reinstall your coils. Also while you're here, check all of your electrical connections and make sure that all of them are plugged in.

40. Reinstall your header. Connect it to the downpipe and tighten all of your bolts. Don't forget the gasket.

41. Reinstall your air intake assembly.

42. Reinstall your alternator and bracket. This will probably be a HUGE pain in the ass. Remember that the alternator has to go in BEFORE the bracket.

43. Rerun your drive/serpentine belt. Once done, if you did it then go ahead and reinstall your coolant reservoir.

44. Reinstall your battery. Don't forget the battery hold down.

45. Put you strut bar back in place.

46. Sit back and relax. You're finally finished.

I know it seems to get easier towards the end. Most of this you should already have a handle on so there is no need in going WAY into depth here. I feel I covered all of the important aspects and then some. Feel free to post up anything I may have forgotten.

I have been writing this for a total of about 5 hours now. That is a lot of my time so I hope this is appreciated. I will go ahead and throw in a few extra pics from my project. If you feel you need some more pictures then please just say so. I may have something already or I may be able to get it somewhere else.

That is all. Have fun and be safe.

- Brandon

Pics below.

Fuel rail assembly.

Valve cover to keep junk out.

Showing those black grommets.

Where the chain guide goes.

Broken chain guide.

Gutted cylinder head thermostat. A simple how to should be following.

Tightened camshaft brackets.

Camshaft endplate installed.

Thanks Obsidian.


16 Posts
Word of advice:

I got all my headbolts to 95lbs easily after that I had 2 bolts which spun a full rotation and never hit 110.

Wasn't sure what was going on so brought the torque wrench back down to 95 and worked my way up 1 lb at a time. Got to 108 on the second one and it went a 1/4 of a turn before the headbolt itself snapped.

Luckily, some freaking way when I went to remove the bolt the whole thing came out. About 3/4's of the way up the bolt thread it broke but there was just a tiny amount, think 2mm's worth, of metal holding on.

Moral of the story if you're going from 95 to 110 and you get a full rotation out of the bolt, hell I would probably stop at half a turn, stop where you are... the bolt has stretched and it's not going to get any tighter

2,337 Posts
I think I blew out my head gasket, motor has 3k on it, I am gonna chalk it up to shitty tune. The guy who built my motor is saying it takes 12 hrs to replace the head gasket, is this true, he also says I need a engine hoist to do this job. I would like to do this job on my own but do not have a hoist, I have every thing else to do it, and for the $1000 it would cast me to have the gasket replaced I think I would like to do this myself as I just dumped $5000 in having the motor built and installed.

2,337 Posts
is the 12 hr time he said correct or is that way off? I have the money to pay for this repair but would rather not LOL, I would like to cam the car instead of paying this dude to replace the head gasket.

159 Posts
it is actually not hard =) i just got done with mine all i need to do tomorrow is install the alternator =P it took me 2 hrs to take off and bout 3 hrs to get it back on cleaning all that RTV is the worst part of this specially on the timing chain cover.

2,337 Posts
well I plan on doing this at home then and save the money it would have cost me to have the repair done and order 800 or 1000cc injectors, MS3 and a meth kit. I would like to get cams too but am not sure I can put them in myself without f'ing something up.

2,337 Posts
lol i dont know whats size, my buddy told me those sizes, looks like jim wolf has some, im looking to boost to 20psi, will those work? I am about to mark my timing chain now to remove my cams so i can get this head off and look at the damage

2,337 Posts
I know I have alot of reading to do, I have 2 links on my timing chain that are yellow in color that line up with grooves that are on the sprockets, these links were not painted, is this how the factory sets TDS?

26,956 Posts
i dont know... did you read any of the above instructions??

10. You must find TDC now. For the easy way, follow these simple instructions: You will need to remove your spark plugs.
1. Take a 17mm ratchet/wrench and apply it to the exhaust cam sprocket bolt.
2. Find a long tool. I used two 8" extension for a 1/4" drive ratched.
3. Place your tool into your #1 cylinder through the spark plug hole. Make sure it doesn't drop completely inside. You must be able to retrieve it and you must be able to see it.
4. Once it is in there, attempt to tighten your camshaft sprocket. It will cause the entire drive chain to cycle. While it is doing this, your pistons are moving up and down.
5. You should see the tool reach a high point and then try to cycle back down. As SOON as you see it stop going up, STOP. Remove the little black peice in your timing chain assembly at the very top. That is your chain guide. Mine broke as soon as I tried to cycle the other way so I'm trying to save yours.
6. Back track by trying to remove the sprocket bolt until you see that high point again. Stop.
7. Congratulations. You have found TDC in a few very easy steps. MARK THOSE CAMSHAFT SPROCKETS AND CHAINS!
8. You may need to wipe some excess oil off before being able to make the sprockets. After doing this, DO NOT ROTATE THE ENGINE!
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