Cracked head - First Generation Forum

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Cracked head
Thursday, February 28, 2019 12:50 PM
Almost a year and still not finished. I installed the short block and then dropped the head off for machining. I found a nos cam kit. Well the head is cracked. Does anyone know of a really good shop that knows how to repair these the right way. Because if I don't get it done I have to use a 2.0 head from the 91 that means machining the combustion chamber. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Re: Cracked head
Saturday, March 02, 2019 12:58 PM
Why would you need to machine the combustion chamber? I don't know of any changes in the combustion chamber on any of the engines in these cars (for same head design to same head design that is)
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Re: Cracked head
Tuesday, March 05, 2019 5:27 PM
The chamber is different between the turbo and the Nat asp heads higher compression
Re: Cracked head
Thursday, March 07, 2019 5:26 PM
Ray Smith Online
Not sure where you are located, but the machine shop
should know a good aluminum welder.
The ones around here do.
If the crack is in the chamber you will compromise the
valve seats from the welding heat and have to heve
those redone also.
Honestly , starting with a non turbo less stressed
head might be the better route anyway.
Die grinding 4 chambers isnt that difficult.
Harbor freight diegrinder and a rotary burr.
Then cc them true.
Re: Cracked head
Monday, March 11, 2019 9:22 AM
A good machine shop should be able to fix the cracks. I had three done recently at a shop here in the Northeast, a 1.8 and two 2.0 heads all with the typical between-the-seats cracks. Also watch out that they don't get decked too far. It affects cam timing with a SOHC; and of course compression.

There were a few different combustion chamber designs for the 2.0L but I believe the 1.8s were all the same. Also if you're going to swap to a 2.0 head, you will need a different intake.


86 Skyhawk wagon 1.8SOHC • 93 Sunbird two door 2.0SOHC • 93 Sunbird four door 2.0SOHC
Re: Cracked head
Tuesday, March 12, 2019 10:24 AM
Both heads have cracks so I'm going to fix the original. I have talked to ARP about head studs they need measurements of the bolt holes etc. Also commetic gaskets have a mls for these. If I had to do this over I'd just look to Europe for parts. But I'm on a f***ing quest now. This car is in too good of shape not to finish it
Re: Cracked head
Saturday, March 16, 2019 5:46 PM
So I have some time to work on it. I have to put the oil pressure sending unit in. The adapter breaks off in the oil pump. Have to remove pump. Just trying to get this ready for the head.2 steps forward 3 steps back
Re: Cracked head
Monday, April 15, 2019 8:18 AM
So here it goes bought a reman head. Now the cam housing has a issue put the new cam it and it has a tite spot when you rotate it. So can the housing be warped. The old cam was rusted from sitting. Any help on this if I need a new housing where can I find one the machinest suggested bolting it down and seeing if it starts to turn easyer. The only part of this engine that I haven't replaced is the block. I need help
Re: Cracked head
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 2:33 PM
Re: Cracked head
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 7:21 PM
Ray Smith Online
You said the cam was rusty now?
How bad is it? Does the rust polish off
without leaving any pitting?
If not ,you need a new cam and lifters.
Yes, first try bolting down the cam carrier to the
head and see if it fixes the tight spot.
If not you could bring the head and carrier to the
Machinist and have him hone it.
Or you’ll have to try to find another cam carrier assembly.
Re: Cracked head
Saturday, April 20, 2019 9:23 PM
No It's a new cam. I talked to my machinist and he said the same thing so I did that today. It's still a little snug during rotation. The old cam was new 10 years ago and it was rusted. I just don't know if the cam is free enough as to not cause any trouble. Thanks for helping me. And to everyone HAPPY EASTER 😊 I will be working on my youngest daughter's car. That's a Saturn sc2.

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