How to strip the K-series Head (non VVC)

Words, Pictures and Video: Tim Woolcott

This page contains: Quick notes on stripping the K-series head | Video on head stripping procedure (includes information on recovering a cylinder head with porosity

Quick notes on stripping the K-series head

1. The Lotus 135 head, inlet and exhaust ports already enlarged (these are visible in the picture opposite).
2. 15no cam cover bolts removed with 8mm socket. A drill is useful to speed up the removal process once the bolts have been initially loosed.

Components laid out - cam cover top right, cam cover gasket, bottom right, cylinder head assembly, left.

3. 26no cam ladder bolts removed with 8mm socket. As above a drill can be useful to speed up the process.

Picture shows the cam ladder in place on top of the inlet cam (bottom) and exhaust cam (top). Gold-coloured ladder bolts just visible in this picture.

4. Photo of cam seal to remind me which way round it goes, the groove faces towards the head, Black seals are at the cam belt end, brown seals at the distributor cap end.

Black cam seal shown in the centre of the picture opposite - cam wheel locating lug visible protruding beyond the end of the cam right. Top half of cam ladder seen in back ground.

5. Followers (also known as Hydraulic Tappets) come out easily if the head is turned on its side. Followers numbered ready for reassembly.

Top (inlet) followers have already been removed in picture opposite.

6. Valve spring compressor from Machine Mart (19) it works fairly well but the more expensive one ( would have made life a little easier when compressing valve for the middle two cylinders which, in this case, required the use of a 22mm socket to prevent the compressor fowling the head.
7. Pic showing how the compressor works, when fixing the the head undo the screw thread to allow the red handle to reach the 'lock' position shown, then screw the thread to compress the spring, with spring compresses and the collet moves away from the locking shims (the two small things above and below the valve) which can be removed with a magnetic screwdriver
8. Valve compressor with additional 22mm socket to give sufficient clearance on middle two cylinders 2 & 3, this is not needed on cylinders 1 and 4
Valves of cylinder 1 already removed.

The head is now looking pretty bare isn't it!

Video on the head strip procedure

This video (hosted on YouTube) by Tim shows how to strip down the cylinder head, as part of a process that he's having to follow in order to recover the head following a head gasket failure. He found a number of areas of porosity that required peening - a process he also deals with in this video. See below for more detail...