M103 How to replace head Ian B Walker Method

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New Member
Jul 19, 2017
HI I have removed my M103 head following the method suggested by M B Walker i.e leaving the inlet manifold in the car. But to replace the head I cant see how the inlet manifold could be correctly torqued back without removing more of the inlet manifold like at least the fuel distributor. I have searched but couldnt find any follow up on replacing the head with the inlet manifold still in the vehicle.

All help much appreciated.
Landy sorry i am unable to give you any info on this ,never been in to that part of the engine yet. Only replaced my water pump on the engine so far. .Can i ask you this? are you going to replace your valve cover gasket, and if so will you apply sealer to the gasket before you fit it ?,The manual said not to, but i read that most people that have repaced it without sealant , the new gasket still leaked .I sould have used a torque on my pump but so tight to get in there i just put thread lock on the polts and locked them up as tight as i could . Checking them from year to year ,, Hope you sort your problem out .
I have done a no of tappett cover gasket replacement and have never found the addition of any gasket sealant useful or necessary. A good quality and generally for that gasket I only use MB will work but correctly torquing is crucial and knowing the cover you are putting back hasn't been warped thru uneven or over torqueing. The trans pan gasket can be equally as tricky if its ever been warped thru incorrect or uneven tightening.

In respect to my issue I don't see how you can evenly torque the inlet manifold back to the head without removing the fuel distributor so that will be my process.

Generally I have found the gaskets on Merci engines yo work well when everything's done correctly. I certainly disagree with those that think gasket cement particularly silicon works well with rubberized gaskets. On its own where specified Luke on the timing cover quality silicon gasket compounds work well. I too have noted though plenty of folk like to use the gasket goo with their rapper gasket... just not my personal recommendation.
Did you skim the head? Always a good idea with these alloy head /cast iron block combinations. A slightly warped head will mean that gasket will have a short life.The heads can go porous with corrosion also.
No need to skim the head its within tolerance and there were no leaks. It was the original head gasket but only a 100km car so one of a no of preventative measures. Leaving inlet manifold in is far quicker even taking into account removing the fuel distributor and removing the head is easier as its less bulky. Of course leaving it on means no need to change the inlet gasket but still more work I think. Thanks for all the thoughts an ideas.
Remove and replace cylinder head with both manifolds on using an engine lift or chain block.

Make absolute sure the head is flat or you will be doing the whole job over again within the next few thousand miles:crazy:
Thanks for the comments but this is not the first engine I have had the head off. Tamng the intake manifold off to remove the head is not required and increased the time an work required to change rhe head gasket its simply not necessary.

I worked out how to resolve the question I raised in this post answer is use a small 1/4 inch torque wrench you can retorque all the inlet manifold bolts. Only the Centre stud has to be done by ring spanner. If you do this up and then check it by using the same spanner to check
the torque on another manifold bolt you should be able to duplicate the torque closely enough.

Anyway job done , ran engine up to temp let run for 10 mins to seeal the head , let cool down checked all for leaks and all good.

If doing the job again I would follow the same process there is simply no point removing the inlet manifold unless you want to strip it down as well.

All good and time will tell but given this wasnt a leaking head gasket in the first place and given all surfaces were true I don't expect any problems.

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