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Removing CA18DET cylinder head

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Removing the Cylinder Head Off Your CA18DET

 

 

Ok, I had to do this not long ago and a guide would have been bloody helpful. So, I?ll try to explain how I removed the head off my CA18DET, with the engine still in the car. I tried to be as basic as possible, so there are a lot of steps that will seem obvious to some people. Its not as hard as you would think, I don?t know a whole lot about cars and I did it no worries. The only tricky thing is pulling the timing gear off, which I had some guidance on.

 

A good tip that I learnt the hard way is to put EVERYTHING you take off in a box or bag, and label it if you are not sure you will remember where it goes. I do this whenever I do any work on my car.

 

Parts List: depending on why you are removing the head, you may need other parts for the job. Here?s what I used, which I think should be the minimum you should replace when doing this.

 

Ø  Head Gasket ? I got mine from RPM in Adelaide, its not a metal one but apparently they have this gasket on CA running 22psi - $120

Ø  4 Exhaust Manifold Gaskets - part # 14036D4200 $10 each from Nissan

Ø  2 cam oil seals ? part # 1304216V00 $10.41 each from Nissan

Ø  1 Rocker Cover Gasket ? part # 1327056E00 $37.94 from Nissan

Ø  1 Rocker Cover Gasket ? part # 1327056E10 $29.24 from Nissan

** NEW head bolts, the ones i used were ajusa, part # 81010600

 

 

Tools:

 

Ø  wheel ramps (or a hydraulic jack and stands)

Ø  screwdriver set, socket set, 10, 12, 14 &19mm spanners

Ø  10mm allen key (and 1/2 drive adaptor to put the head back on)

Ø  torque wrench

Ø  breaker bar

Ø  paint marker

Ø  Torch

Ø  Service manual pages on head removal ? get them here

Ø  spare day and a carton of piss

 

 

1.  First you need to remove all the intake piping, the turbo heat sheild, fan shroud and fan, and any other extra crap.

 

2.  Drain coolant and engine oil, have a beer while you wait for it to drain. Remove top radiator hose, heater hoses and anything else in the engine bay connected to the head.

 

3.  Remove all belts. For the power steering, just unbolt the pump to get the belt off, same with the alternator. The a/c has a tensioner pulley, just unbolt this to get the belt off. Move the power steer pump to one side, and remove the alternator all together (makes things easier later). Also, you can now remove the water pump pulley.

 

4.  Unplug all wiring connected to the head. Tag the wires if u can?t remember where they go!

 

5.  Get under the car and unbolt the front pipe between the dump and the cat.

 

6.  Now you have to remove the turbo, I removed the dump pipe to give me room to work with. Ok, first you need to remove the oil and water feed lines. The oil return line is easy, just a few 12mm bolts. The oil feed line is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to remove from the turbo with the engine in the car, unbolt the end that goes to the side of the cylinder block instead. The water lines are held in by 2 banjo bolts, use a 19mm socket or spanner, or whatever you can fit, and undo these.

 

7.  Now unbolt the exhaust manifold ? use WD40 on all bolts as they will most likely be tight as a bastard. You should now be able to remove the turbo and exhaust manifold as one. Ok, that deserves a beer.

 

8.  Now remove the 2 rocker covers. Remove coil packs, wiring harness and spark plugs. Remove the crank angle sensor ? BUT remember to put a timing mark on the sensor and the timing cover.

 

9.  Remove the front timing cover. Set no. 1 piston at Top Dead Centre. If they aren?t already there, put timing marks on the timing belt and camshaft pulleys. Refer to the service manual pages if this doesn?t make sense.

 

10.  Loosen the timing belt tensioner and pull the timing belt off the cam pulleys. If you want to change the timing belt as well, remove the crank pulley and lower timing cover and remove the belt. If not, just clip the belt to one side like I did.

 

11.  Now you can remove the cam pulleys, rear timing cover and camshafts. Refer to the service manual for the loosening order for the camshaft bolts. You will notice the camshaft brackets have and E on the exhaust side and and I on the intake side, followed by a number. Remember where they go, do not mix them up. Place them in a box and tag them if you need to.

 

12.  Ok, now you can undo the head bolts with the allen key. Refer to the manual for the loosening order. They are damn tight! We used a big shifter on the end of the allen key for leverage. A ½ drive and ratchet is better ? you need these to put the head back on anyway.

 

13.  The only thing stopping you taking the head off now is one hose, located right under the manifold in the most difficult place possible. Get a torch and look from the drivers side right under the manifold, you will find it eventually, the hose it metal, not rubber. It is attached to the head by a 10mm bolt. To get to this I got a 10mm socket and a long extension and squeezed it in through the side where the fuel filter is. I had to lift the head up slightly to get to this, and it took me a long time a lot of swearing to finally get it off.

 

14.  With a bit of jiggling you should now be able to lift the head off the block! Ok, time for another beer!

 

 

When replacing the head, refer to the manual for the head bolt and camshaft bolt torque settings and tightening order. You must use new head bolts! Since you have the turbo off, its also a good opportunity to get some braided hoses made up for the oil / water lines if you want. If I had the money, I would have replaced the turbo with a T28BB and replaced the cams with HKS or CA16DE cams and adjustable pulleys before putting it all back together. So if you can afford it, it?s the perfect opportunity to do any of this.

 

This is only the way I did it, there are probably things you may do differently, all I can say is it worked for me. Hope this helps someone, I don?t think I have missed anything major, but If I have don?t flame me, its my first attempt at an article!

 

Manus.

 

manus37909.0758680556

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You left out that you need to replace the head studs. also the part number and where to get them?

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Loosen the timing belt tensioner and pull the timing belt off the cam pulleys. If you want to change the timing belt as well, remove the crank pulley and lower timing cover and remove the belt. If not, just clip the belt to one side like I did.

 

 

you should take the harmonic balancer and bottem covers off when loosning the timing belt, because you can not see the crank timing mark otherwise (on the bottem sprocket) , and ca's are a bitch to line up and tention on the specific timing marks!

 

often you have to wedge a large screwdriver in one of the cam gears to aline the belt,

 

 

if you are 1 tooth off your motor wont run very well,

 

and budgie there is not really any need to take off the inlet manafold unless you are getting your head machened or ported, or seated!

 

cheers byron

 

ps nice write up man

 

 

if you want picts to add pm me and ill take some i am in the middle of a rebuild atm,

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is there torque settings to follow, also can someone please tell me the pattern to tighten the head back up, thanks

 

EDIT!!!!!!!! i searched the internet for an hour looking for this

FOR ALL THAT WANT TO KNOW I FOUND THIS USEFUL INFO, it also has the sequence to tighten the head bolts with a guide :)

http://www.tamparacing.com/forums/nissan-i...rque-specs.html

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hey great thread just in the middle of doing the head gasket and i forgot about marking the timing on the crank angle sensor, how should i go about the timing now

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The crank angle sensor has a keyway that allows it to slide on one way only.. So you don't need to mark the cas as such..

 

It is more important to ensure the timing gear marks line up with the marks on the backing plate, and the crank mark lines up with the mark on the oil pump housing @ Top Dead Center!!!!!!! (To find TDC, use a small long screwdriver inserted into the number one cylinder spark plug hole, resting on the piston. Turning the crank you will see the screwdriver move up and down. Turn the crank until the screwdriver is in the upmost position)

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The crank angle sensor has a keyway that allows it to slide on one way only.. So you don't need to mark the cas as such..

 

It is more important to ensure the timing gear marks line up with the marks on the backing plate, and the crank mark lines up with the mark on the oil pump housing @ Top Dead Center!!!!!!! (To find TDC, use a small long screwdriver inserted into the number one cylinder spark plug hole, resting on the piston. Turning the crank you will see the screwdriver move up and down. Turn the crank until the screwdriver is in the upmost position)

 

hey thanks for that, yeh got it tdc and had a look at the old timing marks and they were one tooth out prob why it had an idle problem.

another question im about to undo the headstuds im guessing you can leave the intake manifold on the head and take the whole thing out as one

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Yeah as long as all the vacuum lines, water lines etc are removed should be fine..

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Yeah as long as all the vacuum lines, water lines etc are removed should be fine..

awsome! thanks for the help

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Hi,

 

Thanks so much for this instruction sheet, so much help!

I have been doing my HG by myself in my garage, and the biggest job I have done on my CA before this is replace my rocket cover gaskets, so it's a big ask for me...

 

So far I have done everything down to getting the engine into TDC. I am trying to spin the cams now but its so damn hard, is there a special way to do it? where can I wrench it from?

 

Also guys, I heard that its better for me to leave my intake-mani on to the head whilst I pull it out, do you agree? I hope so...

I'm already shitting myself getting everything back on in the right order...

 

Thanks so much again,

 

Cheers,

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There are hexagonal castings in the camshafts.. from memory you can use a 22mm spanner to move the cams themselves into postion...

 

I dont see any issues leaving the mani on, make sure all hoses are disconnected...

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awesome write up mate.Gonna do mine on next week :)

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I used this guide but did a few things differently.

 

Basically, you can pull the head with both cams still in and both manifolds plus the turbo still attached if you want to and don't need to replace other gaskets as they are already new, which was the case for me.

 

I'm also not sure what 10mm you needed to remove, if the it's the one above the starter that holds the hard pipe section of the breather pipe you can leave it alone and just disconnect the hose clamps instead, much easier.

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yeah im about to start the job today and i dont see why you cant leave the cams in aswell as the turbo..

whats the point in taking the cams out ? you can get to head bolts with them in .

and just undo the oil drain on the bottom of the turbo and oil feed and coolant lines if need be and lift it up with the head

saves a lot of gaskets and time....

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