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Can anyone tell me how hard is it to remove the heads from a 97 tbird
Can you remove the heads with the exhaust manifold or do they have to
come off the heads before removing the heads.
Thanks.
 

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Removing the heads isn't terribly difficult, just a lot of removing stuff in the way. Harness, fuel rail, intake manifold etc. Worst part is probably trying to get the valve covers off - some of those little 8mm bolts at the back can be a squeeze. Rubber band the middle head bolts to each other to help hold them up in the head when you lift them out so they clear the block - their length and angle/position is such that they can't be removed/installed due to interference from the shock tower (if you don't know what I mean, you will :D). You can get the heads off with the exhaust manifolds attached.

Blown head gaskets on a 4.6 are not unheard of but are relatively rare, FYI. [How] Are you certain the HGs are blown?
 

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I'm with theterminator93; unless you drove the car without water for a good distance, the odds are you need a new gasket on the oil filter adapter.

The only case I'm aware of blown headgaskets was someone who overheated the car and drove it thru a construction zone until it seized.

That warped the heads; so if you just have milkshake in the cooler overflow, I'd go with a new gasket on the oil filter adapter first.
 

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The dipstick tube is by far the worst part of doing the heads in car. Get yourself a 8mm swivel socket for the tight valve cover bolts


I seriously doubt the head gaskets are bad either.
 

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Ah yes, Matt revived those repressed memories of the yucky experience of getting the dipstick tube out of the block. If you leave the exhaust manifolds attached when installing or removing them, it has to come out. After the hacksaw, vise-grips and channel-locks, one mangled former disptick tube came out for me - so I put a Lokar in when I reassembled. :zbash:

+1 worst part of the job!
 

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...

+1 worst part of the job!
I personally think removing the engine as a whole is easier than doing it in the car; I can have an engine out in an hour or so.

Bending over the engine while even pulling the valve cover gaskets makes my back hurt just thinking about it, lol.

:grin2:
 

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I was a glutton for punishment so I reinstalled the stock dipstick tube in lieu of the lokar :bangwall: Installation was even worse than removal, I must have tried every contortion possible to get the tube where it needed to go without binding up in the manifold and head. Once I finally did get it near where it needed to go I had to use vice grips and a slide hammer to get it seated(reverse process I had to use for removal), while the loose head was basically just resting precariously on top, it’s lucky I didn’t damage the new head gasket or gouge the deck surface in the process.
 
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