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Last night I got the head removed from the XJ Jeep Cherokee I've been working on. This is what it looked like before I started:

I decided to leave both manifolds on and just deal with the extra weight. It was heavy but it was still easier to do that than remove the bolts that are hidden under the intake manifold.

It's not very obvious but on this bolt there is a very thick black gummy something all over the threads. Not sure what it is but hopefully I'll be able to clean it off before I put this all back together.

Here's a shot showing my highly sophisticated lifting mechanism with it halfway out:
One of the bolts on the top for the manifolds is pretty well in the middle weight wise front to back so with the chain over that. With the chain secured I put a foot above the firewall and another one above the radiator; and lifted. Thank goodness for joining a gym is all I can say. I was able to lift it and with my able helper guiding the head I could move it between 1' and 6" at a time. Everntually I got it off the car and a bit lower, this is what it looked like then:

From there it was fairly easy to get my hands under it and carry it over to the bench; where it got turned over for removal of the gasket and preliminary inspection:

The gasket is still on here, as you can see near cylinder 1 it seems to have blown out completely and around cylinder 6 it's deformed and blown into the cooling jacket. Not good, you'll see the results of that a little further on.

It looks like when I had gotten it running cylinders 1 & 6 weren't working at all and as such don't have any sooty buildup in them. The other 4 cylinders do which makes me think that it possibly wasn't running properly, but that may have just been because it was cold and only had 4 cylinders going.

One more interesting point here is the exhaust manifold. From the build quality I hope nobody was paid to do it. The welds are not very fine and there were long bits of welding wire were sticking out in a few spots.

This is what the block looked like once I got back to it:

Not a very pretty sight. Just to see what would happen I tried turning it over with a socket. This went well and pretty easily. This allowed me to get that water out of number 6 and get a good spray of WD-40 over everything to help reduce any corrosion that may yet happen.This is what it looked like then:

Most of the water in Number 6 ran out over the back of the block. So it will only need a little bit of mopping to get the rest out.

That's pretty much all there is, from not it will just be cleaning up parts, checking tolerances and buying replacements for a little while. So if I don't post for a little while don't worry, just getting everything prepared for the next stage.

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