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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

Head bolt removal trick...

Old 01-06-2019, 04:54 AM
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Head bolt removal trick...


Head bolts 4 and 5 in the diagram above are between the exhaust valves... they get stuck/ jammed in the head and rocker assembly because of cooked/baked oil seizing the shank of the bolt.
(Its not the threads stuck in the BLOCK)
There is NO way to start with to get any kind of lubricant on them, once they've broke a tiny bit it creates a gap at the bottom of the head bolt and the rocker guide to allow you to use some kind of lube to help break down the baked oil...( I used WD 40)
I used a 17MM BOX END WRENCH with an extension, a large bolt that would fit inside the box end of the wrench and vice grips to hold the bolt I used like a PUNCH to beat on the top of the head bolts... (I also had to remove the VALVE COVER STUD next to head bolt #5, so i wouldn't destroy it, hitting it with the hammer)
I had my 16 year old grandson put a lot of torque on the head bolt with the wrench... then using the large diameter bolt as a PUNCH placed on the top of the head bolt...I BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF IT !!!
I used 3 bolts and destroyed one socket during this process... but got both 4 and 5 head bolts out...
my motor is a RTE/ TURBO so I probably get more heat build up at those exhaust ports than the RE does and my head bolts were really stuck!!!
There's NO WAY I could have got them out without using this method....
By the way, this didn't happen after a couple of taps... I beat on these things for a long time before getting the slightest, tiny bit of movement...
good luck! Hope this helps someone else with stuck head bolts...

THESE ARE THE BOLTS I USED LIKE A "PUNCH" TO BEAT ON THE TOP OF THE HEAD BOLTS
you can see by the condition of the "bolt/punches"
how violently i was hammering on them...
Those aren't small bolts!!!
The bolt in the vice grips is the LAST one i used, adding the nut helped keep from bending the bolt and gave me a stronger more direct impact to the top of the head bolt...

Last edited by 87-4runner; 01-06-2019 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:02 AM
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After thought...
JUST BEATING/JARRING the head bolts isn't enough to get them free...
JUST TORQUE either with an impact or cheaters isn't enough to get them free...
BUT COMBINE TORQUE AND THE SUDDEN VIOLENT JARRING WILL FREE THEM...
Coming out of the hole with the head bolts, i did reverse direction occasionally to gain more movement and loosen debris...
once fairly free i finished the job of removal with an impact... and LOTS of WD-40
THESE ARE THE TOOLS I USED FOR HEAD BOLT REMOVAL (the LONG bolt is an actual head bolt for the illustration)



THIS IS WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE READY TO USE...

Last edited by 87-4runner; 01-06-2019 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:53 AM
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After all I went thru, and all the horror stories about this problem, this should be a STICKY!!!
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Old 01-06-2019, 03:27 PM
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Number 7 is the only one i have ever had a problem with.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:04 AM
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This method should work on any of the stuck head bolts... although the ones next to the firewall may be harder to hammer on...
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