What do I need to know about rebuilt cylinder heads (non-LR) - Defender Source
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Old October 17th, 2004, 12:53 AM
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Ken Loy
1994 Portofino Red ST
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What do I need to know about rebuilt cylinder heads (non-LR)

Hope you don't mind a non-Defender question here, but I have a question for all you smart guys.

On my non-Defender truck, one of my cylinders isn't holding pressure well at all. So I need a valve job. I've google'd Rebuilt Cylinder Heads and I find there are a ton of shops that rebuild them and ship. Comparing to the cost of a valve job at a local machine shop, it seems pretty economical. $250-ish for a completely rebuilt one with new valves and springs (and a 12 month/12k mile warranty) vs. $350-ish for a single-valve job.

Now both places cite pressure checks and machining that I wouldn't imagine could be that different in quality. So why the big difference in prices? Is there a big difference in valves, springs, bushing, etc? What sort of questions do you think I should be asking the guys on the phone about the replacement parts that they use, or anything else for that matter?

Appreciate the help guys.
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Old October 17th, 2004, 11:33 PM
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Hans Haase
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There are some key things to ask for.

1. A 3 angle valve job gives better sealing and flow, but takes more work than a standard resurfacing. Worth the money.

2. Make sure that if you changed the camshaft, get the right springs to match the cam!

3. If the heads are magnafluxed, it can add more cost but increases the chances of finding cracks over just doing a pressure check. Worth the money if the pricier shop is doing it. No change in performance, but a far superior crack detection method.

4. Do they only machine the valve seats, or also mill the head face too?

5. How much is shipping? Who covers shipping for warranty work?

I'm sure the other guys here will have more info, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head.

-Hans
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Old October 18th, 2004, 10:36 PM
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Ken Loy
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Hans, Thanks for the info. That really helps the stuff I've read and heard make more sense.
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