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MG MGB Technical - Cylinder Head removal problem - HELP!

I am hoping you could give me some advice. I have been attempting to remove the cylinder head of my MGB (to replace the head gasket which has been leaking). I have hit a snag. I have removed all the rocker assembly and the cylinder head nuts, but one of the studs that go through the head to the block is totally stuck. I cannot lift the head off because this stud is completely solid and unmoveable in the head. I soaked it in penetrating oil, and tried using two nuts on the top to shift it, but it stripped the thread. As the thread was knackered I have tried mole-grips to try and shift it but it won't move. I have also drilled through it and put a rod through to try and turn it but it just snaps off. Any suggestions/ideas welcome! Thanks.

That will be the centre one on the spark plug side I guess!

The hole it fits through is smaller than all the others as it acts as a locating dowel.

The solution is to remove all the others using the two nut method or a stud extractor.

Then remove the alternator/dynamo bracket and all other obstructions so that you can rotate the head without lifting it. You may have to lever and force the head so that it breaks the gasket seal and you can rotate it anticlockwise - once the stuck stud is unscrewed from the block you can pound it out.
Chris at Octarine Services

Hi Richard,
I had this same problem last year. I eventually managed to get most of the stuck studs off using the double nut method and/or a stud extractor, but two or three studs remained totally frozen in the head.

Like you, I asked this same wonderful network of online MG enthusiasts for help. Here's a link to my post and all the helpful responses I received :

1974.5 MGB
J. Palgon

I had this problem on my midget head. The solution is to use a stilsons wrench..the ones that plumbers use with a 'loose' lower jaw. It actually tightens on the stud as you turn it..not pretty and the stud will be destroyed, but you have already stripped the threads. Amazing tool really, you will be astonished how it grips!
Robin Cohen

What kind of penetrating oil did you use?

Make sure you use PB Blaster, the best penetrating oil in the world!

As a last resort, with the other studs in place to keep things aligned, feed a lenght of rope into the cylinder while it is down the bore. Then put the car in fourth gear and rock it back and forth. Not sure I would try to hit the starter as it may be a bit much.


I would not use rope to lift it - if it is only binding on the one centre stud then the head will lift cockeyed (there is more clearance in the other stud holes) and there is a real danger of cracking the block casting around the seized stud.

Chris at Octarine Services

This thread was discussed between 25/02/2007 and 28/02/2007

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