Rebuilding the top half of a 1989 Chevy Corvette 5.7L engine

My Vette has had an oil leak for some time.  Stupid Goodyear (Burke Centre Automotive) couldn't figure out the problem.  They replaced the valve cover gaskets, then the rear seal, then the front seal, then the oil pan gasket.  And I STILL had an oil leak.  I finally took my Vette to a repair shop that has a GM Master Mechanic.  Turns out that the problem was the head gaskets (crap!).  The head gaskets don't only seal the pistons from anti-freeze, they also seal oil holes that send oil up from the motor block up into the heads for the valve rockers.

Click on any view for a bigger picture.

Here's a really cool picture of the Vette.  The heads have been taken off of the engine and you can sort of see the pistons.  The tan/red thing with circles in it is the head gasket (center of the picture) (the Vette is a V-8 so it has two head gaskets).

Man, you will not believe how many parts and pieces of the engine have to be removed to get the heads off!  If this picture looks like a confusing mess, it's because it is!  (Don't try this at home :)

Here is a better picture of the head gasket.  A little bit of anti-freeze spilled when the head was pulled off (it's the green stuff)(no big deal).  The pistons have alittle bit of carbon burn on them, which the mechanic told me is fine (if they were clean, it would mean that I had an anti-freeze leak, which is bad!)

The pistons are pretty interesting.  They have divots in them for where the valve tops would hit the heads.  (This is so that the piston doesn't hit the valves and snap them off).  The piston top must come really close to the cylinder head on it's up stroke.

This is the other side of the engine.  Since the engine is a V-8, it has two rows of 4 cylinders.
Here's a picture of the head.  (Dang, I should have taken a closer picture.).  You can see the valves in this picture.  The white/silver valves are exhaust valves and the black valves (which you can't really see very well) are the intake valves (gas).

Sort of weird, the valve alignment per piston is two sets of two (notice how the exhaust valves are left, right, left, right (from left to right))

Here is the other head and the Tuned port fuel injection system.  Man, there are alot of parts to the injection system!  And, this is only the top part!


It's back together again!

Ta da!  Here is the Vette all back together again.  The engine seems much more powerful now (probably since Goodyear didn't hook up all of the vacuum lines correctly last time that they worked on it.  Man I hate Goodyear).

Also, notice the brand new Michelin Pilot XGT Z4 tires (149 MPH+  :)


Here's another picture of the engine.
Here's a closer picture so that you can see how clean this engine is. (except for some finger print smuges (I should have wiped them off before taking the pictures...))
Here's the other side of the engine.

Copyright © 1993-2001 by Robert Barnes

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