Cylinder Head Bolt Removal

Before you torque the bolts you typically have had to remove them first. Cylinder head bolts can be difficult to remove, and it seems they get even tighter with use. Plus, the bolts are recessed in a pocket, making it difficult to keep the T55 Torx® driver aligned with the bolt while applying the pressure necessary to break them loose. I’ve seen more than one Torx® driver break while loosening the bolts due to misalignment and incomplete engagement of the driver into the bolt head. Aside from the cost and frustration of broken tools, when the driver breaks, all that pressure you were applying to the breaker bar usually results in your hands coming into contact with those nicely machined gasket surfaces – ouch!

Using a bushing between the Torx® driver and the cylinder head pocket makes it much easier to keep the Torx® driver in line with the bolts; now all the torque you are applying to the bolts is properly applied to the head bolt. This makes it much easier to loosen and tool breakage becomes a thing of the past.

You can make a bushing that fits a 3/8″ drive T55 Torx® driver from a piece of gray ¾” PVC tubing about 2″ long. The driver has a nice close fit with the ID of the tubing. You may have to remove a little material from the OD of the tubing to allow it to slide into the bolt pockets on the cylinder head. Also, it’s important to have the powerhead secured when removing (and replacing) the bolts. Loosen the head bolts while the powerhead is still bolted to the midsection or, if removed, secure the powerhead to your lower unit stand or workbench.