Head off - some questions ...


Registered User
Evening all.

Decided to make a start stripping down the engine in my S3 this weekend. It'll be off the road for a few weeks while I get some mods done to it. Had some boost problems and an annoying rattling coming from (I think) the exhaust manifold. Stripped down all the intake + vac lines - found a nice sized split under the intake manifold in the pipe going to the suction jet pump thing (Y shaped plastic bit). Decided to go the whole hog and replace all of those pipes under the intake as they feel somewhat lame.

So anyhow ... took off the rocker cover today - found the seal/gasket goosed for the spark plugs - was getting a bit of oil in the spark plug holes. I want to take off the head and do the head gasket while I'm at it - need to take off anyway to take off and inspect the exhaust manifold.

Couple of questions ...

Is there a proper procedure anywhere for taking off the head ? I mean, timing marks, bolt orders, things to look out for etc etc. I've all the tools and enough patience to do it, just don't want to miss anything as the head will be going back on soon after (hopefully). Also, do I have to remove the cam timing chain and bits ?

I have a load of coked crap under the rocker cover and want to clean it up - whats the best thing to clean it with ? And - whilst on the subject - whats the best thing to clean and polish the aluminium with ?

Gonna have a few more questions, but thanks in advance for now !


Badger 5 Edition...Its all about the flow...
Staff member


Registered User
Best way to remove the head is to mark up the timing belt with tipex. Set the engine to DTC but aligning the marks on the rocker cover and the mark on the cam pulley. Mark the belt and pulley on the top and mark the belt and crank pulley on the bottom. You can then transfer these marks to the new belt and get a spot on timing.

Remove the timing belt pulley and the belt will come off.

Then undo the turbo manifold bolts. remove all the pipe work to the head. Including draining the fluids.

Now you can undo the cylinder head bolts. I use the reverse order than they are done up just to be on the safe side.

Once undone you can lift the head off.

Clean the rocker cover with diesel or coke (pepsi!)