Ouch Charlie, that really hurt.

I just spent twelve [REDACTED] hours trying to remove my [VERY REDACTED] cylinder head from my [PLEASE MOM DON’T READ THIS] 1948 Willys Jeep engine. And it was a total nightmare.

This past weekend, my friend and I removed the Go-Devil engine from my 1948 Willys CJ-2a with the goal of figuring out why in tarnation the little flathead four only makes 60 PSI of compression in all four cylinders. Something clearly ain’t right.


I broke out my Harbor Freight cherry picker, and plucked that little four-banger out of my engine bay with no drama at all (it helped that my transmission was already out).

Then I bolted the motor onto a stand, and all I had to do was remove about a dozen head nuts, and I’d have access to the four cylinders.


Except it didn’t actually work that way. That head wouldn’t budge, and we ended up spending 12 hours trying to get the thing off, eventually resorting to this:


Yes, I had to cut the studs. How I’m going to replace them is a problem for another day, because I’m taking a break. This damn Jeep has me beat.

Still, I would like to hear about your most frustrating wrenching experience. Maybe it was a nut that just wouldn’t budge, or a bolt that you could only turn 1/10000ths of a degree at a time. Either way, let’s hear about your suffering.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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