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'03 PT Cruiser Headwork

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12 Jul 2011, 09:27 am
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Louisburg, KS
Posts: 30
Default '03 PT Cruiser Headwork

Hi All,
I bought an '03 PT that wasn't running after a blown head gasket replacement. The guy that done that work swore he had checked the head all out and even went so far as re-seating all the valves. Long story short, after confirming #1 and #4 only had around 55 lbs of compression (the only two you can check without pulling the intake) I decided to yank the head off and see what I could find.

The first thing I did was place a straight edge across the head side to side. I found the head was severely warped side to side (.018 thou) from one end to the other. It was not twisted or anything like that, just warped across and between each cylinder.

The second thing I checked was to see if the valves were fully seating. I turned the head upside down and poured each cavity full of gasoline to see if any escaped out the exhaust or intake ports. Pretty much each one leaked to some degree or another.

Two questions:
I own a Bridgeport Mill so I milled off exactly .020 thou in order to get the head to clean up. Does anyone know how much can safely be removed from the head without causing the valve to collide with head?

I fear I could have some bent valves, is there any easy way to check this? Looking at the head the valves do not look bent or anything like fact they look perfectly fine. Just wondering if I could get by with just lapping in the valves...

Thanks and sorry for the long post.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 14 Jul 2011, 08:33 pm
Fresh Cruiser
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1
Default Re: '03 PT Cruiser Headwork

Very interested to see how you come out on this one as I just picked up an 02 Today with the same issue. Haven't done anything to it yet, but boy is it clean!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 14 Jul 2011, 09:03 pm
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 342
Default Re: '03 PT Cruiser Headwork

how are the pistons sealing,
lapping the valves untill they dont leak is worth a shot, , just dont go crazy and dont get any lapping paste on the guides
.20 is fine for valve clearence,
did you see any leaks on the gasket

what makes you think you bent the valves,
take them out and check them if your not sure, you dont want to do this agin i suspect,
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 14 Jul 2011, 10:21 pm
Regular Cruiser
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 113
Default Re: '03 PT Cruiser Headwork

I don't know what real world tolerances can be milled but this is straight from Chrysler:

Cylinder head and engine block resurface guidelines. See note provided. Cylinder head and/or cylinder block deck requires resurface. Industry standard is (.008") maximum total material removal. If both the head and the block are resurfaced the total material removed for both combined should not exceed (.008"). Before this procedure is performed suggest review specific guidelines for the engine being repaired in the applicable service manual section (9). Most service manuals are available on MDS2 machine.

Heads can be picked up for pretty cheap on Ebay. I bought one for $150 that needed no machine work.
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 10:13 am
golf55555's Avatar
Regular Cruiser
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 189
Default Re: '03 PT Cruiser Headwork

Going thru the same on 2 cars I just bought. An 01 and a 03 GT. The 01 was warped so bad I replaced the head. The 03 is being milled and purchasing a shim to fill the gap!

I'm really thinking about parting out the 01 as it is in great shape with a lot of nice new parts!

SOLD-----K&N FIPK CAI, MSD wires, NGK plugs
03 Dream Cruiser series 2 #1489,5sp
k&N FIPK CAI, MSD 8MM wires, NGK iridium plugs, oil catch can, AGP wastegate, Mopar BOV,Mopar Boost Gauge,Stage 1 injectors,DSP Sport tuner,VSR Anima 18" wheels, Kelly 225-40-18 tires, 3" cat delete downpipe, APS SS dual exhaust.

Now owner of a black CSRT stage 1.
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Old 15 Jul 2011, 07:01 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: 55403
Posts: 3,912
Default Re: '03 PT Cruiser Headwork

The DOHC head can be RADICALLY milled w/o consequence.

Minnesota's Community of Neons! • View topic - Angle Milling

We've done lots and have lots of hard miles on 'em.
You can use your bridgeport, use a flycutter or two flute endmill at the highest tool speed, lots of lube/coolant.

Valve clearance isn't a consideration.

You will need to remove the valves and have them ground. You could chuck them in your mill for runnout checks.

Two items:
1. sometimes there's carbon under the valves- tapping them and letting them slam shut can make them seal.

2. a head warped that severely will mis-align the cam bearing bores.
When you bolt it down now, it re-aligns the bores.
Check cam bore alignment now.

I do have a Late-Model head (bulge, large hole) IF you decide it's beyond repair.

'01 (bulge, small hole) might work

'00 and down don't have a bulge and has a cover bolt out of place
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Old 16 Jul 2011, 01:33 pm
UptownSport's Avatar
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Location: 55403
Posts: 3,912
Default Re: '03 PT Cruiser Headwork

Have the machinist grind valve tips a bit, too

There is a spec for this:

Guide Height (spring seat to guide tip)
13.2513.75 mm (0.5210.541 in.)
For whatever reason, there's been reports of burnt valves on late model head (one I discovered; 2006 Stratus):

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