How to Remove the Head on a Toyota 2.4L Engine

by Cayden Conor

Removing the head on a Toyota 2.4-liter engine requires several tools and knowledge of the inner workings of an engine. The timing chain must also come off, which means that the timing must be set as part of the process for removing the head. Once the head has been removed, send it to a machine shop to have it checked for warping and cracks before you reinstall it.

Locate the relay box near the driver's side fender well. Lift the cover off, and using the diagram on the inside of the cover locate the fuel pump relay. Pull the relay out of its socket. Start the vehicle and let it run until it stalls, to relive pressure in the fuel system.

Slide the drain pan under the radiator petcock. Open the petcock and allow the coolant to drain. Close the petcock. Remove the negative battery cable, using the appropriate wrench. Remove the air cleaner cap. Unplug the mass air flow (MAF) meter and the resonator. Unbolt and remove the MAF and resonator, using the appropriate sockets.

Disconnect the accelerator and throttle cables from the throttle body, using the screwdriver. Loosen the clamps on the air hose for the idle air control valve and the vacuum sensing hose, located on the intake air connector. Remove the wire clamp for the engine.

Remove the oil dipstick guide, using the appropriate socket. Remove the air conditioning idle-up valve, if your vehicle has air conditioning. Loosen the lock nuts on the power steering pump adjuster bracket, and move the pump toward the center of the engine to loosen the belt. Lift the belt off the pulleys.

Remove the three retaining bolts on the idler pulley, using the appropriate socket, then pull the idler pulley off the engine. Pull the PCV hoses off the valve cover. Unplug the wiring on the distributor. Match-mark the distributor cap to the base of the distributor, then to the block, so you know how to orient the distributor when putting it back on. Remove the hold-down bolts, using the appropriate socket. Pull the distributor off the engine.

Remove the radiator inlet hose at the thermostat housing, using the screwdriver. Unplug the ECT sender gauge connector. Remove the two retaining bolts, then lift the housing and gasket off the engine. Remove any wiring harness connectors and vacuum hoses from the distributor. If you don't think you can remember where they will go, mark the wires and hoses. Remove the throttle body, using the appropriate socket.

Mark, then disconnect the air compressor wiring, oil pressure sender, ECT sensor, EGR gas temperature and EGR vacuum switching valve. Remove the two bolts for the engine wire, then disconnect the wire from the intake chamber. Mark, then unplug the knock sensor, crankshaft position sensor and fuel pressure control VSV. Disconnect the DLC1 from its bracket. Disconnect the two engine wire clamps.

Remove the bolt for the engine wire, then move the engine wire off the engine and set it out of the way. Unplug the fuel injectors. Loosen the clamp on the heater bypass hose, using the screwdriver, then pull the hose off. Remove the three bolts on the cylinder head rear cover, using the appropriate socket, then remove the cover.

Unbolt and remove the EGR valve and vacuum modulator, using the screwdriver and appropriate sockets. Remove the two bolts holding the intake chamber stay on, using the appropriate socket, then remove the intake chamber stay. Unbolt the fuel retur pipe and separate it from the hoses, using the appropriate line wrench.

Disconnect the vacuum hose from the gas filter, then disconnect the brake booster vacuum hose from the intake chamber. Remove the three bolts and two nuts holding the intake chamber on, then remove the chamber and gasket from the engine.

Remove the fuel inlet tube, using the appropriate line wrench. Unplug the fuel injectors. Unbolt the injectors and fuel rail, using the appropriate sockets, then lift the rail in injectors off the intake as an assembly. Remove the intake manifold (three bolts and two nuts), using the appropriate sockets.

Unbolt the front exhaust pipe from the exhaust manifold. Remove the heat insulator, using the appropriate sockets. Remove the exhaust manifold and its gasket, using the appropriate sockets. Remove the engine hangers. Unbolt and remove the valve cover and its gasket, using the appropriate socket.

Line up the groove on the crankshaft pulley with the 0 mark on the timing chain cover, by turning the engine via the crankshaft pulley bolt. If the camshaft gears do not form a straight line with respect to the cylinder head surface, turn the crankshaft one more revolution until all the marks line up.

Remove the two nuts holding the timing chain tensioner in place, then pull the timing chain tensioner off. Remove the camshaft timing gear. Remove the exhaust camshaft, ensuring that you keep it level while you are removing it. Remove the intake camshaft.

Remove two bolts that are in front of the head. Remove the rest of the head bolts, starting from the center two bolts, and working in a crisscross manner to either end of the head. Lift the head from the block.

Items you will need

About the Author

Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.