Why Cylinder Heads are Important for Heavy Equipment

Despite being crucial for ensuring your heavy-duty equipment is running properly, the cylinder head is one of the most overlooked parts of any heavy-duty engine. It is a vital component to your heavy equipment’s combustion chamber and is necessary to protect and support the numerous parts beneath it.

This article will explain the role and importance of cylinder heads in heavy-duty vehicles and how operators can ensure theirs are well-maintained.

What the Cylinder Head Does

The cylinder head is sealed on top of your engine block with the head gasket to cover and protect the working parts beneath, such as the pistons and rings, and improves the turbulence of the air/fuel mixture to prevent fuel droplets from settling on the combustion chamber. It contains several ports or tracks that allows air in and exhaust gases out when travelling through the engine.

It is also likely to contain ducts and passages, allowing the engine coolant or antifreeze to pass through the main body of the engine to the radiator. This is needed to prevent overheating and damage to the engine.

Why the Cylinder Head is Important

The role of the cylinder head means it is subject to extreme temperatures in order to guard the rest of the engine block. Beneath, and included in, the cylinder head lies more moving parts than anywhere else in the engine, from the valves to fuel injectors, so ensuring the cylinder head is doing its job is key to guaranteeing the rest of your engine can function.

If the cylinder head has become worn over years of operation, it is very likely to lead to increased oil consumption and increasing risks of permanent damage to the engine, such as parts becoming distorted due to overheating.

Maintaining the Cylinder Head

As the cylinder head is fixed with the head gasket and doesn’t experience as much turbulent motion as other engine components, it does not suffer as much wear over time and does not need to be replaced as often.

That said, it is still subject to extreme temperatures and conditions, and can risk becoming damaged if not looked after. Not only this, but the valves housed by the cylinder head open and close 25 times each second, which is 900,000 times each working day and over 250 million times per year, which will gradually wear down the cylinder head.

The best way to prevent wear is to clean (decoke) the cylinder head as per maintenance schedules. This can be challenging because of the odd shapes of the interior and exterior services that require cleaning. You should look to clean all dirt, grease, and carbon deposits that have built up over time. Left unchecked, they can accelerate the rate of deterioration in and around the cylinder head, so keeping it clean and preventing carbon build ups can lower the risk of permanent damage and costly repairs.

If your cylinder head has become damaged or is no longer working as efficiently as it should, you may have to replace it. At Jaytrac, we have over 25 years supplying replacement parts for heavy duty equipment, including cylinder head and head components  and other engine parts, for a wide range of machinery brands. For more information about how we can supply you, get in touch today at 01604 491 133 or email us at sales@jaytrac.co.uk. Alternatively, fill out our online enquiry form with your specific request.