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Discussion Starter #1
Can someone give me some advice, so I've finished the PI swap on my 96 T-bird and the first question is:
I have those SS Chrome or something headers and it look like the driver side header is touching the frame, is that bad? And if it is, can I bend it out or put something in between.
And then there is this Problem I have with the dipstick. I can't put it back in, do I have to take the engine out? It's driving me crazy.
The next question is those PI heads came complete with valves and cams from Ford Racing catalog, I though that everything was included so I started the engine to see if it runs (with no accesories or coolant) Well for 5 to 7 seconds it ran it spilled bunch of oil from the back of both heads. Is there some sort of plug that i missed or head gaskets blew out.

Someone help me PLEASE!
 

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Fry Rice Specialist
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first thing why you start the car with no coolant in it?????????

ditch the ss chrome header and use kooks or stock. the ss chrome will break/crack eventually and you gonna do it again.

you do use new head gasket and new head bolts right?

the original headbolts is one time use only and cannot be reuse. it is a torque to yield type and once back it off it's junk.
 

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You forgot the oil galley plugs in the back of the heads. Good luck getting those in with the engine in the car. The dipstick tube is difficult to get in? Welcome to the PI swap. That's the hardest goddamn part. what I did was rip off the bracket on the tube, stick it back on the block and slip the head assembly with header around the tube instead of try to thread the needle for hours. It took 10 minutes that way. Much quicker. I'm glad to see you got the timing right. It's kinda braindead simple that once you do it, you wonder how people could screw it up. What worries me now is that you put the plugs in under your tensioners instead of on the back of the head where they should be and your tensioners aren't getting any oil pressure to pump up. You're going to have to tear it all apart and check that. That's where your plugs probably are unless you forgot them out completely, which would save you teardown time. Yep. Don't run that motor again until that problem is solved or it'll stop running on its own, permanently.
 

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Also, never swapped the head on the cougar, but I did it on my bro's 97 GT. I imagine the space constraints would be a royal PITA to do it in the MN12 engine compartment. Must have been fun holding the bottom rear three head bolts up while you maneuver the head out of the compartment. It was a BIG pain on my brothers, so I just used rubber bands around the heads of the bolts wrapped around the cam girdle to hold them up so I could use both hands to yank the head out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Oh man, well I used new head gaskets and bolts, did torque specificatons by the ford service manual so i think those should be the plugs than. And i didn't put any plugs in the front where the tensioners go so that should be fine.
Im not going to take the head off to put the dipstick back in, as you said its PITA. Either Im going to put a plug in the block or maybe cut that tube and put some sort of flexable tube in between both ends, will that work? Unless there is another way.
And if I have to pull the motor what is the best way to do it, with the trans or without, or tow the car to a shop and let someone else do it ( I hope for free)
cause if I have to change the headers back to stock, when I looked at it, don't think its possible to do with the engine in the car
 

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If you pull the motor, take off the hood and lay it on a blanket on your roof for clearance. The motor should be pulled with the transmission on. If you pull just the motor, you would have to get the engine lined up with the tranny, and sometimes it binds up and the motor doesn't want to turn over, so you have pull it apart and try to line it back up so it doesn't bind. Pain in the ***. Just pull it together. You'll need a load leveler to get the whole mess out. Before you installed the tensioners, did you see the open holes behind the tensioners? You have to be sure of that because if they were plugged and you didn't notice, you will screw up the motor.
 

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Automatic Weapon
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:zwthstpd:

Pull it out with the trans connected. Then swap the manifolds back on and stick that dip stick tube on while the motor/tranny is out. My old SS Chrome headers are in the city dump! Don't get me wrong, they sounded great, but they rubbed and the fenderwell nonstop. That and the gaskets that come with them are utter CRAP!
 

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I have those headers now what a PITA they were. I hammered them to fit couldnt get the egr tube or dipstick to fit. Im waiting to get my pi heads back from the head shop but im tossin the ss headers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I dont remember the holes being pluged where the tensiners go, if I didnt have plugs in the back of the heads why they would put them in the front.
And as those headers go they cant be that bad are they? I think I will wait untill they crack or brake before replacement
Right now Im looking for a shop that could take my motor/tranny out casue I dont have enough tools or nerves to do it my self.
 

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if you can handle the headswap yourself, pulling the motor and trans shouldn't be over your head. just go slow, and document everything you take apart so that you can put it back together correctly. trust me, when the motor has been out of the car for a week, it's hard to remeber exactly where all those nuts and bolts went.

and i agree with what the others said, double check those oil passages in the front of the heads, and plug the ones in the back. also, ditch those headers and either go back to stock or get a set of kooks. the kooks are expensive, but they're worth it.


oh, and here's another thought, all this can be accomplished by pulling the heads again, it's easier than pulling the whole motor, but it'll cost you a new set of bolts (get ARP and you won't have this problem in the future) and gaskets.
 
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