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My intake cracked and I am about to do a headswap. I did a lot of research on this a couple years ago and lost interest because of the expensive. Now I am motivated just to have a rolling car and getting a little excited about the power increases.

I am asking you to review my parts list to make sure it is complete and if you see something unnecessary to save me a few bucks. Review my questions and give answers and advise if possible.

The car is an 97 GT convertible auto with a 3600 stall converter (DirtyD0G) and 4.10 gears. It has 61k miles and I added 30K of those in 5 years. AFAICT the bottom end is strong and the engine is totally stock and never given me any problems at all.

I am trying to get off as inexpensive as possible. The only performance part I am adding is a Comp Cam XE262H. I am buying it slightly used for 300 from a reputable shop that both installed and removed it. My understanding this cam for an NPI motor is very mild and can use stock springs and will have no piston clearance problems. Maybe good for 10-15 hp and improve mid range power and torque. I am not going to degree the cam. I do not have the expertise or equipment, can't regrind a keyway anyhow and a mustang mechanical guru I trust says he doesn't degree either. My boldness scares me but oh well.

I am polishing the intake ports. I am too chicken to recontour anything and do port matching.Since I am staying N/A even that effort is dubious if it will produce any performance results but it shouldn't hurt either. I started it so I have to finish it. What I have come to understand is there is no benefit from polishing the exhaust ports and in N/A state polishing them may even be detrimental.

My understanding is my 97 engine has a superior steel chain tensioner than what was used later engines. My plan is to reuse as many of the front parts as possible but is that foolish? Should I at least put new cam chains on while I have it apart?

Can I take the heads out and back in with the exhaust manifold attached? Seems it would be easier to just undo the mid pipe on the car and work the head bolts in wider space.

Are there any other bolts that are TTY and unreusable besides the head bolts, the front cover bolts, the cam bolts? I am assuming the intake and exhaust bolts to the heads are reusable.

All and all this task is more than a little intimidating to ME but if I stay organized and patient doable. It seems the frustration points are a bolt on the power steering pump and getting the oil tube back in.

In the manual it says something about an angle tool being needed to properly torque the head bolts back on? I do not believe but need links to how folks do it without.

Does anyone have a link to the procedure for adding coolant without getting that air pocket?

Can I use black RTV gasket sealer everywhere?

Should I use the copper hi temp on the exhaust?

MANDATORY AND MINIMUM
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FRPP 45M-6067-D46 Cylinder Head Changing Kit ($115.50)
(includes head gaskets, exhaust gaskets,dipstick)

F6AZ-6584-AA (RH) and F6AZ-6584-BA (LH) (1 each)
01+ Cam/Valve Cover Gaskets

YL3Z-9439-BA (set) PI Intake Manifold Gaskets ($17.32)
(1 each for a total of 2) or Fel Pro MS-92121

F1AZ 6020-C (1) Front Cover Gasket ($3.75)

F1AZ 6020-A (1) Front Cover Gasket ($3.75)

F6AZ 6020-BB (1) Front Cover Gasket ($4.49)

F5AZ-6700-A (1) Front Cover Crank Seal ($6.34)

F5RZ-6A340-B (1) Crankshaft Bolt aka: F1AZ-6A340-A or ARP-156-2501

F1AZ-6278-A (2) Washer ($2.35 each)
(what are these for?)

XR3Z-9L437-BA Upper Plenum O-Ring – – (1 o-ring)
F1VY-8255-A Thermostat O-Ring – – (1 o-ring)
F1VY-8507-A Water Pump O-Ring – – (1 o-ring)
XR3Z-9450-AA Header Down-Pipe Gasket – – (1 gasket)

SPECIFIC TO CAM SWAP
====================

I am adding Comp XE262H cams. I need the 12 mm or the 10 mm bolts?

F1AZ-6A340-A 12mm CAM BOLT (2)

YF7Z-6279-AA 10mm CAM BOLT (2)

F1AZ-6278-A Cam washers (x2)

{?? Can I reuse the ones off the NPI heads)

I plan on using the cam sprockets, followers, lash adjusters from the NPI heads since both are Romeo.

I plan to SLOWLY compress the lash adjusters in a vise grip and store them in motor oil. I understand they should only compress about 1/16 to 1/4 inch. Good idea?

SPECIFIC TO HEADSWAP TO NPI MOTOR
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XR3Z-18B402-AA (1) Heater Tube ($16.19)

F75Z-8555-AA nipple (@$6.00)

F8AZ-10153-EA (1) Alternator bracket ($5.18)
96-98 with PI Intake/Al. Crossover - (1 bracket)

F6SZ-18472-BA (1) Heater core inlet hose ($9.96)*
F4SZ-18472-DA (1) Heater core outlet hose ($11.81)*

YF7Z-6279-AA (2) Cam Bolt ($2.13 each)
(1 for each cam for a total of 2 bolts/10mm bolts)

9/16 drill, 3/8 NPT tap to drill the thermostat boss for the 2nd sensor.

STUFF I HAVE AND ITEMS TO REUSE OFF ENGINE
==========================================

1W7Z 6049-AARH (1) Romeo Right Cylinder Head ($400.55)
1W7Z 6049-AALH (1) Romeo Left Cylinder Head ($400.55)
3W7Z 9424-AA (1) Intake Manifold ($218.75)

in cylinder head reuse lash adjusters, rocker, oil plugs from old heads

F3LY 6268-A (2) Romeo Timing Chain ($34.21 each)*
F8AZ-6256-BA (1) Cam Sprocket ($19.94)
F8AZ-6256-AA (1) Cam Sprocket ($12.51)
XL3Z-6306-BA (1) Crank Drive Sprocket ($17.27)*

SPECIAL TOOLS
=========================

I am assuming I need a nauseating list of sockets and extension and wrenches. Covered here.

cam spring tool (got it )

lb/foot torque wrench (got it)

lb/inch torque wrench (no got)

"You'll need the little fuel disconnect tool to get the snap connector apart so

you can remove the fuel rails."

True? Is there an alternative with common tools?

Anything else to make life easier?

SUPPLIES
========

motor oil

coolant

brake cleaner (clean and degrease heads and such)

Black RTV gasket sealer

thread tite (red or blue)

pipe thread (for water sensors on the intake)

baggies and post it notes to keep track of parts

digital camera and notebook (noob with looming alzhimer)
 

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get something to mark the chains to the cam gears, and to the crank sprocket






and yes, if you can afford it get new chains while you're at it

do not polish the intake ports....the intake ports work better with a slightly rough surface to promote a tiny bit of turbulence when the air/fuel mixture is going through it......its actually better to polish the exhaust ports (read: do not take out any material though), because it helps fight off the build-up of carbon with a smooth shiny surface

you can reuse your tensioners which are fine, but if your chain guides have too much wear in the plastic, you'd need to replace them, which would be a good idea anyway.....new chain guides + new timing chains = no slack = good

front cover and cam bolts are not TTY....I reused mine

when I did my headswap, the engine was out of the car to do the two final 90° turns on the headbolts....I'm not quite sure how people do it with the engine still in the car, but I didnt use the angle meter, since being a math major, I pretty much know when something has taken a 1/4 turn of a circle....if you're not as confident as I, get the angle meter
 

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Do you feel comfortable using a stronger cam and stock springs? I would worry about breakage. I had a spring break once, but it was on a 32V engine, so I keep this in mind.

Why do you want to compress the lash adjusters?

I remove the fuel rails and A/C fittings with oil bottle caps cut to the circumference of the tube. Even the safety seal can work. The tools are cheap though.
 

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I would replace the valve stem seals and get my valves (intake and exhaust) checked out, Thats just me though you got all the money for the cams, why not be safe. Are you having your heads freshed up? If you are might as well get the valve stem seals, they are not that expensive, I think I paid $20 or so from Ford for all. and when you go to the shop they can install them.

The torque angle gauge is $20 from sears (I think KD tools makes them I could be wrong)

The fuel line disconnect tools you can get at any store like Kragen (my fav store out here in California) for very cheap think I paid $12, If you end up getting them make sure you get the Ford line d/c package

Putty knife for scraping, razor blades(one sided), wire brush, brake cleaner, sweivel extensions for the bolts hard to get to(mandatory) both 1/4 and 3/8 sizes, long socket extensions, sockets 1/4 and 3/8 metric deep and shallow, might want to get a breaker bar the head bolts are hard to remove makes it alot easier without breaking your knuckles with a ratchet or hitting on a wrench.
________
 

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I use a 24" braker bar everytime I do a headswap after torquing the head bolts to put the right about of stretch angle in them
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow guys thanks for all the feedback. I am a little concerned guitar maestro is recommending the direct opposite of what I came to understand. I thought it would benefit from a slightly smoother intake while since I am staying N/A the existing back pressure is desired for torque. I am doing the polishing with a dremel and sandpaper. Slow going and wish I hadn't started it but now I am confused and compelled to do the exhaust too. Thanks you for the chain pictures.

The cams I am getting are mild and well within the limits of the stock springs. Comp says it is cool.

One of the nice things about my 97 engine is it has steel and not plastic guides.

The advise on new head parts is prudent but I am going to trust providence (never has worked so far) and put the heads in as is. They look good, I did test the valves for leak, and supposedly came off at 22K miles.
 

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do not polish the intake ports....the intake ports work better with a slightly rough surface to promote a tiny bit of turbulence when the air/fuel mixture is going through it......its actually better to polish the exhaust ports (read: do not take out any material though), because it helps fight off the build-up of carbon with a smooth shiny surface
I'll second that. Port matching is what you want to do on the intake side, scribe it with the gasket and blend it in. Are you using a carbide cutting tip ?

Dont port match the exhaust, you want the lip on the head so the back pressure doesnt want to come back in, just smooth it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
l I already have undertaken polishing the intake ports. No reshaping just smoothing out the bumps and making it slick. oh well. What I am doing won't help at all? Is it going to noticeably hurt?

Why do you want to compress the lash adjusters?
to make them easier to install on the pi heads? I am reusing the ones from the old heads.
 

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port match the intake chambers and leave them rough for better air/fuel mixing, don't port match the exhaust but do polish the exhaust as smooth as you can get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I already got some of the intake ports smooth as a baby's but and think they all have to have the same smoothness for even flow. As far as turbulence isn't that what the swirl dam is all about? My understanding is keep it on N/A engines but remove or reduce the dam for power adder applications.

I don't know how I got this backwards. I tried to search for the source of the advise I am following but can't find it. I just vaguely remember it was from someone that was acknowledged as making sense. The best advise is for a mild engine leave the heads alone I say to myself in hindsight. I'm not screwing with the exhaust ports unless of course someone tells me I have to now :)

Did I really screw up? Give me some assurance guys because I am nervous now. Just the casting goose bumps are gone.
 

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its not all that bad, but it's not really gonna help you all that much, if any at all....if you can roughen up the intake ports without taking out substantial material, then do so....PM nick mckinney and I'm sure he can tell you what grit you need to use

My understanding is keep it on N/A engines but remove or reduce the dam for power adder applications.
thats another thing you have wrong.....the loss of swirl from removing the swirl dam, causes a greater need for ignition advance to get the same amount of power due to less combustion efficiency....problem is, when you're running power adder applications, the extra advance needed might be past the point where the engine starts pinging, so you might be left with less power than before, because most power adder applications like blowers and turbos are very sensitive to air/fuel charge temps, which is one of the factors in spark curve changes
 

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to make them easier to install on the pi heads? I am reusing the ones from the old heads.
I always worry the rockers may fall off if compressed too much. Make sure you are careful not to compress springs too much..they make a spacer tool to put in the spring to prevent valve stem seal damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I always worry the rockers may fall off if compressed too much. Make sure you are careful not to compress springs too much..they make a spacer tool to put in the spring to prevent valve stem seal damage.
I have the spring tool but I rigged some small right angle brackets to serve the purpose of the spacer tool. You may be on to something since the whole purpose of compressing the adjusters was to make it easier to put the rockers in but since I have the spring tool that shouldn't be much of a problem.
 
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