Got Head Pulled...Now What? Please Help!

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by TheUser, Dec 23, 2003.


  1. TheUser

    TheUser Active Member

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    Alright, with the help of stangnet, a little good luck and some patience, I managed to get my pass. side head pulled this morning. The lower intake bolts were not snug at all, most were a hair more than finger tight :shrug: I pulled the lower intake and head this morning and I found coolant in the cyclinders...the head gasket looked fine except for a break between the #1 & #2 cyclinders. I can't think of anything else that would cause the coolant to be in the cyclinders. I first tried pulling the head w/o the lower intake off :bang: and when i started loosening the bolts, coolant started running out, if that helps. Also, since the coolant was sitting up on top of the pistons, would that mean my rings are fine? I'll drain the oil and check for coolant, but the oil has been changed since the car stopped running and no coolant in the oil then...hasn't ran on the fresh change. I have a few more questions as well...

    1) While I'm at it, should I go ahead and just pull the whole block? I've got the whole top off, might be a good time to replace the oil pump and shaft, rear main seal and check for other things. Would you guys suggest doing this (the motor was supposedly rebuilt about 5000 miles ago, but I have no documentation, although it doesn't look real dirty, i've never seen inside a motor before...I have pics, however.

    2) What are good things to do or upgrade while the motor is apart?

    3) The head gaskets are Fel-pro gaskets. What should I replace them with? It is a boosted car, but I don't want o-ringed gaskets or anything because I don't have o-ringed heads or block and I want the gasket to be the weak link.

    4) I pulled my fuel rails and set them aside, the injectors may have touched stuff..are they very sensitive? I haven't beat on them or anything, but the tips may have touched things...Just making sure they're still good. Also, my fuel pump is hooked to a toggle switch to turn it on/off...could I turn the pump on and fuel come out the injectors right now just to make sure they all work?

    5) Should I consider getting ARP bolts for the heads and/or headers? My header bolts weren't tight at all...not sure if that's good or bad. I know ARP bolts are expensive, what are the pro's/con's of those?

    6) My vacuum tree (I think that's what it's called...little thing w/ 4 or 5 little plastic hoses running off of it) only has one hose and the others are broken off. I'm not sure where they go, should I get a new tree...where do you get those? Autozone?

    7) Can you rent an engine hoist from autozone?

    8) At first, I plan to run the motor without the s/c hooked up. What plugs should I get? Will I need to change plugs once I throw the belt back on the s/c or are there plugs I can get that will work equally as well on my car n/a and s/c? I think Autolite 24's are what I need or comparable.

    Sorry for all of the questions, but I figured it would be better than post them all together than a bunch of different threads. If you can, answer all please, if not, answering what you know will help. Any and all advice appreciated.
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  2. JadeFalcon

    JadeFalcon Founding Member

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    The lower intake bolts are suppose to be torqued down to 20ftlbs, that really isn't alot, they do not need to be on very tight actually. Having coolant in the cylinders does not mean a whole lot since it will spill out of the block and into the cylinders regardless of a leak when the head comes off. Check to see if some of the combustion chambers on the head are cleaner than the others, thats the best way to tell. Are the seals leaking? Don't bother to pull the block out unless you really want to take care of that, why go threw the labor? While it is apart, you may as well take some carbon off the pistons to prevent hot spots and detonation. Also, do a valve seal job while the heads are off. Komatech (sp?) head gaskets are bad ass gaskets, I've seen guys run 9 sec quarter mile slips with them. I run 1006 Felpro loc-wire gaskets, and you said o-ringing the heads are not in your interest so I won't bother to go over that. YES, get ARP head STUDS or Bolts (studs have twice the clamping force) so you can reuse them. The 8mm Header bolts are very conveinent for tightening, you can just use a socket and ratchet, very good purchase. Pros are like 190,000 psi tinsel strength, and you can reuse them I think 5 times. And they will not stretch. Header bolts normall loosen a few times while the header gasket sets. MAKE SURE to get some copper header gaskets, you can reuse them also, they seal great, and you dont have to worry about oil or coolant, etc.. softening them up.

    What do you mean by your vacuum trees hoses are BROKEN OFF??!?! massive vaccuum leak!??! geez! Replace that of course!

    Engine hoists can be rented at some auto part stores.

    Without the blower, get stock motorcraft plugs, with the blower, you want 2 steps colder, Autolite 24's will be fine, thats what I used on my blower car when I had the stock heads. Gap them small with a blower so you dont blow the spark out. They will work fine without boost, but definately will not supply the required spark for maximum N/A performance.
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  3. 65ShelbyClone

    65ShelbyClone Founding Member

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    You mean Cometic?

    1.) I'm pulling my whole engine right now and its alot of work, but if you would feel better going over yours yop to bottom, feel free (I value peace of mind and thats why I'm broke).

    2.) There are many things you can upgrade. You're on the right track already.

    3.) Find out why you blew the gasket in the first place. If you simply overpowered it, then consider better ones. If you detonated, then fiind out why and fix it. Too good a gasket means ventilated pistons.

    4.) As long as they dont have major dirt or crud in them, they're fine. Fuel will probably blow anything residual out when you run them again.

    5.) There should be no consideration. Simply go out and get some ARP fasteners. Studs are the best, but I've heard pulling the heads in-car can be hard. ARP head bolts will run you about $40 and studs closer to $100.

    6.) Yeah, your car will probably run better with a new vacuum tree. Mine is broken up too, but I patched it with some 1/4" rubber vacuum line.

    7.) Probably not. Check local rental yards.

    8.) Not my area, listen to Jade.
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  4. JadeFalcon

    JadeFalcon Founding Member

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    That's a good point from shelby, studs are a pain in the ass if you have longtubes. One would think you would just slide the head down on the studs and bolt it up, except not. With longtubes teh header wont let you slide the head on or off, so you have to allen down each stud first, then put the nuts and washers on, so you have 40 things to screw on total, and it will add another hour to each side easily, but its worth the benefits. And yes its quite expensive, anything arp is expensive. The header bolts are 25 bucks for christs sake.
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  5. goldbomb79

    goldbomb79 Member

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    has the lower intake been off before? when it has been removed you are supposed to check torque again once it's been reinstalled and been up to temp. sometimes they'll loosen up some, which is what might of happened to yours causing some leakage. who knows there are alot of possibilities. without actually seeing your motor it's hard to tell.
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  6. TheUser

    TheUser Active Member

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    I kinda figured the coolant was prob. from the block, etc, just checking. The tops of the cyclinders/valves are black (expected), except for I think the #2, which is rusted...what does this mean? What would cleaner combustion chambers indicate? I'll pull the Drivers side head in a couple days and see what it looks like.

    I kinda wanna pull the block and replace the oil pump, etc just to be safe, but it was supposedly rebuilt about 5000 miles ago, so it SHOULD be good if he replaced them, which I have no idea. On one side, it's a lot of work, but on the other, better safe than sorry, right? I don't know what i'll do yet.

    The gasket does look pretty good (i'm not a gasket expert, but it's only broken between the 1 & 2 cyc. about half an inch. What does ventilated pistons mean? Bad rings? I didn't have anti-freeze in my oil as far as I could tell.

    Should I get new pushrods or will I be safe with the ones I have? I know you can't see them, but i'd assume they're stock. By the way, the manual said to take them out and keep them in order...I didn't read that part until i'd already pulled them. Does it really matter? They're all the same size.

    Isn't a valve seal job like an angle job..3 or 5 angle or whatever? What do those cost and is it really necessary? I might not have these heads for a long time, so would it be worth it? I have no immediate plans to upgrade heads, but you never know.

    How do you get the carbon off of the pistons? Can they stay in the block and just spray junk on there and it'll take it off or is it not that easy lol?

    I'm not trying to spend a lot of money, but I do want to do this right so i'm not pulling it later to replace stuff I could have now.

    Thanks guys, really appreciate it. I just wanna get this thing back together and running as quick as possible, but I want it to be running for a while, so I wanna do it as well as possible w/o spending a ton :nice:
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  7. goldbomb79

    goldbomb79 Member

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    if you're gonna spend the time to take the block out to replace or look at the oil pump i'd take the pistons and rods out to clean the carbon off and replace the bearings or atleast look at themn to see if it was really rebuilt about 5 grand ago. as far as the gasket being broke between cylinders that can't be good. i'm not sure about the ventilated pistons terminology but i would think it would mean a hole in the piston. not sure though so don't take my word on it.
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  8. JadeFalcon

    JadeFalcon Founding Member

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    ventilated pistons is a joke, meaning you will have broken pistons with holes in them etc.. since the head gasket held the problems inside the cylinder.

    Rust is a sign of coolant in the cylinder, a clean combustion chamber is caused by having coolant burning off in the cylinder, steaming the chamber clean, this is how you know if you really had coolant burning off in the cylinders.

    Your old pushrods should be fine, clean them off and roll them on a table with your eyes level with the table, make sure they are not bent.

    valve seals are not the seats, totally different. You NEED to replace the seals, they are held together by a 2 piece retainer, which is on the top of the valve springs, you need to get a valve spring compressor, so you can get the seals out and put new ones in.

    Getting carbon off the pistons is as easy as turning the motor over to Bottom dead center and filling the cylinder up with some carb or break cleaner and let it sit for a little, then suck it up and put that in another cylinder, bring the original cylinder to top dead center, and wipe it off with a rag.
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