Is porting stock heads worth it?

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by 1 bad pony, Feb 27, 2013.


  1. 1 bad pony

    1 bad pony New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I'm in the proccess of rebuilding my 95 gt engine on a college student budget. I don't really want to go crazy with it just some simple cheap upgrades like e303 cam, 1.6 roller rockers, comp cam valve springs and pushrods. Here's my Delimma, I was gonna port my stock heads but while looking on Craigslist I came across a guy with some gt40 heads for $350.00. How much more power would the gt40's make over a ported stock set?? Oh ya and one other thing if I got the gt40 heads would they still work with the stock gt intake or would I have to get the cobra intake? And lastly will the stock injectors work ok with this set up or should I upgrade? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I'm kinda a newb at all this haha!
     
    #1
  2. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,872
    Showcase:
    9
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    69
    Trophy Points:
    69
    Location:
    Pensacola FL
    First off, considering those GT40 heads are available off of 90-something Ford Explorers in the junkyards/u-pulls for cheap, unless those $350 heads are a pair straight out of the machine shop, new springs, totally reworked, that price is highway robbery. If you don't want to bother with a junkyard or spend a day pulling a set for yourself, you can find them in MANY places, like Craigslist. There is a junkyard fresh (LOL) pair on the Corral classifieds right now for $110 bux, and when that set is gone, there will be more to replace it. The thing is finding a local set to avoid shipping... They are out there.

    As far as porting heads, it does work, you just have to be reasonably careful not to damage the heads if you are a newbie to porting. This is a hobby afterall, so if we can't do our own mods when the budget is tight, then we might as well not be in the hobby.

    The stock intake will work with GT40 heads.
    It sounds to me like you need to find a 96-97ish Ford Explorer donor and just buy the entire top end.
    That way you'll have everything... GT40 heads, upper, and lower.
    All you need after that is either an elbow to use your stock TB, or the small parts to swap over to a Fox TB.
    (If you want to go Fox TB, grab the 65mm TB from the same Explorer!)

    As for the E-cam, your experience might be different, but we don't like the way a cam acts in an SN.
    Do some research on idle surge, the SN computer interacts with the cam differently than a Fox computer, and a different, larger LSA, cam might be a better choice.
     
    #2
  3. RIO5.0

    RIO5.0 Mustang Master

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2001
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    88
    Location:
    N.H.
    Another alternative would be to do an Explorer intake swap and throw some gears at it... that'll wake it right up and you won't be tearing into the motor all that much, and it''ll be fine with the stock TB and injectors. What you running for exhaust?? dumping the cats and putting some good flowing mufflers will wake it up as well.
    Intake, gears and exhaust and she''ll be a new ride...:nice:
     
    #3
  4. modulistic

    modulistic Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    19
    i had surge problems with a 92 5.0 with an e cam. loved the way it sounded but wasnt too impressed with the performance. had gt40 or maybe 40p's.
     
    #4
  5. 90lxwhite

    90lxwhite I'm kind of a She-Man

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    Between the Red and Rio
    I once thought about buying a set of "thumper" ported heads. He claims good power from them but after doing forum research on them it doesn't seem like they flow what he says they do and besides that the price he wants for them is too high. $695 plus $100 deposit. That deposit would get eaten up by shipping so you're really looking at $800 for a set of ported e7's with fresh springs. Too much, summit has the trickflows for a thousand now
     
    #5
  6. 1 bad pony

    1 bad pony New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Ok thanks for the advice that sounds straight forward! What does lsa stand for? Lobe separation a.... Something?? Haha ya I'm a newb
     
    #6
  7. 1 bad pony

    1 bad pony New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    The car has 3:73s equal length shorties and 40 series mufflers. I can't decide wether to get an h pipe or the x pipe though. Catless of course hahaha thanks for the info!
     
    #7
  8. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,872
    Showcase:
    9
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    69
    Trophy Points:
    69
    Location:
    Pensacola FL
    The only difference between an X or an H is sound. (and price)
    The X will be a little louder and have some raspy qualities to it.
    The H will have more low sounds, deeper, a little smoother.

    Lobe seperation angle...
    Aftermarket cams can have this spec anywhere from 102 to 116.
    Generally speaking, most off the shelf street cams are 110-112.
    Higher numbers will have less overlap, more vacuum at idle, a little less lope than otherwise, and build higher cylinder pressures. Higher numbers are also recommended for boosted engines.

    Lower numbers are opposite. Rougher idle, less vacuum, etc... Back in the old days, it also mattered if you had an auto or manual tranny. Cam companies don't seem to dote on that as much anymore though. 106-108 was good for a manual, 112-114 was considered an automatic spec... 110 was an either or. Nowadays it seems like 110 is the most common, I guess as a compromise. The E-cam is a 110, and I think that is why it doesn't play nice with the SN computer. I think it could use a 114 LCA myself.
     
    #8
  9. Black Stampede

    Black Stampede Founding Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Messages:
    1,815
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    39
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI
    My good buddy did a great budget friendly motor build years ago when he first started modding his '95. He did GT40P heads, trick flow stage 1 cam, and a trick flow intake. With 4.10 gears and drag radials it was a pretty stout really cheap combo. He might have had 1000 into the motor build and the car ran 13.0 @107 I believe. Not too shabby.

    In contrast there are tons of guys who spend 3 grand on h/c/i combos and only run mid to high 12s. It all depends on your long term goals as well.
     
    #9
  10. 1 bad pony

    1 bad pony New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Ok this is where I might get booed of of this forum for straight up stupidity but.... What's the difference between the fox computer and the sn ones?is there a way to use a fox computer in an sn? Its just that I already bought the e cam and I really don't feel like getting another one if I might be able to find a used computer or something cheaper. I'm learning a lot from this post so please bear with me... Haha
     
    #10
  11. revhead347

    revhead347 I have face herpes.

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Messages:
    6,615
    Likes Received:
    286
    Trophy Points:
    124
    Location:
    Acworth, GA
    The Fox computer is a little more cam forgiving. Not much though. You're better off getting a chip for the SN computer than doing the swap. It's a lot less hassle, and realistically less money. With a tune they are all the same.

    Kurt
     
    #11
    ratio411 likes this.
  12. xracer22

    xracer22 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    29
    Location:
    york pa
    :nono: :riot: Be careful where you tread with this question as its kinda shunned upon to eve n talk about it!!! LOL

    Just kidding.... but what your referring to is normally called a pih swap. Its a harness that was made by a couple companies( ford racing, pro m) and allows the use of a fox computer in your 94-95.

    Back in the day when the 94-95's first came out it was kind of Like it will be(with the 2015 mustang) or like it was when the 05 came out. A big shock and an all new car. The computers in the 94/95 were not such a big hit.(still are not) I'm not %100 sure on this but when u reach a certain rpm they start pulling timing and just generally are not good for performance. Ever notice when your driving along and just cruising and let of the gas, after like 2 seconds it feels like the car just automatically starts slowing down? I mean like you downshifted but didnt just seems like the car is slowing down faster than if you were to coast. Its something to do with the factory computer and ford engineered it that way.

    With that said they technically are a far superior computer than the fox body ones because they process alot faster and learn a lot faster. But the problem is that not many tuners know how to tune them. The reason they made those PIH kits (Performance Improvement Harness) is because with match injectors and mass air meter you can throw almost any combo you want at a fox computer and make almost any power level you want with a stock computer and still have decent drive-ability .
    I have one of those PIH kits on my 94 and i love it. BUT PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT IM ABOUT TO SAY!!

    If i had to do it all over again i dont think i would go with one!
    Reason #1 They are expensive and hard to find
    #2 They require the use of an aftermarket ignition box(or at least mine did)
    #3 The amount of money you are going to spend ($350 kit used, $150 ignition box) getting it to work you could have had a tune for less than that if you find the right person that knows what there doing.

    The only reason i went with one is because i got everything for little to nothing because i have a lot of friends in this hobby and because it was a quick fix. I have an f cam in my car and it would not idle at all. AT ALL! i have had friends that have ran e cams with there stock 94/95 five speed computers but there cars were still very tempermental at best. Do some research on google and you should find plenty of info on the swap, some hate it and some love it and your vot going to get a definite answer as too which is best it all comes down too what you want too do.

    My car runs great with it and i really have no driveability issues with it. I also have an f cam which is a lot more aggressive than the e cam. So its not a perfect idle and has a little bit of surge but without a tune you cant expect much i guess. Sounds mean as hell though!! Good luck with what you decide
     
    #12
  13. RIO5.0

    RIO5.0 Mustang Master

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2001
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    88
    Location:
    N.H.
    I'm not %100 sure on this but when u reach a certain rpm they start pulling timing and just generally are not good for performance. Ever notice when your driving along and just cruising and let of the gas, after like 2 seconds it feels like the car just automatically starts slowing down? I mean like you downshifted but didnt just seems like the car is slowing down faster than if you were to coast. Its something to do with the factory computer and ford engineered it that way.

    Ford did add the timing retard to aid in warranty issues on trannys. Then SVO made another magic box to get around that. The RPM Extender, it removes the shift retard and lets you adj the AFR and Rpm limit. I scored one years ago and installed it to get rid of the shift retard feature. I run my 331 on the stock computer so they will and do work fine. I won't say it's perfect as mine could use some idle help once the cool weather hits, she likes to surge for a few minutes til you get some heat into the motor and a chip is the only thing that'll solve that. My FTI cam is only 110 LSA as well and might pull 12 lbs vacuum at idle, which hurts the idle. lower the vac, more surge in your idle.
    My old combo with the Steeda 19 had 114 LSA and would pull 18 lbs vacuum and had excellant idle quality.



    [​IMG]
     
    #13
  14. 1 bad pony

    1 bad pony New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Ok well I was gonna get a chip anyway from American muscle. I think I'll take the car to B&D racing after I finish the the engine. My buddy has nothing to say but good things about them and I've seen some pretty sick cars come out of there so I know they will know what to do.
     
    #14
  15. 90lxwhite

    90lxwhite I'm kind of a She-Man

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,337
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    104
    Location:
    Between the Red and Rio
    After we had the cam put in the 95 the comp went nuts it wouldn't hardly idle. We had to have it dyno tuned and sct chip put in by hpp racing out of lewisville tx, they also raised the rev limiter.
     
    #15
  16. ratio411

    ratio411 Founding Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,872
    Showcase:
    9
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    69
    Trophy Points:
    69
    Location:
    Pensacola FL
    We have a Bama chip in our 94, with the lifetime tune...
    It doesn't run right. They can't get it right through the mail.
    We are just going to eat the expense and get ours dyno tuned.
    Sending it back and forth in the mail with your fingers crossed sux.
    Not to mention the fact the car is down for 2 weeks waiting for the turn-around.
     
    #16
  17. 1 bad pony

    1 bad pony New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Ya B&D does dyno tuning maybe i''ll go over there today to see what they can do for me.
     
    #17

Share This Page