Fox Finding the best head gasket for semi-built 302


New Member
Oct 15, 2019
1979 Mustang Cobra 302 bored .60 over.
First, I did not bore it over that much, it was that way when I bought it.
Stock heads, mild cam, exhaust, intake and 4 brl carb.
Recently had it rebuild, and the shop put a head gasket on backwards. It runs and drives, but gets hot. It has not blown the head gasket, and it has not been driven much, like 50 miles, since the rebuild. I thought it was just running warm cause it always did and tried to upgrade the cooling finally. Didn't help and thought I was stuck, but noticed the tab of the gasket sticking out the wrong side. Shop is about 2300 miles away so they are no help. Literally put me on hold whenever I call. Most papers got lost in the move so I don't know exactly what gasket they used.
Just need a quick suggestion for what head gasket to replace it with.Can I use a 4.100" gasket? Or does it have to be exactly 4.060"? Recommended brands? Material?
Thanks for your time and help
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If you're the village idiot what's that make me?
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
You sure it’s backward ? .60 over is a lot for a stock block and not uncommon to run hot . The cyl walls get super thin.

9333pt1 fel pro .


New Member
Oct 15, 2019
You sure it’s backward ? .60 over is a lot for a stock block and not uncommon to run hot . The cyl walls get super thin.

9333pt1 fel pro .
You can see the little tab of the head gasket, i believe it was the front left or right? It's been a while. Anyway, it shows on one side but not the other.
It has run warm since I got it. But it was also running on the stock fan, not even a clutch fan just a direct fan. Once I noticed it was getting hotter after the rebuilt than usual, I replaced that with an electric fan that cooled a suburban that towed stuff. Still too hot. I was upset cause I had always thought it was .40 over until I got it rebuilt.

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
polk county florida
What cfm is the suburban fan rated?
What amp draw does it take to start it and maintain fan speed?
is it a pusher or a puller? Is it two speed? Is your electrical system up to the task for it? What temp thermostat?
a lot of questions but before you tear into it we need to know a little bit about what you have and whats been done to it.
you may have another issue causing your problem.


i'm familiar with penetration
Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
If you are going to change the gasket i'd just tear down and measure and then order the gaskets. 0.060" is a lot to be bored over.

I'd recommend the 9333pt1 as well. It's 4.100" bore


I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
9333pt1 recommendation here too.

On the cooling fan....the most popular for built street cars is the Ford Contour dual fans with a Derale controller.

I use the Contour fans but control it with MSPNP2.

A straight wired electric fan and a flex fan without clutch will both make the car temperature spike hot at highway speeds or when getting off the highway. I experienced this first hand. Very frustrating. A91what explained it all as the fan actually blocking air at higher speeds. At higher rpms and speed the fan velocity is less than the oncoming air so it kind of dead heads at the radiator. Factory fans usually actually cut off at a certain speed. A fan shroud is also very important. At idle the fan can pull air of less resistance from around radiator instead of through it.

Either way....if the headgasket are indeed backwards they can cause over heating by blocking the coolant crossover points at the front. Depending on the gasket used. A bunch if gaskets are cut out in the front and rear even though the intake blocks the ports in the rear. The heads in a ford can be put on either side. So the gasket will face one way on the left and opposite on the right....but they usually have either " front" stamped on them or " head side " stamped.
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New Member
Oct 15, 2019
No clue about the suburban fan, I can try and find it out. My father gave it to me. It pushes air toward the motor. Just one speed, on and off. I believe 185 degree thermostat.
The pistons are stamped .60 over and it was measured when it was torn down. I was shocked lol.
Once I get the gasket changed I plan on upgrading the cooling cause it was basically stock and I know I have been neglecting it.


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