Just bought new AFR 185 heads what a night mare!!

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by eighty8, Sep 2, 2004.

  1. Sorry kinda long...

    Spent the last several months reading the 8 part article in MM&FF on the head comparison. Decided that the AFR 185 was my favorite choice. When I received the new heads the nightmare began...

    Problem #1: One of the heads was drilled for a 1/2 inch stud the other a 7/16. Thought, I can deal with this bought ARP head bolt retainer washers from Summit.

    Problem #2: One head had a 1420 part number, the other a 142 part number. According to AFR one MAY be ported one MAY not. The tech we talked to didn't seem to know or care, but seemed to be more interested in playing the game on the computer than their job as "tech support".

    Problem #3: The cheap rocker studs that come with the heads ARE NOT long enough. The rocker arm nut only screws on about 3 turns before its tight, at TDC. So the locking screw tightens all the way down into the nut, until it can't be seen at all. Basiclly the stud are WAY to short at least by a 1/2 inch.
    Also the studs are not machined on the end so the locks don't tighten down at all.

    Problem #4 I have BBK shorty headers with a 3/16 inch flange. I have a 1 inch ARP header bolt with (1) washer. Same bolt that was on my stock heads. I tightened the bolt down to where it was tight. The gasket was still loose not making a seal at all. I discovered that the header bolt was bottomed out inside the head. So I had to stack (3) washers on each header bolt to get the correct seal on the gasket. Boy that looks nice a stack of (3) washers on each header bolt! Especially when it goes to a car show one day.

    Problem #5 AFR is blaming our installation. I have told AFR that I have 2 Master Ford Technicians doing this job with 19 almost 20 years of experience for each tech. We have measured and re-measured everything for them. They then blaimed the push rod length, we have started the car, let it idle then pulled the valve covers. The wear marks are dead center over the valve from the rocker arm. I am running a TFS stage 1 cam with 1.7 Scorpion rocker arms.

    If I were to do it all over again I would have NEVER bought AFR and would have had bought the TFS heads. So much for my "dream heads" being AFR 185. Has anyone had this much trouble with AFR products or is it just me? I would have had less problems and drama putting Cleveland heads on my 302!
  2. Wow, that's surprising to hear. Everything I'd heard about AFR heads have been top notch. I guess there's always gotta be one bad apple though?
  3. I bought some Twist Wedge heads when they first came out and all of the valve guides went to crap after 1000 miles. Also found out that the holes for the rockers were not tapped deep enough so I had to cut off some of the thread from the rockers on one head. Also the thermactor holes were not drilled deep enough and did not seal either. :notnice:
    Had to pull the heads off and have new valve guides put in and have the rocker holes drilled deeper. :notnice:
    I have heard so many horror stories with pre assembled Twist Wedge heads they had the nickname "Stick Shift Valves".....meaning you could move them all around in the valve guides like a stick shift.
    I have never had a problem with AFR's.
  4. i think that was with the old trickflow heads i think they have it fixed now ...atleast i hope so....see sig :)
  5. Very Odd.... Had no problem's at all with myAFR 205's.... Infact I was very impressed with them.
    For your header bolt's you could have got some 3/4" long header bolt's from ARP.... Or do what I did.... I grinded my bolt's down to the proper length... with Aluminum Head's you want as much thread's in the head as possible.
    As for the rocker stud's... Not all engine combination's use the same length Rocker stud. It's not uncommon to have to swap out the supplied stud's for some different one's to match your combo.
    Otherwise sorry to hear about about your problem's.

  6. Not that it helps or anything, but a friend of mine who builds engines for all the guys in the area says the only heads he's installed that gave NO problems have been the Edelbrock Performers.
  7. Wow I can honestly say I've never heard of something like that from AFR. Especially giving you BS about the pushrod length being too long.

    Also if you need a set of 7/16 rocker studs I have a set I could sell you. PM me if interested.
  8. uh oh :( i hope this gets strightened out....i really want AFR 185s...
  9. Did you buy directly from AFR ?
  10. Well the header bolt isssue really isn't an issue, most alum aftermarket heads require the 3/4" long bolt. I would have ground down the 1" bolts instead of using washers if I were you...

    I would have never accepted 1 head with a 7/16" head bolt hole and 1 with a 1/2" hole.... I know my AFR dealer/s would have taken care of that issue no questions asked.

    As far as the rocker studs being short, it is not common for the polylock to be far down on the nut. As far as machining on the stud I am a little confused, can you post a pic of what you have.

    Hands down the AFR's are hard to beat out of the box...
  11. eighty8,

    I sure do aplogize for the inconvinience, the head bolt issue is definitely an issue, but the heads are the same otherwise, the bushings on the one head will correct the problem, but it is still undesireable and I am a little upset (to say the least) that these got out of the door here. Considering our quality control.

    The numbers on the side (the 1420 and 142) are obviously the part number, the thing is the 0 at the end designates what finishing program will be used, the difference is the chamber design, this happens occasionally because the heads are paired and kept that way, so it would get the same work as it's partner.

    The reason your 1" bolts don't work is because of the larger ports on the other side, almost all head manufacturers decided to shrink the bolt holes for the header instead of killing your water jacket. That is why the Performer heads don't need it, they don't have that big of a port. I don't think the Systemmax heads have it either.

    With the rocker stud, a few here and there require the longer stud, that is why it is not standard, if the pushrod was shorter then yes you would get the adjusting nut on further. But that would make a geometry issue arise, which is much worse then having to buy a new set of studs. It comes down to the fact that we can only build-in so much room for the tolerances of someone's motor. There are tolerances in you factory block (you would be surpised how big), your lifters, your cam, and yes, even our heads....these are also the reasons why we do not quote pushrod length.

    One way or another I apologize for the problems at hand, along with the inconveniences you had to deal with and can guarantee that this is not a regular occurance by any means, and I believe (and thank you all for) the testimony by the other members may help prove that to you.

    If you have any other issues, please let me know by PM, or call me here at AFR and I will try to help you out in any way I can.

    Good luck and I hope you enjoy your new found power.
  12. never had a prob with my AFR 165's, been on the daily driver for over 2 years..
    used the header bolts that came with the BBK headers, no probs there either..

    you should ahve just called them instead of using e-mail..
  13. Jason,
    I was actually going to purchase a set of AFR 165 today until I read this. Are you sure that this is not a common problem with your heads. What is your warranty if I buy these heads and they have the same problem this person had. Can I return them and will you pay the shipping to and from.
  14. I have AFR 185's and I have had nothing but smooth sailing. As a matter of fact I can even say that they are tough. I've had a bunch of, what I'd term, nitrous mishaps just this summer and I'm shocked that I haven't needed head gaskets once. They really do have a thick strong deck! The machining on the edelbrocks is top quality but they don't even come close as far as the power that they will/do produce.
  15. When it comes to warranty work, I think we have some of the best service in the industry, which is why I posted, it is very uncharacteristic of any of us here to treat a customer like this, my assumption is there was a mis-communication, but who knows.

    The basis I approach all customers with is this, there are two types of warranty issues, straight forward (as in something obvious like a wrong part), or something that is borderline (maybe someone doesn't like the way the head deck looks) if it is straight forward either the customer can wait for a call tag and UPS to pick it up then we will take care of it when it get's here. The other route is the easiest, most common, fastest, and is used for almost all borderline problems, and that is the customer UPS grounds the parts to us, we evaluate and determine if it is a warranty issue or not, and if it is we fix it, ship it back, and reimburse you for the shipping.

    We try to go out of our way to help our customer's, all of us here are racers just like yourselves and we all know what it's like to get bad service, so we try to do our best to not let it happen.

    91stanglx, I hope I swayed your opinion about us. If there are still any questions, please feel free to ask.
  16. I have had my AFR 185s on my 331 for 2 years with no problems, they are the best head on the market, and I have had no trouble with tech support, I am sure they will get you all fixed up.
  17. I have a few choice things to say about the service I have recieved from AFR but I will keep that to myself... I will NEVER buy another set of heads from them..Thats why I bought Darts for the S-10 instead of AFR..

  18. I've had AFR 165's and my current TFS "R" heads. NO problems with either. The only thing I was dissapointed about the the AFR was the amount of material left for the vavle cover area. I couldnt run the good ford steel/rubber gaskets, had to run some cork ones. BOTH are great heads.
  19. Wow!!! I never had a problem with my AFR 165 heads..But again mine came from [email protected] and there the PS3 HEADS....I've had 2 set of 165's with no problems what so ever.