Old H/c/i Installation Explanation And Pics


My dad had a bra
SN Certified Technician
Sep 5, 2001
Fort Knox, KY
I was looking for the cam specs of this particular old cam, and came across a saved webpage I don't even remember posting. Not sure if the post was here or on Corral. Anyways, I thought it was really cool and brought back some memories of spending days in a frigid garage in the middle of a christmas break from West Point trying to get my fox running again back in '01-'02 when I was 19. I'd been beaten by a C5 Corvette, embarrassingly with a friend in the car, lol!!! So, I contacted Ed Curtis who ported my Cobra, and sent me AFR heads and a cam on my meager budget. The car picked up ~50rwhp and soon after, I beat a guy in a C5 so bad at the San Antonio Alamo Dragway that he came over and accused me of spraying him. I said, "Mister, if you can find a bottle on this car, you can keep it," and let him look. haha! I don't know if it'll help anyone as there's plenty of resources out there, but who knows? Fun for me, either way.

Sorry for the image quality. For you young bucks, this is back when we actually had to have a dedicated digital camera to take pictures. :D

This is pretty close to how I left the motor after Thanksgiving break when I took off the old GT40Xs and sold them as well as my old cam. Basically, Nothing is on the motor except the Crank and pistons. Of course I left some mystery oil in each cylinder to protect from corrosion, and I left the motor covered.

Well the first step was simple enough. Just slide the cam right in. Just had to be careful not to scratch the cam bearings. Not difficult, just don't go too fast and make a hard metal to metal surface contact where a scratch can occur. Also, it came with assembly lube which is very thick oil, not unlike gear oil. Lubing an engine is very important. If you don't you will cause a good amount of unnecessary wear on a motor the very first time it was cranked.

After you slide the cam in there is a little plate that goes over it to keep it from shifting forward and backwards while it is spinning fast. Over that, the timing gear is placed. I thought heavily before I decided to stick with the stock one. I decided that Ford uses pretty damn good components. This was relatively simple. Just put the timing gear up aligning a dot on the top gear as close as you can with another dot on the bottom gear. Just a couple of small bolts and it was done.

After the gears are on, the timing cover goes on with a few bolts. A word to the wise, put a peice of marked tape on every bolt that is a different length You will not be able to remember everything with confidence after a full month (Thxgiving - Christmas). I wasted a good bit of time just trying to match up the right bolts. This and the Water pump are the only two things on the motor that I didn't write everything out for. Before I put the timing cover on I replaced the gasket, and a seal (the brown ring around the crank). After this I installed the harmonic balancer on the crank. It uses that big screw that's sticking out of the crank and slides on. BTW, the balancer has degree marks you use to set timing on these old-school, less sophisticated 5 ohs. Though I didn't add it for a while the crank pulley can be added onto the balancer by four little bolts. BTW, Dave, can you name that little bar you see in this pic under the timing cover?


Ok, this is actually an older pic because I didn't take one of how the motor looked directly after the water pump was installed. After I I got all the bolts sorted out, the water pump went on. Sorry, you still can't see all of it, but you can see the top of it, anyway. Again, new gasket That's it, we're done with this part of the motor.

Now to start with the heads!!! First I cleaned off the mating surfaces for hours making sure not to drip any crap down in my motor, and getting it just right Then I simply threw on the head gasket (the old ones are on in the picture above). There are little dowels on each side that keep the head gasket where it is supposed to be so you cant really mess it up. After the gasket is on, set the head on top of it. Then get out your brand new ARP head bolts. I put this white crap on the long bolts that went down into the water passages to seal them. I dipped the other ones is 30wt oil so that when it came time to TQ them down, I would get a true TQ reading. Then starting with the center top and bottom row bolts and working my way outward I tightened them down to their proper capacity according to ARP's instructions, which works out to be 85 - 90 ft lbs, I believe.

Did the same thing to the other side. Then I bolted on the headers and got so frustrated that I don't even wanna talk about it :O. I misthreaded one of the bolts, too.

Another picture. I want to take this time to talk about what I did not get any pictures of, and that is probably the most complicated part of the install. That is rocker arm installation. I'm still not sure that I am done with this, now. Anyway, first I dropped the lifters back in the way they came out then I put the rockers and pushrods on loosely. I had the nonadjustable(pedestal mount) rockers. Basically, all that I did was just check to make sure that from 0 play in the pushrod between the rocker and the lifter and the time it took to tighten the bolt to 18 ft lbs it was supposed to take from 1/2 to 1 full turn. They tightened in a little less than a turn. If they were off there would be two ways to handle it: 1)shimming underneath the rockers, or 2) getting different length pushrods. Oh BTW, before you tighten the rockers down you should make sure the lifters are all the way down ie. on the compression stroke.


Alright, we're getting there, now! Now, before I put the lower intake on, I did some more cleaning of the metal surfaces it would touch. I used a good amount of that blue permatex sealant (I forgot the name of it but it'll come back to me) and chose not to use the gaskets I got with my Fel-Pro gasket kit. We'll see if there are any problems, but I'm sure it will be fine. The lower intake is where many people screw up. If they are TQed down too hard on the heads, they will pull the heads together and will cause blown headgaskets, warped heads, etc... Make sure that if you ever do one of these you find the specs and TQ them down right. Then I attached the black heater piping (for lack of the right term (it's the black pipe that screws in with a hex nut right in front part of the lower intake). Then I connected the fuel rael. It needed a special tool to take apart but went back together as easily as pushing the two ends back together. After this, I reconnected the injector harness, plugged in the pcv valve, and any other little crap on lower intake. Oh yeah, like my shiny valve covers? Shiny, mmmmmmm!!! Don't mind me, I'm just staying up way too late.

I did a lot between the last pic and this one; I was starting to conserve pictures so that I could take a few of the finished product. I bolted on the upper intake (nothing to it) with the same gasket, then I put in the distributor and set the timing to ten degrees BTDC. It should be noted that before you ever
take a distributor out, you should put a mark where the rotor points at exactly TDC for the number 1 piston. This makes it easy to reinstall it later. After the distributor was on, all the accesories were bolted back on. I'm pretty sure that is when this picture was taken. Here, all the car needs is the distributor cap, wires, and the induction system

YAY!!!! God, isn't that beautiful? Well, I couldn't start it up, yet. I had to change the oil to make sure that no crud that made its way into my oil over the past month wouldn't make its way to the cylinders or anything else. I also did a little bit of cleanup, and took a couple more pics.

from passenger side:

Driver's side:
FWIW, the car stumbled and died the first time I turned the key, I was like "oh :poo:, what'd I do wrong?" Then I tried it again and it started right up I had an exhaust leak from not pluggin up an emissions port in the heads, but no biggie. Other than that, the car is running perfect. I did a thirty break-in with that cam, while I was driving it around, but the weather wasn't good enough to have any fun with, so I just got satisfaction out of the fact that the car was running after my first H/C/I install and what I would consider serious motor work. If anyone sees something I missed explaining, sees somewhere I messed up on the web page, or would like to let me know that my motor is going to self destruct, let me know at my email

Thanks for reading.....


This is my new signiture that should have all the aftermarket parts you may see in the pics:

92 LX 5.0 HB:

AFR 165 Heads, Ported Cobra Intake, Custom Cam, SVO 1.6 RRs, MSD ignition, 75mm MAF, 65mm TB, 24lb/hr injectors, 255L/hr pump, fuel pressure regulator, MAC shorties, Flowmaster Mufflers, BM electric fan, 3.55s, Pro5.0 shifter, King Cobra Clutch. No smog pump, A/C, or cats. Subframes, Nitto DRs
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 4 users
  • Sponsors(?)


Still got to try a little lube on my speedo head
Jul 12, 2017
That is cool! I like your air filter!! ;)
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user


My dad had a bra
SN Certified Technician
Sep 5, 2001
Fort Knox, KY
Damn - I'm old... :(
What I didn't mention in the post back then was that Ed spent probably an hour on the phone helping me through the stuff I didn't understand.

Ed, you don't become the Master without experience. I hope to be as good at something one day as you are at this stuff.