Engine The kid with the non-HO engine back again boys.

1970machwon

Member
Nov 17, 2018
37
3
8
18
Warner Robins, Georgia
1987 Mustang GT, 5.0 non-HO with an automatic transmission.
After screwing around with it getting it to idle down with all those vacuum issues and other computer related garbage, I got it right and you can hear a pretty surefire knock within the engine. I'm not too hurt, i planned on doing something with the engine to fix the crippling fact that it's a non-HO engine, and I've pretty much decided I'd get the engine bored .030 over, buy a rebuild kit, and a cam with the proper firing order to run the HO computer. gonna paint the engine bay a nice new white while I'm at it, refresh little things, get rid of the smog pump hoses behind the engine (smog pump was already taken out), paint the block, get it halfway presentable for the shows I'll eventually take it to. Possibly get some new heads too, I have the crummy E6TE's.

So, non-HO engine. Gonna buy a 302 rebuild kit with valve relief pistons, HO cam (probably a big cam, I really crave that lope) a bunch of vacuum line for when i inevitably snap the 30 something year old stuff that's on there.

1. Anything I'm missing from this equation?
2. Anything i should buy before i start on a rebuild?
3. Any issues that might pop up with a bigger cam?
4. If you guys happen to know any rebuild kits and cams you would personally recommend, I'm all ears.


Thank you so much in advance, I'm still getting into this stuff slowly, and it's a lot to take in within a short time frame, especially with the fact that I'm guessing just a little with the hack job engine swap this guy did.
 
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1970machwon

Member
Nov 17, 2018
37
3
8
18
Warner Robins, Georgia
Sounds like a plan. Although you need to pick the heads before the cam.
you want a fun driver?
Yeah I want it to be really fun to toss around. I'm not gonna go for the typical drag fox type deal, once it's going right I'll work on suspension and handling for kind of a autocross thing. And damn, cylinder heads cost a brutal amount, and that's without pushrods or rockers too. I could upgrade to a regular HO cam and probably have all the clearances work right?
 

Blown88GT

Founding Member
Nov 13, 1999
1,359
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Palm Beach Gardens, FL
I am not convinced it's a non-HO engine.
It's too bad, because I have an almost brand new DA-1 SD ECU, waiting for someone who really needs it.
 

1970machwon

Member
Nov 17, 2018
37
3
8
18
Warner Robins, Georgia
I am not convinced it's a non-HO engine.
It's too bad, because I have an almost brand new DA-1 SD ECU, waiting for someone who really needs it.
I truly wish it wasn’t, but the firing order was non-HO when i bought it. I looked inside spark plug holes with a mechanic’s camera, and the pistons are flat with no valve reliefs, the car runs pathetic with the HO computer and HO firing order, runs pathetic with non-HO computer and HO firing order, and runs decent with non HO of both.
It does idle lower with the HO computer with non-HO firing order, but giving it gas causes it to sputter and backfire and cut out on me... although there’s always a slim possibility of the owner putting some high performance parts in the car, I absolutely doubt that. He’s cut corners in more than one area. I also played with the timing to be sure none of those configurations worked
 

1970machwon

Member
Nov 17, 2018
37
3
8
18
Warner Robins, Georgia
I truly wish it wasn’t, but the firing order was non-HO when i bought it. I looked inside spark plug holes with a mechanic’s camera, and the pistons are flat with no valve reliefs, the car runs pathetic with the HO computer and HO firing order, runs pathetic with non-HO computer and HO firing order, and runs decent with non HO of both.
It does idle lower with the HO computer with non-HO firing order, but giving it gas causes it to sputter and backfire and cut out on me... although there’s always a slim possibility of the owner putting some high performance parts in the car, I absolutely doubt that. He’s cut corners in more than one area. I also played with the timing to be sure none of those configurations worked
Just to be sure though, before i do any of this I’ll make 100% sure it’s got a different cam, I’ll do the “stick your thumb in the spark plug hole and turn the crank to feel air pressure” order to confirm. It’s hard working with things that aren’t absolute in an engine.
 

jrichker

StangNet's favorite TOOL
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Mar 10, 2000
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Dublin GA
1987 Mustang GT, 5.0 non-HO with an automatic transmission.
After screwing around with it getting it to idle down with all those vacuum issues and other computer related garbage, I got it right and you can hear a pretty surefire knock within the engine. I'm not too hurt, i planned on doing something with the engine to fix the crippling fact that it's a non-HO engine, and I've pretty much decided I'd get the engine bored .030 over, buy a rebuild kit, and a cam with the proper firing order to run the HO computer. gonna paint the engine bay a nice new white while I'm at it, refresh little things, get rid of the smog pump hoses behind the engine (smog pump was already taken out), paint the block, get it halfway presentable for the shows I'll eventually take it to. Possibly get some new heads too, I have the crummy E6TE's.

So, non-HO engine. Gonna buy a 302 rebuild kit with valve relief pistons, HO cam (probably a big cam, I really crave that lope) a bunch of vacuum line for when i inevitably snap the 30 something year old stuff that's on there.

1. Anything I'm missing from this equation?
2. Anything i should buy before i start on a rebuild?
3. Any issues that might pop up with a bigger cam?
4. If you guys happen to know any rebuild kits and cams you would personally recommend, I'm all ears.


Thank you so much in advance, I'm still getting into this stuff slowly, and it's a lot to take in within a short time frame, especially with the fact that I'm guessing just a little with the hack job engine swap this guy did.
Any issues that might pop up with a bigger cam?
It may sound cool, but it is a poor choice for a street driven car. Low speed drivability will suffer and the car will be a pig until you get enough RPMs to get into the power band where the engine performs decently.

noobie-help.png

Far too many people put a dab of this and a dollop of that, and then wonder why the car doesn't run worth beans. Then they think off the shelf computer chips will fix their mismatched parts problem. It won't

You have to have a plan for what kind of performance you want: Hot street. Street/Strip, Pure strip, Autocross or Road course. Each one requires a different strategy and a different set of components.. Mismatch the components and you’ll have a car that falls flat on its face when you demand performance.

Everyone thinks HP! HP! HP! and thinks that peak HP is what they need. Peak HP is great for a drag strip car when it has the proper gears and tires to get the car up into the high RPM range where it develops that high peak HP near the finish line. On a street car, that strategy will have Honda Accords outrunning you, because you will never get the engine RPMs high enough without running over everything in your path.

Here’ the strategy: Always remember that there are some tradeoffs in any engine combination. Most of us don’t have enough money to “have it all” as if it was possible by some masterful combination of parts and tuning.

The following recommendations are for 5 Speed Manual transmission cars without NO2 or pressurized induction, stock short block.

1.) Hot street: Broad flat torque curve, high velocity airflow in the intake and heads for best throttle response. Gears suitable for reasonable gas mileage and long road trips without excessive engine RPMs. Stand on the gas pedal from a rolling start to squeeze into that gap in traffic in front of you, and it jumps quick and hard to get you there. Max RPM’s are 5200-5500 RPM for best power. Lopey cams may sound cool, but run poorly in a low RPM street environment.
Use stock cam, stock, GT40 or mildly ported stock heads, Cobra or Explorer/GT40 intake, advanced timing, stock 19 lb injectors, stock fuel pump. Use some good 1.6 or 1.7 ratio roller rockers for extra punch. Use a King Cobra clutch, with stock iron or steel billet flywheel. MAF cars can use a 65 MM TB from the Explorer intake manifold and a 70MM MAF from a 94-95 Mustang. Drive train: 3:55 gears with soft tread compound tires. Use some Ford Racing unequal length headers, stock 2 1/4” cat pipe and some mufflers that don’t drone or get too much attention from the law enforcement or neighbors. The stock computer will handle all this with no problems and doesn’t need any help in 90% of the cases. No skinny or grossly undersize tires for the front: remember you still have to stop quickly in traffic. Make sure all the rubber bushings in the front and rear suspensions are in first class shape. Leave the emissions equipment intact and working. Removing or disabling it won’t get you any more HP or performance. Do not convert to carb or remove A/C: either one will reduce the resale value. Carb conversions cannot be titled for street use or get tags in some places. They definitely won’t pass smog inspections.

Street/strip: A little more slope to the torque curve with a gently sloping peak. Use slightly larger port volumes on intake and heads for more peak HP. Uses 3.55 or 3.73 gears to get the RPM’s up into a higher range quicker. Be prepared to sacrifice some low RPM throttle response in exchange for high RPM power. This by necessity will be a Mass Air or Mass Air conversion on 86-88 5.0 Mustangs, since stock speed density will not run well with the changes in engine airflow. Don’t get too crazy on any one engine part since you still have to drive the car on the street, and a mismatch can make street driving miserable.
Use stock or mild aftermarket cam, Ported GT 40, or 165-180 CC port volume aftermarket aluminum heads. Use a Trick Flow, Edelbrock Performer or equal intake manifold. Take a 73 MM aftermarket MAF calibrated for 24 lb injectors, and 24 lb injectors, 155 LPH fuel pump, Kirban adjustable fuel pressure regulator. Be prepared to shell out some $$$ for a custom burned chip using data gathered from a dyno run. Mass market chips will not get the job done. Use some Ford Racing unequal length headers, aftermarket 2 1/2” cat pipe and some mufflers that don’t drone or get too much attention from the law enforcement or neighbors. Drivetrain: expect the stock T5 to fail, so save your money for a super duty 5 speed trans. Tremec 3550, TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices. Different gears in a stock T5 case work for some, but there is only so much power you can pass through a T5 in race mode before it breaks, even with stronger gears. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Carry spare tires and wheels for the drag strip: skinnys for the front and drag radials for the rear. No skinnys for street driving! Over 85% of the breaking power is generated by the front tires, so skinnys won’t do the job in a panic stop situation. Disconnect the front anti-roll bar at the strip; reconnect it before you drive home. Leave the emissions equipment intact and working. Removing or disabling it won’t get you any more HP or performance. Do not convert to carb or remove A/C: either one will reduce the resale value. Carb conversions cannot be titled for street use or get tags in some places. They definitely won’t pass smog inspections.

Strip only: High RPM, High flow heads (185-215 CC port volume), wild cam, high flow intake manifold, 70 MM or larger TB, 80 MM or lager MAF, strip everything out of the car that doesn’t make it go faster. Carbs are OK if that’s what you want, but remember that as the temp/humidity/ barometric pressure/altitude changes, you have to re-jet and readjust the carb. EFI eliminates most of that with its built in compensation or you can tune of the fly with a high end Motes or Tweecer system combined with a wide band air/fuel ratio meter. Use custom headers, dumps and minimal mufflers. How fast you can go on 5 liters is a function of the skill level of the driver/mechanic and the size of your wallet.

TRAILER the car to the race track since it won’t be legal to drive it on the street. Drag slicks in the rear, skinnys up front, use 3.73 or bigger gears (4.xx) in the rear axle. Since you won’t be driving on long trips, the big gears with work with the high RPM power curve to get the best results. Drivetrain: TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices. Different gears in a stock T5 case work for some, but there is only so much power you can pass through a T5 in race mode before it breaks, even with stronger gears. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Remove the front sway bar, put an airbag in the rear spring of the side that spins the tire the most. Plan on a roll cage if you are truly serious about going fast: most strips will require it once you get to a certain ET range.

Autocross is a combination of Hot street engine and street strip chassis prep. The engine must accelerate quickly from low RPM and needs a broad, flat torque curve. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Most of the time you’ll never hit third gear, so some 3.73 or bigger gears (4.xx) may help a lot. You’ll have to spend some more money on brakes since it kills brakes quickly. Rear disks, larger rotors up front, stainless steel brake lines, different brake pads. A 87-88 T Bird Turbo Coupe or SN 95 rear axle will be your best bet. Autocross will severely strain 1st & 2nd gears, so your T5 may take a premature dump. Save your money for a super duty 5 speed trans. Tremec 3550, TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices.

All out road race is the most difficult of all: an engine that will run at high rpm hour after hour and never fail, yet pull hard out of the hairpin turns that will require a lot of torque at lower RPMs. In my opinion, guys that can successfully build a winning road race engine are the cream of the crop. Top this off with a chassis built for strip only duty, but with changes to the settings of springs, tires, roll bars brakes and shocks. It’s a whole other world of racing.
You’ll have to spend lots more money on brakes since it kills brakes quickly. Rear disks, larger rotors up front, stainless steel brake lines, different brake pads. Air ducting to cool the brake rotors will be a must. The brake rotors of cars on a high speed road course glow red after several hard laps of racing. Drivetrain: TKO 500 & TKO 600, and T56 close ratio are the best transmission choices.

See http://www.mustangandfords.com/how-to/engine/mufp-0610-engine-building-mistakes/ for some excellent engine building advice.
 

1970machwon

Member
Nov 17, 2018
37
3
8
18
Warner Robins, Georgia
Any issues that might pop up with a bigger cam?
It may sound cool, but it is a poor choice for a street driven car. Low speed drivability will suffer and the car will be a pig until you get enough RPMs to get into the power band where the engine performs decently.

noobie-help.png

Far too many people put a dab of this and a dollop of that, and then wonder why the car doesn't run worth beans. Then they think off the shelf computer chips will fix their mismatched parts problem. It won't

You have to have a plan for what kind of performance you want: Hot street. Street/Strip, Pure strip, Autocross or Road course. Each one requires a different strategy and a different set of components.. Mismatch the components and you’ll have a car that falls flat on its face when you demand performance.

Everyone thinks HP! HP! HP! and thinks that peak HP is what they need. Peak HP is great for a drag strip car when it has the proper gears and tires to get the car up into the high RPM range where it develops that high peak HP near the finish line. On a street car, that strategy will have Honda Accords outrunning you, because you will never get the engine RPMs high enough without running over everything in your path.

Here’ the strategy: Always remember that there are some tradeoffs in any engine combination. Most of us don’t have enough money to “have it all” as if it was possible by some masterful combination of parts and tuning.

The following recommendations are for 5 Speed Manual transmission cars without NO2 or pressurized induction, stock short block.

1.) Hot street: Broad flat torque curve, high velocity airflow in the intake and heads for best throttle response. Gears suitable for reasonable gas mileage and long road trips without excessive engine RPMs. Stand on the gas pedal from a rolling start to squeeze into that gap in traffic in front of you, and it jumps quick and hard to get you there. Max RPM’s are 5200-5500 RPM for best power. Lopey cams may sound cool, but run poorly in a low RPM street environment.
Use stock cam, stock, GT40 or mildly ported stock heads, Cobra or Explorer/GT40 intake, advanced timing, stock 19 lb injectors, stock fuel pump. Use some good 1.6 or 1.7 ratio roller rockers for extra punch. Use a King Cobra clutch, with stock iron or steel billet flywheel. MAF cars can use a 65 MM TB from the Explorer intake manifold and a 70MM MAF from a 94-95 Mustang. Drive train: 3:55 gears with soft tread compound tires. Use some Ford Racing unequal length headers, stock 2 1/4” cat pipe and some mufflers that don’t drone or get too much attention from the law enforcement or neighbors. The stock computer will handle all this with no problems and doesn’t need any help in 90% of the cases. No skinny or grossly undersize tires for the front: remember you still have to stop quickly in traffic. Make sure all the rubber bushings in the front and rear suspensions are in first class shape. Leave the emissions equipment intact and working. Removing or disabling it won’t get you any more HP or performance. Do not convert to carb or remove A/C: either one will reduce the resale value. Carb conversions cannot be titled for street use or get tags in some places. They definitely won’t pass smog inspections.

Street/strip: A little more slope to the torque curve with a gently sloping peak. Use slightly larger port volumes on intake and heads for more peak HP. Uses 3.55 or 3.73 gears to get the RPM’s up into a higher range quicker. Be prepared to sacrifice some low RPM throttle response in exchange for high RPM power. This by necessity will be a Mass Air or Mass Air conversion on 86-88 5.0 Mustangs, since stock speed density will not run well with the changes in engine airflow. Don’t get too crazy on any one engine part since you still have to drive the car on the street, and a mismatch can make street driving miserable.
Use stock or mild aftermarket cam, Ported GT 40, or 165-180 CC port volume aftermarket aluminum heads. Use a Trick Flow, Edelbrock Performer or equal intake manifold. Take a 73 MM aftermarket MAF calibrated for 24 lb injectors, and 24 lb injectors, 155 LPH fuel pump, Kirban adjustable fuel pressure regulator. Be prepared to shell out some $$$ for a custom burned chip using data gathered from a dyno run. Mass market chips will not get the job done. Use some Ford Racing unequal length headers, aftermarket 2 1/2” cat pipe and some mufflers that don’t drone or get too much attention from the law enforcement or neighbors. Drivetrain: expect the stock T5 to fail, so save your money for a super duty 5 speed trans. Tremec 3550, TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices. Different gears in a stock T5 case work for some, but there is only so much power you can pass through a T5 in race mode before it breaks, even with stronger gears. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Carry spare tires and wheels for the drag strip: skinnys for the front and drag radials for the rear. No skinnys for street driving! Over 85% of the breaking power is generated by the front tires, so skinnys won’t do the job in a panic stop situation. Disconnect the front anti-roll bar at the strip; reconnect it before you drive home. Leave the emissions equipment intact and working. Removing or disabling it won’t get you any more HP or performance. Do not convert to carb or remove A/C: either one will reduce the resale value. Carb conversions cannot be titled for street use or get tags in some places. They definitely won’t pass smog inspections.

Strip only: High RPM, High flow heads (185-215 CC port volume), wild cam, high flow intake manifold, 70 MM or larger TB, 80 MM or lager MAF, strip everything out of the car that doesn’t make it go faster. Carbs are OK if that’s what you want, but remember that as the temp/humidity/ barometric pressure/altitude changes, you have to re-jet and readjust the carb. EFI eliminates most of that with its built in compensation or you can tune of the fly with a high end Motes or Tweecer system combined with a wide band air/fuel ratio meter. Use custom headers, dumps and minimal mufflers. How fast you can go on 5 liters is a function of the skill level of the driver/mechanic and the size of your wallet.

TRAILER the car to the race track since it won’t be legal to drive it on the street. Drag slicks in the rear, skinnys up front, use 3.73 or bigger gears (4.xx) in the rear axle. Since you won’t be driving on long trips, the big gears with work with the high RPM power curve to get the best results. Drivetrain: TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices. Different gears in a stock T5 case work for some, but there is only so much power you can pass through a T5 in race mode before it breaks, even with stronger gears. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Remove the front sway bar, put an airbag in the rear spring of the side that spins the tire the most. Plan on a roll cage if you are truly serious about going fast: most strips will require it once you get to a certain ET range.

Autocross is a combination of Hot street engine and street strip chassis prep. The engine must accelerate quickly from low RPM and needs a broad, flat torque curve. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Most of the time you’ll never hit third gear, so some 3.73 or bigger gears (4.xx) may help a lot. You’ll have to spend some more money on brakes since it kills brakes quickly. Rear disks, larger rotors up front, stainless steel brake lines, different brake pads. A 87-88 T Bird Turbo Coupe or SN 95 rear axle will be your best bet. Autocross will severely strain 1st & 2nd gears, so your T5 may take a premature dump. Save your money for a super duty 5 speed trans. Tremec 3550, TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices.

All out road race is the most difficult of all: an engine that will run at high rpm hour after hour and never fail, yet pull hard out of the hairpin turns that will require a lot of torque at lower RPMs. In my opinion, guys that can successfully build a winning road race engine are the cream of the crop. Top this off with a chassis built for strip only duty, but with changes to the settings of springs, tires, roll bars brakes and shocks. It’s a whole other world of racing.
You’ll have to spend lots more money on brakes since it kills brakes quickly. Rear disks, larger rotors up front, stainless steel brake lines, different brake pads. Air ducting to cool the brake rotors will be a must. The brake rotors of cars on a high speed road course glow red after several hard laps of racing. Drivetrain: TKO 500 & TKO 600, and T56 close ratio are the best transmission choices.

See http://www.mustangandfords.com/how-to/engine/mufp-0610-engine-building-mistakes/ for some excellent engine building advice.
Thank you so much for all of this information, it's incredibly insightful into stuff I might want to do to my car. after some deliberation I suppose I fall into the "hot street" category. I want something that looks good, sounds good, and has some decent power to back it up, but i still want all of my creature comforts, interior, and styling to stick with the car. I want something to impress, but not necessitate my suffering.
I think I'll go with a mild enough cam (B303?) a regular dished piston rebuild kit, and just build up from there. It's very easy to get carried away in the plans I want to do for this car, but at the end of the day it's just stupid to dream that big. If a cheap salvage engine comes up I might grab it but for now I want the enjoyment and peace of mind that I built mine right. Then I'll worry about making it look pretty, maybe making it stick shift, etc.

I'm a little fresh into valvetrain geometry and all that... If my stock E6 heads are alright, can I use them with a B cam? I'll upgrade eventually but for now it's a one-piece-at-a-time kind of thing. Will an upgrade to MAF also be necessary?
 

74stang2togo

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Mar 7, 2002
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I'll give you my opinion, B cam and speed density likely will not work very well and would be even worse with E7 heads. You need to do more research.
Isky used to make a cam that had a nice lope at idle that did work with the stock speed density computer and E7 heads. Twister on AFM had that setup in his '86 LX, damned car was over 250rwhp on the chassis dyno while meeting California emissions and running a stock ECU (everything that everyone said couldn't be done), he was my mentor on building my '87 GT to be an all-bolt-ons car running the stock speed density setup back in the day, and every thing he told me worked. I don't remember all of the details of his build, just that it was bored over, had some porting work done to the heads, had a GT40 intake, and even still had all four catalytic converters and the smog pump.

I really wish I could remember which cam from Isky it was, their old website actually had in the description "works with stock speed density", their new site has no such detail on any listing.
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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That setup you are talking about is the ho engine. Machwon has a non ho engine that will have the pistons with the little dish in the middle, I did this years ago with a B cam, gt40p heads and it was a dog below 2500 rpms and I also had a piston to valve issue, just barely touched the piston, just enough to sound like a sewing machine
 

1970machwon

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Nov 17, 2018
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Warner Robins, Georgia
That setup you are talking about is the ho engine. Machwon has a non ho engine that will have the pistons with the little dish in the middle, I did this years ago with a B cam, gt40p heads and it was a dog below 2500 rpms and I also had a piston to valve issue, just barely touched the piston, just enough to sound like a sewing machine
My terminology was probably off on saying i had dished pistons, i think I meant to say valve reliefs. I’m gonna buy a rebuild kit since it knocks, and i may as well get a kit with HO pistons
 
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74stang2togo

NERD!
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That setup you are talking about is the ho engine. Machwon has a non ho engine that will have the pistons with the little dish in the middle, I did this years ago with a B cam, gt40p heads and it was a dog below 2500 rpms and I also had a piston to valve issue, just barely touched the piston, just enough to sound like a sewing machine
If he's rebuilding anyway, he can change the pistons to whatever he likes.
 
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FoxChasis

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I'm not really sure how to tell honestly. someone said i had E6SE because of the S and the 7 on my cylinder heads, and someone else posted an E6TE vs E7TE identification, but not much info on the differences between them.
In the first thread you posted on this subject someone correctly pointed out that the "S" outside of the lower right corner of the valve cover boss on the heads means it is an E6SE head. If it were an E7TE head the letter would be "T" instead. The (lower left) corner where you found a number is not useful at all to identify that head. You have to look on the other (lower right) corner of that head, in other words, near the #1 or #8 cylinder, not the #4 or #5 cylinder. See the attached image for the location of the "S" or "T".

"S" in the engineering number suffix (and on the corner of the E6SE head) means the part was originally engineered for Thunderbird
"T" in the engineering number suffix (and on the corner of the E7TE head) means the part was originally engineered for a truck

There was an E5TE and an E7TE head. There was not an E6TE head.

There was an E6SE head. There was not an E5SE or E7SE head

The E5TE head was on 1985-86 F- trucks and E- vans. They were not on any passenger car 5.0L engines, even the H.O. engine in the Mustang. The Mustang had E5AE heads in 1985. (A = engineered for "generic" Ford)

The E6SE head was on ALL 1986 passenger car 5.0L engines, and then all 1987+ 'standard output' (S.O.) 5.0L engines, except the 1996+ Explorer and Mountaineer.

The E7TE head was on 1987+ F- trucks and E- vans, and 1987+ H.O. 5.0L engines. Your 1987 GT had those heads originally. All 1987-1993 Mustang, exc. 1993 Cobra, had those heads. The only other passenger car 5.0L engines that had E7TE heads besides the Mustang were the 1987-1992 Mark VII and 1991-1993 Thunderbird and Cougar.

And now a word on GT-40 head varients...

Cobra SVT and Lightning SVT had various F1ZE, F3ZE, and F4ZE heads. F1ZE = originally engineered for 1991 Mustang, i.e. 1991-92 SAAC Mustang and offered for sale in FMS SVO catalog before the 1993 Cobra was ever available.

The 1996 and early 1997 Explorer/Mountaineer had GT-40 (FxZE) heads, and the 1997.5 and later Explorer/Mountaineer had GT-40P heads (F77E).

There were also some GT-40 heads with FxJE engineering number prefix. (J = originally engineered for "Industrial".)

And finally there were Ford Falcons (AU) with GT-40 heads, I think the F1ZE/F3ZE varieties.

FxJE = GT-40 2-bars heads
F1ZE/F3ZE/F4ZE = GT-40 3 -bar heads
F77E = GT-40P 4-bar heads
 

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1970machwon

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Nov 17, 2018
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18
Warner Robins, Georgia
I'm thinking a 1996 explorer/mountaineer is probably the best bang for my buck. I just got a little grad money so I have a little more to play with. Gonna go with the typical B cam and trick flow valve springs to accommodate it. Found a decent writeup on everything you'd need, most of which happens to be on my crappy other 5.0 so I'm all good on that end. Now to find a decent one at a junkyard near me. I don't wanna get a POS engine and then have 2 that knock like hell...
1996 explorers had mass air and they were roller engines right? so that solves that problem too. I'll just have to get the adapter harness for my speed density. All the timing cover, accessories, and oil pickup goodies I'll need to transfer over. Since I'm going to be going all the way down to the camshaft and whatnot, would it be wise to go ahead and get a cheap rebuild kit for the bearings, gaskets and other things that might need refreshing? Maybe even just rebuild the engine itself with a bore and some shiny pistons? It'll cost a little more, but I'll have the peace of mind, and it'll already pay itself off with the explorer upper/lower and gt40 heads since most of those engines are around $450. Plus i can sell some of my other engine's stuff like the stock heads and intakes and make maybe 100 back.
 

1970machwon

Member
Nov 17, 2018
37
3
8
18
Warner Robins, Georgia
(Copied from "fede85gt" over on foureyedpride.com, posted on 04-04-2007, 01:46 PM)
here goes:

5.0 EXPLORER ENGINE IN TO FOX BODY SWAP FAQ´S

Since more frequently I see the same basic questions popping up, and lot of board members contributing with very good information on the subject, I will try to compile to the best of my knowledge and experience a guide for swapping an explorer 5.0 engine in to a fox body mustang based on my current project car. Please feel free to add or correct any information.

What year of explorers came with the 5.0 engine?
1996 to 2000 (please correct me if Im wrong)

What are the advantages of using an explorer engine?
Well for starters you can get either variation of the GT40 heads which offer a performance gain, you may find a low mileage motor that wouldn’t give you any problems for a long time, they are cheaper than doing a rebuild on you current engine if an overbore is required.
Some explorer engines come with an engine oil cooler ala special service mustangs so that’s another added bonus, it just plumbs in to you’re lower radiator hose and that’s it!!!!


Please note: These engines came with hyper pistons so please consider this if you’re planning on running boost (supercharger or turbo) or nitrous.


How much should I expect to pay for an explorer long block?
The explorer engines are plentiful in the salvage yards and some with very low mileage (a lot of rollover vehicles),In my personal case the day I decided to buy the engine, with cash in hand, I found no less than 6 engines in 4 hours, you can usually find them in the $500 to $600 dollar range for a complete long block (in my area). Remember that if you are going to run it carbureted, you can easily sell the Intake, Throttle body (65 MM), and injectors (19 LB/HR), you can usually get $200 + dollars for all of the components so you can subs tract that from the price you paid 


How do I know which type of GT40 heads I got with my long block?
Very simple regular GT40 heads have 3 vertical lines cast in to the right lower corner of the head they came on the 95 to 96 explorer v8, GT40P heads came on the 97 and up 5.0 v8 explorers and have 4 vertical lines cast in the same location, also you can find the legend GT40P cast on various parts of the head as opposed to just GT on the pre ´97 heads.







Should I port my GT40 heads?
GT40 heads are a proven winner compared to stock e7 heads, having better intake and exhaust runners, larger valves and several other improvements, so out of the box they are a great bang for the buck, but then again as with everything else, there’s always room for improvement, it all depends on you’re goals. There’s an excellent write up on www.diyporting.com for GT40 and GT40P heads, if you’re mechanically inclined give it a try.

Which Headers can I use with GT40 heads?
Well if you got the regular GT40 heads 3 bars, here’s the good news is any stock or aftermarket stock replacement header will work be it short (equal or unequal) or long tubes!!!!!
Now comes the sad part, while the GT40P head is suppose to be the best GT40 head out there, it needs P-specific headers, there’s been a lot of debate about some long tube headers fitting with out a problem (MAC and BBK), others say that that you need wires with 90 deg. Boots, I haven’t tested them yet. The issues that come up are interference with spark plug removal, and burned plug wires.

None of the stock type replacement shortie headers (equal or unequal length) work properly. I’ve mocked up old school FMS Stainless Steel headers, and BBK shorties and they wont work, don’t believe what they say that with “minor tweaking” they will work, not true, some tubes need major dimpling , not even worth damaging a good set headers.

Now the general opinion is that you’re better off just running the P specific headers in the first place either from FRPP at around $239 dlls. for painted ones or $290 for Jet hot coated ones, or the MAC´S that I usually see on eBay for around $280 with ceramic coatings, so you make the call.

I’ve been trying to find a set of used P specific shortie headers reasonably priced ,used , for almost a year now with no luck 

Which items do I need to change on my explorer 5.0 in order to swap it in my fox mustang?
There are several items that need to be replaced with fox specific parts in order to drop in your explorer 5.0 engine in your fox body mustang, if you currently have you’re engine you can just bolt them to the explorer engine after previously inspecting.

If and when you decide to tear in to you’re explorer engine or take off the valve covers please note: the valve cover gaskets are reusable and expensive at about $35 dlls. a set (metal core with rubber) so don’t throw them away!!!!

1.- You will need to put your fox 5.0 oil pan (dual hump), oil pump pick up tube with screen, oil pan gasket, oil pan dipstick tube, and at the same time for safe cheap insurance replace the oil pump and oil pump drive shaft while your at it.


2.-At a minimum you will need a stock mustang 5.0 HO camshaft, the explorer specific cam is no good for performance applications, or even consider any of the popular off the shelf cams TFS or FRPP to name a few, just remember to upgrade your valve springs accordingly if you want to avoid any valve float, there’s a trick flow kit P/N TFS-2500100 that contains springs that will handle a cam up to .542 lift, includes all the appropriate retainers, and valve guide seals, for $129 these seems to be the best bang for the buck, you decide..
Replace at you’re consideration while you are doing the cam swap: the timing chain, also consider if you’re running a carbed set up, you will need to put the cam eccentric to drive the mechanical fuel pump, don’t be surprised if you don’t have any fuel pressure if you don’t put it in 
You can reuse you’re roller lifters, stamped valve rockers and pushrod at you’re own criteria



If and when you are removing the heads remember that these engines use torque to yield head bolts, meaning that they are not reusable, take the time to replace them at least with ARP head bolts, or a minimum grade 8 replacement found on any Fastener specialty business.

3.-You will need to put a fox specific timing cover on the explorer 5.0 , along with a damper, crank pulley, fox water pump, and a distributor, please remember that the distributor needs to have the drive gear that is compatible with a billet roller cam, if not you can destroy your engine at initial start u, not good.

4.-If your running a 5 spd. Tranny remember that all explorer are automatics, so you need to ditch the flex plate, drop in a pilot bushing, and just for safe measure replace the rear main oil seal while your at it.

5.-Replace the intake manifold if you are running a carbureted set up, any carbed intake will work, there are several threads on this board regarding the issue(i.e. weiand stealth, edelbrock performer rpm), so again you make the call, I would highly recommend port matching the intake manifold to the heads, some improvement can be had here.

6.-Consider replacing plugs and seals while the engine is out of the vehicle , cheap insurance again …..

7.-Use you’re fox specific engine mounts.