Too Much Mileage For Head Swap?

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by demetri e, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Got a 88 5.0 with 130,000 and a blown Head gasket, is it not worth swapping for better heads on a high mileage block? my mechanic says in his experience it could lead to blowing some smoke, just looking for some upgrades while the engine will be taken apart to fix gasket
  2. What was the reason for the blown head gasket? Whatever caused that needs to be fixed first.

    Are you also going to upgrade the intake, exhaust, fuel injectors, TB, cam, rockers, pushrods etc? Are you replacing the timing chain. Slapping a better set of heads on a worn engine and/or without ugrading the other areas is a waste of money. If the motor is burning oil or on its last leg, you are better off putting it back together with the stock parts and then drive it while you make a game plan for either a rebuild or a new engine. Don't put together a bunch of mismatched parts. Better to have a plan and buy the right parts the first time.
  3. me and my mechanic plans were intake, throttle body, fuel pressure regulator, roller rocker arms, cold air intake, and headers, hes trying to use parts where I could use on a new engine if I ever decided in future, as for push rods and injectors he didn't mention. timing chain is brand new, and as for cam he says I have to upgrade to mass air first
  4. i agree, fix the issue that caused the head gasket to go south, then start upgrading. you can likely pick up a set od gt40 explorer heads along with the intake, tb and maf for not much money
    clement likes this.
  5. a new set of heads wont make the shortblock burn oil. if it does it was going to burn oil anyway because it was hurt. that being said, back before I figured out how to make power all motor I ran a lot of power adder stuff. and I have replaced quite a few sets of head gaskets on my cars as well as friends cars and customers in the last 20 years. unless something catastrophic happened, it should be fine. if its not burning oil now with a blown HG, it wont do it without unless something is wrong. take the heads off and look at the shortblock. thatll tell the tale. one of the quickest stock shortblock all motor 302s I ever did a heads/cam swap to had over 200k miles on it. and it went high 11s at 113 in the 1/4 mile. these engines can take a lot of abuse. its not a GM product.
    f8tlfiveo likes this.
  6. Do you know how the engine was maintained it's entire life?
    Coolant becomes acidic and starts devouring gaskets and parts from inside the engine, so if the previous owner never changed the coolant you may not want to re-use the engine.

    Also how long did you drive it? Know for sure, i've seen more than my share of blown head gaskets that were driven on unknowingly, then gaskets changed and the cars burned way too much oil.

    Me personally with $500 explorer engines readily available, i probably would not attempt to use your shortblock, especially since it sounds like you are paying someone to do the h/c/i. If you experimented with your own time, that's one thing, it's another to pay someone to do it and risk paying for it twice.