4v Tech and You! - What 4v Heads and When Did They Happen...

Discussion in '96-04 - 4V Specific' started by MustangChris, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. MustangChris

    MustangChris Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Ah, so you THINK you're an expert... you THINK you're the mighty all-knowing bad ass of bad assness.... every forum has one. In our case, maybe it's YOU.

    But before you start spreading mis-information and filling our forum with garbage (that’s my job, and I don’t like competition.) I figure I'd set you straight before we all laugh at you...

    Maybe you are just looking for the best 4v heads to get for your "build." And you want used, because those new FRPP 2000 Cobra R heads are outragiously expensive!

    So, here’s a run-down on some Ford, modular, 4v tech. Let's find which year/make/model head is best for you! :-D

    First, as well remember from high-school public speaking class, the first thing you do is define yourself as an authoritative figure.

    I, MustangChris, have swapped a 2004 cobra motor into my 1996 Mustang GT. This was a two year long process that i performed 90% of the work on (minus anything requiring a welder or plasma cutter.) This project took place in my garage with basic hand tools before heading to my uncle's shop for major frame and chassis work. At no point was my car worked on by a "professional" shop, and at no point did anything get worked on without me being present. The only work being performed by a shop on my car is the dyno tune and a custom exhaust. My car runs on E85 and Pump gas (dual tune) and has an estimated 500RWHP.

    There is a "members ride" thread with pictures of my car.
    There is a "build thread" with the step-by-step process of my car's history.
    There is a YouTube video (also in my build thread) of my car running.

    Why should I trust you, Chris?

    Well, my build began with the famous teksid block as the power plant. I began to purchase parts (4v C-heads off a terminator, just one example) before I realized that I was in too deep. I was clicking "buy it now" on eBay like it was going out of style. I had to take a step backwards, get my composure, learn what the **** I was doing, and build a car within a short period of time. Now, you get the benefit of my hard work and dedication in one lovely thread. :-D

    Basics:
    2v, 3v, 4v.
    The 2v is known as the SOHC (single overhead cam) engine. I won’t be talking about it here because there are far smarter folk on the forum who can give you better tech than I can on the mighty 2v.

    The 3v is known as "the 3v†(oh. makes sense...) I won’t be talking about it here because this is the 4v section of the forum, and I don’t want to get into VVT/VCT.

    The 4v is where the meat is. It's what people spend thousands of dollars to put into their mustangs. Let's get started!

    Ford Modular engines (modular meaning "a self-contained unit that can be combined or interchanged with others like it to create different shapes or designs." -http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/modular) have been present since 1991 (Lincoln Town Cars - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Town_Car). Other modular engines include: 4.6L, 5.0L Coyote, 5.4L, 5.8L, 6.8L V10 and a series of motors sent to Australia that I know nothing about...

    It took until 1993 for Ford to design and produce a 4v cylinder head for this modular engine. And this first 4v cylinder head was placed on the 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII. These same heads were used on the 1996-1998 Mustang Cobras. These heads are known as "B-heads" and they have a list of benefits, and a list of draw backs.

    Let’s take a look at the basic design:
    These heads are known as "split port, dual port, or swirl port." This means that there are two intake ports for each cylinder. The square primary port and round secondary port make up the design.

    Benefits:
    Flow, Flow, Flow.
    --These heads flow quite well, especially at higher RPMs. These heads flow well even up to 8,000 RPMs (mind you valve train needs a different set-up.) (http://www.modmotortech.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-295.html)

    This large amount of flow brings down the head's lower and mid-range intake port velocity and as a result lower and mid-range torque was lost. Ford included intake manifold runner controls (IMRCs). These are computer actuated butter-fly flaps that open at certain RPMs. By closing the secondary port at lower RPMs, velocity and torque are somewhat returned. By opening this port (3250RPMs) the engine is supplied ample airflow for the higher demand.

    We can see a picture of these IMRCs here:
    http://mdmustangs.com/David_Simmons_Cobra/imrc.html

    Due to Ford no longer offering parts or service for IMRCs systems, many people opt to simple delete these. This allows the port to stay open at all times.
    (Kits are available everywhere, http://www.modularmustangracing.com/prod_dohc.htm for example.)

    A drawback to this design is many feel the intake manifolds provided with these heads cannot supply ample air to the heads. These heads flow extremely well, yet the manifold is starving them. The lack of aftermarket intake manifolds pushed this head into the "caveman era" as newer technology was released by ford.
    (There are now intake manifolds available for this head design: http://www.modularmustangracing.com/prod_dohc.htm as the popularity for race-only applications for these heads increases)

    Another drawback to these heads is the air/fuel ratio blend when the combination enters the combustion chamber. Some fear that while there are two intake ports, and only one injector, the system is lacking enough fuel delivery. *OR* if there is enough fuel delivery, it is not mixed properly for maximum burn-off. I have found very little information (readily available) to back this claim up.

    A perk to these heads is the fact that most dismiss them as junk. Nothing more than door-stops to the shop. The lack of IMRC support from ford, the lack of aftermarket manifolds, and the newer designs from ford have made these heads easily accessible and cheap to get. They function quite well at higher RPMs and they respond to forced induction applications better than most suspect.
    If you've heard of accufab, you've heard of making 2,000 Horsepower on a teksid block. BUT you may not know that their choice of heads was a set of "b-heads."

    "The "Stock" Combination. What makes John's power and speed so impressive is the small displacement and stock source for major portions of his engine program. Displacement is 282 ci--call it a stock 4.6 liters--using a stock aluminum Cobra block; stock old-style, 'B' dual-port, Four-Valve cylinder heads, as found in a '95 Lincoln; and a stock 4.6 Cobra crankshaft."
    -http://www.accufabracing.com/index.php/racing.html

    These heads are running at 52 Pounds of Boost creating 2,300 horsepower!! Not bad for something most people dismiss as garbage.
    Not to mention the b-head-equipped engines made Ward's best 10 engines for 1996 and 1997.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward's_10_Best_Engines

    Out with the old, in with the new!
    Tumble Port head design:
    The tumble port head design was brought in in 1999 for the mustang cobra. It was duplicated in 2001 for the cobra, as well. These cobras were naturally aspirated and required the tumble port design to feed two intake valves with one port. They were equipped with new cams and fixed runner length intake manifolds. These heads gave a "broader" power band than the earlier designed B-heads.
    The tumble port design gives a more-efficient air/fuel mixture than the B head designed did, but they have a short turn radius in the throat of the intake port.

    This short turn radius forces the incoming air to improperly enter the combustion chamber when passing through the valve. Due to the flawed design, cooling of the intake valves on #6, 7, and 8 cylinders was compensated and they were known to over-heat and seat improperly.
    (http://www.modmotortech.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-295.html)
     
  2. MustangChris

    MustangChris Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Terminator "C head" designs:
    The C head design is a duplicate design to the tumble port heads. These heads are the most popular heads to purchase because they came on the 2003/2004 supercharged cobras. These heads are prone to "ticking" due to the improper seating of valves. Stiegemeier clearly points their finger at the exhaust port as being the cause of the infamous tick.
    "There were some Terminators that had Valve seat run out in excess of .006 to .008 on the exhaust side.

    The Valve stem deflects in the guide and ticks. The factory valve work early on was not always round.

    The exhaust seat material is extremely hard and tooling deflection occurs.

    Terminators that suffer this seat run out experience a tick at 25,000 mile mark on driver side and 35,000 on passenger side.

    I have not seen a Valve failure because of this ever and not all Cobra's develop the tick.
    K-liners are the best fix."
    http://www.svtperformance.com/forum...04-cobra-head-tick-explained-stiegemeier.html

    Some hypothesize that the higher intake air temperature of the supercharged air causes this, but many shun this reasoning due to the efforts ford went to cool the incoming supercharged air, as well as the fact that other cars (Lincolns, for example) have the same problems, but no supercharger.

    Since, ford issued TSBs in an effort to remedy the situation:
    http://www.modularfords.com/forums/f154/tsb-03-11-04-engine-mustang-68121/

    A new head was offered to cobra owners still under warranty.
    (Reason #1 to avoid "early production" heads off cobras and other vehicles with c heads.)

    The next problem is cooling. (Reason #2 to avoid "production" heads made before 2005.) Cobra drivers seem to have problems with the #8 cylinder under heavy loads (WOT in OD gears) this problem is caused not only by the head, but also the overall cooling design from ford. Any Google search will yield HUNDREDS of cobra owners complaining their #8 piston is in their oil pan instead of in their cylinder. A stronger water pump, a new location for the thermostat, a larger radiator, removal of the oil cooler, the installation of an "even flow" kit, and the removal of the heater-core blow out preventer are all remedies commonly used to help avoid frying the good ol' number 8.

    The OEM water pump can be easily upgraded to flow upwards of 100gpm.

    An upgraded water pump can run between 150-200$.

    The thermostat can be relocated to the top of the system. This is the hottest water in the engine returning to the radiator. By changing the location kits offer more flow, more accurate temperature-driven openings, and an easy-to-change location.

    Relocation kits can run around the range of $100.00

    A larger radiator is the most common addition to a performance cooling system. An easy install, and a large aftermarket community, this is simple and effective. A radiator with more cores, or made from more heat-transfer-friendly materials allow the radiator to cool more effectively. Many powder-coaters offer heat-extraction coating (which i had done on my intercooler)

    Removing the oil cooler that ford put into the engine prevents the coolant from being heated up by the engine's oil. Morosso offers an adaptor kit to do this. By removing the OEM unit flow is increased by changing the system to a simple 30* elbow opposed to the snail-shell shape of the OEM unit. Other options are available for cooling the oil.

    An even flow kit is very common. It can be done with the engine in the car (removal of the supercharger may be required, or even the transmission, depending on the kit purchased) these kits are readily available from a number of companies. These kits offer a small coolant passage to be created above the #8 cylinder. This allows the coolant to return to the radiator instead of cycled through the head. I chose the Evenflow GEN I kit on my car because I did not want to trust a rubber O-ring in the hard to reach location, i wanted the kit to remain under the "burp chimney stack" to ensure as much air goes to the chimney stack as possible during burping, and i wanted the kit to cycle independently. Some kits "tie into" the passenger side head's coolant system, which i wanted to avoid.

    These kits range from $50.00 to $100.00. These do not "maximize" coolant flow, and are not a "cure all." Most kits (particularly the one i received) clearly stated that this would not "prevent or stop" the "head tick" which can occur on DOHC Modular motors.


    The final "remedy" is to remove the blow out preventer in the heater core. This small rubber block keeps coolant from flowing into the heater core at maximum volume. This reduces the pressure in the heater core (compared to the rest of the system) and prevents it from blowing out. Removing this simply allows coolant to cycle through the system unimpeded.

    The risk? Scolding hot coolant all over the passenger side floor of your car.
    Cost: Free.

    In January of 2005 ford updated the head design to better allow the #8 cylinder head to cool more effectively. The problem? Cobras had already stopped production.
    http://stangshiftergaskets.com/2003_2004faqs.htm

    Where can you get an updated head? Lincoln Aviators were the only cars produced with the updated head design. (2005) after 2005 the aviator was downsized to the MKZ (?) and came with a 6 cylinder.

    The third (and final reason to avoid "early production" heads) downfall to the DOHC motors (and modular motors alike) is the poorly planned out spark plug system. The spark plugs in these motors sit at the bottom of a 5 inch hole. These holes collect dust, dirt, and water. Ford clarifies in its service manuals to blow out these spark plug holes before removing the sparkplug (after removing the wires/boots) to ensure nothing falls into the cylinder. Some folk on the internet take it a step further and apply die-electric grease to the mating surfaces (5.4L, primarily) where the boot contacts the base of the spark plug hole. This helps prevent water from seeping into the threads.

    On top of having a large water-catching cavern holding your spark plug, ford also thought it a great idea to put only 4 threads into the head to seat your spark plug. 4 threads holding 600 Horsepower has proven to be a rather bad idea.

    On top of these two problems, ford made their heads out of aluminum (although aluminum wont rust) aluminum is a rather "soft" metal. Anyone who's taken a band-saw to a piece of aluminum, and then to a piece of iron, can tell you how much easier the aluminum is to go through (i know from personal experience. My fuel pressure regulator, mounted with iron straps that I cut to fit. My Fuel lines, mounted with aluminum straps that came with my front mount heat exchanger, cut to fit.) This "soft" metal, containing only 4 threads, holding back 600 Horsepower, is not such a good idea. It is *very* common for modular motors to spit their spark plugs.

    It's so common, that TimeSert has pretty much aimed their entire business plan to fixing these. They sell "ford 4.6" "ford 5.4" and "ford V10" kits with everything you need to fix this problem. They also have instructional videos on the internet, performing the repair on, you guessed it, ford modular engines.

    TimeSert, KingSert, and Helicoil are the three choices to fix this. My local head shop charges $25.00 a hole to repair these with the head on the engine, and $5.00 a hole to repair these with the head off the engine (+parts).

    When getting your modular heads CNCed or Ported, be **sure** to request they inspect your spark plug threads and to maximize the number of threads available on your product. (Some CNCs put this directly into your head using the machine work; others tap and install the above mentioned inserts.)


    The "best" production heads to get for a 4v "build" are the 2005 aviator heads. These heads have the revised coolant system, the updated exhaust ports, and 9 spark plug threads opposed to 4.

    "What if i can’t find those?"
    The next best thing is to get brand new in the box heads. These will have the above mentioned updates, but at the "brand new" price.

    Left side head
    Part # 2C5Z-6049-BAB
    Right side head
    Part # 2C5Z-6049-CAB

    "What if I’m poor?"
    Rule of thumb: if you have to buy used, the later in production, the better! The earlier heads have spark plug problems, and valve problems. Eventually these were remedied. (Get a VIN number, if you can, and track down the year yours was produced.)

    "How do i tell when these were fixed?"
    You will have to check for casting numbers and part numbers to find if yours are the updated coolant heads. To check your spark plug threads, simply remove a coil and plug and use a small pick to count the threads. This took me 4 minutes to determine that mine was indeed 9 threaded.

    "But mine have the bad-ass blue stripe."
    Well, i hope you didn’t pay extra....
    http://stangshiftergaskets.com/2003_2004faqs.htm#_Toc35092316

    Anyways, this concludes my thread on 4v heads. It’s got some information, but not all (cc size, valve size, valve seat material, etc. etc. etc.) but it has the basic information **YOU** need to build a bad ass 4v "build"

    Sources:
    http://www.modularfords.com/forums/f17/keeping-your-cool-28581/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Mustang_SVT_Cobra
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Modular_engine#4-valve_2
    http://www.modmotortech.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-295.html
    http://stangshiftergaskets.com/2003_2004faqs.htm
    (Amongst others.)
     
  3. dutch

    dutch Well-Known Member

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    good man!
     
  4. mygreengt

    mygreengt Legend

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    cliffs?


    jk, good info
     
  5. Dalamar

    Dalamar Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Great information Chris.
    I see you've done a little light reading :)
     
  6. MustangChris

    MustangChris Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    well, you know. just want to make the forum a magical place filled with solid tech and happy members, too!

    a little reading? indeed. I wanted to make sure my tech was solid, before putting it out for the world to read. LOL.
     
  7. Gallows

    Gallows Well-Known Member

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    Very informative write up Chris[​IMG]
     
  8. Mustang Mark

    Mustang Mark Well-Known Member

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    sooo according to all of that junk i guess you're better off with a 2V? ;)
     
  9. MustangChris

    MustangChris Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    haha. yea. or a chevy. something like that.
     
  10. Dalamar

    Dalamar Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    OUCH! lol
     
  11. MustangChris

    MustangChris Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Dal, what did you change in my first post? :-(
     
  12. MadStang

    MadStang Well-Known Member

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    couldn't have said it better myself
     
  13. MustangChris

    MustangChris Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    yea, because 2vs dont fart out their spark plugs either. oh wait. LOL.
     
  14. MadStang

    MadStang Well-Known Member

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    not mine. Timeserts up in this hizzitch!
     
  15. MustangChris

    MustangChris Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    good idea. ;-)
     
  16. vermilion

    vermilion Legend

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    very factful and good read. the best part of all this thats its an evolution of modular motors. :)
     
  17. MustangChris

    MustangChris Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    i find it ironic that a lincoln was the guinnea-pig (sp?) that got the 1st generation of heads, and they were the only ones to get the updated C-heads... its like the Ford-gods said "sorry, thanks for being a good sport. here's something bad ass in return for your duties."
     
  18. Slykin

    Slykin Well-Known Member

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    Pushrods for life! Huzzah! Ok. Whatever. I read all that and I don't plan on having a 4v any time soon. Good read and info though!
     
  19. MustangChris

    MustangChris Legend Retired Staff SN95 Supporter

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    at least now you can have a fulfilling conversation at your local mustang show. right? :-D
     
  20. vermilion

    vermilion Legend

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    chris, yes the intech was intended to be a guniea pig of sorts. i just think with the forementioned 2v and 4v they should have urged the 3v in the same aspect.