Best bang for my buck question. PI swap?

Discussion in '96-04 - 2V Specific' started by bluex, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. bluex

    bluex Active Member

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    My car just turned over 180k miles and it runs great, minus using oil in between changes which varies based on brand of oil, ususally 1-2 qts in 5k miles. I believe it to be burning it as the underside of the car is clean and the engine is leak free. The blue cloud of smoke on start up is also a dead give away.

    I've been reasearching the PI head swap since I figure the oil buring is from worn valve guides and/or bad seals. I figure if they need to come off they might was well be swapped for better ones. My question is from my reasearch it looks like I'll have a minimum of $600 in the swap before having the car tuned. I can get a complete lower mileage (50-80k) crown vic engine for roughly that same price. I realize I will probably have to swap some things around to make the engine fit the mustang (exhaust manifolds, front accessory drive, ignition/electrical components etc). but it almost seems to make more sense to me to swap in a complete lower mileage PI engine than just do the head swap.

    What do you guys that have done the head swap think? If you had it to do over again what would you do?
     
  2. 96blak54

    96blak54 Legend

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    Well asked write up. I like the detail!

    The head swap ontop of the pre-98 short blocks bump up the compression 1point and makes for a really nice hp gain. These guys will say do the head swap.

    Another engine altogether is a no brainer also. This will eliminate the demand for tune cost. The pi engine is well worth a swap.

    This all depends how you want your car. Im certain your oil burning is the valve seals. Not to mention the modular infamous blow by. Grab an oil catch can kit when you swap. If you desire more power, the head swap is the way to go.
     
  3. bluex

    bluex Active Member

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    Thanks, I'm not really after a max power answer, I mean I want more power sure but I also want the most power for my dollar. I know the compression bump is helpful, but you have to add in a tune and running at least 89 octane fuel all the time. That's a pretty hefty extra expense for 10-15 hp imo.

    I figure either way I'm in for a weekends worth of wrenching to do either swap. My main concern is a fresh top end on a 180k mile bottom end. I don't want spend the money on the head swap an then have to replace the short block soon after because it is still using oil. In that case the lower mileage takeout is a much cheaper option.
     
  4. 96blak54

    96blak54 Legend

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    Sounds like logic to me!
     
  5. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    I like the idea of the head swap :grin:

    Putting the new heads on your current bottom end should not be a problem at all. 180K isn't a lot on a mod motor. However, if you don't want to break the engine open, just do the whole swap. Itll be fun regardless. As always, take pictures and show em off!
     
  6. DropTopPony

    DropTopPony Administrator Staff Member Admin SN95 Supporter

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    Either option will put a smile on your face. If you are sticking with stock PI cams then a tune is not needed with either swap. It may maximize hp and maybe even mpg but not a must if money is an issue.
     
  7. bluex

    bluex Active Member

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    I would probably stick with stock pi cams. I had a brief thought of a set of stage 1 cams but the price changed my mind.

    Good to know a tune isn't required either way. If I go with the head swap I'm going to start pilfering crown vics at the pull a part. I'm not in a big rush to do it just trying to figure out what the best route will be. Part of me wants to do the head swap just because I've never had a mod motor open. Plus it would be a good time to freshen up the timing components an water pump.

    Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
     
  8. 96blak54

    96blak54 Legend

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    Timing components will out last the engine, so save your money there. I do recommend chain guides as they do wear with milage. 250k is the norm life for them.

    Be sure to scavenge to 04-up vic and econoline vans with v8's.
     
  9. bluex

    bluex Active Member

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    Good to know about the timing stuff. I was planning on the 04+ to get the 8 thread heads.
     
  10. blackdemon007

    blackdemon007 Active Member

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    Since the engine is still running and you are concerned about the 180k, get a compression tester and check all the cylinders.

    If one or more are bad then the motor swap is the obvious choice.
    If all cylinders are good, then you should have no worries doing the head swap.
     
  11. bluex

    bluex Active Member

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    Ya I've thought of doing one to help with the decision to.
     
  12. 96blak54

    96blak54 Legend

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    I would prefer mo squeeze myself!