Cylinder head swap

Discussion in '96-04 - 2V Specific' started by JerZeyStangz, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. JerZeyStangz

    JerZeyStangz Well-Known Member

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    Would you get a shop to install your cylinder heads? or would you try to accomplish this task on your own. It seems like there isn't any reputable shops in my area that can do this upgrade. What is your take on this for people with older mustangs?


    -Nate
     
  2. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    I do it all myself. I just did a head swap on a buddies 96 gt. Pi heads, and a set of bullet cams. We started working on it about 9 Saturday morning and had it running Sunday evening. It would have been done faster than that but we ran it no problems getting gaskets and his exhaust was by far the hardest one ive ever removed.
     
  3. JerZeyStangz

    JerZeyStangz Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you've been down this road before. I'm looking into some high end 44cc tfs heads with some mhs 2v cams. The head will most like be fully assembled with cam in it so it comes down to more of a swap. I just never did something so extensive and time consuming on mustang before. Its safe to say that I probably dont have all the tools or knowledge I think.


    -Nate
     
  4. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Honestly, I think you are more than capable. Do you have a set amount of time that your car has to be put together in? The tool list required is really minimal. I could put a sort of list together if you need me to. I also recommend that you install the heads without the cams. The cams keep some of the valves open just enough to cause problems, and its easier to torque the heads without the cams installed.

    Make sure to get cams that are specific to tfs heads. Cams made for pi heads will not make the same power as an equal cam for tfs heads.
     
  5. JerZeyStangz

    JerZeyStangz Well-Known Member

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    Definitely, I read an interesting article from L&M engines about how the PI cams weren't good for TFS heads. Is it that much harder to install the camshafts after the head is bolted to the block? A list would be nice I can save it so when I get the heads next year I can look at it.

    -Nate
     
  6. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Cam swap on the engine is a piece of cake.
     
  7. DropTopPony

    DropTopPony Administrator Staff Member Admin SN95 Supporter

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    Nate with all of the write ups that are around for swapping PI heads you should have no problem at all. A few even include needed tool lists and sizes etc.

    Are you worried about degreeing the cams and ordering the pre-done cams/gears from MHS?

    I know Big Daddy Performance in Lakewood is good and so is Radical Racing down by me in Atco NJ. Both are long time Mustang shops but there has to be 2 dozen shops between us that can do a simple head swap and cam install on a 4.6.

    I had mine torn down with hand tools and an electric impact in about an hour the first time I did my heads. Putting it back together took 2 days as I was chasing parts but yours isn't a daily driver so I have total faith you can install yourself. If you go the pre-degreed setup from MHS or even CMS (my preference) I think you will save yourself like a $1000 in labor.
     
  8. JerZeyStangz

    JerZeyStangz Well-Known Member

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    I'm worried about the whole process. I never did a head cylinder swap before but I am eager to push this thing past the 200rwhp range. Anything timing related erks me because I have no experience with it at all. You guys are pumping confidence in me haha. Thanks for shop recommendations I will into them as plan A or plan B option.
     
  9. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Timing a stock modular engine takes literally 45 seconds per side. It really is a simple as line up the dots. Crank for at 6, cam dots pointing more up. Then line the chains up on the dots. It's very very simple.
     
  10. PinkieT

    PinkieT Well-Known Member

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    I hear how hard it is to install the exhaust manifolds. I'm hoping to do mine in the car. Maybe stupid question, but when I do the swap could I bolt the manifolds to the heads then put the heads on the block?
     
  11. 96blak54

    96blak54 Legend

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    Not a stupid question at all. I to am curious. Good question. Anytime ive been involved with anything engine wise, the engine was out on a stand. Even though removing the engine is evolved, it just seems easier to remove it to do any work.
     
  12. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    remive the midpipe from the car and don't touch the manifolds until the heads are out. Then transfer your manifolds to the new heads and put it all back together.
     
  13. PinkieT

    PinkieT Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'm thinking if I do the head swap good time to add shorty headers. Like lwarrior said, drop the midpipe, remove the heads with the factory manifolds, bold the shorties to the new heads, drop them on.
     
  14. DropTopPony

    DropTopPony Administrator Staff Member Admin SN95 Supporter

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    Yes leave them on.
     
  15. JerZeyStangz

    JerZeyStangz Well-Known Member

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    Best factory shorties are JBA's right? Also the 99-04 manifolds can work with out years right with no change?
     
  16. 96blak54

    96blak54 Legend

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    Are the JBA equal length? I know the ford racing shorties are really close to stock outer dimensions
     
  17. JerZeyStangz

    JerZeyStangz Well-Known Member

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  18. 96blak54

    96blak54 Legend

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    Those look nice! They are not equal length. Im thinking if they were equal length like bbk shorties, they may pose a problem with room.
     
  19. OLD H2S

    OLD H2S Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    Can the JBA PI shorty headers fit a NPI head? How about with some work?
     
  20. ttocs

    ttocs Legend

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    I replaced my BBK with JBA and was amazed in the difference. Better welding/fit thicker flange just all around top notch product.