Cylinder-head gaskets are not cheap (for the good ones, at least), and once the engine is back together they're not easy to replace. So, make sure you have the correct cylinder-head gasket or use the gasket recommended by the cylinder-head manufacturer. Ensure the block surface is prepared properly for a good gasket seal and that the gaskets are positioned correctly on the block.
Edelbrock has been building cylinder heads for many years. The ones we're using are the Pe
If you're a regular reader of my automotive babbling, you're sure to remember the 5.0 Basics arti-cles in the August ("Air Apparent," p. 151) and September ("Getting Shafted," p. 153) '03 issues. We worked on Brian Wesche's '89 GT, enhancing its breathing capabilities via an Edelbrock intake and Crane cam. Now
we plan to tie all the upgrades together via the installation of Edelbrock's Performer 5.0 cylinder heads.
For many of you, installing cylinder heads is a new adventure. That's why we're here to hold your hand. There are likely quite a few of our readers who can swap cylinder heads in two hours in the trailer, at the track, in the rain, and with no air tools-but that's not who this article is for. So, if you've thought about what it takes to crack open a 5.0 and do some serious work, we have the information you need.
Since removing any item bolted to the old heads is required, you'll need to remove the coo
Of course, in only four or five pages we can't show you every nut and bolt, so we always encourage the ownership and use of a good shop manual. Whether you acquire it from Ford or the aftermarket, a shop manual will help with some of the minor details and the ever-important torque specs. Just follow the directions, work methodically, and you shouldn't have any problems. Sure, the first time you yank a set of cylinder heads it might take you all weekend, but with experience comes efficiency, and you'll soon be helping your friends swap cylinder heads in half the time.
For Brian's GT, we chose Edelbrock Performer 5.0 cylinder heads for a simple bolt-on that would accept all the modifications that have already been added to his car. These heads accept stock valvetrain components, stock-bolt-pattern headers, and all Ford intake manifolds. To minimize clean-up time, we also ordered new head bolts, head-bolt washers, and intake bolts.
The A/C compressor will have to be moved out of the workspace to access the driver-side cy
Remove the distributor cap and the plug wires from the engine. Using a china marker or a d
After the A/C compressor has been removed from the large mounting stud at the front of the
The passenger-side cylinder-head face is home to the alternator mounting bracket and the T
It's time to work your way down from the top. Begin by removing the upper intake manifold
Twelve 1/2-inch bolts hold the lower manifold in place. However, one bolt has a stud head
|On the Dyno|
Performer 5.0 Heads
When we began working on Brian's Mustang, it was already adorned with JBA Shorty headers, a Flowmaster exhaust, underdrive pulleys, and gears.The car was a blast to drive. Then we dropped an Edelbrock Performer 5.0 intake into the mix. These parts are all included in the baseline dyno testing. If you remember Brian's cam swap ("Getting Shafted," Sept. '03, p. 153), the GT made 213 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque on Lugo Performance's Mustang Dyno. After swapping the heads for Brian, we had him take his GT back to Lugo's for another spin on the rollers to see what the new heads did for the combination. The GT walked away with another 16 hp. Brian says the car is more fun to drive now, and that with the heads in place he can hear the cam in the exhaust more now, which he likes. With a larger throttle body (he's running a used 65mm), a mass air meter, and some tuning on the fuel system, we're sure Brian could see more horsepower out of this package.
Remove the valvetrain next. This GT has relatively new Crane 1.7 rockers on it. As they wi
The headers must be freed to make room for access to the lower head bolts. You don't have
The head bolts will have some torque on them, so be ready for some exercise. Since "exerci
When you're ready to remove the cylinder heads, remember one thing-they're heavy! Not only
Carefully inspect the deck surface of the block, looking for bits of gasket or dirt. Use p
With the deck surface prepared, the new head gaskets can be set into place. On the small-b
The Edelbrock heads are cast and machined to accept 1/2-inch head bolts (or studs) for 351
The Edelbrock heads are drilled to accept all stock emissions equipment. The heads are sup
Set the new cylinder heads into place and install the head bolts finger-tight. We used Ede
In three stages, torque the head bolts to 70 lb-ft and then retorque the upper row of bolt
When reinstalling the headers, you might need to pry the header forward slightly to line u
The rocker arms can be reinstalled after inspection and cleaning. While you shouldn't see
Set the new intake and valve cover gaskets into place. Secure them with a light dab of gas
While the silicone is skinning over (you'll want to wait a few minutes before dropping the
Reinstall the lower intake and valve covers, remembering to reconnect any hoses, wiring, a
Finish up any loose ends, such as remounting the A/C compressor and the fan and fan shroud