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Still slow.
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8,738 Posts
Looking great! I used the same straight edge technique with a set of heads I run currently and also checked the gaps between piston rods.
 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #142 (Edited)
Another round of engine parts came in today. These will allow me to finish up the bottom end.

5.0Resto timing cover kit that’s actually for a 79-85 Mustang 5.0 engine. The timing cover itself uses a reverse rotation water pump, and has holes for both a mechanical-type fuel pump and an oil dipstick tube (if using a front-sump oil pan) respectively.



The kit comes with new gaskets, including a new timing cover gasket, water pump gaskets, fuel pump gasket, front main seal, and a 3/8” plug for the oil dipstick hole.



Along with the timing cover kit, I got a stock flow Ford Racing water pump.



Also, I bought a 5.0Resto (basically ARP) timing cover + water pump hardware kit that came with all of the nuts, bolts, and studs I need to install the timing cover and water pump onto the engine.



---------- Post added at 07:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:09 PM ----------

Ford Racing oil pan kit for a 79-95 Mustang 5.0 engine. The oil pan is pretty much just a stock dual-sump oil pan that’s nicely painted and has both drain plugs already installed.





The kit also includes a rear sump oil pickup tube, main cap stud + lock nut, oil dipstick and dipstick tube, and a rubber 1-piece oil pan gasket.



Along with the oil pan kit, I bought a standard-volume Melling oil pump (that came with oil pump gaskets) plus an ARP oil pump driveshaft.



I also bought ARP bolts for both the oil pan and oil pump.




Hopefully, if I ever have a day off of work this summer (4th of July might be a good day), I’ll be able to finish up the bottom end of the engine. Can’t guarantee it’ll happen though.
 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #143 (Edited)
4th of July was awesome. I had a day off of work so that I could assemble the bottom end of the engine.

I started with the oil pan rails. They came with my engine when I first got it, and they were pretty greasy and grungy. So I hit them with the wire wheel and painted them blue.







Next was the timing cover. I gave it a good cleaning with some lacquer thinner and compressed air. Then I coated the front main seal with some gasket sealer and hammered it into the cover with a block of wood, making sure that it seated all the way around.



I did the same thing with the little oil dipstick plug on the side of the timing cover.



Assembly began with the harmonic balancer. I coated the crankshaft snout with some 15W-40 oil, and the end of the balancer keyway with some gasket sealer. I wiped the timing cover surface of the block clean with lacquer thinner, then I coated the timing cover sealing surfaces with some gasket sealer, set the timing cover gasket in place, and set the timing cover + timing pointer in place with a few bolts started. With the timing cover sitting there, I slid the balancer onto the crankshaft and started the balancer bolt. On the back of the crankshaft, I threaded a few flywheel bolts in and stuck a pry bar between them to keep the crankshaft from turning. With the crankshaft locked in place, I torqued the ARP balancer bolt to 120 ft lbs. By doing this whole "torqueing balancer bolt before timing cover hardware," I essentially centered the timing cover and front main seal on the balancer. Not only will this prevent a front main leak, but it also gets the timing cover perfectly lined up with the part of the block where the oil pan bolts onto.





With the balancer installed and timing cover in place, I proceeded to installing the water pump. I began by coating the water pump sealing surfaces with gasket sealer and setting the water pump gasket in place. Then, I set the water pump on the timing cover with the really long water pump bolts that thread all the way into the block. With the water pump and all the hardware in place, I tightened all of the timing cover / water pump bolts as tight as I dared to (don’t want to crack any aluminum now).



I also took the time to smear some white lithium grease all over the timing marks on the balancer. They’re much easier to see now.



Next up was the oil pump. I wiped all the oil pump surfaces clean with lacquer thinner, and then I took a picture of another Ford Racing product that I’ve got a poor impression of. The oil pump pickup tube from them was crimped pretty badly in this spot. C’mon Ford Racing, is THIS what you mean by “quality OEM parts?”



Anyway, I covered both oil pump gaskets with gasket sealer, and coated all of the oil pump bolts with Loctite. I set the oil pump driveshaft into the block, then I bolted both the oil pump and oil pickup tube in place. I torqued the ARP oil pump bolts to 25 ft lbs. with Loctite and tightened the pickup tube nut down as tight as I could get it.





Last step was to install the oil pan. I started by wiping the oil pan surface of the block down with lacquer thinner, then I coated both oil pan sealing surfaces with gasket sealer. Then I laid down the 1-piece oil pan gasket, the oil pan, and the oil pan rails in that order. I had a little trouble keeping the back end of the gasket in place (where it sits on the rear main cap), but once it was in the right spot, I started some of the oil pan bolts to line everything up. Once the oil pan, rails, and gasket were positioned correctly, I snugged all of the ARP oil pan bolts down as tight as I could tighten them.





ALRIGHT!!! The bottom end of the engine is all finished up!



Next order on my list is the cylinder heads.

 

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Still slow.
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8,738 Posts
Looking good. I don't understand the big crimp on the pickup tube though. Would that not defeat the whole purpose of the rest of the tubes diameter?
 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #145
I don't understand the big crimp on the pickup tube though. Would that not defeat the whole purpose of the rest of the tubes diameter?
I do remember that the old pickup tube that I pulled out of the motor was crimped about as badly as this new one. I don't understand that big crimp either. Maybe there's some kind of fancy fluid dynamics magic behind that crimp, but I think Ford's just too cheap to bend the tube properly.
 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
Joined
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #146
My choice of cylinder heads was another one of those long research processes. Especially considering the fact that they’re the single most expensive part(s), not just for my Ford 302 engine build, but for the build of the ENTIRE 1994 Mustang that said 302 engine is going into. My problem was that I couldn’t decide between the Trick Flow 170cc and AFR 165cc heads. Each one of them have their own advantages and disadvantages, they each deliver about the same performance as one another, and there’s pretty much a 50 / 50 split between people that prefer Trick Flow over AFR / AFR over Trick Flow. ARRRGH!!!



Ultimately, I decided on a set of 170cc Trick Flow Twisted Wedge cylinder heads. Obviously, they’re aluminum head castings which weigh less and transfer heat / cool off much more quickly than cast iron heads. They’re fully assembled with 58 cc combustion chambers, 2.02” intake and 1.60” exhaust valves, and dual 0.600” lift valve springs.









The heads also came with a set of pushrod guide plates, ARP rocker arm studs, and some emissions plugs.



Along with the heads, I bought some new head dowel pins, new ARP head bolts, and some Cometic head gaskets.







What makes these Trick Flow heads so unique is their twisted wedge design. Basically, the angle of the valves in the heads is changed from stock. A traditional in-line valve Ford head (E7, GT40, Edelbrock, AFR) uses 20 degree valves all across the board, but the Trick Flow heads utilize 15 degree intake and 17 degree exhaust valves. Trick Flow did this by essentially rotating the combustion chamber around within the head casting, hence the Twisted Wedge name. Not only does this rotation put the spark plug at a better angle, but it also puts the intake valve in the middle of the combustion chamber. A centrally-located intake valve allowed Trick Flow to shorten the intake runner (by 3/8”) while increasing the intake valve size (2.02”) and intake port volume (170cc) at the same time. What this whole combustion chamber rotation and intake runner magic adds up to then, is a good mix of low-end torque on the street and around town, along with higher end power on the highway or at the race track.

As nice and pricey as these heads are though, I’m not just going to bolt them onto my engine as is. I’ve read a few horror stories about people taking aftermarket cylinder heads out of the box, bolting them right on to an engine, and running that engine… ALL TO FIND OUT that those nice aftermarket heads don’t seal right, aren’t making the power that they should, etc. Almost always, those issues are caused by machining errors when the heads were produced at the factory.

Now, not very many bad cylinder heads slip through quality control at the factory. But every once in a while, there’s a valve guide clearance that’s left too tight or too loose, a valve seat that’s not cut right, or even a head gasket surface that isn’t milled completely flat. In order to avoid this, some people buy the heads as bare castings and buy the valves and valve springs separately. Then, they have a machine shop cut the valve seats, hone the valve guides, mill the head gasket surfaces, and basically build the heads to better-than-factory specs. However, this whole process of gradually building the heads up with higher-quality parts is only practical for expensive race engines.

I don’t want to take any chances on the possibility that my Trick Flow heads might have any of those machining issues I mentioned earlier. So before I even think about bolting those heads on to my engine, I’m going to take them to Rich at his machine shop, Rich’s Custom Engines. There, he’ll vacuum-test the intake and exhaust ports to properly determine if the heads I have here are actually built correctly or not.

---------- Post added at 06:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:19 PM ----------

I should probably mention the head gaskets that I bought for my engine as well. They’re Cometic multi-layer steel (MLS) head gaskets. They’re used on pretty much every late-model vehicle on the road today, and they’re a major reason why you don’t see said newer vehicles blowing head gaskets like, ever. They’re a helluva lot tougher than head gaskets of the olden days.



The biggest reason why I bought these MLS head gaskets is because of another engine spec called quench. Quench is the small distance between the piston at TDC and the head gasket surface (the deck) of the cylinder head. Most performance-oriented engines run best at 0.035” to 0.045” of quench, since that’s where the combustion of the engine is the most efficient. Head gasket thickness is a HUGE factor in getting that quench spec just right. Deck clearance + Head gasket thickness = Quench.

After I calculated / found out my deck clearance of 0.011” about a month ago, I went onto Summit Racing shopping for head gaskets. My preference was set on some laminated Fel-Pro gaskets. They’re not too expensive, and they’re used on a lot of older engines like the one I’m building. The PROBLEM though, with those laminated Fel-Pro head gaskets, was that they were all too thick for my engine. They would all put the quench spec WAY too high, usually over 0.050”.

Thankfully though, Cometic makes plenty 0.030” MLS head gaskets, which would put my quench right where I want it to be. 0.011” deck clearance + 0.030” head gasket thickness = 0.041” quench! That’s perfect!

I also made sure to buy head gaskets with a 4.060” bore size, even though the bore size of my engine is about 4.030”. Notice how I said “about” in that last sentence. The reason being is because I know my engine’s bore size is actually a little over 4.030” for piston-to-wall clearance. If I were to order head gaskets with a 4.030” bore, then part of them would be sitting INSIDE the combustion chamber. By doing that, the head gaskets would just burn up and blow instantly. These MLS head gaskets are only 0.030” wider than the bore size of my engine, which is just wide enough to keep them out of the combustion chamber.

Now, even though these MLS head gaskets are nice (correct thickness, proper bore size, very strong, twice the cost of the Fel-Pro gaskets, etc.), they carry a fair risk along with their usage. You see, the block and heads need to be COMPLETELY flat and true to one another for the MLS gaskets to seal just right. There can be absolutely no imperfections on the decks of the block and heads, otherwise that MLS head gasket will leak somehow (coolant leaking, coolant mixing with oil, combustion gases getting into coolant, etc.).

For me, I don’t have to worry too much about the MLS head gaskets leaking on my engine. I KNOW that the decks of the block are both completely flat, because I couldn’t even slide a 0.001” feeler gauge underneath a straight edge on there. The same is true for the Trick Flow heads as well. These MLS head gaskets will seal just right on my engine, and again, they’ll put that quench spec right where I want it to be.

---------- Post added at 06:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:21 PM ----------

I also bought a set of 1.6 ratio Trick Flow roller rocker arms. They’re the stud mount type since the pedestal-style rocker arms aren’t compatible with the Twisted Wedge heads I’ve got.



These rocker arms are of a full roller design. By that, it means the fulcrum of the rocker rides on bearings, while the tip contacting the top of the valve stem rides on a little wheel. These little things reduce friction in the engine and free up horsepower compared to old stamped steel rocker arms.



The rockers also came with these little things called polylocks. The larger piece with the hex end is basically your rocker arm nut that threads onto the rocker stud. Once you get your rocker arm adjusted to where you want it at, you turn the little allen set screw inside the nut to lock the adjustment in place.



Since I’ve got pretty much all of the valve train parts with me, I’ll now be able to measure the length of the one valve train part(s) that I don’t have. And that missing part(s) would be pushrod length. Once I find out what length of pushrods I need, I’ll buy them along with the rest of the engine parts.
 

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the U of A
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1,308 Posts
niceeeeee. looking good!
 

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RAT FINK
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939 Posts
Man how are you even building that engine yourself! Geez! :p

When I was in college I built a 2.3L Turbo for my old Thunderbird. I had the block hot tanked and honed by a local shop, and had the head cleaned up (valve job, valve guides) by another shop, and did the rest of it myself. Checked clearances with plastigauge, ported the head, etc. That engine ran for a good 30K+ miles, with 17 psi of boost on a regular basis, until I finally sold the car. Like someone else said, that Sean guy was a bully and a dick, building engines isn't rocket surgery.
 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
Joined
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #149
Man how are you even building that engine yourself! Geez! :p
Uhhhhh... An old-ass engine builder machinist guy dying many years ago and me being reincarnated as him? IDK

EDIT: INTERNET

When I was in college I built a 2.3L Turbo for my old Thunderbird. I had the block hot tanked and honed by a local shop, and had the head cleaned up (valve job, valve guides) by another shop, and did the rest of it myself. Checked clearances with plastigauge, ported the head, etc. That engine ran for a good 30K+ miles, with 17 psi of boost on a regular basis, until I finally sold the car. Like someone else said, that Sean guy was a bully and a dick, building engines isn't rocket surgery.
Rich (the awesome, cool, super-smart machinist that worked on my engine) actually daily drives an 88 Turbo Coupe that's pretty bone-stock from the factory. He wants to do more stuff with it, but he's just so busy with his machine work that he never has the time.

In the 20-something years he's been building engines, Sean's probably dealt with quite a few people that don't know what kind of work goes into machining and building an engine. Since I'm pretty much just a younger-looking kid (20 years old actually), Sean must've EASILY assumed that I was another one of those uninformed persons. I don't blame the guy too much for being a dick though, there's probably a good reason for it that I don't know about.
 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #151
Looks great. Youll love those heads. I may have missed it but do you know your DCR and SCR yet?
Static compression is 9.4:1. With the TFS1 cam, dynamic compression is about 8.5:1, which is supposedly the max you'd want to run with aluminum heads if you want to stay in pump gas range.

---------- Post added at 08:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:51 PM ----------

Last night, I got around to measuring for the pushrod length that my engine needs. I used an adjustable Trick Flow pushrod. It goes from 6.100” all the way to 7.400” and has a lock nut to lock the adjustments in place.



I started by wiping the oils and all the crap off of the deck, then I hammered the head dowel pins into the block.



I took the head gaskets out of their wrapper and… OH GODDAMMIT!!! The pair of Cometic head gaskets I THOUGHT I bought turned out to just be one single Cometic head gasket! Oh well, another gasket is on my next order. I only need one for now.



I set the head gasket on the deck, followed by one of the Trick Flow heads. I threaded the head bolts into the block and snugged them down as hand-tight as I could get them.





Now to measure pushrod length. First step was to color the top of one of the valves with a Sharpie marker. Second step, I adjusted the pushrod to where I thought I wanted it, and dropped it onto the lifter. Third step, I set the pushrod guide plate in place, and snugged the rocker arm studs hand-tight. Fourth step, I set the rocker arm and polylock onto the rocker stud, tightened the polylock until I got zero lash on the pushrod, and added 0.020” preload (1/2 turn on the polylock).







Fifth step, I turned the engine over a few times, which caused the rocker arm to push down on the valve spring. This left a mark on the tip of the valve, which I got a good view of once I took the rocker arm off. I repeated all of the above steps until I got the valve tip mark to look like THIS. A thin stripe right down the middle.



Once I got the valve tip mark that I wanted, I took a 12” long caliper and measured the length of the adjustable pushrod. 6.332” is what it measured.



With that 6.332” measurement in mind, I went shopping for pushrods on Summit Racing. Now, nobody makes 6.332” pushrods, so I had to go for the closest length I could find, which was 6.350”.

So, my 302 engine with a stock-ish bottom end, stock deck height, un-milled 170cc Trick Flow heads, 0.030” head gaskets, and 1.6 Trick Flow roller rocker arms, will be using 6.350” pushrods. 6.350” pushrods are on my next order.
 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #153
Small order of engine parts came in today. These parts will let me put the long block together.

The second Cometic MLS head gasket that didn’t come with my previous order a few weeks ago. I didn’t read the fine print in the Summit Racing catalog that said these gaskets are sold individually. Don’t you hate when that happens? Anyway, same specs as the first gasket. 4.060” bore and 0.030” compressed thickness.



Comp Cams pushrods. They measure 6.350” which will give me the best rocker arms geometry possible. They’re heat-treated one-piece pushrods that are much stronger than what Ford used at the factory.



ARP head studs. Somebody on another forum convinced me to use these instead of the ARP head bolts I bought previously. Head bolts probably would’ve worked fine if I was still using the GT40P heads, but I’ve stepped my motor up to a whole new level by putting 170cc Trick Flow heads on it. Probably the biggest reason to upgrade to ARP head studs (other than being only $50 more than their head bolts) on a small block Ford is because there are only 10 head bolts clamping the head to the block. A small block Chevy uses 18 head bolts, which gives almost twice the fastening force as a small block Ford. Due to those 10 head bolts, small block Ford engines need all of the clamping power they can get. That makes head studs a necessary investment to keep the head gaskets sealed, especially in a performance-oriented engine like the one I’m building.

 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #154
Last weekend, I went to verify that the 6.350” pushrods I bought were in fact the correct length. I set those pushrods into the lifters, colored the valve tip with a Sharpie, and bolted the rocker arms into place. I turned the engine over, took the rocker arms off, annnnd…

W-Wait. DA FUQ?!?!?! AH SUNNUVA BITCH!!! THOSE 6.350” PUSHRODS ARE TOO SHORT!!!



The adjustable pushrod (left) is the proper length for my engine. As you can tell, the 6.350” pushrod (right) is too short.



Well damn. I think I didn’t have those calipers zeroed right when I measured the pushrod length before. I never bothered to check if the calipers were zeroed, and that mistake cost me another order of pushrods.

I measured the pushrod length again, using the same steps as I did before and making DAMN SURE that the calipers were zeroed. The REAL pushrod length turned out to be 6.650”.



I got said 6.650” pushrods in today, did the whole pushrod measuring sequence with the valve train, and 6.650” is right on the money. They made the rocker arms leave a thin stripe smack in the middle of the valve tip.



With these proper length pushrods in hand, I’ll be able to get the long block put together some time next week.
 

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Formerly whyxitx
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12,083 Posts
It's coming along really well man! Glad to see how much progress you have made. Explanation on what the parts do and what they are will make this a great starting point for someone wanting to build a SBF. :)
 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #156
Got the final batch of engine parts in today.

Summit Racing valve covers. They’re tall enough to clear the roller rockers that I’m using and they’ve got a nice crinkly black finish, which means they won’t get all smudgy like polished valve covers. Along with these valve covers, I bought some new valve cover bolts (1/4” X 1”), a set of rubber Fel-Pro valve cover gaskets, a new PCV valve, and a little Trick Flow oil fill cap.



Edelbrock Performer RPM Air-Gap intake manifold. The intake runners on this manifold are raised up off of the base a little bit, hence the “Air-Gap” name. Keeping those runners off of the base allows for a cooler intake charge, less heat-soak in the carburetor, and some extra upper RPM power due to said intake runners being lengthened.



The manifold itself came with a bunch of little fittings, plugs, bolts, and brackets, and I also bought some ARP intake manifold bolts and a set of Fel-Pro print-o-seal intake gaskets.



Ford Racing water neck. Along with it, I bought a 180 degree Motorcraft thermostat, some new water neck bolts (5/16” X 1-1/4” and 5/16” X 1”), and a Fel-Pro water neck gasket.



Stainless steel Ford Racing headers. They’re the short style of headers which offer lower-end torque in exchange for higher RPM power compared to full-length headers. They came with all the hardware and gaskets needed to install them.



Prothane motor mounts. Obviously, they’re going to offer a bit of a rougher ride compared to stock-style rubber mounts. But, they won’t feel as rough as solid mounts, and they’ll last a long time. Also bought the hardware to go along with them.



Copper Motorcraft spark plugs and 5.0Resto distributor clamp. Figured I might as well buy these now. I’m holding off on the distributor and plug wires until I drop the motor in the car.



Everything I need to finish the engine (picture’s blurry, WHOOPS).

 

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Why not have a Fox?
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5,797 Posts
Hey Brett! I'm finally back in Kansas and enjoying my little bit of time off before I go back to school monday (22nd).

It's great to see all the progress you've made, keep it up! I'm jealous too. My fox build has hit a wall and I'm currently having carb issues so it isn't even fun to drive anymore :( I'll figure it out eventually though. I've made some interior improvements but as far as drive train goes, I won't be doing anything for at least a year.
 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #158
Hey Brett! I'm finally back in Kansas and enjoying my little bit of time off before I go back to school monday (22nd).
DUDE. BANDIT (not sure if I should be saying your real name lol). GOOD TO HEAR FROM YA AGAIN!!! :wave :drink

I've had the past week and a half off from school and work, and I go back to school on Monday the 22nd as well. It'd be awesome if we could meet up again, but tomorrow (19th) is my last day off before I get back into the whole school and work routine. Plus, I've got a whole bunch of errands to run that day too.

It's great to see all the progress you've made, keep it up! I'm jealous too. My fox build has hit a wall and I'm currently having carb issues so it isn't even fun to drive anymore :( I'll figure it out eventually though. I've made some interior improvements but as far as drive train goes, I won't be doing anything for at least a year.
Concerning your Fox, it's not a horribly terrible thing that you don't have the time and money you want to spend on it. I mean, you're out living on your own while paying for school. Getting / Keeping bills paid is a HELLUVA LOT more important than a car project. Honestly, as long as you can just hold on to your Fox (don't sell it, possibly fix that carb, drive it every now and then to keep things fraysh), it'll be there for you when you do have the time and money to do what you want with it. You're not under any kind of deadline (as far as I know) to build it how you want.

I think I've explained it before, but the only reason I'm able to make a **** ton of progress on this Mustang project, WHILE IN SCHOOL, is because of my living situation with my family. They're pretty damn generous to be letting me continue to live with them while going to school, working weekends, buying Mustang car parts, etc. I'm taking a good guess that I don't even have half as many bills / payments as you do.

Sure, ya might be jealous of my progress on this whole car project of mine, but I'm probably equally as (if not, more) jealous of that FO MO CO INTERNSHIP YOU JUST FINISHED UP!!! YA GOTTA TELL ME ABOUT IT!!! (and whatever else you've been up to for the past year or so. PM, text, whatever works for you.):smile2:
 

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Why not have a Fox?
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5,797 Posts
DUDE. BANDIT (not sure if I should be saying your real name lol). GOOD TO HEAR FROM YA AGAIN!!! :wave :drink

I've had the past week and a half off from school and work, and I go back to school on Monday the 22nd as well. It'd be awesome if we could meet up again, but tomorrow (19th) is my last day off before I get back into the whole school and work routine. Plus, I've got a whole bunch of errands to run that day too.



Concerning your Fox, it's not a horribly terrible thing that you don't have the time and money you want to spend on it. I mean, you're out living on your own while paying for school. Getting / Keeping bills paid is a HELLUVA LOT more important than a car project. Honestly, as long as you can just hold on to your Fox (don't sell it, possibly fix that carb, drive it every now and then to keep things fraysh), it'll be there for you when you do have the time and money to do what you want with it. You're not under any kind of deadline (as far as I know) to build it how you want.

I think I've explained it before, but the only reason I'm able to make a **** ton of progress on this Mustang project, WHILE IN SCHOOL, is because of my living situation with my family. They're pretty damn generous to be letting me continue to live with them while going to school, working weekends, buying Mustang car parts, etc. I'm taking a good guess that I don't even have half as many bills / payments as you do.

Sure, ya might be jealous of my progress on this whole car project of mine, but I'm probably equally as (if not, more) jealous of that FO MO CO INTERNSHIP YOU JUST FINISHED UP!!! YA GOTTA TELL ME ABOUT IT!!! (and whatever else you've been up to for the past year or so. PM, text, whatever works for you.):smile2:
I'd like to get together some time as well, but like you I'm quite busy getting ready for school. I'm sure we'll have time during the upcoming year to do something.

As for the fox, I don't have a deadline. The only real deadline I set for myself was to get it on the strip at school before I finish school. I only have one year left to make it happen! Hopefully I can get the carb figured out. If that happens it'll be ready to hit the strip and lay down some super slow yet enjoyable passes. I've made some progress on the carb thanks to help from members here but it's not quite there yet.

And I'll definitely tell you about the internship but there's so much there to talk about it would be better discussed in person. I'll PM you for your number. I had to get a new phone a while back and apparently I didn't have all my contacts backed up so I lost some of them. Yours was in the mix.
 

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Who you callin' Pinhead?
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188 Posts
Discussion Starter #160 (Edited)
GAHDAMN!!! I spent all day working on the engine yesterday!

Even though I had the motor covered up for a long time, the shop it’s in is just so damn dirty and dusty that a few contaminants got on the pistons and in the bores. I wiped all of those contaminants out and put some more oil in the bores.



OW! DAMMIT! I don’t remember whether I was cleaning a bore or turning the motor over when this happened, but I cut my arm on one of the ARP studs on the timing cover. Holy **** that’s sharp.



Anyway, next step of prep work involved testing the cylinder heads for valve sealing. I never got around to vacuum-testing the heads at the machine shop, so I conducted a much simpler test. I sprayed a bunch of carb cleaner into the intake and exhaust ports until it pooled up on each of the valves. I waited for about half an hour to see if the valves would leak any fluid. Surprisingly though, each of the valves held the fluid back and didn’t leak a drop. Awesome! I drained the carb cleaner out of the ports and then wiped the head gasket surfaces down with lacquer thinner.







I wiped the head gasket surfaces of the block with lacquer thinner as well. Those surfaces need to be clean clean clean clean clean clean CLEAN. It’s a huge step in getting the head gaskets to seal right.



Assembly began with the ARP head studs. I covered the block threads with some thread sealer, and threaded them in until they bottomed out. The thread sealer is needed because those studs are going right into the water jackets of the block. Damn, they look good.



The head gaskets also needed quite a bit of a wipe down. I didn’t use lacquer thinner or any harsh chemicals since I didn’t want to take a chance on possibly destroying the sealer that’s on them. I REALLY took my time with this. I paid good money for these MLS head gaskets and I need to take every measure possible to make sure they don’t leak.



I sprayed both sides of the head gasket with some copper spray sealer and set it onto the deck of the block. The studs really helped with getting it lined up right.



I then set one of the heads onto the block, lining it up with the studs and setting it on the head dowels. I then coated the nuts with ARP thread lube, threaded them onto the studs, and torqued them in 3 steps to 80 ft lbs.



I repeated the same cylinder head install steps for the other side. Trick Flow heads installed!



Next step of assembly was the valve train. I started by setting the 6.650” pushrods into the lifters, setting the pushrod guide plates into place, and torqueing the ARP rocker arm studs to 55 ft lbs with thread sealer. I thought that rocker arm studs required Loctite, but the Trick Flow instructions specifically said to use thread sealer on them. OK. Fine by me.



Now to install the rocker arms. I started with the #5 cylinder and turned the engine over until that #5 cylinder was on the compression stroke (both lifters on the base circle of the camshaft).



I then set the rocker arm on the stud, threaded the poly lock onto the stud, and backed the set screw out a little bit. It was nice to see that those pushrod guide plates lined the rocker arms up with the valves pretty well.



Now to adjust the valves / lifter preload. I threaded the polylock down onto the rocker arm until I reached zero lash, basically until I couldn’t move the pushrod up or down any more. Then with a wrench, I turned the polylock another half turn to add 0.020” preload to the lifter. Then with the wrench and an Allen key socket, I tightened down the little set screw, holding the wrench in place and tightening until the ratchet bent a little bit.









I repeated those same rocker arm install steps for the other 7 cylinders and 15 rocker arms, until the whole valve train was installed. Alright!



Next major step was to prime the engine. By that, it simply means to pump oil throughout the engine. I started by pouring 4 quarts of 15W-40 Rotella oil right into the lifter valley. The 5th quart of oil was poured over the cylinder heads to pre-lube the rocker arms and valve stem seals.



To prime an engine with oil, obviously you need to have the oil pump installed, oil in the pan, and the whole valve train assembled. But you’ll also need 2 tools.

The first tool I used was a simple little oil pressure test gauge. With a ¼” NPT adapter fitting, it threads into the oil pressure port in the block.



The second tool is an oil pump primer, which is a lot like a drill bit. The smaller end connects to a power drill of some sort, while the larger end goes through the distributor hole and connects to the oil pump driveshaft. The silver collar just secures everything to keep the tool from flopping around.





I had the gauge in place and the drill ready to go. I turned the drill for 10 seconds or so and got nothing on the gauge. “****!” I thought. “Is that oil pump even working?” I took the primer tool out, looked down into the distributor hole, and realized, “Ohhhh. I must be turning the drill / oil pump the wrong way.” Since the camshaft turns clockwise, the distributor and oil pump (driven by the camshaft) must turn counter clockwise. I had the drill turning righty-tighty (clockwise), so I switched it to lefty-loosey (counter clockwise) and set the primer tool back into place. I turned the drill counter clockwise for about 2 seconds and then felt a HUGE jerk that slowed the drill down. Right as that happened, the oil pressure gauge shot up to 60 psi. HUZZAH!!! YES! THE ENGINE HOLDS OIL PRESSURE!



Installing the valve covers was pretty easy. I wiped the sealing surfaces and set the gaskets into place. I didn’t put down any gasket sealer because I think these valve covers might be coming back off some time in the future. I then set the valve covers into place and snugged the bolts down as snug as I could. Looking at them on the engine, those valve covers are pretty huge. But then again, I’ve got some big roller rockers underneath them.



Next assembly step was to install the intake manifold. But first, I had to trim the intake gaskets around the water port area.





I took some time to wipe the intake manifold surfaces clean. I then coated the water ports of the intake gaskets with gasket sealer, and put down a large bead of gasket sealer where the intake manifold meets the block. The intake ports of the gasket didn’t need any sealer since they’re the Print-O-Seal gaskets. I then set the intake manifold into place (making sure that the gaskets were still lined up), and snugged all of the intake bolts to about 20 ft lbs in a cross pattern. I also installed the thermostat and water neck, coating both sealing surfaces with gasket sealer and snugging the bolts as tight as I dared to tighten them. Intake manifold and thermostat installed!



Last major step of the engine build was to install the headers. I cleaned the sealing surfaces and gave the header gaskets the same copper spray treatment as the head gaskets. I set the headers into place with 2 bolts started, and HERE is where I started to have fitment issues.

Many of the header bolts, especially on the passenger’s side, were in a pretty tight spot. A few I could tighten with a socket and extension, but most of them I had to tighten with a wrench. There was ONE bolt though, that was a complete PITA to get to. On the first primary tube of the passenger’s side, there was a bolt there that I couldn’t get a socket or wrench on at all. I had to take a long drift chisel, wedge it in between the header tube and bolt head, and BFH said chisel to dent the tube in. THIS created the clearance I needed to get a wrench on that offending header bolt, and I was able to tighten all of them as tight as I could with the wrench. Looks like there’s a pretty good amount of spark plug wire clearance in there.





The driver’s side header wasn’t nearly as bad about the bolt clearance, and I was able to tighten it down without much trouble. The oil dipstick tube though, was a PITA in and of itself. Sure, the tube went right into the block and didn’t come in contact with anything, but the bracket that holds the tube onto the header wasn’t oriented just right. So I had to do a bunch of bending, mangling, and manhandling to make that dipstick tube bracket fit right. I put some gasket sealer on the dipstick tube where it goes into the block, and I tightened the bracket down with the header it attaches to.



Final part to install was the motor mounts, and I ran into fitment issues here yet again. Passenger’s side mount fit without any issues, but the driver’s side mount, when tightened down, would rub against one of the header tubes. Natural solution was to BFH the tube in the offending spot, but Goddamn those Ford Racing headers are tough. I hit the tube so many times, and it only made a little less than a ¼” dent or so. Driver’s side motor mount only slightly rubs against the header tube now.





---------- Post added at 01:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:04 PM ----------

ENGINE IS BUILT!!! HOLY GOD!!! IT LOOKS AWESOME!!!















Even though this engine’s ready to go into the Mustang, I’m gonna be waiting on installing it for a while. I’m wanting to drop the engine and transmission in as one big chunk, and as you all know, I don’t even have a transmission for the car yet. Coming this winter, I’ll be buying a T5 transmission and rebuilding it over winter break if time and money allows. Then next summer, I’ll get the engine and transmission bolted together and dropped into the Mustang.

For now though, I’ve got the engine bagged up again (will be priming it with oil every now and then). I won’t be doing anything with this Mustang car project for another 4-5 months or so.







 
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