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Ford FE Cylinder Head Replacement Question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by haroldd1963, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. haroldd1963
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,154

    haroldd1963
    Member
    from Peru, IL

    I am about to change the heads and intake on my 1968 Galaxie w/ 390 V8 (FE) engine. I have been into Fords for most of my life, but never tore into an FE engine before.

    My father suggested that we do not torque the heads down all the way untill we have installed the intake manifold and torqued it to specifications. His reasoning is that this will stop us from having a problem with oil leaking from the valve cover mating surface that is split between the heads and the intake.

    Thoughts on this would be appreciated.
     
  2. 58custom
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 398

    58custom
    Member

    I don't do this. What I do is once the heads are installed I place the intake on and very carefully line it up. You will not be able to perfectly line up all four interface points, so you just try to even out the variations. Then torque and then trim any intake gasket material that sticks up above the VC cover rail. I do use silicone on the intake and head mating surfaces. Make sure you have coverage along the entire surface on both sides of the gasket at the ends so you don't get seepage.

    I usually use silicone instead of end gaskets on all of my Ford engines, but I understand how dificult it can be if you are working with a cast iron intake when the engine is in the car so sometimes I also use the end gaskets but it is better to install them on the block with silicone a day before the intake goes on.
     
  3. shoprat
    Joined: Dec 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,109

    shoprat
    Member Emeritus
    from Orange, CA

    The way the intakes fit, I wouldn't torque it down with loose heads. Get some help.
    I'm old so I lower the intake with a lift of something. I'm always by myself so it
    helps. If you use just silicon on the ends of the block, be sure to make it thick
    so you don't have a oil leak. A stock engine the intake to head surface should
    be pretty level....still use some silicone there. Be careful with the oil pump drive
    rod. They like to fall in the pan.
     
  4. We just put a performer RPM on a 390 GT. stock intake 78 lbs, aftermarket intake 24lbs. No joke.

    Tighten the heads down, install intake.
    Don't use the front/rear gaskets that they include with the kit, get some RIGHT STUFF gasket sealer and put a nice fat bead of that stuff on the front and rear of the intake surface. You will be VERY happy later. Make sure to put a good dab on the corners.
     

  5. I second the motion on that one. After I pulled the intake on my old 390 for the first time, I knew then and there that aluminum would be replacing iron.

    Don't get me wrong -- I love iron, but in this case it was either lower back disks or iron that would be going away. It was a safety issue.
     
  6. Now would be the perfect time to change to an aluminum intake.Waay better to install.Not only is the cast iron heavy,but on a big car you are leaning way over at the same time.Pulled back muscles are easy to do.The engine is designed to torque the heads down before you install the intake.That is the way the book says to do it.Also as a side note,before you torque down the intake,put the distributor in to check alignment.Sometimes on an FE,the distributor fit is a little off,not common,but I have heard that it happens.
     
  7. mikhett
    Joined: Jan 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,413

    mikhett
    Member
    from jackson nj

    What Cliffy Said!On my 62 390 i torqued the heads then lowered the ci intake 78 lbs then used RIGHT STUFF sealer.4 years now no leaks.
     
  8. haroldd1963
    Joined: Oct 15, 2007
    Posts: 1,154

    haroldd1963
    Member
    from Peru, IL

    Thanks for the advice guys! I am switching out the factory 2 bbl intake and carb for a Edelbrock Performer and Edelbrock 600 cfm carb.
     
  9. Ralph Moore
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 651

    Ralph Moore
    Member

    I just finished a 352 last weekend, Aluminum is definitely the only way to go. I ended up with a considerable gap on the valve cover surface(Intake must have been surfaced at one time), My solution was to make a "half" gasket to raise the lower portion (Intake) to the same height as the head. You can buy gasket material in all thicknesses, so it was easy to get the right size. Then put the valve cover gasket in the cover and install as normal. I've done plenty of 390's in the past, but never had one this far off. Hopefully yours will not be that bad.
     
  10. stay away from the performer intake, they suck. there was a shoot out on the internet somewhere about FE intakes. the stock 4bbl intake flowed better then the performer, the best intake to get is the edelbrock streetmaster (early 70's intake) the second best is the edelbrock RPM.
     

  11. Follow Cliffy's directions. He has it right!! :)
     
  12. Ralph Moore
    Joined: May 1, 2007
    Posts: 651

    Ralph Moore
    Member

    Speaking of early intakes, the guy I bought my body from had an aluminum intake for the FE engine that allowed you to use any 351 Intake instead of the original. It was sort of an adapter. I had never seen one before, nor did I know they exsisted. Maybe there are some HAMBer's out there that have one of these.
     

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