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Discussion Starter #1
Short story to long questions. Bought the car had it for a few years went turbo two years ago popped a head gasket lost my garage and it sat in a barn for two years. Before I stored it i took the heads off it and that was a bad choice because it left me with alot of missing parts and such.

Fast forward to today.

I found a 306 locally with,

89 HO engine
E303 cam
these heads ---> Ford
Speed Pro forged pistons -2.5 dish
Rods were R&R'd with ARP bolts
1.7 Crane Rockers

I checked a couple mains and rods for clearance and they looked good. Checked PTV clearance and that was good also. I was told that the heads were decked to 63cc and all the machine work looks recent. I know the setup ran in a carbed car before because I had to change out the front cover.

I got it all together with that ford racing gasket kit and it ran like a champ even with my tune being a little off because its for my stock engine setup.

I got into boost one time , kept my eye on the wideband and it stayed ~11.0 to 1, and I popped a head gasket. I used ARP bolts, torqued them down correctly and everything. Only made it up to 10 psi. Wastegate has a 13 lb spring in it.

SO, with all that in mind I ask all of you. What would you do?

My head options are as follows

1995 Cobra GT40's, untouched, un-inspected, stock everything

The power head D80E's un-inspected

I have searched and read just about everything on head gaskets. and come the conclusion that its between the Fel-Pro MLS 1011 or Fel-Pro 9333pt2.

I am at my wits end this time. I got 10 miles out of the engine this time. hoping that I can get the rest of the summer next time.


Thanks!
 

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Personally i would put ARP head studs in it. I did the same thing with some Felpro 9333PT head gaskets n arp head bolts. On first hit getting tuned. Has GT-40P's which have a thin deck surface already.

Im staying at the 9-10 lbs level anyway to be safe. Just took mine down the road yesterday for a drive. It now has same heads with Studs,cometics with the permatex spay on them no leaks or issues at all.

One thing that you do need to make sure that the deck surface on block is good.
 

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1011 is not a felpro MLS. The Felpro MLS is 1133. I run the 1133 MLS gaskets on all my motors. I started off with 1011-2's and poped them within 5miles. I had my heads decked and went with studs over my arp bolts(bolts were not tight apon disassembly)and used MLS gaskets and never had another problem. I know my tune was off when I blew them but not by much.
 

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Run the 9333 HG's.

What are you using to tune? If your A/F was 11:1 you most likely have to much timing in the tune. Pay to get it tuned or you will be posting about blown HG's often.
 

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Run the 9333 HG's.

What are you using to tune? If your A/F was 11:1 you most likely have to much timing in the tune. Pay to get it tuned or you will be posting about blown HG's often.
I was under the impression that myself and seems like most other people tune for mid to low 11"s. Do you feel thats too lean ?
 

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Low 11's are usually fine for most applications. I tyically tune got 11.2 at that boost level.

The bigger question is what timing are you running? You probably have to much timing causing detonation.
 

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Whats the timing at, if its a stock tune with 10deg base you have way to much timing... if your paying a tuner maybe you need to find another one.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The car is tuned at 10* base timing. I know that the guy that tuned it works with a lot of boost driven cars. He tunes all the stangs that come into a local for dealership that want work done by the dealership. He even tuned my uncles gt500 after his mods were done to it.

I thought about the timing being an issue before. I cannot say for sure but I would have to guess that the tuner built a timing retard in for the boost. Either way I am planning on putting the MAP sensor that I can use with my Hyfire 6 and running the boost retard to be on the safe side. It might not be necessary but if it helps the engine last then I am all for it.

The only things that I changed from it being tuned with the stock engine, same turbo, same fuel setup is the cam and heads.
 

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you are dealing with heads that have no deck to them, so running head studs and good gaskets prob wont help to much.. try and pick up a head with some deck thickness and it will be much easier on the gaskets.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Being that the gt40's have the thin deck, I would assume that the d80e's are in the same boat. With that being the case, I am more then willing to sell both sets of heads to offset the cost of new heads.

Which leads me to this then. What heads are the cats meow for me to run 450 rwhp with the minimal amount of boost to keep it alive longer? I also someday hope to end up putting a stroker in the car so what gives me a little bit of growing room?

There is a guy who has the systemax kit minus the cam for sale locally at 1800 bucks. Should I jump on that?
 

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most all of the aftermarket Alum heads will do fine, TFS,Vic Jr,AFR, Performers,Dart's and you will have room to grow..

Just putting this out there, I wouldnt waste the money on a stroker kit going into a stock block.. you will make more than enough Turbod power to split the stock short block.. Just put a good head on it so you dont have to grit your teeth everytime you make a wide open blast in fear the gasket will push out...
 

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I ran 17psi with my old strim setup on GT40p heads and never had a problem with headgaskets. I had fel-pro 1133's and both the heads and block were decked. I was also useing studs torqued the tops at 98 and bottom at 93. Let it sit over night and went back through them all one at a time. Never had another headgasket problem after that. Car was running a mail order kurgan tune at 12* base timing on meth.
 

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If you are blowing hg's after only 10 miles of use than you have a tune issue.

I would pass on that systemax setup. There are better heads out there espically for that price.
 

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we have an 89gt with a 98 exploder motor, b cam, and an on3 70mm kit, we run 12-13psi most times, have seen 17 and didnt blow a head gasket until we tried a 2 step and the car went lean. It's not all in the heads, gaskets, or bolts. It's the tune tune tune tune tune.

We've got ours dead nuts reliable with a BTM timing retard box, an FMU, adjustable FPR and a wide band. Car has great street manners and holds 13psi with ease. That was on stock head gaskets and bolts.

Since it did finally let go we're putting it back to gether with 10111s and arp head bolts with plans to run 15-17psi at the track, cruise on 12.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So I have a couple options then.

I can go and get the GT40's or D80E's checked out, make sure they are straight and everything and go with the 1033 and studs then go and get it tuned again.

Or, sell both sets of heads and buy a set of aluminum heads and then run those with 1033's or 9333's and studs and then get it tuned again.

I know that I can make more then enough power to split the stock block with the current turbo setup with either aluminum or cast heads. The question I have is which one is going to allow me to make the car more reliable?
 

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A quality aluminum head is a better choice.
 

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Cost question....

Can you re-coup the money for aluminum heads by selling the other two? Then it probably makes logical sense if you are taking the car apart anyway to make the change. Make sure you have decent valve springs in the process.

If you are cost sensitive, then although not ideal, you should be "better" with head studs and an MLS gasket keeping your iron heads.

Regarding the tune, if it is stock electronics there is no way to retard for boost unless there is something in there with a MAP sensor (e.g. MSD BTM, PMS etc.). With pump gas 10 degrees initial with iron heads, lacking the ability to retard under boost sounds like the red flag here.

Your A/F is fine. With low amounts of boost like what you are running you could be closer to 12.0 without a problem. Where you are is safe and conservative. 11.2-11.4 is safe on cars making 30 psi.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
First off, thanks for all the input from everyone.

My current plan is as follows,

1. I am going to pick up a set of Twisted Wedge 170's locally. I'm getting the heads complete with the 1.6 rockers and hardened rods and they have been ported for 1500 bucks. Which I consider to be a steal of a deal.

2. ARP studs

3. Fel-Pro 1033 MLS gasket

4. Mallory MAP sensor running with my Hyfire 6. Which leads me to another question, what to set the timing retard to? X degrees retard for X psi of boost?

5. Run less boost. I figure with the vast improvement with the twisted wedge heads reaching my goal of 450 rwhp is attainable with less boost. I am going to try and stick around 8-10 psi.

6. Get it tuned again.

7. Wishful thinking... enjoy driving it again
 

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look like a good setup to start with.. i didnt mean the iron heads wouldnt ever work, just saying it will be much better with a good deck head..

1 question, what is the car going to be tuned with??

mine was done with a Diablo chip and the tune had a timing map built into it, and i just ran a plain ole 6AL box..The base timming was set to 10 psi and the spout was installed and Pete had it pulling back to 22 degrees.. The car ran much better down low than just locking it out at 10 degrees.
 
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