Cylinder head advice - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Cylinder head advice

Hi all. I’m brand new here to the forum.
I have a 68 cougar , 302 4v with 4 speed manual trans. ALL NUMBERS MATCHING
The block is at the machine shop right now.
I have decided to go with comp cams xe268h cam. Edelbrock performer intake and 600cc carb combo.
My heads are not monetarily feasible to work versus a new set of better flowing heads.

My question is.....what brand of heads ?
I am guessing i need no larger than 160-170cc intake runners.

Any advice from seasoned builders is welcome.

Thanks
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 06:00 PM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

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Originally Posted by ‘68Cougar View Post
Hi all. I’m brand new here to the forum.
I have a 68 cougar , 302 4v with 4 speed manual trans. ALL NUMBERS MATCHING
The block is at the machine shop right now.
I have decided to go with comp cams xe268h cam. Edelbrock performer intake and 600cc carb combo.
My heads are not monetarily feasible to work versus a new set of better flowing heads.

My question is.....what brand of heads ?
I am guessing i need no larger than 160-170cc intake runners.

Any advice from seasoned builders is welcome.

Thanks
If you are looking in the area of 165cc intake runners your only option is like the ones I am going with which is the AFR Renegade 165 heads. The next step up is around 175cc then 185cc which I honestly think is way too big for a small 302 unless you are planning on turning some high rpm. But bigger you go you trade off velocity which will hurt the throttle response for the street. Big reason why I personally am going to pick up a pair of 58cc Renegade 165cc heads for my 302 build.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head advice

Thanks! I’ll look those up.
I had even been trying to research about the gt40 heads. But what is confusing to me is wether the head bolts are the same size as newer heads.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 10:02 PM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

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Originally Posted by ‘68Cougar View Post
Thanks! I’ll look those up.
I had even been trying to research about the gt40 heads. But what is confusing to me is wether the head bolts are the same size as newer heads.
The 302`s will all use the smaller head bolts and you will need a bushing with aftermarket heads as they are setup for the larger sized bolts that you see on the 351W.

Why I am going to be running ARP studs on my 302 as they come with the bushings in the stud kit not to mention they clamp better.

The cost of the AFR 165`s isn't bad either they are around $1,700 for a pair assembled. Only thing I will dread is taking it apart to check for clearances between valve and piston just to be safe. Should be fine though, the short block I am going with comes with a roller cam that has more lift than the cam I want to run so I shouldn't have a problem with valve contact.

But in your case I would be sure to check pushrod length as well as valve clearance just to be safe. From what I see these 165`s are supposed to be great heads for street 302`s and I found out if you call AFR up they will swap springs around so you can get assembled heads that already have the right springs on them or close to the right springs.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 11:31 PM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

Here is something that needs to be watched by anyone buying new heads irregardless of brand. The guy in the video happens to be working on AFRs because that's what he sells. He has other videos on the same subject.

Iowan
"Obsolete is neat"

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-06-2019, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head advice

I don’t see a video link
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 07:18 AM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

AFR 165 is about the most 'bolt on' head you're going to find. They aren't cheap, but the quality is definitely there. The 165 is an excellent sized head for stock, or near stock displacement.

You can also order the AFR heads directly from AFR. If you CALL them, they can set the heads up with the correct valve springs to match your selected camshaft.

Since you have a flat tappet camshaft, Edelbrock offers an extremely affordable head. It's not set up to work with hydraulic rollers, but with the XE268H cam, you don't need it to be. The included valve springs should work fine with your cam. You will need hardened pushrods with any head that uses guide plates. Most small block Ford heads have 1/2" head bolt holes to also allow them to be used on a 351W. For these, you will either need a stepped head bolt, which is commonly available, or head bolt bushings. The bushings are sold by Edelbrock, and the part number is listed in the link to the heads below. Not sure if the AFR 165 has the 302's 7/16" or 1/2" head bolt holes.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/e...view/make/ford

Either head will completely stomp the performance (or lack thereof) of the stock units!
Regardless of head, when measuring for proper rocker geometry is paramount. This is done by using the proper length pushrod. Most use an adjustable pushrod to figure out what length is needed.

Good Luck!
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Cylinder head advice

Thanks !
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 05:34 PM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

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Originally Posted by n2omike View Post
AFR 165 is about the most 'bolt on' head you're going to find. They aren't cheap, but the quality is definitely there. The 165 is an excellent sized head for stock, or near stock displacement.

You can also order the AFR heads directly from AFR. If you CALL them, they can set the heads up with the correct valve springs to match your selected camshaft.

Since you have a flat tappet camshaft, Edelbrock offers an extremely affordable head. It's not set up to work with hydraulic rollers, but with the XE268H cam, you don't need it to be. The included valve springs should work fine with your cam. You will need hardened pushrods with any head that uses guide plates. Most small block Ford heads have 1/2" head bolt holes to also allow them to be used on a 351W. For these, you will either need a stepped head bolt, which is commonly available, or head bolt bushings. The bushings are sold by Edelbrock, and the part number is listed in the link to the heads below. Not sure if the AFR 165 has the 302's 7/16" or 1/2" head bolt holes.

https://www.summitracing.com/parts/e...view/make/ford

Either head will completely stomp the performance (or lack thereof) of the stock units!
Regardless of head, when measuring for proper rocker geometry is paramount. This is done by using the proper length pushrod. Most use an adjustable pushrod to figure out what length is needed.

Good Luck!
Yep, I decided to go with the ARP stud kit part number 254-4405, for $153 it comes with the studs, hex head nuts, and the bushings to downsize from the 1/2" to the 7/16" studs for use on 302`s. AFR sells the bushings as well but they were over $100 by themselves when I looked last week.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:03 PM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

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Originally Posted by Rusty_S85 View Post
Yep, I decided to go with the ARP stud kit part number 254-4405, for $153 it comes with the studs, hex head nuts, and the bushings to downsize from the 1/2" to the 7/16" studs for use on 302`s. AFR sells the bushings as well but they were over $100 by themselves when I looked last week.
Here's the BEST deal going! ARP bolts WITH the bushings included for $91!
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/arp-154-3705

The studs mentioned are nice if you are running nitrous or boost. For a naturally aspirated car that does not have full race compression ratios, these ARP units with the bushings are a big upgrade over stock, and are plenty more than enough.

Good Luck!

Last edited by n2omike; 04-07-2019 at 08:23 PM.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 10:15 AM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

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Originally Posted by n2omike View Post
Here's the BEST deal going! ARP bolts WITH the bushings included for $91!
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/arp-154-3705

The studs mentioned are nice if you are running nitrous or boost. For a naturally aspirated car that does not have full race compression ratios, these ARP units with the bushings are a big upgrade over stock, and are plenty more than enough.

Good Luck!
Good price there. I know you need studs for nitrous or boost or if you are running excessive compression. I only thought of running them as it will help line everything up. I personally have decided to run studs for the intake manifold to keep from screwing up the threads in the heads themselves.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 11:40 AM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

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Originally Posted by Rusty_S85 View Post
Good price there. I know you need studs for nitrous or boost or if you are running excessive compression. I only thought of running them as it will help line everything up. I personally have decided to run studs for the intake manifold to keep from screwing up the threads in the heads themselves.
As for intake studs... It's often really hard to get the intake manifold down in place with studs. What you'll likely end up doing, is drilling out the bolt holes in the intake larger in order to make it easier to set down in place. Many variables come into place... sloppy machining from the factory, heads milled, block milled, block deck height varies from one to another, and different years can be different, etc.

I've had best luck with installing only the front two and rear two intake studs. This guides the intake down into position so it sets down on the gaskets nice and squarely... but without being bound up by all the other studs. And, yes... The bolt holes in my intake manifold have also been 'massaged'.

As for torquing the intake into place, you'll want to go over it many, many times. Torque is 20 ft-lbs. You'll start in the center and work your way towards the ends. But, once you get to the ends, the center ones will be loose from tightening all the other bolts. You'll want to go over all of the bolts until they ALL hold their torque values. This is especially important with softer 'performance' style gaskets. The harder stock type gaskets hold torque a lot better. Just have to make sure the ports are large enough.

As for cylinder heads, they are held in alignment by the circular head dowels on each lower corner. The bolts do nothing in regards to keeping the heads aligned. One thing to look out for with head studs... In most cars, the only way the heads can be installed or removed IN the vehicle, is by removing the studs. (not enough room to slide over them) Most GOOD studs such as ARP have a recessed hex head that allows them to be removed with a simple hex wrench. When installing, do NOT torque them into place. Just make sure the threads in the block are clean so they will screw all the way down, and just install them finger tight. (the hex threads are NOT there to tighten them into place)

Good Luck
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 05:49 PM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

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As for intake studs... It's often really hard to get the intake manifold down in place with studs. What you'll likely end up doing, is drilling out the bolt holes in the intake larger in order to make it easier to set down in place. Many variables come into place... sloppy machining from the factory, heads milled, block milled, block deck height varies from one to another, and different years can be different, etc.

I've had best luck with installing only the front two and rear two intake studs. This guides the intake down into position so it sets down on the gaskets nice and squarely... but without being bound up by all the other studs. And, yes... The bolt holes in my intake manifold have also been 'massaged'.

As for torquing the intake into place, you'll want to go over it many, many times. Torque is 20 ft-lbs. You'll start in the center and work your way towards the ends. But, once you get to the ends, the center ones will be loose from tightening all the other bolts. You'll want to go over all of the bolts until they ALL hold their torque values. This is especially important with softer 'performance' style gaskets. The harder stock type gaskets hold torque a lot better. Just have to make sure the ports are large enough.

As for cylinder heads, they are held in alignment by the circular head dowels on each lower corner. The bolts do nothing in regards to keeping the heads aligned. One thing to look out for with head studs... In most cars, the only way the heads can be installed or removed IN the vehicle, is by removing the studs. (not enough room to slide over them) Most GOOD studs such as ARP have a recessed hex head that allows them to be removed with a simple hex wrench. When installing, do NOT torque them into place. Just make sure the threads in the block are clean so they will screw all the way down, and just install them finger tight. (the hex threads are NOT there to tighten them into place)

Good Luck
See that's what I personally am on the fence about. I don't want to mess up the aluminum threads in the high dollar heads and people seem to recommend studs as a way to eliminate that because you wont be trying to thread it together.

For the removal with studs in place in my old truck I should have enough room to lift the heads off without removing the studs. But now I am not sure if I need to spend the extra money on studs for everything. Running bolts would give a more OEM look when I spray everything with Eastwood 2K dark ford blue.

I looked up the bolts for the heads in a 6 point style and just cant grasp why a 12 point head bolt set with bushings is $91 but a 6 point head bolt set with bushings is $111. Makes no sense to me figure they would be the same price.

Last edited by Rusty_S85; 04-08-2019 at 09:11 PM.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 06:17 AM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

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See that's what I personally am on the fence about. I don't want to mess up the aluminum threads in the high dollar heads and people seem to recommend studs as a way to eliminate that because you wont be trying to thread it together.

For the removal with studs in place in my old truck I should have enough room to lift the heads off without removing the studs. But now I am not sure if I need to spend the extra money on studs for everything. Running bolts would give a more OEM look when I spray everything with Eastwood 2K dark ford blue.

I looked up the bolts for the heads in a 6 point style and just cant grasp why a 12 point head bolt set with bushings is $91 but a 6 point head bolt set with bushings is $111. Makes no sense to me figure they would be the same price.
As for bolts in the intake... 20 ft-lbs won't pull the threads. Some heads have steel inserts for the threads. I've never had a problem with intake threads. You may do just fine with studs in all the holes. You may just have to open up the bolt holes on the intake manifold a little bit to fit down over all of them at the same time a bit easier. A washer is used with the nuts, anyway... so it's not a big deal.

As for head studs, you can definitely use them, regardless of the amount of space you have. As long as yours have the hex built into the stud... once the nut is removed, you simply remove the stud just like a bolt. If you already have the studs, it would be an unnecessary expense to buy a set of $91 bolts.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 10:16 AM
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Re: Cylinder head advice

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As for bolts in the intake... 20 ft-lbs won't pull the threads. Some heads have steel inserts for the threads. I've never had a problem with intake threads. You may do just fine with studs in all the holes. You may just have to open up the bolt holes on the intake manifold a little bit to fit down over all of them at the same time a bit easier. A washer is used with the nuts, anyway... so it's not a big deal.

As for head studs, you can definitely use them, regardless of the amount of space you have. As long as yours have the hex built into the stud... once the nut is removed, you simply remove the stud just like a bolt. If you already have the studs, it would be an unnecessary expense to buy a set of $91 bolts.
Me I dont have any of the hardware yet outside of carb studs. I was getting a long block till they added nearly $1,000 to the price tag and I cant justify $3,500 for a stock long block when I can get a 306 shortblock from blueprint for under $2,500.
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