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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is what I am being told when trying to upgrade my heads for my 86 GT:


"Heads with 2.020 valves or larger will not fit a piston without valve notches having proper reliefs?"


Does this limits my heads selection since I am a newbe and do not understand valve notches and proper reliefs and just wanted a direct bolt on head?
 

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The valve notches are eyebrow shaped cuts in the top of a piston to give clearance for the valves opening and closing without hitting the piston. In the factory 86 motors they did not have a notch in the pistons therefore you have to be careful on the choices of parts you use.
Here is a small read on piston to valve clearance.
FORDMUSCLE webmagazine: Fundamentals - Checking Piston to Valve Clearance

What we are going to need to know is what you are planning? Just a head change? The bigger question I have is are you changing the cam too? All of this is going to play a role in the clearance. The only heads I would suggest is the GT40 heads but you still need to answer the questions to better help us understand what you are working with. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The valve notches are eyebrow shaped cuts in the top of a piston to give clearance for the valves opening and closing without hitting the piston. In the factory 86 motors they did not have a notch in the pistons therefore you have to be careful on the choices of parts you use.
Here is a small read on piston to valve clearance.
FORDMUSCLE webmagazine: Fundamentals - Checking Piston to Valve Clearance

What we are going to need to know is what you are planning? Just a head change? The bigger question I have is are you changing the cam too? All of this is going to play a role in the clearance. The only heads I would suggest is the GT40 heads but you still need to answer the questions to better help us understand what you are working with. ;)
Thanks for you reply. I do plan on an intake change and a cam (if needed for a better low end performance goal.)

Hope that helps. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have... I was hoping to get the AFR 165 Heads, but not sue about the clearance issue...

Jeff
86 GT Bone Stock
 

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Your best bet is going to be to notch the pistons if you are going to use an aftermarket cam. The AFR heads are a great head and I have nothing bad to say about them. I prefer Trick Flows but that's just me. Is there a reason you don't want to do a full rebuild so you can get exactly what your looking for out of your motor? I do understand a budget but it may be worth the extra to do the correct short block with new pistons that will take a good sized cam.


Here is a thread about doing the notching. It is not easy but can be done at home. There is an older tool that you can use to do this too as my friend got one from our local performance shop.
http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/engine-articles/484906-another-technique-piston-notching.html

One more thing the articles I have linked are from this site so just do some browsing on the tech part as there is tons of info on these small block Fords. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your best bet is going to be to notch the pistons if you are going to use an aftermarket cam. The AFR heads are a great head and I have nothing bad to say about them. I prefer Trick Flows but that's just me. Is there a reason you don't want to do a full rebuild so you can get exactly what your looking for out of your motor? I do understand a budget but it may be worth the extra to do the correct short block with new pistons that will take a good sized cam.


Here is a thread about doing the notching. It is not easy but can be done at home. There is an older tool that you can use to do this too as my friend got one from our local performance shop.
http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/engine-articles/484906-another-technique-piston-notching.html

One more thing the articles I have linked are from this site so just do some browsing on the tech part as there is tons of info on these small block Fords. ;)
I agree with your reasoning, timing is not the best since I have not worked in several years and I am looking for a fast street car and know the heads are an important upgrade. With that being said, I do not see my finicial situation changing any time soon. I am going to check out the trick flows. I also think their intake looks very cool :)

Thanks again,

Jeff
86 GT
 

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I hear what you are saying Jeff as I have been on disability for just over a year now for my back and it sucks. I do have a suggestion though. Keep an eye on craigslist for a motor that is already built and has a video, build sheet, or you can hear it run. I usually take videos of all my motors if they are running before selling that way you know what you are buying. Otherwise I have the pan off for inspection of parts before selling. I do see some great deals from time to time on there. Where are you located? Oh by the way Welcome to the Club! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I hear what you are saying Jeff as I have been on disability for just over a year now for my back and it sucks. I do have a suggestion though. Keep an eye on craigslist for a motor that is already built and has a video, build sheet, or you can hear it run. I usually take videos of all my motors if they are running before selling that way you know what you are buying. Otherwise I have the pan off for inspection of parts before selling. I do see some great deals from time to time on there. Where are you located? Oh by the way Welcome to the Club! :D
Thanks for the welcome and suggestion. I live near Fort Bragg, NC. Need to post that on my profile :)

I hope you feel better!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I really appreciate your comments. Anyone know where I can get a good set of ported E7 Heads? I am disabled so my wrenching days are long gone, but If I could pick them up from somebody, I can bring them to my mechanic for install and maybe a good intake... I will be converting to MAF, I have a 8.8 3.55 rear being installed. I am sure I can improve the exhuast from the headers back and other bolt on stuff?

Thanks again! <!-- / message -->
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a set of well ported E7s but am undecided about selling them.

Thanks for your reply. I am not sure if I am going the Trick Flow Heads route, but of course I would be interested. If you want PM your location and what you decide...

Thanks,

Jeff
86 GT
 

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Was not the 86 engine the one with true flat top pistons with no valve relief? IF so, then you have your work cut out for a head and cam swap
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Was not the 86 engine the one with true flat top pistons with no valve relief? IF so, then you have your work cut out for a head and cam swap
I have been told a stock 87 and up E7 will work with the stock cam as well as Trick Flows by some guys who have done it. Agree there are limitations I will need to stick by...

I am also just looking for a daily driver with some weekend fun, so I plan to get a MAF conversion, CAI, Headers, better exhaust, bigger TB and a good tune. Probablly missed a few, so any other suggestion on bolts on are appreciated...

Thanks for your reply!
 
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