PI Swap Write-Up, 1996 Mustang GT
This write-up documents my PI swap on my 96 Mustang GT. A full PI swap, as was done here, involves exchanging the heads and intake from a PI motor (99-04 GT) and installing them on a non-PI motor (96-98 GT). I did not buy a kit, because I was able to find components more cheaply if I bought them separately. Feel free to shop around and weigh your options. There are complete kits out there that will send you everything (or most of what) you need.
Before I get into this, let me thank Randy Stinchcomb and Quick4.6 for their guides. They were invaluable in helping me figure out how to do all this, and theirs would be excellent guides to read, as well. You can find Randy’s by googling “Best pi swap write-up” (in quotes), and you can find Quick4.6’s by googling “Everything you wanted to know about the PI 4.6L headswap” (again, in quotes). I’m giving these phrases instead of URLs in case they are moved. I am leaning heavily on Randy’s guide for part numbers and some torque specs, so I hope he’ll forgive my mooching.
My background in cars is very shallow, but I learned a ton throughout the project, and I’m very happy with the results. The goal of this guide is to help newbies like me get through the swap. If any of you pros out there notice something glaringly wrong or omitted, let me know so I can update the guide accordingly. Like I said, this guide pulls heavily from previous guides, and my goal is to create as comprehensive a collection as possible.
A 99+ Mustang is rated at 260 HP. By swapping these components onto your car, you are building the equivalent of a 99+ motor except for your compression. To keep this short, just know that your compression ratio will rise about a point, which buys you around 3%-5% increased HP. This should result in somewhere around 275 crank hp assuming no other mods. Your engine will also benefit from the freshening up you’re giving it. Also, note that the higher compression may require higher octane gas in certain conditions.
Windsor vs Romeo
Before going further, let me explain the difference. Your non-PI motor comes with Romeo heads. There is no block difference, and there is no performance difference between Windsor and Romeo heads. Windsors came from on 99 and 00 Mustangs, and they went back to Romeo heads in 01. I personally ended up with Windsors because that’s what I found. Below, I’ll be listing the parts you’ll need to do the swap. If you decide to go with Windsor heads, you will need additional parts. This is because the heads have a different number of valve cover bolt locations and the holes in the ends are different sizes. This means that you’ll need Windsor-specific valve covers, valve cover gaskets, and valve cover hardware, and you’ll need Windsor-specific timing cover hardware and bracket hardware. Listed below is what you’ll need.
Parts Needed for Windsor Head Swaps:
Assembled Windsor Heads - 2L3Z-6049-BA(RH) and 2L3Z-6049-DA (LH)
Cam/Valve Covers - 2L3Z-6582-BA and 2L3Z-6582-DA
Cam/Valve Cover Gaskets - 2L3Z-6584-AA (LH) and 2L3Z-6584-BA (RH)
Cam/Valve Cover Bolts (27 req’d) - New/used windsor valve cover bolts/grommets.
Heater Hose Bracket Bolt – M10x1.5, about an inch long
Exhaust Gas Sensor Bracket Bolt – M10x1.5, about an inch long
Timing Cover Bolt (M10x1.5, Qty:2) - N808142-S437
Timing Cover Stud (M10x1.5/M8x1.0?, Qty:1) - N808140-S309*
Timing Cover Stud (M10x1.5/M10x1.5, Qty: 5) - N808529-S309*
*An 18mm deep-well socket makes installation of these much easier
**I was able to buy this hardware at the needed qty, but the packs come in 4s and some places might not break them up for you
M10x1.5 Hex Nut (Qty:4)– Need for timing cover studs
Romeo Head Part Number (Assembled):
1W7Z-6049-AA (RH) and 1W7Z-6049-AA (LH)
Parts Needed for ALL swaps (Romeo and Windsor):
FRRP Head Change Kit (Includes head gaskets, exhaust manifold gaskets, head bolts, assembly spacers, and dipstick) - FMS-M-6067-D46
Intake Manifold from an 01+ (since it has the aluminum crossover) – 1W7Z-9424-AB
Intake Manifold Gasket Set - YL3Z-9439-BA (OEM, you’ll need two) or MS-92121 (Felpro, includes both sides)
Coolant Tube (aka Heater Tube) - XR3Z-18B402-AA
Coolant Nipple (aka Heater Tube Nipple) - F75Z-8555-AA
Parts that you will probably want to replace at the same time:
Thermostat O-Ring - F1VY-8255-A
Water Pump O-Ring F1VY-8507-A
Stock or 180* Thermostat 3L3Z-8575-AC (192*) or XL3Z-8575-AA (180*)
Spark Plugs SP-505 (8 plugs): Motorcraft AGSF-22C's gapped at .048 to .050 for normal street use or AWSFA-12C's for street/strip
**The 12C's are 2 steps colder than stock and if you are going to run it hard it might be a better option.
Injector O-rings and pintle caps
Parts that you might want to replace at the same time:
Timing Cover/Front Cover Gaskets - F1AZ-6020-A, F6AZ-6020-BB, and F1AZ-6020-C
Crankshaft Seal - F5AZ-6700-A
Crankshaft Bolt - F5RZ-6A340-B aka: F1AZ-6A340-A or ARP-156-2501
Valve Cover Gaskets (Romeo) - F6AZ-6584-AA (RH) and F6AZ-6584-BA (LH)
**If going Windsor, you already have to replace these
Header Down-Pipe Gasket - XR3Z-9450-AA
Spark Plug Wires - F8PZ-12259-HA
Rubber (Hoses and Belt)
Parts that are unrelated to the swap but now is a convenient time to change them:
Aftermarket Exhaust Components
Timing Components (Chains, Guides, Tensioners, and Tensioner Arms)
You can buy the correct alternator bracket or attempt to modify your old one. I simply modified mine by lining up the bracket on its alternator lug, and then drilling a new hole so I could put in one of the two bolts that holds that bracket to the intake. I had to leave the other one out. If you’d like to just replace it, then:
If you’re keeping your old alternator and buying a new (99+ bracket), get: F8AZ-10153-EA (assuming aluminum crossover)
If you’re getting a 99+ alternator in addition to your 99+ bracket, get: 1R3Z-10153-AA (assuming aluminum crossover)
Reattach your dipstick BEFORE installing the exhaust. This will save you time working around the exhaust. After installation, I could not get my dipstick mounting bracket to line up with a valve cover bolt like it should. I’m not sure if this was because I went to Windsor heads or because it just wasn’t in there quite right. Either way, you can buy a fancy flexible Lokar dipstick (LOK-ED-5014) for around $50-$80 to make the whole thing easier if you’d like. I had to just zip-tie the regular dipstick to something solid and call it good enough. Since you get a dipstick with your head swap kit, you might as well try that first.
Listed Below is what I bought, where I bought it, and how much I paid (if I remember):
Assembled Windsor Heads with Valve Covers and VC Hardware – Craigslist (Used) - $150
Cam/Valve Cover Gaskets – TousleyFordParts - $15.39 each, $30.78 total
2 M10x1.5 bolts and 4 M10x1.5 Nuts – Lowes - $2?
Timing Cover Bolt (M10x1.5, Qty:2) –TousleyFordParts - $2.07 each, $4.14
Timing Cover Stud (M10x1.5/M8x1.0?, Qty:1) – TousleyFordParts - $3.69
Timing Cover Stud (M10x1.5/M10x1.5, Qty: 5) – TousleyFordParts - $4.13 each, $20.65 total
FRRP Head Change Kit – TousleyFordParts - $86.90
Intake Manifold – TousleyFordParts - $236.49
Intake Manifold Gasket Set – Autozone (Felpro) - $31.99
Heater Tube – TousleyFordParts - $27.19
Heater Tube Nipple – Tousley Ford Parts - $6.59
I also bought:
Oil Pump – TousleyFordParts - $49.42
180-deg Thermostat – TousleyFordParts - $8.55
Thermostat O-Ring - TousleyFordParts - $4.74
Water Pump O-Ring – Autozone - $2.99
Spark Plug Wires - TousleyFordParts - $45.40
Spark Plugs - TousleyFordParts - $1.61 each, $12.88 total
Used Off-Road H-Pipe: $40
Metric Ratchet Set with deep wells, regular and wobble extensions, and swivel (aka universal joint) adapters
1/2” Breaker Bar
Torque Wrench (in-lbs and ft-lbs)
Ratcheting Wrenches (optional, but #10 will save you time)
22mm wrench for O2 sensors
Vice or C-Clamp (3”+)
Jack and Stands
Oil Filter and Oil (5-6qts)
Coolant (3+ gallons of 50/50)
Tub to catch fluids
Shop Rags (~10 million)
Paperclips (1 or 2)
RTV (I used ultrablack)
Ziploc bags and sharpie
Whiteout marker or Bright Paint Pen
String and Scissors
Label all your nuts and bolts. You don’t want to get on a roll and disassemble several major parts, only to realize that the hardware is all jumbled up. You won’t save yourself any time by failing to label your hardware.
Save yourself some confusion and start a bag called “extra hardware”. Especially for Windsor people, you’re going to end up with extra pieces. Put them together so they don’t worry you later.
Don’t lean on your fenders. They easily buckle in and damage.
Before You Start
On the aluminum cross-over intakes, there is a circular flat spot next to the thermostat housing. This needs to be drilled and tapped for your second water temp sensor. Tap it 3/8-18 NPSF or NPT. If you are unable to do this yourself, have a local shop do it for you. If you have the plastic cross-over, I’ve read that the bung between the radiator hose and thermostat housing can be tapped, but I cannot verify personally.
Loosen the Draincock on your radiator and drain your coolant.
Remove your battery and set it off to the side. You don’t want a wrench falling onto the leads and freaking you out at 1am. Besides, that place it sits is great for holding stuff.
Take a lot of pictures before you start… preferably digital so you can zoom in later and take a good look. Later, you’re going to want to route everything the way it was when you started, so you’re going to want a reference. Pay particular attention to all the wiring routing and vacuum tubing. Also, take a few pictures of how things mount to the front cover and even how to route your belt if you’re worried about it.
I highly recommend completely removing your H-Pipe. It made it much easier (or possible at all) to pull and reinstall the heads since you won’t be fighting to align the studs while you’re trying to maneuver the heads. To do this, first jack your car up and support it with jack stands on all four corners. Remove your front O2 sensors and unplug or remove the rear sensors. Make sure all the wires are safe from getting snagged while you lower the piece. Hit all 8 nuts/studs with penetrating oil and give them a chance to loosen up, since you really don’t want to damage these. Free your pipe from the middle hanger so that it is suspended by the exhaust manifold and cat-back. I completely removed my rear exhaust, but in retrospect, I’m not sure this was necessary. I think you can just disconnect your rear exhaust from your H-pipe and let that end hang. I recommend tying the H-pipe to the axle so that it doesn’t fall on you once it’s free from the manifolds, but don’t expect it to move at all until it’s free from them. Once the back is loose except for the backup string, take the H-pipe loose from your exhaust manifolds. You may need to tap on the three ball and socket joints with a hammer to break them loose. Once everything is free, lower the H-pipe to the ground. Leave your car jacked up. You’ll appreciate it the first time you drop a socket and it rolls under your car. And make sure the gasket that was between the passenger manifold and H-pipe is set aside for reuse.
This is how I disassembled the motor down to the short block. There are surely many ways to do it, but I tried to be careful to only remove what was necessary and to do so in a way that saved time and avoided potentially damaging gaskets/seals. You are welcome to deviate as you see fit. The goal is simply to take everything off until the heads are off the car.
Start by disconnecting all electrical connectors going to your intake components (filter to plenum). Remove the thin brittle vacuum tubing off the plenum, fuel pressure regulator and EGR valve. There is also a sensor that bolts to the throttle cable bracket that needs to be taken loose. Carefully set this tubing the side. I snapped one of these tubes right in half, so be careful. They’re touchy. Take a crescent wrench and loosen the big nut that holds the large metal feed tube to the back of the EGR. The tube isn’t going to pull clear, so just get the nut out of the way. Pull the throttle and cruise control (if equipped) cables off the throttle body, free the bracket that holds these cables to the plenum, and swing the bracket and cables out of the way. Disconnect the tube that goes from the driver’s side valve cover to the inlet tube and the one between the passenger valve cover and plenum. Also pull the evap tube from the back of the plenum. Unbolt the air filter housing from the wall and remove the 5 bolts that hold down the plenum. Slowly lift the assembly, removing the air filter, inlet, tb, plenum, and EGR all in one piece, watching out for anything you forgot to disconnect or that I forgot to mention. Once it’s all free, take that whole assembly and set it off to the side.
The next goal is removal of the intake manifold. Start by removing the cap that covers the fuel rail pressure relief valve (front driver’s corner of the fuel rail assembly) and depress the needle to remove any lingering pressure in the system. Have a rag handy in case. Next, remove the four corner fuel rail bolts and disconnect the wires that go to the injectors. Once they’re off, you can gently lift the fuel rail and pull the injectors out, again with a rag handy. They just sit in there and should pull easily free from the rail or intake (whichever they happen to stick to). Also, I fished the little red seals out of the ends of the injector wires so they wouldn’t get lost. Once all the injectors are out, the fuel rail will be loose on there, but you won’t be able to really move it anywhere because the wiring harness is still in the way. The next task, then, is unplugging the wiring harness connectors on the passenger side. There’s one big connector that bolts near the passenger wall, and there’s a bundle that wraps over the fuel rail and passenger valve cover and dips down under the head. This goes to the crank shaft position sensor and the ac compressor. Disconnect the harness from all this, and work your way back towards the driver’s side, disconnecting the harness from everything you find as you go. When you’re done, the harness should be free up to the front driver’s corner, and you can just drape the entire harness over your driver’s side headlight. Be careful to secure this out of the way, as you don’t want to step on a plug (like I did) and break it (which I luckily didn’t).
There’s no need to disconnect your fuel lines. Move the heater hoses out of the way if necessary, and just pick up your whole fuel rail and swing it over to near where your air box used to be. Do not attempt to remove either of the grey plastic tubes that run between the two metal rails. If you’d prefer, the whole rail can be taken loose from the car with the proper line disconnect tools. If you decide to keep it in the car (like I did), wrap the metal rails with rags and tape the rags in place. If the sharp metal edges manage to touch the fender, it can damage your paint. Also, be sure that the heater hose going into the back passenger corner of the intake manifold has been removed.
Now would probably be a good time to remove your coil packs. The wire guides that slip over valve cover studs can be pulled off with a little convincing, and you’ll need to unsnap the guides that ride on the alternator bracket and slip the wires out. You can leave the clips that are just holding wires and aren’t tied down. Once the wires and boots have been otherwise loosened, you can remove the wires and the packs. The driver’s side coil pack should be unbolted from the bracket it sits on. The passenger’s side coil pack can be left on its bracket, and you can just pull the whole bracket off the timing cover.
If that big plastic dress-up piece that covers the radiator and coolant reservoir areas is still on your car, remove it. Remove the hose and any remaining wires going to your coolant reservoir. Remove the three nuts that hold the reservoir in place and remove it. Mine dripped.
Remove the radiator end of the big upper radiator hose. On the intake end, don’t pull it off the bung. Just remove the two bolts that hold the bung to the thermostat housing and pull the hose off with that bung in one piece.
Before going further, do yourself a favor and loosen the four bolts that hold the water pump pulley to the water pump (sitting just below the alternator). If you don’t, you’ll find yourself trying to hold the water pump in place with one hand and wrenching on the bolts with the other. Don’t take the bolts out. Just break them loose so they’re easily removed later. Put your 1/2” driver breaker bar into the belt tensioner socket and rotate it clockwise, releasing the tension on the belt and allowing you to slip the belt off of the alternator pulley. Once it is loose, disconnect the electrical lines going to the alternator, remove the two bolts at the bottom of the alternator and remove the bolt that holds the alternator to its bracket. Pull the alternator off. Then remove the alternator bracket. I’m sure the alternator can be removed with the bracket still on it, but you’ll have to get the bracket off the alternator at some point to either modify it or replace it, so you might as well do it while everything is nice and secure. You can also remove your accessory belt now by deflecting the tensioner again, slipping it off the compressor, and sliding it through that gap, or you can wait and remove the belt when you remove the tensioner.
If you have not done so, remove the hoses going to your valve covers.
Go ahead and remove the water temperature sensors for your intake and set them off to the side. You can reuse them on your new intake, and it’s easier to remove and install them while the intake is on the car.
At this point, look over the intake and make sure nothing else is obstructing it. If it’s all clear, remove the intake bolts and remove the intake. Also remove the old intake gaskets and discard.
Take some time and find a way to protect the intake ports you just exposed. You don’t want to drop anything in there. You can stuff some rags in there.
Now would be a good time to remove your valve covers. Some of the bolts are hard to get to, so get out your swivels, wobbles, and various length extensions. The passenger one should be really easy to get free, because the bolts are easier to get to and there’s nothing in the way over there. Go ahead and take that one off. One of the valve cover studs on the driver’s side should also be retaining your dipstick. Find it and remove that nut so the dipstick can be pulled out of the way. Remove all the driver’s side valve cover bolts and remove that valve cover, as well. If you find that the driver’s side cover is getting hung on the cables that are going over it, just unbolt their brackets from the firewall. That should give you enough slack to slip them out of the way. Both valve covers should now be off. Feel free to take this opportunity to remove the old dipstick. It just presses into the block, so once the valve covers are off, there’s nothing hold it in place except friction. Granted, a ridiculous amount of friction that is likely to require manly grunting, channel locks, and utter devastation of the old dipstick, but friction nonetheless. You can try to get under the car and convince it free from the block on that end, but it probably won’t work. Just grab, twist, and pull. Hard.
Remove the metal tube that runs in the valley beneath the intake. On the back end, the tube needs to be freed from the heater hose and it needs to be unbolted from the back of the head. It has two irritating bolts on the back, but you can get them off. On the front end, the tube goes to a rubber tube. This rubber tube can be removed with the metal tube, so just pull it free from the nipple. Once they’re free, pull them out.
You could go after the water pump at this point, but I recommend waiting. After the pump, you’ll want to swap out the nipple, and I’ll later recommend using an old head bolt to keep the nipple from deforming, so you’ll need to have at least already removed your old valve covers.
There’s a big ugly cast bracket on the driver’s side of the timing cover that needs to come off. First free the steering pump reservoir from the bracket (but not from its lines) and free the smaller low bracket that holds its lines from the larger bracket. Swing the reservoir out of the way. I tied it towards the headlight so it wouldn’t get in my way later. If you didn’t already, remove the camshaft position sensor connector that hides between the coil pack and the reservoir. Once the big bracket is empty, unbolt it from the timing cover and remove it. Also remove the bracket on the passenger side that is supporting the canister.
Get under the car and free the steering pump. This thing can be a little irritating. There are three bolts that you can easily get to, but there’s another one that hides just behind the pulley and under a bracket that supports one of the lines. Remove the three easy bolts first. Then, get a 10mm ratcheting wrench with a skinny neck and stick it through the pulley to get on the head of the last bolt. This bolt is captive. As you loosen it, the pump will follow it down. One it’s completely loose of the block, the bolt will stay in the pump and you can swing the pump and pulley out of the way.
I removed the tensioner, but I’m not sure it’s actually necessary. I think you can just leave it on the cover. You definitely don’t need to touch the ac compressor. It’s not in the way at all. The idler pulley does need to be removed because there’s a bolt behind it that you’ll need to get to. Note the idler’s orientation.
Next is the harmonic balancer (aka crankshaft pulley). Put the car in drive or 5th and remove the crankshaft bolt and the washer under the bolt. Using your puller, remove the balancer.
Look over the timing cover and make sure nothing else is obstructing it. There are two wiring brackets at the very bottom of the cover that are held onto cover studs with nuts, and these need to be loosed and pulled out of the way. Again, if you forgot to remove something or I forgot to mention something, get it out of the way. Leaving the water pump installed should not block the timing cover.
Remove the 15 timing cover bolts/studs from the front of the cover. I’d make a diagram of what comes from where for yourself, as the online diagrams I’ve seen do not agree with my engine. Once these are all free, get under the car and remove the 4 bolts that hold the timing cover to the oil pan. Rotate the top of the cover away from the engine and lift it free from the car. Cover the big gaping hole you’ve just exposed at the oil pan, as you really don’t want to drop a screw in there (I did) and have it roll out of reach (luckily I didn’t).
Put the car back in neutral and turn your motor over by hand until the keyway on the crankshaft is pointing straight left (towards the passenger side of the car). This ensures that all of your pistons are below TDC.
Next you need to remove the timing stuff. The easiest way to get this all out of the way is to start by unbolting the tensioners and slipping them off (they have oil in them, by the way). Once these are off, it should be easy to slide the tensioner arms off. The guides can then be unbolted and removed. There is now enough slack in the chains to just slip them off. You can go ahead and remove the large sprocket (aka crank position sprocket or crank sensor ring) that sits in front of the smaller chain pulleys on the crank. There’s no reason to remove the smaller sprockets unless you’re changing the oil pump, but either way, note that the sprockets sit with their hubs facing each other. If you put them on so that they are bowled away from each other or in the same direction, your chains will make a terrific racket and you’ll be tearing this all apart again.
Time to remove the heads. Again, some of the bolts are a pain to get to, so gather up the necessary swivels, wobbles, and extensions. Start on the passenger side because it’s easier. Get a tub on the floor under the head, or you’re going to have a terrific mess all over your garage floor. Trust me. Once all the bolts are loose enough to turn by hand, remove all the bolts that you can except for one near the center in the top row and the two bolts on the bottom that you can’t slip out. Crack open your head change kit, and borrow two of the black spacers in there. Slip them on those two bolts that won’t come out so that they don’t try to fall back into the head. I had to trim my spacers a little bit, so if you go to remove the head and find that the heads of those bolts keep bumping stuff, you can trim about half an inch off each spacer. If that still isn’t enough, you can trim a little more, but try to keep them as long as possible. Hand loosen that top middle bolt that you left until it’s free, but realize that my heads shifted when I took this one out, so be holding the head in place. When you are ready, pull the head directly away from the block (not straight up). The head gasket is likely to stick a little and you’ll the water gush out of your head as it peels loose. When the head is about 1/2” away from the block, you’ll be clear of the alignment dowels and you’ll be able to pull them up and even a little towards the middle as required to get them off. Remember that the exhaust manifold is still attached, so you’ll need to watch it as you pull it all off.
Repeat the procedure on the driver’s side. The only difference is that there’s more stuff in the way, so there will be 4 bolts that you can’t get out and it’ll be a little tougher to maneuver the head out. It’ll also bit a little more awkward because the EGR tub is still attached. I actually took this head off by myself, though, so it’s not too terrible. I do recommend getting help with both heads if possible, though, as they’re heavy and awkward and it’s hard to get a good angle on them without leaning on a fender. There is a sensor that bolts to the bracket on the back of this head. You can leave that bracket on that head (I couldn’t get mine off), but I recommend getting that sensor loose and leaving it in the car. You should definitely get the old dipstick out before trying to remove this head if you’ve been putting it off. Again, cover up exposed holes.
Time to move everything over to your new heads. My heads were used, so I’m hesitant to try to list what needs to be added to new heads. So that falls on you to research. Do pay particular attention to the plugs in your old heads and make sure that they exist in your new heads. If they don’t, move them over. The head change kit comes with new exhaust manifold gaskets, so go ahead and pull those out. Be sure to copy the orientation of the manifolds when you move them onto your new heads. Manifolds are to be tightened starting towards the manifold outlet and working back towards the front of the car. They should be lubricated and torqued to around 18ft-lbs. If using Windsor heads, you may hit a snag when you go to move the bracket from your old driver’s side head to your new one. If the new bolt you picked up (one of those M10x1.5 bolts) won’t fit through the bracket, get your drill out and open up that hole a little bit. This can easily be done by hand.
Once everything is moved over and the new heads are ready for installation, you need to take some time and clean up the mating surface on both the heads and the block. Scrape the surfaces as clean as possible, being careful not to get gunk into the engine. There may also be some leftover RTV that needs to be cleaned out. Get out your new head gaskets and get them on the head. They kinda pop over the alignment dowels, and you can’t get them screwed up if you’re paying attention. Just make sure the block holes line up with the gasket holes and that the gasket comes to the front of the block. You also need to pre-install those bolts that are blocked with the heads on the motor, so put those in with their spacers and slip them into the correct holes on the head. Again that should be the second and third rear-most bottom bolts on the passenger side and the four rear-most bottom bolts on the driver’s side. Again, I trimmed about 1/2" off each spacer so that the bottom of the bolt was exactly flush with the bottom of the head. According to Ford, 5W30 motor oil should be used as a lubricant on these bolts, so you’ll need to pre-lube the bolts you’re pre-installing.
Each head is on the block, you should install the head bolts according to the Ford spec. The torque order is shown below, as if you’re standing at the fender next to the head you’re installing (since that’s probably where you’ll be standing):
Driver’s Side Head:
------------------- 7 – 3 – 1 – 5 – 9
<---FRONT OF CAR 10 – 6 – 2 – 4 – 8
Passenger Side’s Head:
7 – 3 – 1 – 5 – 9 FRONT OF CAR--->
10 – 6 – 2 – 4 – 8
Ford’s Torque Spec:
Apply Super Premium SAE 5W30 Motor Oil
Tighten Head Bolts in sequence to 28-31 lb-ft
Rotate Head Bolts in sequence 85-95 deg
Loosen head bolts a minimum of one full turn (360 deg)
Retighten Head Bolts in sequence to 28-31 lb-ft
Rotate Head Bolts in sequence 85-95 deg
Rotate Head Bolts in sequence an additional 85-95 deg
These bolts are torque to yield. For most of my bolts, I could actually feel them yielding. It was a bit unnerving, but that’s how they say to do it.
Now’s a good time to tackle the dipstick. If you’re using the standard rigid one, there’s really no easy way to do it. It’s going to be painful and awkward. Here’s how I did it. I first tied a string to the new dipstick just before the bottom flange. I then took the loose end and wrapped it around the very tip of the dipstick a few times and fed the string end between the tube and the piece of string between the tie and the loops. This way, when I pulled on the string, it basically pulled on the very tip of the dipstick. I then fed the loose end of string down between the second and third exhaust runners and dropped it down below the car. I then fed the string down and around so it came out through the wheel. When I pulled on the string, then, it kinda drew the tip to the correct gap between the exhaust manifold and head. But only kinda. I pushed and pulled and twisted and repeated for about 10 minutes until it somewhat felt like it was heading the right direction between the runners but I couldn’t actually get it to drop down. At this point, the upper end of the dipstick arced towards the front of the car. I then capitulated and called my wife out. She waited up by the tip while I climbed under the car. By removing a bracket that was in my way, I could just see the tip of the dipstick stuck against the head. I reached up there with a screw driver and was able to pull the tip just below the lip it was hitting and we slipped it a little further down. Multiple times it would just catch a lip and I’d have to direct it beneath bumps while my wife either pushed or hit with a rubber mallet from above. After MUCH convincing, we were able to feed it down into the hole. As stated previously, the dipstick bracket did not line up with any valve cover bolts like it did before the swap, so I just zip-tied it to a brake line.
Now’s a fine time to hop back under the car and reinstall your H-pipe. It’s a pain. I lined up the passenger side to the exhaust manifold first (with gasket) and just started the nuts. I then swung the other end up and started the nuts on the driver’s side. Then start the nuts between the H-pipe and the rear exhaust and torque everything down. Be aware that you can get the rear exhaust a little twisted during this, so be sure you straighten it back up before you torque it in place. Once the pipe is back in place, reinstall your O2 sensors and hook them back up. I’d still leave the car up on stands. You’re still gonna be dropping stuff. Also, take a second and loosen your oil drain plug just a little. If you see oil, close it. If you see water dripping, let the water drip until you’re back into oil. The oil floats on any coolant that accidentally makes its way into the oil pan during head removal.
Next is reinstallation of the timing components. Start by getting your white out or paint pen and marking opposite links on both chains. I used a Sharpie for this, but I could hardly see the marks, and it’d be much better to use something visible. Opposite links can be found by just marking one link, holding it up in the air with that link horizontal and marking the link that also falls horizontal at the other end. On the crank shaft sprocket, you’ll see the timing mark. It’s an indented valley that should be pointing straight down as long as the keyway is still pointing left. Of the two crank sprockets, you can only see the front one, but their timing marks line up. Also take a look at the cam sprockets. You’ll see an indented mark on both sprockets. This is the cam timing mark. You’ll also see a bump on the driver’s side sprocket, but this is not used for timing.
The tensioners need to be reset for reassembly. Using a vice or C-Clamp, compress the plunger back into the tensioner housing. There is small hole on the front of the tensioner that a paperclip-sized pin can slip into. Once the tensioner is sufficiently compressed, a pin can be stuck into this hole and it will keep the tensioner from springing back out. Do this for both tensioners.
Now for actually installing the timing. It’s honestly quite easy. Some heads have places in the end of the camshaft to put a 1/2” driver. Others will require you putting vice grips on the camshaft just behind the sprocket. Either way, rotate the cam sprocket on the driver’s side so that the timing mark is a little clockwise of vertical up. Drape one end of the chain over the rear crank sprocket such that one marked link lines up with the crank timing mark. Then, rotate the driver’s side camshaft while your slide the other end of the chain over its sprocket such that the other marked end aligns with the camshaft’s timing mark. That is, once it’s on correctly, one marked link will line up with the crank timing mark and the other marked link will line up with the cam timing mark. Make sure this is true of your install. Go ahead and reinstall the tensioner arm (make sure it’s oriented correctly) and chain guide on this side and then reinstall the tensioner, but do not remove the tensioner pin yet. Confirm again that the marked links are still lined up with timing marks. Once you are certain that the marked links are centered on the two timing marks (and you remembered to install the chain on the rear crank sprocket instead of the front one), feel free to pull the tensioner pin. This removes the chance for the chain to get enough slack to accidentally jump a tooth.
Repeat the same basic procedure on the passenger side. This time, rotate the passenger camshaft such that its timing mark is a bit counterclockwise of vertical up. Drape the chain over the front crank sprocket such that it’s marked link lines up with the timing mark (and, consequently, with the other chain’s marked link), and rotate the passenger camshaft while slipping the other end of the chain over it such that the marked link aligns with the cam timing mark. Again, confirm that one marked link lines up with the crank shaft timing mark and the other marked link lines up with the camshaft. Reinstall tensioner arm and guide (you’ll only need one of your two guide bolts on this side… toss the extra in your spare parts bag), and put the tensioner back on. Reconfirm that the marks are still lining up and pull the passenger tensioner pin.
I don’t mean to be overly anal about this, but you really don’t want to screw up this step and have to start all over or even do damage to your motor. So to beat a dead horse, here’s your final timing checklist:
Passenger camshaft timing mark lines up with marked link
Driver camshaft timing mark lines up with marked link
Crank sprockets are installed so they are bowed in towards eachother
Both timing chains have marked links that line up with crank timing mark
Guides and Tensioner Arms installed
Tensioners installed and their pins have been removed
You can put your crank position sensor sprocket back on the crankshaft now. I’m pretty sure that thing has a front and back, so check to see if it says on there. Sorry… it’s a bit fuzzy now. Put your car back in neutral and turn your motor over by hand several complete crank revolutions. This will ensure that, if you did mess something up, that you aren’t going to tear up your short block by having a valve hit a piston when trying to start it for the first time.
Now you can prepare to reinstall the timing cover. Clean up the mating surfaces, and if you’re planning on reusing the timing cover gaskets, inspect them closely to make sure they are not cracked. Put a bit of oil on the crank shaft seal in your timing cover. RTV fills in the gap where three pieces of metal meet. Thus, some will need to be put in the crack between the oil pan and block where the timing cover is about to sit (2 places) and at the crack between the block and the heads where the timing cover is expected to seal (4 places). Clean these spots well, put a dab at each, and work it in a little bit so any lingering oil film doesn’t keep it from applying. Let it sit for a few minutes (I think my tube said 10 minutes), and put the timing cover back in place. It goes on most easily by slipping it over the crank, tilting it out a little and setting the bottom in place on the oil pan, and then rotating the top up into place. Once on, you can reinstall your timing cover hardware.
Start by bolting the timing cover down to the oil pan. The rest of the timing cover hardware can feel a little random, so pay close attention to what’s going where. Hand tighten bolts into the following locations:
For you Romeo people, just put the hardware back where you got it from. In case you didn’t write it down, it goes like this:
Along the top gasket from passenger side to driver’s side: Large-tip Stud, Bolt (5x), Large-tip Stud
Along the passenger side from top to bottom: Large-tip Stud, Small-tip Stud, Bolt, Small-tip Stud
Along the driver’s side from top to bottom: Large-tip Stud (2x), Bolt, Small-tip Stud
For Windsor people, it’s a bit more complicated since you’re swapping in some new hardware
Along the top gasket from passenger side to driver’s side: New Large-tip Stud, New Bolt, Old Bolt (3x), New Bolt, New Large-tip Stud
Along the passenger side from top to bottom: New Large-tip Stud, New Small-tip Stud, Old Bolt, Old Small-tip Stud
Along ther passenger side from top to bottom: New Large-Tip Stud (2x), Old Bolt, Old Small-tip Stud
Then these all need to be torqued to 19 lb-ft. I always have trouble seeing pics in forums, so I’m trying avoid relying on them. Hopefully this is clear enough. The bolts/studs are to be torqued in the following sequence (#1 is first, of course):
Along the top gasket from passenger side to driver’s side: 13, 9, 4, 3, 5, 10, 14
Along the passenger side from top to bottom: 12, 8, 1, 7
Along the passenger side from top to bottom: 6, 2, 11, 15
Grab those wires that run just under your oil pan and put their brackets back up on those bottom studs you just reinstalled and put their retaining nuts back on.
Now’s probably as good a time as any to deal with the water pump. Remove the pulley from the water pump. Unbolt the water pump and try to wiggle it free. If it’s being obstinate like mine was, it might take a little convincing. There are some tabs on the pump’s ribs that you can get a screw driver or pry bar behind. Get something behind one of these and gently pry it away from the block. At the same time, gently tap the bottom of the water pump with a rubber mallet. It should walk right out.
Now for the water pump nipple. These are inserted through the water pump cavity and poked through into the valley. Generally, I’ve heard that you just tap the old one a little bit on the valley end and it should pop right out towards the front of the car. Mine was a huge mess. I’m not sure why, but I had to work mine so hard that it actually tore in half instead of breaking loose. Here’s what I recommend: first slide one of your used head bolts through the nipple so that the head is on the valley side and the threads poke towards the front of the car. Try tapping on the bolt head a few times and see if the nipple will pop loose. If not, try hitting with oil or a little heat and you can also ramp up the force a little if needed. With enough force, something will give. If yours does like mine did and tears in half, remove what breaks loose and go after what’s left over with a hammer and drift.
Once the old nipple is out, put a little RTV on the mating surface of the new nipple (the part that mates to the block, not to the new hose), and slide the new nipple into its bore through the water pump cavity so that it pokes through into the valley. You can tap the gently tap on the flanged end as needed to make it seat fully. Inspect the water pump O-ring and replace as desired/necessary. Reinstall the water pump with 15-22flb-ft on the bolts. Also slip the water pump pulley back over the pump and hand tighten bolts. You can now also install the new heater hose. The new hose just uses one retaining bolt and if you’re using Windsor, you’ll need to use one of those new M10x1.5 bolts you picked up. Either way, the hose slips over the new nipple and then bolts to the bottom inside corner of the driver’s side head. Now is probably also the best time to go ahead and hook the heater return hose back up (the hose that goes from your heater core firewall bung to the metal hose you just installed).
Valve covers are next to be reinstalled. Whether going with new or used valve cover gaskets, confirm that the gaskets are clean and correctly seated into the cover grooves before you place back on head. I’m not sure how the Romeos are, but my Windsor gaskets basically popped into place under captive spool-shaped spacers. You need some RTV here as well. My valve cover gaskets came with places to put the RTV, but either way, RTV needs to be used where the timing cover and head meets and the valve cover is supposed to cross. Again, apply, work in, and let stand before installation. Install the valve covers (bolts to 71-106 lb-in, 6-9 lb-ft), starting with the middle bolts and working your way out. If you loosed those cables from the firewall, you can screw them back into place now. If your dipstick bracket reaches a valve cover stud, reattach that as well.
You can now reinstall your front cover accessories. Pretty much, just put back on what you took off. The belt can’t go back on yet because you can’t get the alternator back on yet. Reinstallation should include (kinda from left to right) the canister bracket, the tensioner (if removed), idler, balancer (see below), cast bracket, steering pump line bracket, steering pump reservoir, and steering pump. For the balancer, clean up the bore of the balancer as much as possible. Put a bead of RTV on the keyway on the crank and slip the balancer over the crank. Add a bead of RTV around the perimeter of the surface that the crank washer will sit. I had to tap the end of my balancer a few times with a 3lb sledge so that I could get the crank shaft bolt started. Once it’s started on the crank, put the car back into drive or 5th and torque down the bolt. Crankshaft bolt sequence is: tighten to 66 lb-ft, loosen complete turn (360-deg), tighten to 36 lb-ft, tighten additional 90-deg.
Next is installation of the new intake. Make sure the mating surface on the head is clean. Take a look at your intake manifold gaskets. I got mine mixed up and it wasted some time… they are identical except that one gasket has two holes on one end while the matching end on the other gasket has one of those holes closed up. The closed up one goes on the passenger side and the one with both holes goes on the driver’s side. Those two holes on the driver’s side allow the thermostat bolts to actually reach the block. Mix them up like I did, and one of your thermostat bolts can’t get to its hole in the block, so you get to take it back off and try again. Anti-seize and hand tighten the intake bolts. Torque them to 18 lb-ft starting the middle and working your way outward. Install water temperature sensors (with thread sealer). Install the thermostat and O-ring. Connect the heater supply hose to the back corner of the intake.
Reinstall the alternator. If you’re using your old bracket, screw the bracket onto the alternator and mark where you need your new holes. I hand drilled this, without a vice or anything like that, so it is very doable. Just drill a small hole first as a pilot. Install the spark plugs (anti-seize, 13 lb-ft). You can now reinstall the accessory belt. Like before, you’ll need to deflect your tensioner to get enough slack to slide the belt behind it to your compressor. Be sure to replace this belt instead of just reusing if it shows signs of wear. Now that you’ve reestablished belt tension, go ahead and torque down those water pump pulley bolts.
Reinstall the coil packs. The packs should say what wire goes where, but if you get mixed up, the order is this:
- Front –
Passenger’s Coil Pack
- Front -
Driver’s Coil Pack
- Front –
I changed wires and the new ones didn’t come with labels, so I had to basically match lengths to figure out what should go where. It does take a while, but it’s not too bad. As a head start, #1 wire is the shortest and #4 is the longest.
Change injector O-rings and pintle caps if desired (I replaced all my O-rings and ended up replacing one cap since it broke). Put a little lube on the injectors (oil or Vaseline, top and botom) and insert them into the intake. Run the wiring harness back over the motor and set the fuel rail back into position. Once everything is routed like it should be, connect everything back up and torque down the fuel rail. Don’t forget the camshaft position sensor that’s still hiding behind the steering reservoir. It might have been easier to do that one before you put the reservoir was reinstalled, but I did it after. Lay the vacuum tubing back across the top of the intake. Also, in case you’ve forgotten, there’s a small connector on a tiny black wire near the back driver’s side corner of the fuel rail. This goes on the fuel rail stud.
Now to reinstall the air filter to plenum assembly. Set everything in place, being sure the EGR tube fits in where it’s supposed to. The new intake does not have a separate intake-plenum gasket since there is a seal built into the intake. Hook back up the tubes that go to the valve covers and connect the electrical connectors on the inlet and plenum. My Windsor valve covers didn’t have the correct bungs for the PCV and vent, so my driver’s side tube had to have a little 90-deg rubber tubing added to it to get it on the bung and it poked way up into my inlet tube on the passenger side. Irritating, but I don’t know what to do about it. I’ve never heard of anyone else having this problem, so I can’t tell you if this is to be expected.
Torque down the plenum and air filter. Reinstall the throttle cable bracket and reattach the cable(s). Remount the vacuum sensor on the throttle cable bracket. Hook up the electrical connector that goes to the vacuum sensor and install the vacuum tubes on the top of the EGR and fuel pressure regulator. Reinstall the upper radiator hose and make sure your draincock was tightened back. Reinstall your coolant reservoir and hook the hose and connector back up to it. Refill your coolant reservoir as much as possible. You’ll be topping this off for a few days as the system purges itself of air.
Triple check that every connector and hose is hooked up. Make sure that you don’t have any unexpected extra hardware. Reinstall the battery and lower the car off the jack stands.
When you go to start the car, turn the key to the run position and let the fuel pump cycle on and off again. It’d be a good idea to have someone poking their head under your hood at this point to see if I they can spot any gas leaks. Cycle the pump on and off 3+ times to get the fuel system full and ready to roll. Then start the car. Let it idle a few minutes as you poke around under the hood and search for strange sounds or smells. Your car is gonna sound a bit rough as oil spreads to everywhere it needs to go, so don’t be too alarmed, but do check your gages and make sure your oil pressure gage is where it’s supposed to be.
Whether or not you change your oil and filter right when the swap is done, you need to do it a few days after you’ve been driving it, since this will give all the crap a chance to accumulate at the filter.
I think that’s it. Suggestions and comments are appreciated, as I’m certainly willing to improve the guide. I want it to be as helpful as possible.
96 GT - Triple Black, Lowered - Full PI Swap, P&P Heads, Off-Road H-Pipe, Flowmasters
Current Project: 86 GT Hatch
Last edited by tripleblack; 09-10-2009 at 10:00 PM.