Explorer GT40 Head Pricing - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019 Thread Starter
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Explorer GT40 Head Pricing

What sort of money does one typically have wrapped up into used GT40’s after new springs, retainers, etc, and machine shop labor? If there are any left at a pick a part, what do they usually run? On eBay they’re $500+.
I was browsing the web and of course most of them were GT40P’s. I’m not certain that anyone makes a GT40P specific header for a ‘94/‘95 anymore (hadn’t looked that hard), but I’m guessing they’d cost somewhere between $300-$400.
If one pays eBay prices you’d be in well over $1k to be up and running if you bought the P’s and had to get headers. Is it even worth it at that point? Would machine shop labor, springs etc, and headers make them comparable in price as a new set of TFS 170’s and the likes? Seems like it might.
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw...id=m5467.l1311

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019
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Here's the thing about GT40's. They are better than all other Ford-made Windsor cast iron heads, except for the GT40P and GT40X heads. The X heads you can throw out because they're an aftermarket performance piece and you're just not likely to find 'em used unless they're thrashed anyway. The P heads are better in every way, except that you get all the exhaust fitment drama.

But the GT40 was only used on Cobras for what, a year? And then on a couple years of Exploder and Mountaineer, and the Ford Lightning. They really aren't that common! People that have them seem to think they are solid gold, and typically sell them for over $500 no matter where you find them.

So, you get something that performs worse than a $300 set of GT40P heads, and spend at least $200 more for the privilege. IMHO, the price gap between that and some Skip White aluminum heads is negligible at that point. Or step up to some Edelbrocks. If your pockets are even deeper, then AFRs or TFS heads.

ANY aluminum head is going to slaughter GT40's in performance. Even the cheapest Chinese aluminum heads will trounce a set of 40's or 40Ps, performance-wise. They're decent for a stock Ford head, but certainly not legendary or anything. And like the 40P's, while they are good for mild to medium performance, once you get over about 350 flywheel horsepower, they start showing their limitations. The reason they offer such snappy performance and economy is because they have smallish ports and really high velocity. Once you push past a certain point, that becomes a liability on the top end.

There are plenty of guys who race with GT40 and GT40P heads, and they're not junk! But it really depends on how far you want to go with them. Realistically, I think the 40 and 40P's can roll right up to the limits of what the stock block can handle anyway. Like with any other project, I think it's important to decide what you want before you start your build, so all the parts can work as a team. Since the P heads are worth about 15-30 horses over the GT40, and have much faster burn characteristics, I think they're worth the spark plug angle drama. It's not like you'd regret buying a good set of FRPP headers anyway, since they work on everything else too. But that's assuming you don't really want to go 'all out'.

If you intend to be faster than 400 horsepower, it would be foolish to waste any money on GT40 or 40P heads, IMHO.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Grimbrand View Post
Here's the thing about GT40's. They are better than all other Ford-made Windsor cast iron heads, except for the GT40P and GT40X heads. The X heads you can throw out because they're an aftermarket performance piece and you're just not likely to find 'em used unless they're thrashed anyway. The P heads are better in every way, except that you get all the exhaust fitment drama.

But the GT40 was only used on Cobras for what, a year? And then on a couple years of Exploder and Mountaineer, and the Ford Lightning. They really aren't that common! People that have them seem to think they are solid gold, and typically sell them for over $500 no matter where you find them.

So, you get something that performs worse than a $300 set of GT40P heads, and spend at least $200 more for the privilege. IMHO, the price gap between that and some Skip White aluminum heads is negligible at that point. Or step up to some Edelbrocks. If your pockets are even deeper, then AFRs or TFS heads.

ANY aluminum head is going to slaughter GT40's in performance. Even the cheapest Chinese aluminum heads will trounce a set of 40's or 40Ps, performance-wise. They're decent for a stock Ford head, but certainly not legendary or anything. And like the 40P's, while they are good for mild to medium performance, once you get over about 350 flywheel horsepower, they start showing their limitations. The reason they offer such snappy performance and economy is because they have smallish ports and really high velocity. Once you push past a certain point, that becomes a liability on the top end.

There are plenty of guys who race with GT40 and GT40P heads, and they're not junk! But it really depends on how far you want to go with them. Realistically, I think the 40 and 40P's can roll right up to the limits of what the stock block can handle anyway. Like with any other project, I think it's important to decide what you want before you start your build, so all the parts can work as a team. Since the P heads are worth about 15-30 horses over the GT40, and have much faster burn characteristics, I think they're worth the spark plug angle drama. It's not like you'd regret buying a good set of FRPP headers anyway, since they work on everything else too. But that's assuming you don't really want to go 'all out'.

If you intend to be faster than 400 horsepower, it would be foolish to waste any money on GT40 or 40P heads, IMHO.
I was just day dreaming for a “cheapish” way to get a bump in power. I have e7’s and a centri blower now. If I ever get new heads the blower is going with it. The 40’s or the P’s + 8 psi would probably suffice my power needs. But if I had to invest $1k or more in them I think it’d be foolish not to get an aftermarket head.
Do $350 GT40P’s often turn into $1k gt40p’s by the time they’re cleaned up and have new valvetrain?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-19-2019
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Simply said: Don't do 1k GT40's or GT40P's. By the time you put that money in, you will feel like an idiot for not getting good aftermarket heads. If you can do most of the work on them, and do 'em cheap, you can really make some 40P's worthwhile. Sell your old E7's to some poor sucker and tell 'em how fast they went.

I'm gonna step on some toes here, but yes, there are plenty of people eager to take your money and help you spend $1k+ on GT40P or GT40 heads. Those same people would help you spend plenty on your E7's too. =) They're great for what they do. But you need bigger ports for where you're going.

And I LOVE GT40Ps. But then, I loved my old Mongoose BMX bike too. And my pedal car before that. Sometimes we outgrow things. *grin* I'm putting 40Ps on my Cougar right now, but I'm ONLY going to be taking her for long drives. Enough power to be fun, enough mileage to go where I want without going broke. With my 2.80's I'm not going to impress anyone in the 1/8.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2019 Thread Starter
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Simply said: Don't do 1k GT40's or GT40P's. By the time you put that money in, you will feel like an idiot for not getting good aftermarket heads. If you can do most of the work on them, and do 'em cheap, you can really make some 40P's worthwhile. Sell your old E7's to some poor sucker and tell 'em how fast they went.

I'm gonna step on some toes here, but yes, there are plenty of people eager to take your money and help you spend $1k+ on GT40P or GT40 heads. Those same people would help you spend plenty on your E7's too. 😃 They're great for what they do. But you need bigger ports for where you're going.

And I LOVE GT40Ps. But then, I loved my old Mongoose BMX bike too. And my pedal car before that. Sometimes we outgrow things. *grin* I'm putting 40Ps on my Cougar right now, but I'm ONLY going to be taking her for long drives. Enough power to be fun, enough mileage to go where I want without going broke. With my 2.80's I'm not going to impress anyone in the 1/8.
I hear ya. I think I’m a “good” set of heads away from 400 rear horsepower. It’s nice to romanticize about a “cheap” way to go about getting there, ie, used Explorer heads. But in reality I’d have a decent chunk of change in the GT40’s by the time they cleaned up and set up for my mild cam wouldn’t it? Even more if I had to get headers.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-20-2019
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Even ported to their max, a 40 or 40P is not going to hold a candle to a pair of cheap Skip White aluminum heads. And by the time you get there, you'd have a ton of time and money in them. Worse yet, to open them up, put bigger valves in, and help them flow enough on the top end, you wreck all the characteristics that made them such good street heads in the first place. It'd be a big mistake, IMHO, for the power level you're looking for.

40P heads are awesome right out of the box, and the GT40's are not that far behind. But good as they are, they don't leave much room for improvement. Aside from some port matching, unless you're doing the work yourself and want to test your skills (and the limits of the heads), they are not good candidates for a lot of expensive work.

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Originally Posted by Grimbrand View Post
Even ported to their max, a 40 or 40P is not going to hold a candle to a pair of cheap Skip White aluminum heads. And by the time you get there, you'd have a ton of time and money in them. Worse yet, to open them up, put bigger valves in, and help them flow enough on the top end, you wreck all the characteristics that made them such good street heads in the first place. It'd be a big mistake, IMHO, for the power level you're looking for.

40P heads are awesome right out of the box, and the GT40's are not that far behind. But good as they are, they don't leave much room for improvement. Aside from some port matching, unless you're doing the work yourself and want to test your skills (and the limits of the heads), they are not good candidates for a lot of expensive work.
Have you ever purchased used name brand heads and came out ahead? If a guy has to pay machine labor (if needed) do you think the savings on used heads would be out of the window once they were done at the machine shop? New trick flow 170’s are around $1,300. So if someone was selling a used set for oh I don’t know say $600, do you think machine shop labor would be something like $400 or so to have them checked and cleaned up?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-24-2019
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The thing is, even if you spent $1000 on getting GT40P heads or GT40 heads machined and ported to the nth degree, you would still be nowhere near a set of $500 Skip White heads. Or a set of $700 Edelbrock heads. To say nothing of some AFR 185s or TW170s.

Yes, you could probably get some cleaned up and put in new valve springs for about 300. Heads themselves maybe 200, if you just got lucky. But you still won't be ahead of the cheapest aluminum heads, which are lightyears better, even if you managed to price everything really well.


I wouldn't buy used aluminum heads. People usually sell those for a reason - like after they've broken some bolts off in them or done something else dumb.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-25-2019
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gt40p heads

I've had 3 sets of these and ported/polished 2 sets, all the time wondering if my time was well spent? The last set came with a 1989 Fox body roller my son bought for me. They really looked like the were 1st. class until close inspection showed a possible or very slight "nick" on 2 valve seats. $230.00 later at the machine shop, they were fine. Add $ 150.00 for the spring kit and the Skip White EBay heads seem to be a better value. I doubt the steel heads can match the relatively low cost of the Skip White aluminum heads for power output?. I'd value these at $100.00 for starters, so value that price in also and all the existing valves were ok.... The only drawback? I see is I was thinking of a few more cubes (351+) and these may not support them? Plus, it appears the are not drilled 1/2"... I will call Skip.....
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-26-2019 Thread Starter
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I've had 3 sets of these and ported/polished 2 sets, all the time wondering if my time was well spent? The last set came with a 1989 Fox body roller my son bought for me. They really looked like the were 1st. class until close inspection showed a possible or very slight "nick" on 2 valve seats. $230.00 later at the machine shop, they were fine. Add $ 150.00 for the spring kit and the Skip White EBay heads seem to be a better value. I doubt the steel heads can match the relatively low cost of the Skip White aluminum heads for power output?. I'd value these at $100.00 for starters, so value that price in also and all the existing valves were ok.... The only drawback? I see is I was thinking of a few more cubes (351+) and these may not support them? Plus, it appears the are not drilled 1/2"... I will call Skip.....
The skip heads seem almost too good to be true since they have name name brand parts (Comp) on them for no-name prices. I’ve searched for reviews before and I didn’t find all that many people reporting using them. Mostly people asking questions about them and others responding the usual, “you get what you pay for.” They might be ok though. The description on their site is kind of a turn of though. They list a few head specs but the bulk of it is them ranting how they are not affiliated with Procomp. https://www.skipwhiteperformance.com...ord-274_92712/
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Check out Coast High Performance (CHP) has Promaxx heads machined here in USA with good valve train for right at $1k

Tom Moss
88 GT 5spd Vert 3:73s, stock H pipe with Flowmaster dumped, Crower 15511 cam @ 110 ICL, GT40P heads & 1.7 rockers, Jet-Hot coated MAC P headers, Holley SM2 intake, 70mm TB, and still SD with 19# Explorer injectors.
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Check out Coast High Performance (CHP) has Promaxx heads machined here in USA with good valve train for right at $1k
Would you run those over a set of TFS 170’s? TFS is $1,300 with springs. The Promaxx looks like $1k without springs.

https://lmr.com/item/TFS-51400004M61...SABEgKU9_D_BwE

https://www.coasthigh.com/PMX-1102-p/pmx-1102.htm
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