|To begin a H/C/I swap you will want to gather up a few items before attempting the swap…here are a few things to keep in mind and in possession. Patience and Organization are key along with a socket wrench set both metric and standard, flathead and Phillips screwdriver, gasket scraper or razor, a/c or fuel line disconnect tools, tape, marker, zip-lock bags for storage and labeling of different bolts/nuts to be reused, cam degreeing kit (if you want), torque wrench, gear puller (to help you remove timing chain if need be), harmonic balancer puller, tape, marker, new gaskets like water pump, timing chain gasket, head gaskets, upper and lower intake gasket, TB and EGR spacer gaskets, thermostat gasket, fresh oil and filter, and a couple other possible misc. ones. Just be prepared to have extra cash on hand or a source you can go to help with parts or help on the removal and install.|
Mark all your hoses and connections with the tape and marker to help you put it together later on and it wouldn’t hurt to take a couple miscellaneous pics of the engine to help you arrange those connections better as well. Something to look back on. Go ahead and make sure your fuel pressure is relieved by either having the car sit for a few hours or remove the schrader valve cap and use a small flathead screwdriver to press into the valve and release the pressure. Have a towel handy to catch the fuel that will come out. On 87-95 cars the schrader valve is located on a fuel rail located behind the alternator. Remove your air inlet tube whether it be a cold air intake or the stock plastic air box. Remove the MAF by undoing the connection from it. Begin to remove the throttle body by unbolting it from the 4 studs screwed into the upper intake held on by the 4 matching bolts. Also release the TPS sensor (on top of throttle body) connection along with the throttle linkage that pops off. Unbolt the upper intake (6 bolts I believe) and make sure you get the ones underneath the upper intake plate held onto it by some screws. Prepare for later to possibly replace the bolts or reuse them depending on what intake you are going to use. Before lifting it off completely undo the vacuum hoses from the upper intake so you can bring it up without ripping a line. When you unbolt the upper intake before hand it gives you more hand room play to get those hoses and lines off nicely. Now would be a good time to go ahead and mark you distributor or just remove it if your going to go ahead add the heads and cam. The distributor is held in by one bolt located on the right side of the shaft. Make note of the firing order and where your spark plug wires went. Put a paper towel in the distributor hole so you don’t get any tools or debris in the engine. Now that the upper intake is removed and out of the equation you can go ahead and work on the fuel part of intake. Go ahead and unbolt the 4 bolts that hold the fuel rail onto the lower intake. On the first passenger side head bolt (perspective from front of engine) your fuel rail is held on by a bolt to hold the rail in place. Unbolt it so you can swing the fuel rail out of the way once you remove the rail from the injectors. The injectors will just pop out of your fuel rail and lower intake. Your local parts store will have A/C & Fuel Line Disconnect Tools that will let you disconnect the fuel rail easier but it is up to you and what you have in “stock.” Unbolt the thermostat housing, which is held on by two bolts on the front of your lower intake. Go ahead and loosen all the 12 bolts that hold your lower intake on. The lower intake will be a bit hard to get off because it has most likely been sitting on your heads for a while. Pry it off carefully and remove it after you have the hoses/sensors/lines undone from the lower intake. Swing those connections out of the way. Now that both the upper and lower intake are off it would be a good time (since it should be fresh on your mind) to “reinstall” the upper and lower intake provisions onto your new intake like the sensors and provisions for the hoses to slide over and connect too.
Next it would be good to go ahead and begin to remove the radiator (held in by hold-downs) and pull it out along with the fan shroud and stock fan/fan clutch along with your overflow tank. Unbolt the a/c “condenser” (in front of radiator) and swing it out of the way temporarily so you do not need to disconnect it and “bleed” the A/C system. This will now allow plenty of room for you to pull and install your cam later on. Now go ahead and begin to start to remove the accessories on your engine. The alternator is bolted onto a bracket, which is held on by 3 bolts. Undo the alternator connections and remove it along with its bracket. Next remove the smog pump (or delete it for good) and then remove the a/c by removing the bolts and swing it out of the way as well so you do not “bleed” the system and have to refill that later on. Next remove the power steering and keep in touch with how all these accessories bolted up for future reference. This should clean the front of your engine up a bit and the task is beginning to look much less “menacing.” Removal of the harmonic balancer is next after you remove the four torx bit bolts from the crankshaft pulley. And you have to break the 15/16th bolt that holds the balancer on. Put your car in 5th gear or Park with the E-brake on and someone stepping on the brake. You can then put a break-over bar and turn it counterclockwise to break the bolt loose. The balancer is next. You need to get a harmonic balancer removal tool from your local parts store. Next I would remove the water pump and timing chain (you can remove them together if you would like). Try to remove the bolts/studs out carefully because some pass through water jackets and the bolts can rust and break-off in the block or covers which isn’t fun to mess with. Make sure you remove the front 4 oil pan bolts to get the timing cover off from the bottom and make it easier to remove. The timing cover is also held in by dowel pins (2 on each side). Once this is removed you will see the timing chain and the front of the oil pan (open). Stuff some paper towels or rags in the front of the cover to prevent dropping any foreign object in there.
Now you can (if you chose to go in this order) remove the 6 valve cover bolts from each valve cover on the left and right. Remove the valve covers to see the valvetrain. I went ahead and started to loosen the head-bolts so I could pop the heads off along with the rockers still bolted down. But before I completely removed the heads I went underneath the car and undid the 2 bolts on each side of the engine that hold the mid-pipe onto the headers and then went back above the car and removed the header bolts and pulled the headers out. I had to put a break-over bar on my head bolts to break them loose and get some torque on them. I removed the head bolts and removed the heads with the rocker arms attached to it. Your pushrods will go in their own direction so pick them up as you are removing the head or just let them fall and pick them up. I then removed the spyder “bar” in the lifter valley to allow access to the X shaped lifter holders. The spyder bar is held down by two bolts. I then removed the lifters one by one until I got all 16 of them out. You can now see the cam lobes in which the lifters “roll” on…hence: Roller Lifters. Next you can go ahead and unbolt the timing chain to cam bolt and pull the timing chain off by hand or you may need a small gear puller. You can get one at your local parts store or rent one perhaps. Remove the cam retaining plate held on by two bolts and you now have access to your cam. I put in a longer bolt I had laying around and screwed it into the end of the cam to get better leverage when removing the cam. Take the cam out very slowly and be careful of the “drops” you will feel and see when the lobes “escape” the cam bearings. That is what the longer bolt is for is to keep the leverage on your side.
It would be a good idea next to go ahead and try to clean the headgasket mating surface area along with the tops of the pistons. Plug all your little threaded holes and coolant passages with small pieces of paper towel before doing the following. I personally used a nice can of spray brake cleaner with a gasket scraper on my block. Be careful not to nick the pistons or block to prevent further possible problems. It should take a while to get the headgasket area and piston tops clean but take your time and be patient with it and it will look good and pay off in the long run. Just scrape away…I would do the same process for the timing cover gasket area. You want a nice clean mating surface.
Go ahead and get your new cam ready for install. Clean the cam before installing or adding assembly lube of any protectant sprayed on it to prevent corrosion during shipping or storing. You will need some assembly lube to help protect the car during those first few seconds of initial start-up or break-in. ARP makes some nice assembly lube under the part # of ARP-100-9903. You will need to cover the cam lobes and distributor gear on the cam with this lube for protection. Cover all the areas of contact. So go ahead and get your cam ready to install by putting in that same “long” bolt you used earlier for leverage. Install it very slowly and carefully trying not to nick the cam bearings or cam lobes. Kind of work the cam lobes from left to right to help it “roll” in and it will eventually get the back of the block. I would go ahead and now install a bolt (harmonic balancer bolt) into the crankshaft and spin the crank over until the #1 piston (front passenger side piston) is at the very top of its travel so you are at TDC (top dead center). Go ahead and reinstall the cam retainer plate with those two bolts and then get your timing chain ready to install the cam “dot to dot”. Dot to dot simply means that the two dots on the timing chain will be next to each other. The dot on the crankshaft snout end of the timing chain will be at the 12 o’clock position and the dot on the camshaft snout end of the timing chain sprocket will be positioned at the 6 o’clock position. When trying to align these dots in that order again remember to keep the #1 piston at TDC and use the dowel pin hole in the timing cover to align with the dowel pin in the end of your new cam (you can hammer in a new one that is usually supplied with the cams). Your cam will then be installed “dot to dot” and in most instances the performance is just fine. There is another procedure after installing the cam to further let gains show from your cam. It is called, degreeing the cam and you need a cam degreeing kit and I got one from Summit Racing. Here is a link to how to properly degree the cam. As well as the part # for the Summit Degreeing Kit I used with my car when degreeing it in. I would really look into degreeing your cam in when you buy a custom cam. If you don’t degree the cam in for your custom cam you can lose the “custom effect”…so be wise in what you decide. If you decide to degree the cam with the method provided you will need a solid lifter or reuse an old lifter you removed and weld two spot welds on the top of the lifter to keep the plunger from “plunging” and it will act like a temporary solid lifter. Once you get the timing of the cam set go ahead and bolt down the cam hold down bolt and apply loc-tite on it. You don’t want it to come loose at 6000rpm…I would then go ahead and install new lifters with assembly lube on the rolling end and on the pushrod seat end. The lifters have oil “blow holes” on one side of each lifter. The position of the holes do not matter. Install the “X’s” back over the lifters to keep them rotating clockwise or counter clockwise on the cam lobes. Then bolt down the spyder bar that holds the lifter “X’s” down.
Go ahead and put the timing cover and water pump back on. If you got a new timing cover gasket/oil pan “U” then now is the time to use it. Again makes sure the oil pan lip and timing cover gasket area is clean to help with gasket placement. I personally put a very thin layer of high-temp silicone on the block and then applied the gaskets and then put another layer of thin silicone on the other side of the gasket. Put a nice blob of that silicone in the corners where the timing cover/block/oil pan meets to prevent a leak. I then put the timing cover in place. This step is crucial. Make sure you put the timing cover on smoothly as not to disturb your gasket placements. You can then bolt up the timing cover with your saved bolts and studs and don’t forget again to put the oil pan bolts back on.
Now get ready to install your heads on your newly cleaned block. Also it would be a good idea to clean out the threads with a thread chaser to help provide a better torque reading and smoother bolt installation. First I would go ahead and decide if you are going to keep the smog equipment or not. If you are keeping it attach your smog equipment as you removed it. If you are going to delete the smog pump then you will need a threaded insert known as a thermactor plug. They screw into the back and front of your heads. Put silicone on the threads to prevent any exhaust leak when installing them. The thermactor plugs you will use for the front (same as back) will go to make the head holes smaller so the accessories can bolt up like your power steering stud and one of your bigger alternator bolts that go through you alternator bracket. The back thermactor plugs you will use just block off and delete the smog equipment’s previous hookups. You can get them at a Ford Dealership - part # F4ZZ-6E086-A or you can buy some from Summitracing - part # TFS-51400265 and they run anywhere from $3 to $12 dollars from what I have seen. Summit has them cheaper. Now go ahead and get the heads ready to install. Get your new headgaskets and put them on the block making sure they are facing the right direction (should be labeled FRONT) and make sure no coolant ports are blocked. Put some light oil on the valves of your heads so that the car valves aren’t started up dry. Now get your torque wrench ready along with your NEW headbolts. ARP makes headbolts for $40 bucks for the 302 that I used on my AFR 165’s with the part # being ARP-154-3601. I would get some ARP thread sealer as well for the bottom bolts that go through coolant passages so that it can seal off any kind of liquid getting out of the head bolt holes. Cover the threads well and completely on the bottom bolts. Here is the part number for the ARP Thread Sealer - ARP-100-9904. Put oil or moly lube (suggested) on the top bolt threads to help with the torque reading accuracy. Put antiseize underneath the washers supplied with the ARP bolts so they don’t rust to the head. When you actually go to put the heads on make sure that they “drop” on the dowel pins on the block so they heads will be held in place while you bolt them down.
Use the proper torque sequence for the heads when installing them.
If your looking down at the top of the head here is the torque sequence order:
Inside of the head (intake side)
9 5 1 3 7
10 6 2 4 8
Spark plug side
This is the tightening procedure I used on my AFR’s –
Top bolts: 30lbs, 50lbs, 70lbs, 80lbs
Bottom bolts: 30lbs, 50lbs, 70lbs, 75lbs