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  1. #51
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Here's the block with gasket still attached. You can still see the cross-hatching in the cylinder walls. I see very light scoring on the back of cylinder #8. Doesn't look deep at all, but hope that isn't an issue...

    20200111_182256 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200111_182448 by racer2086, on Flickr

    5 & 6
    20200111_182332 by racer2086, on Flickr

    7 & 8
    20200111_182328 by racer2086, on Flickr


    This is obviously the head
    20200111_183243 by racer2086, on Flickr

    5 & 6
    20200111_183258 by racer2086, on Flickr

    7 & 8
    20200111_183249 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200111_183351 by racer2086, on Flickr


    The flaw in my plan is that I don't have a real workbench. I'm just renting at the moment and don't have the room in my garage for a workbench. I'm temporarily using a folding table, but after feeling the weight of the head, I'm going to have to go out and buy something to work on.

    I was going to pull the passenger side head tonight also, but I think I'll take a break and wait for some feedback on these pictures. None of the combustion chambers look to me like they are that much cleaner from a coolant leak.

    I'll park one of the cars outside for the week and try to get a decent table/workbench for these heads tomorrow.

    If you need any other pictures or better quality ones, I can take whatever. If you click on the pictures, you should be able to see a larger size.
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  2. #52
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Here's the gasket.

    Top:
    20200111_190904 by racer2086, on Flickr

    Bottom:
    20200111_190930 by racer2086, on Flickr


    Block without gasket
    20200111_190952 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200111_191006 by racer2086, on Flickr


    Slight scoring in #8
    20200111_191014 by racer2086, on Flickr
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  3. #53

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    Cyl 5 and 6 were running leaner that the other two. You can tell that from the lighter color of the exhaust valves. I believe that is what is responsible for the plugs in those two cylinders being super white.

    Cyl 8 has some oil getting into it. Look at how thick the deposits are on the intake valve. The intake valves in the other three cylinders have an even thin later of buildup.

    I don't see any evidence of a blown head gasket or water leaking into any of the cambers. If there was water getting in, one of the chambers would be much cleaner than the others. My guess is that you will find the culprit on the other side of the engine.

    I would look at the intake gasket and its water ports on the head and intake manifold to make sure that there were no water leaks there.

    The pipe that was still bolted to the back of the head is for the air injection pump. It pumps air into the exhaust ports of the cylinder heads while the engine is warming up to speed up catalytic convertor light off. If you have the heads cleaned by baking, this will clean out these ports. If you don't bake the heads, run a long thin rod down this hole front to back and another rod into the intersecting hole from the exhaust ports.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  4. #54
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    Jack ,i use Honda bond for the end seals , and frankly , the Edelbrock intake i have (performer) leaves plenty of room to set the intake down straight .
    clowns to the left of me , Jokers to the right

  5. #55
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hidley View Post
    Cyl 5 and 6 were running leaner that the other two. You can tell that from the lighter color of the exhaust valves. I believe that is what is responsible for the plugs in those two cylinders being super white.

    Cyl 8 has some oil getting into it. Look at how thick the deposits are on the intake valve. The intake valves in the other three cylinders have an even thin later of buildup.

    I don't see any evidence of a blown head gasket or water leaking into any of the cambers. If there was water getting in, one of the chambers would be much cleaner than the others. My guess is that you will find the culprit on the other side of the engine.

    I would look at the intake gasket and its water ports on the head and intake manifold to make sure that there were no water leaks there.

    The pipe that was still bolted to the back of the head is for the air injection pump. It pumps air into the exhaust ports of the cylinder heads while the engine is warming up to speed up catalytic convertor light off. If you have the heads cleaned by baking, this will clean out these ports. If you don't bake the heads, run a long thin rod down this hole front to back and another rod into the intersecting hole from the exhaust ports.
    I can see 5&6 and see the build up on #8. Is the oil coming from the valve stem seal or the ring? How do you find out?

    I didn't see anything obvious with the gasket either, but again, this was an extremely minor leak that only happened when I was on the highway pushing the car to about 80mph, I.E. 2000 rpm. Lower than that, and the car never seemed to pressurize the cooling system and overheat. I think it was the higher revolutions per minute contributing a consistently higher average compression over time in the chamber that managed to push gasses into the cooling system.

    The intake gaskets looked good, but I'll take some pictures and see if you see something I don't. How would the cooling system get pressurized from the intake gaskets, though?

    I had already unbolted the thermactor pipe from the heads. Since my car is an '85, it has that heat riser valve in the driver's side header that is closed when the engine is cold to heat things up quicker. It's a tiny skinny metal pipe that is held to the back of the head with an usually large bolt. That is what threw me off. I assumed it just passed by there closely.

    I'm going to get a valve spring compressor today and see if I can get the valves out. Should I just bring the whole head to the machine shop assembled and let them deal with it and check for cracks? Or disassemble and let them clean it and take it from there?
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  6. #56

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    You normally test for oil getting into the chambers when the engine is assembled through a leak down test. If it is getting past the rings, you will hear the air from the oilpan. If it is getting past the valve seals, you may or may not hear it from the intake or exhaust. This is not an easy diagnosis to make.

    When you pull the valves out of the heads, if the seals are leaking, there may be a lot of coking on the back side of the valve and stem. At a minimum, there will be more raw oil. Given that you want to see this, I would pull the heads apart myself. It will take longer with a manual valve spring compressor, than with the air tool that a machine shop will use, but you don't want any evidence lost.

    I don't think that a leak at the coolant inlet to the heads will cause the problem that you had. It is just a good idea to check for any possible problem, before the evidence is destroyed from cleaning.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  7. #57
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    I'll post some pics when I get it apart and post some pics of the intake surface. I didn't see anything obvious.

    I noticed the intake valve stem seals look normal from the outside. The exhaust stem seals all have sludge built up on them.

    I'm going to call a few machine shops with good reviews on Google tomorrow. When I talk to them, I'm just looking to get the heads cleaned and checked for cracks and straightness? Should I bring the valves with me? I guess I'll know more once I get the valves out.

    What should I soak the pushrods in? And what technique do you use to soak them without mixing them up? I can't label them without it getting stripped off. I can put them in individual water bottles, but that would take a lot of solvent. Or I could just do one at a time in one bottle.
    Last edited by 85stanggt; 01-12-2020 at 08:00 PM.
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  8. #58
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    Looks to me there was a problem in cylinders 6&7. The block and the gaskets looked burnt on the lifter valley side. Looks like the block and heads show signs of the leaks. The gaskets will usually blow from the cylinder to the small steam hole by the top head bolts.

  9. #59

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    The exhaust valve guide area always has more sludge and deposits because the exhaust valves get hotter, so more oil and fuel deposits coke up on them.

    If you bring the valves to the machine shop, they can clean them at the same time as the heads. I'm sure that they will want to check the guides for wear, so bring at least one valve. Tell them the the #8 cylinder has a small amount of oil in it. They may end up wanting to replace a couple of guides if they find any that are worn significantly more than the others. You can more or less check this yourself. Take one totally clean valve, install it upside down in each of the guides so that the tip of the valve is past the bottom of the guide. Wiggle the valve head back and forth in all directions. Do this with all of the guides. If any have significantly more wobble than the others, replace them. On any cylinders with replaced guides, you really need to grind the seat. The new guide never goes in exactly along the same centerline as the old guide. You might be able to get away with lapping, but I've never seen this work.

    I normally clean the pushrods and rocker arm parts with a toothbrush and bottle brush by hand. I use dish soap and do it in the sink, normally in a pyrex pan. The friction surfaces of these parts will be clean. You only really need to get any dirt off of them and oil residue. They are going to have baked on oil residue on them which changes their color somewhat. That won't hurt anything. After you clean them, use thick rubber gloves so you can rinse them in hot water. Then lay them on a mat of paper towels. As soon as possible take them to the garage and blow them off/out with compressed air one at a time which will get them completely dry.

    It is really important to clearly explain to the machine shop what you want out of the engine. If you don't tell them what you want, they are going to figure out what they think you want from the information that you gave them and/or they will be conservative and recommend that you fix anything that appears marginal. If the shop advertises race engines, then this is what they are going to see everything as. Be really clear that this engine has 200k and your goal isn't to make one more hp than it did. You want it to live longer without burning oil or blowing a head gasket.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  10. #60
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    ^Yes that is great advice thank you. I will be sure to convey that to them. I just pulled the passenger head. I'd say the pistons don't look much different than the driver side. Again, my eyes are new at this...but everything looks old and sludgy to me. The water ports in the heads are a little dirty, and the intake gaskets are not smooth around the water ports like the rest of the gasket (pics), but I wouldn't say that looks outside of normal to me? I'll pull the valves out tonight and check the guides. I'll make some calls to machine shops in the area tomorrow.

    Here are a bunch of pictures of the passenger side stuff.

    Gasket still on block:

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr


    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr


    Gasket off the block; kinda looks different above cylinders 2 & 3, no? Sludgy/burny?

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr


    Love how you can still see the cross-hatching. These engines are incredible.
    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr


    Never seen an engine like this in person. Cool
    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr


    Intake valves are quite sludged up...
    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr


    Here are the water ports on the heads. They don't look great, but isn't this kinda normal?
    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr


    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr


    Here is the bottom of the passenger head:
    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr

    Passenger head off by racer2086, on Flickr
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  11. #61
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    I just tried to get the keepers out of #5 exhaust valve and couldn't get it. I had the spring compressed plenty well, but I couldn't get the spring to slip down off the keepers. I tried 2 spring compressors and on like the 5th time, the 2nd compressor slipped off and scared the sh*t out of me, busted my knuckle, and made me really worried about bending a valve and doing more damage on my own than anything else.

    I will remove the rockers and bring the head with valves and springs to the machine shop and let them check things. FWIW, when I had the spring compressed, the valve could travel up and down but didn't feel like it had any lateral play. That may not be the best test, but made me feel good about things not being too worn. Who knows. I just hope I didn't mess up that valve when the stupid POS compressor slipped off one side.
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  12. #62
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Decided to do a clean of the heads to check their straightness. Figured I'd take a shot at it because if I screw something up, they're going to the machine shop anyway. Good practice before doing the block.

    The scrapers are incredible. The work great. I've got a nice smooth surface with all carbon removed. The factory machining marks are visible on there and I feel like I didn't gouge anything.

    The dark coloration is difficult to remove and won't just scrape off. I didn't want to press on further for fear of causing the surface to be uneven.

    The driver's side head using a 2ft long metal machinist straight edge was less than 0.0015. I couldn't get that feeler in anywhere. The passenger side head isn't as great, but still within spec. I could fit an 0.0025 holding the straight edge along the top part of the head on the intake side. It would slip through in the middle at the top of each cylinder. The 0.003 would not go. Spec in the factory Ford manual says less than 0.003 for 6 inches and less than 0.006 overall. Diagonally everything was fine. So it seems both are within spec.

    20200113_015245 by racer2086, on Flickr


    With some light
    20200113_015255 by racer2086, on Flickr
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  13. #63
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    To release the keepers from the valve , i usually give each valve a smack with a brass hammer .
    Then use the spring compressor to compress the valve spring .
    Sometimes i need a small pick between the halves of the keepers to pry them apart .
    clowns to the left of me , Jokers to the right

  14. #64

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    With an engine that has this many miles, the keepers get fused to the valve stems. The machine shop will be able to remove them easily with a pneumatic tool.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  15. #65
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Dropped the heads at the machine shop today and made a copy of the spec sheets from the Ford factory manual to leave him. Left the new valve stem seals with him also. The ones I got are Felpro ones. The intake are positive-type, the exhaust I got are the umbrella type. The umbrella are polyacrylic material, whereas the intake ones are FKM/Viton. Don't seem to have a choice to get umbrella Viton ones.

    Should hopefully have those back in a couple days. In the meantime, I'll start cleaning the block and piston tops, the intake manifold, and valve covers. I have a new fuel pump to install while in there and just got a new fuel pump shield from a member on here to replace my broken one.

    Got some new power steering hoses to replace the low pressure lines from the cooler up front. The power steering pump is at Precision Products (stangersSite.com) in San Antonio, TX for a rebuild. He sourced a new cam pack for me and I sent him the Ford o-ring kit I had. Hopefully everything turns out good and the pump is quiet again and sealed up.

    Then it's just reassembly. It should be in great shape after this and ready to roll another 200k. Hopefully the car doesn't still overheat after all this work...
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  16. #66
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Spoke to the machine shop last week. They weren't done with the heads. He confirmed no cracks. Said he was cleaning the valves...the intake valves had a ton of carbon. I told him to take his time because I'm travelling these 2 weeks. Hopefully I can get them back when I get home and get going with the reassembly.
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  17. #67
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Follow up and ready for reassembly. I got the heads back from the machine shop a couple weeks ago. He resurfaced them. Said they were opposite of warped -- up on the outsides rather than the middle. Said only 0.003" was removed. I'm in the process of moving, so I only get to come back on the weekends to finish this up. Last weekend I cleaned the block and pistons, the thermactor crossover pipe, replaced the fuel pump with a new one, cleaned the front and back of the block some, and chased all the threads in the block.

    Here are some pics of my work. Hopefully I got everything cleaned well. The block is smooth, although the discoloration is still there, which I feel is normal and acceptable.

    The pistons were harder to clean because of the valve reliefs in the pistons. I almost left them alone, but I used my scrapers to get the carbon off the surface, which worked great and surprised me how much carbon there was on there. In the pics, they appear scratched, but they aren't. You can't feel anything with your fingernail. I think there were just some areas that got a couple microns more of carbon removed for a shinier surface. To do the pistons and avoid nicking the cylinder walls, I rotated the engine by hand to get each pair of pistons to the top of the block. Then went to town getting the carbon off. I vacuumed any debris off the pistons and in between the piston and cylinder wall. I also vacuumed out and wiped out the adjacent cylinders to avoid junk getting stuck in the rings.

    Let me know if you see something off before I put the gaskets and heads back on. Should I take an oil soaked rag and wipe the cylinder walls down and then maybe add some oil around the rings? How do you make sure there is no debris stuck in there that could get stuck between the ring and wall? Also, my new head bolts have sealer on the threads of the lower bolts. Just wondering if that is sufficient or if I need to add a little more to them to be sure of no leaks.


    Heads still wrapped from the shop:
    20200131_163404 by racer2086, on Flickr



    Driver's side head flash off/on:
    20200209_190858 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200209_190837 by racer2086, on Flickr



    Passenger side head flash off/on:
    20200208_144221 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200209_191443 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200209_191449 by racer2086, on Flickr



    Still have to clean the pushrods. There is one whose collar slipped down. Can I just pull that back up?
    20200210_050644 by racer2086, on Flickr
    Last edited by 85stanggt; 02-14-2020 at 09:34 AM.
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

  18. #68
    FEP Power Member 85stanggt's Avatar
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    Heads on. Ready for intake

    20200217_000225 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200217_000313 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200217_002805 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200217_003113 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200217_003150 by racer2086, on Flickr


    Cleaned everything in my ultrasonic machine with a 50/50 Simple Green and Water! It worked INCREDIBLE.

    Here's a video, and you can see the grease and dirt just floating off it when I start the ultrasonic.
    20200217_014155 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200217_124545 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200217_124558 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200217_125339 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200217_103338 by racer2086, on Flickr

    20200217_124538 by racer2086, on Flickr
    1985 Mustang GT Convertible
    Stock and original @ 213k, except for dynomax ultraflos.

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