Cylinder head install


Self-tuning wanna-be
Apr 14, 2012
Soooooo, how hard is it to install cylinder heads on these animals? I have installed several sets on mustangs, but am looking at doing mine on my GN. Anything to be wary about or pretty straight forward?
If you are talking about r&r the same, or similar heads, nothing out of the ordinary. Passenger side is tight with the ac box, but will come out with engine in car. If you are changing to aluminum heads you can get into pushrod lengths and rocker arms specific to the manufacturer of the heads. Gaskets, graphite vs MLS, also have different install methods and prep to block surface. Head studs need to be put in with the heads not before due to the ac box if you plan on using those, again if engine is in car.

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Agree with above info.

What heads and why? More info needed.
I have R&R'd a set of head gaskets on the side of the road using only hand tools in less than 12 hours. But I was a lot younger then, too.
Do NOT reinstall the ground wires on the back of the pass cylinder head, though. Sand the very thick paint off of the rectangular wire loom bolt boss under the coil pack and cut some tape away from the harness and mount all the grounds there. (After cleaning them with brake clean and a clean rag a min of 3 times.). Lots of other Tri is to make things easier. PM me for my #, and I can walk you through it. (Been doinging them since 1988.)
Don't forget the thread sealer, arp or other and minimize the build up on the top of the deck to prevent an overage from getting between the surfaces and gaskets. Can lead to early failure.
I always put the pass rear ground wires on the back intake bolt. Just find a bolt that accepts a nut on top and it's easy

If you want to swap heads, get the new set decked just enough to make them flat, ask the machinist to mark/stamp the heads how much they were decked. Depending on head gasket thickness , do not go cheap on gaskets! If you run a thinner gasket, plus head deck, you will eventually run into where the intake won't sit correctly. Then you need to deck the sides of the intake to make it sit properly.
What head gaskets are you going to run, and why new heads?
I got a great deal on some Champion ported irons and this will be my winter project so Im gearing up now.