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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, newbie here.
Just purchased a 92 with 5.0, has a blown head gasket and a lifter ticking. 160k on it.
Here's my question, should I go with a new cam while I'm in it, or 1.7 rockers? I'm on a very tight budget, and a roller cam is around $400 (mine has a roller cam in it). I noticed a regular flat tappet cam "and" lifters kit is only $190. Should I, or could I go back to a flat tappet cam?

So what I'm asking... Should I stay with stock cam and replace ticking lifter, and install 1.7 rockers.
Or, can I swap out my roller cam to the flat tappet set and get a more aggressive cam?

$500 is about my limit, so what would I see the most improvement with?
(I already have headers and dual exhaust.)

Thanks for any help.
 

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Man of endless projects
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stay roller. you cant go really go with much more of an aggressive cam, the Speed Density style EFI wont like it.

since your pulling the heads and the original are probably warped and need a valvejob, I would get a set of GT40 heads and intake from a 96-97 Explorer and get a valvejob on them. the best bang for your buck. the 98 and later with GT40P heads might not fit your headers due to a special spark plug angle. also if you can snag the fuel injectors from them too, they supposedly make the engine run about 20% more effecient

if you haven't done it yet I would also look into the 6litre tune up. it helps some. also try the ziptie trick to take the slack out of the throttle cable, it makes it feel like you gain 20hp. replacing the timing chain wouldn't be a bad idea to return some power if its heavily worn
 

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Sounds like you're trying to open a can of worms.

Roller lifters are expensive and you're on a tight budget. They hardly never wear out. You can take them apart and clean them. That may fix your tick. Are you sure you're hearing a lifter tick?

A flat tappet cam will also require new push rods, new cast iron distributor gear too. I wouldn't downgrade as that's what you'll be doing.
 

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I would not go from a roller cam to a flat tapprt cam. Ford sells the alphabet cams for around 200 bucks on many sites. However, if your truck is not mass air equipped, your going to have problems with the speed density set up and a cam change. They do make some cams that will work with speed density, but I don't think it's worth the money. Also, 1.7 rockers will give your stock cam more lift, which in effect will change how the stock cam performanes on the top end. I believe the stock rockers are 1.6, at least on mustangs with 302.
I put gt40 heads and gt40 intake with 1.7 rr on a 88 speed density mustang and it ran like crap til I converted to mass air. Everyone said it would run fine, but that was not the case. The speed density was running too rich with those mods.
 

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If it is a lifter ticking, put some sea foam in the crank case and run for a while and then change the oil. That might free up something that is sticking. Even if it doesn't, you just cleaned the crap out of the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I wasn't aware you could take apart the rollers, thanks for the info.
How can I tell if I have a "Mass Air" setup?
I think I read my rockers are 1.5, so would it be worth getting 1.7? They're only $70 on eBay. Or will they cause issues if I don't have mass air?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Are the 96-97 GT40 heads a direct bolt on? I've heard it's not as simple as just installing them. I was told I'd need different push rods, and lower intake. And nobody can answer if my upper intake will bolt to the other lower.

I have a complete running motor out of a 98 Explorer available for $450
 

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the heads are direct bolt on. I think there suppose to give like an extra 20hp and ft-lb or so. however more GT40 heads don't have the thermactor ports in the back of the heads for the AIR system. if you live in an area that has emissions testing, you may not want to go this route depending on how they check.



your stock upper will not fit the GT40 lower, but most just swap the entire intake over to get away with the twin tube style. its suppose to help have better overall flow but not sure how much. you can use your stock intake and be fine. from what I looked up on NAPA online store, they use the same length pushrods (6.25") assuming you have roller lifters. this is what the GT40 intake looks like



the 98+ explorer 5.0 use GT40P heads. there different than the regular GT40 heads. there odd sparkplug angle interferes with many types of headers. without knowing for sure if your current headers will work I wouldn't risk it. also the intake uses a external EGR setup that goes to the passenger exhaust manifold making it not very desirable. the 96-97 is by far perfered to swap.


I think the 302 got the Mass Airflow in 94 if I recall correctly. MAF has this sensor on the intake tube going to the air cleaner box.

if its speed density it uses a Manifold Absolute Pressure sensor going to a vacuum line. the MAP sensor is here
 

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Roller rockers are gay
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If you're on that tight of a budget fix it back to STOCK and leave it alone. Don't modify it, don't change anything, just repair it with STOCK parts for YOUR bronco and it will be reliable and run great.

If you have time, and more importantly money to burn, go with Kingfish's idea. If you don't (like you stated) leave it the hell alone. Also, like sackman said it may not be a lifter tick. There are so many noises that can be mistaken for a lifter, such as exhaust leaks (the biggest cause of such noise), noisy injectors, etc.

With a $500 limit, that's going to buy you a headgasket set, head bolts and a good machinist to check/deck BOTH heads. Leave it stock dude for right now.
 

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I pulled a few sets of GT40 heads and intake from a junkyard for 150$ but the heads were like 75 if you don't get the intake. valvejob and resurfaced for $250 which I highly recommend doing to any heads but have gotten away without it. complete engine gasket kit is around 75$. head bolts are reusable but I think are only 25$ for Felpro set. of course some small stuff too like coolant, oil, plugs and stuff adds up. lifters will be 120-200 I think.

being that the heads are probably warped some for a headgasket to leak, you pretty much have to do take them to a machine shop to get checked anyways, I would try to go the little extra bit and get the GT40 heads. if you cant pull them yourself u can sometimes find them on craigslist already machined and ready to go for a price similar to what the machine work itself cost
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for all the info, helps a lot.
So I guess I'll just stick with what I got, clean up the heads. But I'm going to try the 1.7 rockers, and maybe upgrade my ignition.
Any suggestions on ignition?
 

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Roller rockers are gay
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Stock. Leave it the fawk alone. The more you modify, the more it's going to cost. Very little is better than OEM ford. Msd coils blow. Use some QUALITY aftermarket parts (bwd and autolite make great products) or buy Ford. The stock parts lasted 20+ years, you can't really upgrade from that.
 

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your tick your hearing could be your headers.

As for the 1.7 rockers, I'd advise against it. Unless you do the math and the springs are up to the task including the proper clearance.

If the 1.7's push the valve open too far it will stack the spring and when that happens you get bent push rods.
 
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