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I'd like to buy an aftermarket set of heads and a more aggressive cam in an effort to pick up around 50 hp. I'd like to do an intake also, but to keep costs down I'm going to start at the bottom and work my way up. My question is, how difficult of a job is it to install the heads, rockers and cam? I am somewhat mechanically inclined I'd like to think. I installed my exhaust system myself as well as shocks, struts and springs. If i followed a manual, could it be done easily, or am i better off forking out the coupla hundred bucks to have a garage do it? Does a 40 to 50 hp gain sound reasonable given the small amount of mods I have now?
 

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ive did cam and intake swaps in 6 hours before.
 

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Im doing a head cam intake swap right now. Im also doing exhaust. I only work on it on Sat mornings for about 4 hours or so. So far I spent about 12-15 hours on it. Im ready to start assembly on it now. The exhaust caused me the most problems. Just make sure you label the wires and hoses and there should be no problems. Ive done about 5 swaps. Although they were all on carburated cars. Much easier to do.
 

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If this is your daily driver and your first cam swap, be ready for Murphy's law and don't rush it. When I did my first cam swap (4.0L ranger), lots of little stuff happened that sucked up lots of time. For example, the crankshaft timing gear key (a.k.a. woodruff key) fell into the oil pan.

Also, the shop manuals are OK for a lot of basic maintenance, but I'd look into a couple other sources before starting. A couple books I can recommend are Mustang Performance Handbook (Mathis) and Engine Builder's Handbook (Monroe). Both of these have very useful tips for working on performance engines. The first is mustang specific, and the second is more general.

Your HP goals sound completely reasonable to me. The goal is to remove flow bottlenecks, and cam/heads are the biggies. You'll eventually need headers/intake, but I think the approach is sound.

I would definitely recommend doing this yourself. It doesn't require a bunch of exotic tools or tricky techniques. You WILL need a torque wrench. You should also pick up a camshaft degreeing wheel. This will be great experience, and you'll learn a lot. It's also very empowering to take the engine apart, put it back together, and have it run again. Don't miss this opportunity!
 

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do yourself a favor and dont try to do it all in 1 day...give yourself at least 2 days(1 to dissasemble and assess the situation, and 1 to solve any issues and reassemble). do not rush and label every hose,wire and odd bolt(i.e. distrubutor hold down bolt)

id also suggest waiting til you have an intake that will support all that new airflow...it will make a huge difference..and you wont be pulling it apart twice.
 

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Me and 2 friends had my car tore down with the new cam in and the timing cover back on in about 4 hours, nothing went right after that. misplacing parts, heads refused to line up for some strange reason, headers didn't want to line up, etc. it took us a total of about 12 hours to do the h/c/i. DON'T try to do it by yourself, you should always have a second set of hands and eyes to double check everything, and work indoors in a clean enviroment, it's not hard to hurt a motor by not paying attention. good luck, i'm sure you'll love the difference thay make.:)
 

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Man...This isnt the best way if your in a rush to do it, but If you've got an extra day or two, I would yank the motor outta the car man.

Mine is outta the car right now and its seriously not that much more work. Plus is will be 10 times easier doing the motor work while its on a stand. Then you can clean everything under the hood etc etc.

Im pulling the motor if I have to do another heads/cam swap.
 

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i cant agree with pulling the motor to do the heads...but hey too each his own. there are only 4 reasons ill pull a motor

1)no oil pressure
2)loud knocking sound
3)no compression
4)I'm stripping your car
 

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re: pulling the whole engine...
I've done it both ways. If you have the hoist, stand, and space to work then I'd have to agree that the effort of pulling/replacing the block is less than the hassle of trying to work with the block in the car. Torquing down the heads is MUCH easier with the engine pulled, which could mean a better install. But I'd say the difference isn't so great that I'd buy a hoist & stand.

I'd add to 94FauxBra's list (especially if you're doing cam/heads anyway):
oil pan gasket leak
rear main seal leak
 

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its not too bad. ive never personally put in a cam before but doesnt see too hard from what i read. just make sure you know HOW to do everything before you try and do it. the hardest thing for me was setting the rocker lash adjustment. its really easy but for some reason i didnt get it right on the first rocker. it would really help if you had a cool friend that liked to drink beer to hang out and kinda guide you along. i didnt so it took me a little longer.
 
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