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Discussion Starter #1
I pulled my heads last week and put them back on the wrong sides a few nights ago. I torqued the heads down and have the lower intake on, do I need to switch them back or should I just leave them as is?

Will all my smog/accessories line up?

Can I reuse the head gaskets if I switch them?

I haven't started the car up since I switched them either.
 

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Yes, you need to switch them back. There is a threaded insert that goes in the front of the heads to mount the a/c bracket, and I think the alternator bracket as well.

With the heads backwards, the threaded insert is now blocking what will be your EGR tube in the back of the head.

I did the same thing, and put new head gaskets down. I don't think they can be re-used once they are compressed. Use 8548pt2 found at Autozone for like 30 bucks.
 

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The same happend to me!! your smog accessories will not line up, the metal air tubes off the back of the heads will not to let air flow into the heads, and your acc brackets will not fit right , i remember one hole was bigger on the power steering bracket, i wouldn't recommend using your old head gaskets , if that is what your asking. My heads are on the wrongs sides and the car runs great! my car wouldn't pass emisson's anyway so i took the air tubes off and rigged up the bracket problems, I really didn't wanna take the heads off again, my only car!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Damn, I need to go though emmissions when the car's done not to mention that I can't afford to buy all new sets of gaskets.

The stupid thing is that I recognized that they were transposed before I put them on but did it anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So how are you supposed to know what head goes to what side? Are there markings or anything that tell you?
 

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The heads are the same casting so there is no left and right. All you need to do is find the special tool to remove the threaded insert, unscrew it and put it back in the opposite end of the head.
See if the local dealer will let you borrow/rent it. If you find a big enough screw driver it may come out.
 

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Someone posted they had great luck using a penny and a pair of channel locks to get the threaded insert out of the head. Problem is that if your heads are old, they can be a real pain in the butt to get out -- extremely difficult when you're trying to remove them from the back of the head with the firewall in the way. But it can't hurt to try. If you succeed in getting them out, clean up the threads, apply new thread sealer and install them in the front. Then your accessories will go on, and your air injection fittings/pipe will go on the back. The worse that can happen is that you're out the bucks for another gasket set. Think of it this way -- you'll never make the same mistake again!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, now I'm confused, will my accessories and smog equipment line up or not? I don't want to pull the heads if I don't have to.

The threaded insert on the stud came out of the head and was on the stud, I got it off because it was too big to fit into any of the holes in the head and thought that I didn't need it but in the process of removing it I mangled the living hell out of it.
 

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You can buy new inserts from a Ford dealership. They're about $6 a pair. I've got the part # somewhere at home - I'll post it later if no one else does before then.

Pete
 

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No, you don't have to take the heads off and switch them. Your smog, powe steering and AC stuff will line up....BTW what heads are these?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
blackstallion said:
No, you don't have to take the heads off and switch them. Your smog, powe steering and AC stuff will line up....BTW what heads are these?
They are stock (E7's I believe). I am the only person on the planet who still has stock heads :lol:


I found the inserts that I mangled the living crap out of from ford, $4.98 per insert. They also said that the heads are interchangeable and the smog equiptment will line up. My smog stuff is already bolted on, I'll grab a mirror and check tomorrow before I throw the blower back on but Ford assured me that they will fit. Hopefully they are right. The Corral Rocks! Thanks for your help guys!
 

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The heads don't have to be reversed IF: you can get the inserts that were in the front of the head out of the back of the head (now that they're on backwards) and put them back in the front of the head. Make sense? If you took both of them out, you're in great shape. As the previous poster mentioned, just get a pair from Ford, and screw them into the same holes on the front of your heads - and everything will bolt right on. If one's in, and one's out, you've still got to go through the stuff mentioned before to get it out so your air injection hookup will function properly. If you buy 2 new ones, doesn't matter if you mangle it getting it out; you'll put a new one in the front. If you can't get it out and you want your air injection to work correctly, then you'll have to pull the heads back off to remove the plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Michael Yount said:
The heads don't have to be reversed IF: you can get the inserts that were in the front of the head out of the back of the head (now that they're on backwards) and put them back in the front of the head. Make sense? If you took both of them out, you're in great shape. As the previous poster mentioned, just get a pair from Ford, and screw them into the same holes on the front of your heads - and everything will bolt right on. If one's in, and one's out, you've still got to go through the stuff mentioned before to get it out so your air injection hookup will function properly. If you buy 2 new ones, doesn't matter if you mangle it getting it out; you'll put a new one in the front. If you can't get it out and you want your air injection to work correctly, then you'll have to pull the heads back off to remove the plug.
So you're telling me that they're on BOTH heads. God damn that sucks!
 

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Yep, they're on both sides, but here's the thing (and I can't believe no one has mentioned this). If you haven't run the car yet since putting the heads back on, the gaskets haven't taken a heat set, so you can just pop the heads off, and swap them over.....no big deal. I wouldn't go through the hassle of trying to get the plugs out in back with the firewall in the way. If you only have the lower on, it can't take any more than an hour or so to swap the heads back to their correct location.
 

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I'm with 915oh on everything except the head gasket. I don't like to reuse them if they've been compressed, even if it hasn't been run. It may be ok (I know folks do it) but given the hassle and problems that can arise from bad head gaskets, it's a very small investment to just replace them. Besides, it gives you a couple of spares to use when you're checking p-v clearance, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I could probably reuse them but I'd rather scrounge $15 and buy some new ones just in case. I'll try to get the thread insert out first and then measure my options
 

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Have you tried the penny/channel locks approach? I think the fellow that mentioned it was trying to put them in (he didn't have the air injection). Getting the old ones out is much tougher than getting the new ones in - as you well know. And you could just pull the one head off - remove the fitting, then remount. Means you'd only need one head gasket - save a few bucks.
 

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Just a ditto in 91fiveho, The sooner you pop the heads back off the better, but so long as the engine hasnt been run, you can reuse the gaskets you have.
 

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I'm kinda late on the thread, but my Edelbrocks were interchangable ..... As to the gaskets, depending on what you've bought (you didn't say), some of the gaskets have compressable metal or carbon inside. They kinda get printed once you torque the bolts ..... You get the picture. You get one perfect seal.

After the time I spent on my head install, no way would I chance having to go back for a head gasket within a year or so. Toooooooooo much work.

Steve
 

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FYI for others seaking answers

I put my heads on oppposite from my previous install which in turn meant the heads were plugged in the back. I need to run smog equipment so they had to come out. I have been scowering this site looking for a way to salvage the $60 lock wire head gaskets I bought by pulling the plugs out.

The plugs have been in the heads for about 15k miles so they are pretty well stuck. These are alumium Tick flow TW heads. Also, I have the engine on a stand so I figured it would be a lot easier to pull the plug.

Here are a few things I tried:

2 Screwdrivers side by side = What made me think this would work.
1 screwdrive and a hammer trying to get the rotation started = noise, no movement.
Penny in Vise grips = half a penny
Nickel in Vise grips = half a nickel
Grade 8 washer in Vise grips = Very promising, but the thing did not move. I even tried heat and lube.

If anybody has any ideas, let me know. I'll probably bite the bullet tomorrow afternoon if I can't get it out.
 
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