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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok well alright this is what's happened. I started the pi headswap about 3 weeks ago and have had the absolute worse luck anyone could have. Well it started with the teardown. This part is about the only part that went pretty smooth. I had i done in roughly 9 hours.

Then the bad luck comes in. first off i ordered the new headgaskets ect. and got the wrong ones from oreilly's this set me back 4 days. got back out to the shop and found out that i needed different bolts and studs or the front cover. well i called ford and ordered them and it was on thursday before July 4th. and had to wait til tuesday to get them in. well i got back to the shop and figured i've already got it tore down might as well get some LT's. Searched around and found some mac LT's from Houston Performance that were out of the box so i would get a good deal $275 to be exact. so i figured i would just road trip down there to save time and so i did. I came back brought them all the way back to the house after spending $60 on gas to get them, and i prepped the block and the heads for instillation and put the gasket for the exhaust on the driverside head and put the LT on it i put the head gasket on the block and tried to install the driverside head, well i couldn't get it by the steering shaft and figured i would just take the passenger side LT without the head and see if i could fit it throught that hole, and it wouldnt clear either. then i began to get skepticle so i went back home and got on the internet to see if i had the right headers. and found some pix and they're not the same as the ones i got from Houston Performance. Well i just emailed them and left a message on their answering machine and went back out the shop to see if there was anything else i could do right now, and found out that ford had given me the wrong bolts and studs for the front cover. Tommorrow we'll see if Houston Performance will make things right and have ford order me the right bolts and stud. I feel like giving up and just burning the car! this has been total hell and dont recommend it to anyone. TAKE IT TO A SHOP !! Absolutely nothing has gone right except for the tear down and i hope when i finally get this done it is well worth while.

sorry i just had to vent to someone other then my girlfriend. I'm sure she's getting tired of hearing about it. thanks guys and if anybody has had any dealings with Houston Performance, have they done you right? and do you think they will refund my money? we'll see tomorrow and i'll keep you posted.

AND ON TOP OF THIS ! MY HOUSE CAUGHT ON FIRE AND PRODUCED AND **** LOAD OF DAMAGE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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LOL come one now mine only took 4 hours total you just have bad luck. Guess we should have pulled the motor huh, it would be done by now
 

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pm me your cell #
 

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Discussion Starter #4
HELLOOOOOO..............................
WHAT ABOUT THE GASKETS, BOLTS, STUDS, LT'S, AND HOUSE????
4 HOURS HUH???
 

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Discussion Starter #5
580-239-1000
 

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I had one of the power steering pump bolts get stuck and stripped. no remover worked, even broke an impact driver bit (last resort cut a slot for flat head). So we had to unscrew the power steering line have power steering fluid all over us then get the timing cover bolt out then screw the power steering line back in. And had to do the same to get the cover back on. Added about 8 hours of headache to the swap.

Wait the fun doesn't stop there! Get the car together and turns out the machine shop forgot to put one of the oil galley plugs back in. DOH! Puked five quarts of oil everywhere. Took a galley plug off the old head and had to stick my hand up there with an allen wrench and go about 1/4th turn each time (long tube headers in the way). One of the valve cover gaskets leaked later on also.

On the bright side didn't have much trouble with the dip stick tube as some others. :)

Trust me, as far as the headswap itself goes, you're still lookin alright. You have my sympathy.
 

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looks like someone did not research their project before starting it. the mac LTs are the same from 96-03. the reason teh LT wouldnt go past the sterring shaft is because the shaft goes thru the LT tubes. you have to unbolt the shaft and run it thru the tubes. also, there is beaucoup info on here about the swap. if you have a question about the headswap, 99% chance that it has been asked and answered on here. it is well known that the front cover bolts on the PI heads are larger than the 96-98 heads. also, WTF are you doing buying your parts from oreilly? all these issues you are having just goes to show that you ashould not be doing the work on your car. the easiest way to do the LT install is put on the heads, then drop the k-member and lower the engine to install the LTs. i have done 6 or 7 swaps and have tried both methods. use your head next time bud.
 

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No reason to not buy gaskets from o'reilly's. They are felpro's, and if you talk to a person who knows their stuff there you won't have a problem.

Good luck on the rest of your install. It will be worth it when it's all done.
 

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Just a little bump in the road thats all dude - I just finished mine and the car was on jack stands for 6 weeks pending parts, things not fitting on the new block etc... but kept at it and now it's done and it works (hopefully :) ) And like pgans said, it's be well worth it when it's all done.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
thanks for all of the replies guys i am just so antious to have the car done and it was suposed not be a difficult swap, well the actual work hasn't been that bad its just all of the kinks along the way, and what about this houston performance thing with the LT's who votes they will do me right and who begs the differ.
by the way i did my fair share of research and bought everything everyone told me to buy and new bolts and studs wasnt one of them until badfast96 called me personally
 

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Discussion Starter #12
nope, i got pics of the right ones for my car and they are made and bent totally different and they dont have the extra holes at the top of the headers i have found some headers that i am going to buy to replace them.

great news just in, i just got off the phone with steve at houston performance and they are working with me and refunding my money, and the headers that i found are on the way to houston so i can pick them up on the way back after i get my money and im paying $50 less for them, they are in better condition and the bigest plus of all they are the right ones.
finally some good luck its about time.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
well im on the way back to houston performance tomorrow to get my money back and pick up my new headers and then back to the drawing board to finish up my car. i think my luck is changing a little for the better, ill keep you guys posted of my progress thanks for all of your support.
happy horsepower hunting,
james
 

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As you noticed, you won't get the right studs for the heads from Ford.

Go down to your local hardware store and get 10mm bolts and studs (I think it's 10mm). take the old one down there with you and get the correct size.

There's no reason to not buy Fel-Pro gaskets. That's what I got. Be warned, though that they DO NOT make a PI intake gasket as far as I could locate one...they list all their mod intake gaskets as the same P/N for '96-'03 which is not correct.

Attach the L/Ts to the heads and drop the whole assembly in that way, like SOB said. Just get a friend to help you drop the heads on so you don't scratch the surfaces...it's a pretty heavy setup with everything assembled.

Post pics of your headers. I'm curious what they look like.

They should look something (mine are BBK, so they're slightly different, but the general idea is the same) like this:

 

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so is it possible to attach the header and drop it in as one? I've heard people say they tried this and could not get it to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
i already took the headers that wouldnt fit all of the way back to houston performance and on the way back i picked up the right ones hopefully. I just got back from houston and man that is a long drive, i am going to start back to work on it tommorow.

that amazes me that ford wont give me the right studs and bolts.
it would seem that since they made the studs and bolts different on the pi heads that you could order them some how???????
 
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