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87B2 cracked heads, how does one know?

not turbo

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87 Bronco 2
I've got a Bronco 2 that had a failure in at least one lifter...in the process of replacing the lifters (as a set) I've considered getting a valve job at the same time.

However--the first words out of the shop's mouth was "oh yeah, the 2.9 is notorious for cracked heads, have to pressure check them, probably have to replace them."

Now I know there is an issue with cracked heads, having read several forums on the B2, *but* isn't it possible that a shop, a less-than-honest shop, could "check" the heads, claim "they're cracked!" and then try to bamboozle me into buying new (or rebuilt) heads, when I don't really need them?

Is there some way I can check them at home? There was no oil-in-water or water-in-oil issues prior to the failure...slight blue smoke, particularly on acceleration, but no oil loss between oil changes.

Thanks for any help!
 


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rookieshooter

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not turbo said:
I've got a Bronco 2 that had a failure in at least one lifter...in the process of replacing the lifters (as a set) I've considered getting a valve job at the same time.

However--the first words out of the shop's mouth was "oh yeah, the 2.9 is notorious for cracked heads, have to pressure check them, probably have to replace them."

Now I know there is an issue with cracked heads, having read several forums on the B2, *but* isn't it possible that a shop, a less-than-honest shop, could "check" the heads, claim "they're cracked!" and then try to bamboozle me into buying new (or rebuilt) heads, when I don't really need them?

Is there some way I can check them at home? There was no oil-in-water or water-in-oil issues prior to the failure...slight blue smoke, particularly on acceleration, but no oil loss between oil changes.

Thanks for any help!

Some cracks are so small and in such a place that you may not see them at home. I would take them to another shop and have them checked out. They might magnaflux them and this would show you if and where the cracks are.
 




not turbo

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Thank you! It's been 15-20 years since I've done any engine "stuff", and even then the heads/valves were always the domain of The Guys At The Shop...

Any advice for me relating to an upper-end build/overhaul? I've read a little on valves, especially "knurling", is that ok for my B2?

It's intended purpose is a daily driver, perhaps some roadside camping excursions, etc. It has "80,000" on the odometer--whether that's 180k or 280k is anyones' guess...it doesn't use oil, tranny fluid needs about half a quart/month, no discernible leaks, and doesn't use a lot of coolant (a quart every 2-3 months)

Thanks again! Btw, I read your thread on your conversion, great job on your B2 and 302!! Funny, but the 302 looks smaller with the fenders and radiator off....
 




not turbo

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One other question...I noticed a large wiring harness which straddles the engine, going through the intake manifold...is it possible to re-route it without noticably changing any resistance issues? I just want to clean up the engine "airspace" a little...

I think it includes the alternator wire and a few others...
 




rookieshooter

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not turbo said:
Thank you! It's been 15-20 years since I've done any engine "stuff", and even then the heads/valves were always the domain of The Guys At The Shop...

Any advice for me relating to an upper-end build/overhaul? I've read a little on valves, especially "knurling", is that ok for my B2?

It's intended purpose is a daily driver, perhaps some roadside camping excursions, etc. It has "80,000" on the odometer--whether that's 180k or 280k is anyones' guess...it doesn't use oil, tranny fluid needs about half a quart/month, no discernible leaks, and doesn't use a lot of coolant (a quart every 2-3 months)

Thanks again! Btw, I read your thread on your conversion, great job on your B2 and 302!! Funny, but the 302 looks smaller with the fenders and radiator off....


If you have the time and money, you can't go wrong with taking the heads and having a good valve job. Some of the valves may be burned and or not seating correctly. I used to take the head, turn it upside down on a bench. Fill the combustion chamber up with enough water to cover the valves. And then get an air hose and blow air into the intake and exhaust runners . Also push a rag around the end of hose so air is forced into runners. You'll be surprised what you may see. I even do this after getting them back from the machine shop to make sure they lapped the valves for a perfect seal. On more then one occasion I had to take them back and perform the same test in front of them.

About the smaller looking engine in the B11. It is not the fenders but the aluminum heads. They are in fact 50 some pounds lighter then the original cast iron heads. If you lost 50 some pounds you would look samller too. It's the same thing with an engine :confused:
 




not turbo

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About the smaller looking engine in the B11. It is not the fenders but the aluminum heads. They are in fact 50 some pounds lighter then the original cast iron heads. If you lost 50 some pounds you would look samller too. It's the same thing with an engine

Hey, I don't need to lose 50 lbs...I'm all muscle, rock-hard abs, and rippling...whatevers...:D

*checks to see if this is the internet*....yup, it is. I"m safe!

Most impressive anyway you look at that 302...drool, drool.
 




not turbo

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How do I disconnect those two fuel lines on the lower intake manifold? They don't use a normal fuel fitting, they are just round metal connectors with a unusual C-clip slipped over the hose and connectors.

Is there a special tool for this?

Edit: I went to a local Schuck's and asked...they showed me little plastic "C" tools designed to remove these connectors, found on A/C and fuel lines...about $11 US for 5-6 different sizes.

Ingenious, but what a PIA--what was wrong with the old 9/16" connectors? Unless the EFI, using a "pressurized" system, prevents a normal connection....
 




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