ARP head studs and head gaskets | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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ARP head studs and head gaskets


Explorer Torture Tester
Elite Explorer
April 3, 2008
Reaction score
City, State
Gloucester City, NJ
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 2Dr,2,000 & 04 4dr xlt
Since I got my ARP head studs so quickly I have no excuse but to do the job right and install the head gaskets and studs all at once.
The box I got is real pretty, I would have preferred a cheaper looking box and a discount. lol.


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So I just started and the radiator petcock breaks. lol.
I hope the rest of this job doesn't go this way.


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What gaskets are you going with?? Does felpro make a super duty set like the ohv or going with another make??


Going with FelPro I think.
I have not bought the gaskets yet.
While working for Goodyear I used Fel Pro mostly. I worked for an engine remanufacturer for a year, they used Victor Reins. We had a lot of comebacks due to cheap gaskets. Then Back at Goodyear I got a set of gaskets opened them up and was like who made these crappy thin gaskets?
turned out to be Victor Reins again. They may have changed there ways since then but I dont truct them.
I figure I may get the heads off this weekend, and have a week to shop for gaskets. Worst case scenario I will get them from Ford. Fel Pro has always been top notch when I used them, sometimes even better than original since they tried to correct what the factory had problems with.
If anyone sees a part number for SuperDuty ones for the 4.0 SOHC let me know and I will look for them.

Ive used victor before and had issues. .I blew the standard felpro off my truck but the super duty have been good..for the ohv the part number has a SD on the end and are blue, if you didnt know already ;)


Were they single head gaskets or a headset kit?

Fel Pro

I think for my engine there is only Fel Pro perma torque gaskets.
Suposedly they dont need retorqueing like some applications do.

Part Numbers

Looks like
Fel Pro
Head Gaskets, single gaskets are
26300PT and 26301PT for there best available.

Valve cover gaskest set VS50491R

funny, i didnt know victors were bad. when i opened my 5L up to look everything over i bought a master victor kit and never had a problem. when (if) i open the new motor, i will use felpro's however. i might need to find a little thicker head gasket to try and lower the compression on it.
also, will you have enough room to put the heads back on with the motor in place?


If you used Victor and they worked good, then maybe they got their stuff together or maybe they got the 5.0 stuff spot on. It has been almost 10 years since I left Goodyear. Some companies learn from their mistakes.
I don't know what is going to happen with room in the engine compartment. I will have to check for clearance knowing that head studs are going to be there in stead of bolts.
Normal head gasket jobs can be done in the vehicle, the rear timing chain can not. If I am not careful I could break rear timing chain guide and that would mean engine pulling time. I plan to be careful. lol.
Got a good start on it tonight, supercharger is off.

You really can't beat the multi-layer steel gaskets. I have never seen one fail, it's always the head that warps on a 4.0 sohc.

Multi layer steel gaskets


I agree, the MLS gaskets are what made engines with aluminum heads hold up so long.

Back when the aluminum heads starting going on a lot of the engines I saw many gasket failures. Most of the failures were around 50,000 miles. I vowed to never buy a vehicle with an engine that had a aluminum head.

Now I own 2 explorers with aluminum cylinder heads. My 4 door has over 240,000 miles on it and has never had the heads off. Just goes to show you how well the hold up.


I did a little shopping. Here are the head gaskets. Keep in mind the right and left are different part numbers.


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Valve cover gaskets

Valve cover gaskets. Got them home and realized they had been opened at one time. Real classy PepBoys!
After taking pictures I inspected them and all is well.


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Supercharger gasket

Here is the supercharger gasket for the 1998 Ford Explorer 4.0L SOHC.
I hate the fact that they put tape on the gasket, dumb *****!


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Radiator Petcock

Got a replacement radiator petcock. Pep Boys had it in stock along with all the other goodies I picked up today. I even had a coupon for $20.00 off.
I installed the petcock and it seems to fit perfectly.
Now it's time to get back out in the garage and get back to work.


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So last weekend I got it torn down to the valve covers. I had them off to take a look inside and found the engine to be pretty clean, out side of needing an oil change. I run Mobil 1 advanced 15,000 mile formula. The oil is supposed to be good for 15,000 miles or 1 year (after that the additives break down). I might hit 3,000 miles per year if I am lucky. I change it once a year unless something goes wrong that may dirty the oil.(like pulling the heads off).
I put both valve covers back on to keep dust and dirt out while I wait for some time off to work on it again. Probably be back at it Friday night. My plan is to have the heads and valve covers back on by the end of the weekend, if nothing goes wrong. I checked the fit of all the timing tools to make sure they would work with the engine in the vehicle, no problems so far.
I am definitely redoing the wiring harness, I altered it when I put the first supercharger on (m90). I don't like how it turned out so I am redoing it since I had to remove it to pull the heads.


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clean engine

I wish that my engine looked as clean as yours. I also only drive mine about 3,000 miles per year. I have a bypass oil filter as well as a full flow filter. I use full synthetic oil, quality filters and change my oil at least twice a year with a 5 minute flush every other time. I suspect the only way I'll get my engine clean is with a hot tank after full disassembly.