View Full Version : Blown head gaskets...or worse

04-26-2006, 05:32 PM
Sorry for the long post...questions at the bottom if you prefer to skip the history.

I have a 96 cobra with 50k miles on it. I bought it 5 years ago and have stored it since, as there was a heating issue with the car when I bought it. It was severe, the engine would shut down spark plugs after 15 minutes of driving. The dealer wanted 2500 to apply the 97 TSB on it, so last year I bought a fluidyne radiator and replaced it, all the hoses, new cap and thermostat, and installed the plastic airdam that was missing under the car. I drove the car on a trip of about 500 miles and it ran great! The temp never went past the 'm' in Normal.

Shortly after this trip I drove it a few more times locally and it started to run warm again. Then in October I started it and smelled antifreeze so I shut it down and parted it, until yesterday.

I fired the car up...and the drivers side bank emmited a lot of white smoke and it ran rough - I mean a lot of smoke! Some white smoke was coming from the pass side but I assumed it could have been from the crossover pipe. I took it to my uncles shop, as I am not equiped to change heads in this thing.

My questions are:
1. Does the engine need to be pulled to change head gaskets?
2. How much if any can I mill the heads if they are warped?
3. with 50k miles on the car, what all should I change while we are in there?
4. I bought an electric Autometer gauge, where is the best place to plumb it into?
5. What gaskets and headbolts should I use...Ford or other like NAPA?

thanks much for any advise...


04-26-2006, 09:57 PM
4. I bought an electric Autometer gauge, where is the best place to plumb it into?

Plumb it into the crossover where the plug is. Good luck with the rest. I can't find the info on the brass fitting you need.

05-01-2006, 06:15 PM
Are you sure it's a blown headgasket? The chance of these engine blowing a headgasket is slim and none (by the way the head mates to the block). In 99.9% of cases, assumed blown headgaskets have been blown engines (usually the rings).

When you pull the heads, do a thourough examination of your pistons/rings/rods....

05-02-2006, 10:23 AM
1. Yes, at least that is what they told me on my 01.
2. The machine shop told me that ford recommended twenty five thousandths.
3. I am not sure
4. ?
5. I have the ford motorsport or dealer gaskets and arp bolts I was told.
Sucks to have this problem, I was lucky the warranty paid for almost all of it.