Newbie Needs Help

demetri e

New Member
Jun 22, 2013
recently purchased a 88 gt stock 5.0 with 128,000 for a project, they had enough fix a leak in the radiator to stop Niagara falls, flushed it out , changed water pump, timing chain, timing cover gasket and a new overflow tank, still losing antifreeze found out blown head gasket! now my question what are some of my options , can the heads be upgraded on a high mileage block? should I save for a new block or rebuilt one? or the option we were looking to since the engine does run strong ( barring it doesn't go bad in a year), change the head gaskets, cobra manifold, bbk throttle body, New 1.72 rocker arms, fuel pressure regulator, and a cold air intake, I'm just afraid in a year the block will go bad and I wasted money changing the head gaskets, my mechanic and me picked this stuff out cause it could be used if I decide on a new engine
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Jun 21, 2013
I guess the coolant was leaking in the exhaust side and you had clean oil? If so id fix it and run with it. The 302 can go forever even if your hard on it. Thats just my 2 cents. I am beating the heck out of a stock bottom end out of a 86 lincoln with a bunch of bolt ons. Most worth mentioning are heads and a cam. Its literally been beat to hell and back. Once it over heated so bad it locked up and when it cooled off, it fired right up. The bottom end before that had a knock and I tried to finish it off but could not after several tacked out burnouts. IMO, give it a shot.


Founding Member
Feb 27, 2001
Oak Cliff
put a set of Fel Pro 9333 or 8548 HGs on it with ARP fasteners and call it a day. the block should be fine, but check the decks of the block and the heads with a straight edge before reassembly.


SN Certified Technician
Aug 27, 2012
In the garage
X2 on checking he head and block for straightness. If the heads need to be milled, not such a big problem. If the block deck needs to be milled, BIG problem. Take a long straightedge and some .0002 feeler gauges to check for any warpage on the heads and block deck. Stuff some rags or paper towels in the cylinders, water and oil passages and in the lifter galley. Make sure to get the block surface squeaky clean, using razor blades and lacquer thinner or acetone. Use a chase and run it down all the head bolt holes to clean them out and ensure proper torque.