'87 Shelby CSX
#321 of 750


Buildup  Progress

Cylinder  Head

Wastegate  Actuator

Motor Mounts




davidr at shelbycsx.com


Cylinder Head Buildup

A lot of the parts I needed for this engine were available from Cindy Lindsay at FWD Performance. Other parts I picked up, just for convenience, at a local Chrysler dealer. The braided turbo oil and coolant lines from Lyle Reid at TurboNation are first-rate.

Since I'm going for durability above all, within the limits of my budget, I decided to use a thermal barrier coating on the valve faces and a dry film lubricant coating on the valve springs. While the new valves and springs were off at High Performance Coatings in Oklahoma to be coated, I started on the head work. I originally planned to coat the piston tops and skirts, but information from Dave Zelkowski on Gary Donovan's Web site convinced me that it might be a bad idea.

Close-up of head casting flaw
What looks like a casting
flaw in cylinder two is
actually a location marker
for the machines that
process the head.

I began with the head that I removed from my '88 Sundance 2.2L TBI in 1999. It needed valve guides and it showed the usual small cracks between the valve seats of cylinders one, two, and three. Cylinder two also had what I thought was a casting flaw. According to Gary Donovan, however, it is a location marker for the machines that process the head. I degreased the head with engine degreaser and rinsed it off with high-pressure water. This removed about half the gunk and grime. It probably could have done better, but it was cold outside where I did the cleaning.

Do-It-Yourself Deluxe Porting Kit
Standard Abrasives
Deluxe Porting Kit

I did a little bit of porting work on the head before deciding that I really should use a tapered-shroud head instead. I started over with the head from my '87 Shadow ES parts car. On this head I decided to only gasket match and smooth the exhaust ports and the exhaust manifold. I used a porting kit from Standard Abrasives. They have an excellent online Do-It-Yourself Porting Guide. Porting the exhaust manifold is not hard at all. Doing the aluminum head is more difficult because the softer metal tends to gum up the stones and rolls. I don't have an air compressor and I couldn't find an electric die grinder, so I just used my drill, and that worked fine.

The finished head
Here's the finished head
ready to be torqued

The machine shop welded the cracks between the valve seats, installed new seats and guides, and installed the rest of the new parts, which I've listed below. Three of the lower exhaust studs had to be drilled out and Heli-coiled. When I tried to torque down the exhaust manifold, one of the Heli-coils pulled right out of the head! I took the head back to the shop, and they replaced it with a solid insert instead. Those lower stud holes go into a water passage, so you want to be careful with them.


Item   Vendor &
Part Number
TAFT S1 roller cam FWD Performance

FWD 2-101

MP back-cut intake valves FWD Performance


MP back-cut exhaust valves FWD Performance


MP valve springs FWD Performance


Pioneer, Inc. Automotive Products roller rockers FWD Performance

FWD 2-201
R-701-4 (Pioneer)

high-RPM lash adjusters FWD Performance

FWD 2-202

MP chromoly retainers FWD Performance


MP hardened keepers FWD Performance

P4452030 (exhaust)
P4452031 (intake)

MP Viton valve stem seals FWD Performance


Mopar exhaust manifold studs and nuts Huffines Chrysler

P6504170 (stud)
P6500363 (nut)

Mopar intake manifold bolts Huffines Chrysler


Mopar 2-piece intake bolts Huffines Chrysler


NAPA TII manifold gasket set NAPA Auto Parts


Braided turbo oil and coolant lines TurboNation



FWD Performance
281-681-9774 (fax)

High Performance Coatings
400 North Glade Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73127
405-789-2885 (fax)

Huffines Chrysler-Plymouth-Jeep-Hyundai
1001 Coit Road
Plano, TX 75093

NAPA Auto Parts
1832 Avenue K
Plano TX, 75074

Standard Abrasives
Motor Sports Division
4201 Guardian Street
Simi Valley, CA 93063
800-546-6867 (fax)