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Old 12-19-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
Ryan
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Default Lima Cylinder Heads

So recently it was pointed out again that I am a retarded. I am looking to get the ball rolling on my project and I have most of the parts for the lower end.

I am now looking at what I want for the head. After talking to a guy that does heads, I am lost. So, I figured I would start with the basics. What can we put on a lima? I am looking for all the options here.

2.0 lima head
Turbo head
Dual Plug head (94 and earlier)
Dual plug head (95 and later)
Volvo 8V head
Volvo 16V head
Esslinger head
Arca head

The goal of this thread is to do a Pro's and Con's of each. I am going to try and dig up the specs on these heads, and see if I can find cut aways for each one.

I know there is no, one magical head, that will do the trick for everyone, but it would be nice to do a side by side comparison per say of each stock-ish (out of the box) head. I am open to anyone’s comments. I understand there has been a TON of discussion on the topic. I just cannot find it all together.

Thanks,
-Ryan

Here's some information that I've gathered over the years from different sources and my own findings regarding all the variants of the 2.3 head. There are 12 different major head casting variations in the 2.3 engine. From the day of introduction, all lima based 2.3 heads shared the SAME valve diameters. These were 1.735 intake and 1.50 exhaust. The 2.0 ranger head can be easily identified by its much smaller valves and combustion chambers that match the smaller engine bore.

Head #1 ( Used 1974-75) Oval intake port, open D shaped chambers. Typical casting #s are D42E-AH/AJ/BJ and D4ZE-BC. Air injection holes in exhaust ports for the smog pump.

Head #2 Used in 1975-80 cars without turbos and 1977-80 courier trucks. Oval intake port, open D shaped chamber. Only change from the above head is the spark plug holes are tapped half way, which continued from 1975 and up. Typical casting numbers are D52E-AA/BA, D6EE-AA/BA, D7EE-CB, D8EE-CA, D9EE-AA/BA/JB/KB/KC.

Head #3 Used in 1979-81 cars WITH turbos (carb turbo mustangs). Oval port, D shaped open chamber. Same camshaft as the above, but did get heavier duty valve springs. Oil drain back for the turbo is IN THE HEAD, by the #4 spark plug. Casting #'s D9EE-JC, D9ZE-AA, E1ZE-AC.

Head #4 Used in 1981-83 cars WITHOUT turbos, 1983-84 cars WITH turbos, and 1981-82 courier trucks. This was the introduction of the "D" shaped intake port. The D shape was designed in an effort to reduce fuel puddling in the intake port during warm-up to pass emissions testing, which was a problem with the oval port design. Open D shaped combustion chambers. Casting #'s E1BE-AC/AD/CB/CC

Head #5 Used in 1984 cars WITHOUT turbos. This head is a D shaped intake port, but has a CLOSED (heart shaped) combustion chamber. This was the first year of this chamber design. The casting # for this head is E4ZE-DA.

Head #6 Used in 1982-85 cars using LPG fuel. It had hardened exhaust seats. The letter "P" is stamped on the back of the head. Casting #'s E1BE-AD and E4DZ-AA.

Head #7 Used on carbureted 1983-1985 Ranger trucks. (2.3) This is a very unique head from the rest, having 4 ROUND intake ports. The ports are roughly 1-7/16" diameter. Open, D shaped chamber. Casting #'s E27E-DA/EA.

Head #8 Used in 1985-88 cars WITHOUT turbos, and 1985-88 Rangers without roller cam. It has an additional hole tapped for the intake manifold in the #1 port. D shaped intake ports and closed heart shaped chamber. Casting #'s E59E-GB, E69E-AB.

Head #9 Used on 1985-88 cars WITH turbos. No air holes in exhaust ports. Open chambers, D shaped intake ports. Valvesprings are heavier and the exhaust valves are made of an inconel material to withstand the increased heat of the turbocharged engine. The most common casting # is E5ZE-EA/AB however there are more out there.

Head #10 Used on 87-88 Rangers WITH roller cam. Typical casting #'s E59E-GB, E69E-AB/FB

Head #11 Used on 1989-1994? Rangers and 1991-1994 mustangs. The famed "Dual Plug" head, with 2 spark plugs per chamber. The first major redesign of the 2.3 lima head since the original pinto debut. Intake ports have a massive swirl dam in the bowl area to induce swirl for cleaner emissions and low speed torque. The intake ports are a smaller version of the "D" shape, however they are symmetrical as opposed to angled different directions like the early heads. The ports themselves are much smaller in diameter for high velocity low speed power. The intake bolt pattern is different from the early heads as well, manifolds will not interchange. The combustion chambers were redesigned as well for a higher swirl and faster burn. The exhaust port is identical however in location and bolt pattern. These heads all came with roller cams. No smog holes in the EX ports. Typical casting #'s E89E-AB, E97E-BA

Head #12 Used from 1995-2003 in the Ford Ranger, on both 2.3 and 2.5 liter engines. Referred to as the "Late" Dual plug head, Ford's last shot at a cast iron 8 valve 4 cylinder head to keep up with the high technology coming out of Japan. It was similar in design to the above dual plug head, however the intake ports and combustion chambers were redesigned once again slightly. The intake and exhaust valve stem size was decreased to 7mm for a lighter valvetrain mass. The spring and retainer size was decreased as well for the same purpose. This head also had a multi-angle valve job that was done fairly well IMO.. This combination netted the best factory airflow numbers of all the 2.3 heads I have tested, however the potential of a true high performance head is very limited in my opinion and the older designs of the head have much more power potential given the same amount of modification.

Head #13 2.0 Ranger round port. Smaller, more compact chambers than the 2.3 ranger round port head and has smaller intake and exhaust valves. These heads get very thin around the seats and chambers when installing conventional oversized 1.89X 1.59" valves, so do so with caution. They have a slightly better exhaust port bowl shape that is worth a little extra flow. Intake bowls as mentioned are thinner than the 2.3 version of this head so port with caution. This head is similar in appearance to any other 2.3 head, the only dead giveaway other than the casting number is the smaller unique chamber shape and small valves. This head will physically bolt onto a 2.3 block unlike the older "pinto" 2.0 head which is a completely different engine and nothing is interchangeable between. This head is found on Rangers from years 1983-1988. From 7-15-86 and on the head came with an additional bolt hole in the front of the head near the thermostat housing but other than that they appear to be the same casting. The 1983-1986 casting numbers are E27E-FB and E37E-DA. The 7-15-86 and on casting number with extra bolt hole is E67E-AB.


There are some minute casting differences that can be seen with a good eye given the same overall configuration between 2 heads. There are some castings that have more material in some areas that will allow for more port modifications than other heads even though they are both "open chamber D port" heads. Some castings will outflow others in stock form, once again with the same overall physical characteristics to the naked eye.

-Boport

Last edited by Ryan; 12-19-2011 at 07:54 PM..
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:07 PM   #2
Ron83ranger
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the volvo 8 valve head supposedly has ports that flow real well, but the valves are small and you cant really go too much larger.

the turbo head can be done up for just about any but the most hardcore of combos. but finding one not cracked is getting tough. but if it is cracked, it can be fixed. mine was cracked right into the water jacket on 2 exhaust seats and it pressurized the coolant out of the overflow. now its fine after the repair.

the dual plug heads can have fantastic flowing intake ports when ported really well, but not so great on the exhaust to match. you would need a custom cam to help with the exhaust shortcomings.

the essy heads are just plain more expensive than any others, but they do flow well.

the volvo 16 valve isnt that expensive to setup, but not as cheap as a turbo head. it gets expensive when you want cams and valves, with an intake and exhaust manifolds.
same for the 8 valve.

will the 2.0pinto head even work on the lima block? the 2.0 ranger head will which is just a smaller N/A lima head.

i do know where some cutaways are but im short on time right now. maybe later.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:20 PM   #3
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I meant 2.0 ranger head. I'll edit that. For some reason i have it stuck in my brain as a pinto block.

Thanks for your input Ron.
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:33 PM   #4
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the heads vary alot from app to app.....
20 ranger round port head, small chamber
2.3 ranger round port, same size chamber as turbo head but better runner, needs custom intake...
2.3 early n/a pinto head, oval port, early ones are good, later ones castings are not so good...need to either make intake or severly massage a f/i intake...
2.3 n/a f/i head, d-port with heart shaped chambers, can be worked over to work well...
2.3 turbo head,,,,, you guys know these work...
2.3 and 2.5 early and late dual plug heads..... both have issues but can work up to a point... i recall there being an issue on the later ones having to do with the right rear of the head deforming under extreme conditions....
volvo heads,,, you either have to modify the head or block, they make great power even with stock cams and valves.....
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
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Anyone have access to the Combustion Chamber cc's? of these heads? I still need to look up year ranges.

Anyone know if the Volvo 8v turbo and NA have the same came?

The more I read about head design the more my head hurts. You really are just prioritizing. If you port for air flow, you loose velocity, then you have turbo lag, and its a crap shoot.

The Cambers on the Turbo heads are pretty large when trying to get to 9.5:1 with dished pistons.

Valve overlap doesn't treat a turbo well, does it?

This post was a conplete waste of time. Sorry. I mainly wanted to ask the questions at the top.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:23 PM   #6
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slow down,,,, have a cold whatever, and give sam a call again.... he can give you answers in plain english.....i promise..
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:47 PM   #7
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Volvo 8v #530 = 52cc
Volvo 8v #531 = 54cc
My Late DP = 60cc (others have measured smaller)

I've been modifying a Volvo 8v head, since I can't find a good Late DP. Which is fairly simple once you have the head in front of you.

Volvo 8v have many stock cam choices, 8 that I can think of off the top of my head. 3-4 of them are suitable for N/A & Turbo. The others are not suitable for the turbo. Many cams are available in the aftermarket that keep the exhaust valve open slightly longer to improve exhaust flow.

The Volvo head is 3/4" taller where the head bolts go through. So Ford headbolts or studs cannot be used. The Volvo turbo headbolts have been reported good to 550hp anyway though, and they're only $50.

Valves size are actually the same as the Lima, and can be gotten as large as 50mm/40mm. 8mm stems. The valves are extremely similar to VW type 1.

The most recent flow #'s I have seen on the 530 put it in the same neighborhood as the standard Lima. The better flow numbers that I keep seeing around the www seem to be for the 531 head, which only came on boat motors in the US.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:02 PM   #8
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ryan, i agree with bender. the info your seeking doesn't sink in right away. ive read, done and seen alot, and i still have to reread/relook and redo things sometimes.

with the turbo head, being at 63cc's(mine was) and you already ordered pistons(?), you may need a thinner gasket(thinking cometic at like .02? compressed). you really dont have to be exactly that ratio, close works too. dont forget, if the 2.5 pistons dish match the 2.3 dish(assuming on the same head) and you have a 2.5 crank vs the 2.3, your compression goes up some from the added stroke. whoever you got the pistons from would know the dish volume.

you can have valve overlap with turbos, but you will be shifting your useable rpm range upwards. thats only gonna work if you have supporting mods to run that high. you dont need a lot of overlap though, you can have more duration with a wider LSA which will help cut back overlap and a crappy idle. street/track turbo motors can use as tight as 110-112* LSA and still idle somewhat decent. normal street runs around 114-116*.

remember, the motor your building has been done numerous times at the power you want, 4-500hp. rethinking the wheel isnt necessary here.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:54 PM   #9
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Agreed guys. I meant that post was useless. Not this thread. Sorry.

What I am trying to do here, is not necessarily re-invent the wheel but force myself to think about what I am doing. I don't want to be one of those clowns that sit here and say, "I have a ranger and I have a turbo coupe, now what?"

So. since I have been here, I have read a few books, seen a few builds go by and I have a pretty good idea from the head gasket down. Yes, I have spent all this time reading on short blocks. Would you imagine I came to the same conclusion as everyone else?

Bender, You have given me the single most important advice of all so far. Have a goal and go for it. If you deviate from it, you will waste a lot of time and money.

I finally have a goal. I am working towards it. I am pretty sure I know what head I am going to use already even though I have 1 Merkur head, 1 16v Volvo head, A blown up ranger head and an 8v Volvo head on the way.

Now back to the cylinder head discussion here. For this build, I am going to use the turbo head (assuming it isn't cracked). They seem to be the toughest of them all.

I am trying to keep this forum generic so the next person coming along can make an informed decision.

I am going to update the first post with everything.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:17 AM   #10
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Once I pull my 84 2.3 ranger head, I plan on doing something with it. Seams to be a rare, and highly promissing head. Hopefully it doesn't have bad cracks in the exhaust ports.
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