Port and Polish


gungfudan

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Been reading and want a final opinion. I am considering buying two used heads and upper and lower intake from a post 98 Ranger 3.0. I wanted to do a port and polish and rebuild the heads. The lower will be stock not looking to race just wanting to free up horse power.
My understanding of doing a mild port and polish (gasket match) your not really gaining tons of horse power if any you are just freeing up air flow. Am I correct?
 


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Yea that's my understanding of gasket matching and polishing. Back in the old days though you didn't polish the intake side. You left the ports rough to help create more turbulence to mix the fuel/air and just gasket matched. The exhaust side, polish away...

I dont know how thin 3.0 heads are. Might wanna chat with someone who's done it though or risk grinding into a coolant port. You wouldn't think you'd ever remove enough material to worry about it by just gasket matching... but I've seen some awfully misaligned ports in my day.
 

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That is why I am getting 98 or after heads because they are thicker. I am not messing with my 94 heads.
 

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Your getting both intake manifolds from the 98 3.0. Will you use the upper manifold on your 94? You know they are a different desgin. The 98+ upper manifold will work, yet it will take some modifications...different throttle cable, couple of sensor wiring adjustments, but it is doable.

For the heads, I cannot recall exactly how much mine were taking off. When I had my original 3.0 rebuilt in 2002. I found this old timer in a crap hole in the wall machine shop, and he did a great job. Whole engine was done...block .030 over, mild port and polish on both head, and both upper and lower intake manifold. That engine was strong, at 240,000 miles it started to lose a little bit of compression in one cylinder. Instead of getting that whole thing redone. Bought a used long block from 94 3.0 ranger at my friend's yard. Took that back to this old timer, and he did the same type of rebuild, but he added a little performance to it thru the cam, did better pistons, etc...that was in 2017. It now has 48,000 miles and it does great. My ranger is a 5spd, and I am using 4:10 gears.

Moral of the story is find a good old fashion machine shop, and discuss your wants. They will assist you with all that. That is what this old timer did with me twice since I have done business with him.
 

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Your getting both intake manifolds from the 98 3.0. Will you use the upper manifold on your 94? You know they are a different desgin. The 98+ upper manifold will work, yet it will take some modifications...different throttle cable, couple of sensor wiring adjustments, but it is doable.

For the heads, I cannot recall exactly how much mine were taking off. When I had my original 3.0 rebuilt in 2002. I found this old timer in a crap hole in the wall machine shop, and he did a great job. Whole engine was done...block .030 over, mild port and polish on both head, and both upper and lower intake manifold. That engine was strong, at 240,000 miles it started to lose a little bit of compression in one cylinder. Instead of getting that whole thing redone. Bought a used long block from 94 3.0 ranger at my friend's yard. Took that back to this old timer, and he did the same type of rebuild, but he added a little performance to it thru the cam, did better pistons, etc...that was in 2017. It now has 48,000 miles and it does great. My ranger is a 5spd, and I am using 4:10 gears.

Moral of the story is find a good old fashion machine shop, and discuss your wants. They will assist you with all that. That is what this old timer did with me twice since I have done business with him.
The heads are from a 99 and the upper and lower are from a 2000 Ranger.

I don’t need to do anything with the bottom end of the motor. The motor only has 60,000 original miles on it.
 

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Wasn't saying to get the whole engine redone. The top end when it comes to the old fashion port and polish it is complicated some, yet there have been so many types of this done by many individuals. Locate a machine shop you can trust, and don't go by price, go by the knowledge of the people that work there. Talk with them and they will help you on the amount of how much or how little to do on these. The older 3.0's are good strong engines, but they do have thier limits as any engine does. Myself I chose to go mild as it would give the accerleration when needed, and still be a cruiser while gas mileage is still good.
 

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Pics of my lower intake porting and head porting are here:

Do yourself a favor and polish the combustion chambers as much as you can. It will greatly reduce pinging. The lower intake has a lot of meat that can be removed even just to gasket match. 3.0 heads are porous castings, so you probably won't be able to get them perfectly smooth without pock marks. As far as removing material, I don't think I pushed mine very far honestly, but I'm happy with how they turned out for a first timer flying by the seat of my pants. If I were to do it again I think I'd work more in the bowl area around the valve stems. For an otherwise stock setup, I might not even use any carbide cutters to remove much material and instead just focus on using sanding cones to straighten and smooth the runners gradually.
 

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Pics of my lower intake porting and head porting are here:

Do yourself a favor and polish the combustion chambers as much as you can. It will greatly reduce pinging. The lower intake has a lot of meat that can be removed even just to gasket match. 3.0 heads are porous castings, so you probably won't be able to get them perfectly smooth without pock marks. As far as removing material, I don't think I pushed mine very far honestly, but I'm happy with how they turned out for a first timer flying by the seat of my pants. If I were to do it again I think I'd work more in the bowl area around the valve stems. For an otherwise stock setup, I might not even use any carbide cutters to remove much material and instead just focus on using sanding cones to straighten and smooth the runners gradually.
I usually hate on the 3.0.


That sir, is a work of art.
 

gungfudan

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Pics of my lower intake porting and head porting are here:

Do yourself a favor and polish the combustion chambers as much as you can. It will greatly reduce pinging. The lower intake has a lot of meat that can be removed even just to gasket match. 3.0 heads are porous castings, so you probably won't be able to get them perfectly smooth without pock marks. As far as removing material, I don't think I pushed mine very far honestly, but I'm happy with how they turned out for a first timer flying by the seat of my pants. If I were to do it again I think I'd work more in the bowl area around the valve stems. For an otherwise stock setup, I might not even use any carbide cutters to remove much material and instead just focus on using sanding cones to straighten and smooth the runners gradually.
So you are saying polish the cylinder walls? Or the bottom part of the head?Yeah I don’t feel like taking the block out. I mean I could overhaul the lower block of the other engine that I am getting. I am getting a 99’ long block for $100 that had a blown head gasket. I could rebuild the whole thing. I haven’t ever noticed any pinging.
 
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stmitch

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No, I'm saying polish the combustion chambers. The part of the cylinder head where the valves are. A typical port/polish job focuses on the intake and exhaust runners because that's where the air flow gains are to be made, but ignoring the combustion chambers is a big mistake.
3.0's are notorious for pinging/detonation which will cause the PCM to pull timing until the pinging stops and makes less power as a result.
Any roughness in the combustion chamber will trap carbon, and the little casting 'peaks' tend to get hotter than a smooth surface will too. Carbon buildup and uneven temps in the cylinder will Both lead to increased chances of pinging. Smoothing/polishing the roughness out of the combustion chamber will greatly reduce the chances of harmful detonation and will make your engine run better, for longer.
Basically you want to go from this:


To this:



And after the valve job, it should end up something along these lines:

 

gungfudan

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No, I'm saying polish the combustion chambers. The part of the cylinder head where the valves are. A typical port/polish job focuses on the intake and exhaust runners because that's where the air flow gains are to be made, but ignoring the combustion chambers is a big mistake.
3.0's are notorious for pinging/detonation which will cause the PCM to pull timing until the pinging stops and makes less power as a result.
Any roughness in the combustion chamber will trap carbon, and the little casting 'peaks' tend to get hotter than a smooth surface will too. Carbon buildup and uneven temps in the cylinder will Both lead to increased chances of pinging. Smoothing/polishing the roughness out of the combustion chamber will greatly reduce the chances of harmful detonation and will make your engine run better, for longer.
Basically you want to go from this:


To this:



And after the valve job, it should end up something along these lines:

Did you just use the finest grit from a port and polish kit?
 

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I didn't buy a "kit". I had most of the stuff laying around already. Carbide bits in a die grinder will remove large amounts of material relatively quickly. Be patient and let the bit do the work. Don't apply much pressure. You'll want different shapes/sizes to do smooth, flat wall sections as well as rounded radius types for corners.
From there I used hard sanding drums in some places and finally used softer, more flexible sanding cones in other places on the runners. They do a good job of bending just enough to give you a smooth radius. I liked using them the best. For the combustion chambers, instead of the sanding cones, I finished them by hand with regular sheets of sandpaper in different grits until I was happy enough with them. They're not perfect, but they're cast iron so they take awhile to really notice a difference and you really have to be patient.
 

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I didn't buy a "kit". I had most of the stuff laying around already. Carbide bits in a die grinder will remove large amounts of material relatively quickly. Be patient and let the bit do the work. Don't apply much pressure. You'll want different shapes/sizes to do smooth, flat wall sections as well as rounded radius types for corners.
From there I used hard sanding drums in some places and finally used softer, more flexible sanding cones in other places on the runners. They do a good job of bending just enough to give you a smooth radius. I liked using them the best. For the combustion chambers, instead of the sanding cones, I finished them by hand with regular sheets of sandpaper in different grits until I was happy enough with them. They're not perfect, but they're cast iron so they take awhile to really notice a difference and you really have to be patient.
Did you have any trouble with installing your headers? I plan on keeping my A/C and everything else stock. Which headers did you buy? And is it worth it for me to buy them? Could I port the stock exhaust manifold?
 

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Did you have any trouble with installing your headers?
None really. But I did mine with the engine on a stand, and I didn't have to mess with removing old manifolds because I just pulled the original engine. It's probably more of a pain dealing with it in the truck, and having to remove the original manifolds and deal with rusted studs/bolts in tight places. The ball/socket style joint from the header to the Y pipe can be a little tricky to seal up but I haven't really had any problems.

I plan on keeping my A/C and everything else stock. Which headers did you buy?
Mine are stainless JBAs for 98+ that I had ceramic coated by a local shop. They required no modifications to the trucks heat/AC systems and are still looking as good as when I installed them. For the easiest install you'd want to get the ones for 97-older (JBA Part # 1646S) which comes with a different Y pipe and are more expensive (of course). I've heard of guys using the 98+headers on older trucks but don't remember what exactly is involved.

And is it worth it for me to buy them?
Headers for an older 3.0 are almost $800, and you won't see huge gains with shortys, especially on a fairly stock engine. For that kind of money, I'd start with an efan conversion and underdrive pulley for $300-400. They'll give you more noticeable improvements in power, will also help with fuel efficiency, and won't require any PCM tuning which extensive porting might. There would probably even be enough $$ left over to buy some roller rockers.

Could I port the stock exhaust manifold?
Probably? They're cast iron, which takes forever to port but I don't see why not. I doubt it would be worth the hassle honestly, but if you get in there and think it's worth the time/effort then knock yourself out.
 


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