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I'm posting from Japan

I and my friend are working for the restoration of mangusta owned by my friend. We are wondering what the original engine for his mangusta is. It has the following casted number.

VIN is 8MA1088

engine block casted C5AE-6015E

cylinder head casted C8OE/302/68 with kidney shaped chamber

water pump casted C8OE/D

piston rod casted C8OE-A

We have little information about mangusta. Other friend said the cylinder head is for the 302 engine different from current installed engine block. The cylinder head must be replaced by some reason. My opinion is that this is the original Hi-Po engine that has been installed initially. I read almost past posts in this forum and other website for the small block engine. I know the probability that the hi-po engine is installed is relatively low. 

Could you give me any advices about the engine block, cylinder head or other parts shoule be installed originally? In addition We must replace the cylinder head that doesn't works well, so which parts should we choose?       

mangusta in JAPAN   


Images (1)
  • mangusta in JAPAN
Last edited by George P
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The Mangusta uses the same engine as the 68 Mustang 302 4v, J code engine.

Look here,, for information on the casting identification numbers.

The number you gave on the heads is only part of the identification number for them. On the top of the head you should also see 4v and the casting date code.

The block could be original but I would expect it to be a C80E casting number for a J code. I would think the C5 is a 289 block and was a replacement. You need to look at the date code for the block also.

The date should be close to the build date of the car. In a Mustang it would be about two weeks earlier. I don't know with a Mangusta but I would think only a couple of months earlier.

Certainly the casting date on the heads should be close to that of the block.

The dates are on the other components like the distributor too. Also the thermostat housing, the water pump, the timing chain cover.

Last edited by panteradoug

"Which heads should we choose?"

It depends on your intent. If you want to keep the car completely original then you need to find an original J head with an appropriate casting date. Those have become difficult to find and even if you did you will probably need to have it rebuilt.

In my case, I had one of the exhaust port rot through just enough to cause a coolant leak into the exhaust port. Cast iron can be difficult to weld on but it can be done with stainless 308 rods.

We couldn't get the weld area clean enough and the weld keep getting bigger and bigger. In addition, even if we were successful in finally getting the weld sturdy, I would always be weary of it failing in the future.

In my case, I had already gone to a 347 on the original block. I decided to go to AFR 1388 heads shaved down .024 to get 54cc combustion chambers and went to Cometec -027 head gasket.

You could mill off the AFR identification on the ends of the heads, or maybe even get AFR to do that for you, then just paint the heads Ford blue, then who would notice?


These heads will give you better flow numbers then the iron GT40 heads used in '66-67 by the Ford team. In fact they flow better then stock Boss 302 heads do so building a 500hp 347 on a 302 is VERY easy to do.

Of course in a Mangusta how much additional power the chassis will take is just an educated guess. Certainly what I have seen of the few Mangusta race cars still being run, mostly in Europe, they are over 400hp engines, no doubt.


So there are solutions but even just shipping an original set of iron J heads to Japan is a consideration.


I'm glad that the web page helps. It's still surprising to me how many "Ford enthusiasts" have never heard of it or doubt the authenticity of the information posted?



Koji, Welcome to the forum.  A few things to check as you go thru.

DeTomaso motors are basically Mustang motors as Doug mentioned, they were pulled from the line before getting serialized. 8MA1088 would have been built late 1968 to mid 69. I doubt it ever had a 289 only very first handful of cars may have had 289HiPo .( Check dates on glass -  that will give an estimation on build date. Motor casting dates should precede this date.

Your block should not have a short VIN stamped  on top rear flat area ( that was for FORD cars). The DeTomaso engine VIN is on the intake.

Castings on 302 heads are under the head when bolted down and dates are under then valve covers, so very hard for anyone to ID when all assembled. Water pump date impossible to see when on car. Block and intake casting and dates relatively easy to see. It is fantastic to have all original if not you can search for properly dated components.  Assuming you have the original intake look for engine block casting date very close to that date. PM me if you need more info.



engine VIN(1)


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  • IMG_1450c: Glass date
  • intake
  • engine VIN(1)
Last edited by George P

Tachi-san, it seems that you have the 289 block and 302 connecting rods are installed. I will suppose then that you also have a 302 crankshaft installed, if possible please measure the stroke (at 3.0" for a 302). 

 Are the gauges in English or in Italian (and in MPH or KM/H)? Also, is the pulley on the jackshaft for 2 belts (alternator and A/C pump) or does it support a 3rd belt for the pollution smog pump ?  Almost certainly your car was not built for the US market (since it does not have pop-up headlights). So it may have been shipped with the 289. 

 The block you have was used in both hi-po and standard 289 engines, so even if your car was not the Hi-Po engine it very possibly was shipped with the 289 and then someone converted it to 302 displacement.

Very exciting, I think maybe there are only 2 or 3 Mangustas in Japan (including one with a 351 Windsor!)---Lee


Last edited by leea

As others have said, looks like you have a 1965 series 289 block.  Just above and slightly to the left off the C in C5AE you will find a number followed by a letter and 1 or 2 numbers.  This will give you the actual casting date (so 5A3 would be January 3rd 1965).  That would tell you the precise date.   "289" may also be cast into the valley between the lifters to confirm if it's a 289.  

As a tip, if you do want to buy parts from US look for (or ask seller) if they participate in Ebay's Global Shipping Programme or have an Ebay shop.  I shipped a pair of 65 (iron) heads from US to UK for my Mustang and although it takes a little longer was only $80 more than shipping to a friend in Miami as Ebay ship in bulk.  They may not ship something as heavy as a block but worth keeping in mind for other stuff.

Good luck with your restoration.

I could not tell when the last 289 Mangusta was built. I have access to a very early car and will attempt a more in depth look on my next visit. You are one of the privileged who has seen the comparable engine VINs and the other option well, more expensive, would be to acquire the build sheets. We know officially that no 289s were produced by Ford after July 1968, motors may have been put in cars out of  sequence who knows at DeT. Some Mustang guys claim they have 289 blocks with 302 rotating assemblies but again who knows. The J-code motor is just as good. If you have a good engine builder he can pull a few simple tricks without going wild (8MA1266 & 8MA998).   In the case of the Mangusta (and Deauville & Longchamp) the intake is the trackable component , there are other indicators without opening the motor but the intake carries the VIN.


Thanks for helpful advices, Mr PANTERADOUG

 We would like to return the original parts to mangusta, but the primary our goal is to run the car in any time and at any place. I know your effort to run. You did weld and finally did change the engine to 347 with shaving the head to give the same size of chamber. How hard effort! Regrettably we don’t have such knowledge and experiences. We will choose the way to look for the head to work well.

Thank you for info gave me, Mr LEEA

 I will check the crankshaft stroke. It can be done, because engine is disassembled. This mangusta must be for European.  The reason why I guess this would have hi-po engine is the wiki for mangusta. It says the European model was fitted with the 306 hp Ford 289 engine. now I doubt the written in wiki. Somtimes wiki includes the unsure info. Anyway few mangusta remains in Japan. I don’t know others. But you say one of them has 351 engine. Is it true? I want to see it.


Koji, Good information. Car was finished slightly after  9 E (glass date- all should be about same) 9=1969 E=May

Engine stamp confirm motor is  302 / 026 and motor parts cast by Ford on 8G5 1968 July 5th.

Check the block casting again there should be a date under it close to 8G5. Your block may have been replaced sometime in the past. (all Ford engine parts will have similar date codes, again most cannot be seen except intake and block), no need to measure as 289 rods have different part numbers than the 302 (see, Your intake says your car was born with a 302.

Euro cars have a few differences - Odometer in kilometers , taillights in 2 colors, no side markers in rear.

You may have your original heads, the cost of purchase and shipping may not be worth the time and money unless yours are in really bad shape. A little porting and a light cam would be a better investment, head dates and castings cannot be seen unless parts are removed.

 Other quick way to identify 289 vs 302.

If there is a number stamped on flat area on 302., that block was stamped for a Ford vehicle therefore not the original DeTomaso block.

289 block

302 block




Images (3)
  • 289 block: 289 block
  • 302 block: 302 block - Note Ford VIN
  • casting-numbers-302-block: 302 block - Note cast date in this case 8G6 1968-Jul-6
Last edited by George P

Denis, fyi, I have stamping on the front of my block, but I've interpreted this as meaning the date that machining was performed. My block casting is July 2, but machined on July 12 (so has the "8G12B" stamping there). But Kachi-san's information helps reinforcing an obsession I have, that many of the 302 engines used in Mangusta were made the first week of July, 1968. Btw, 8ma1046 had "September 1969" printed as the build date (on the bulkhead sticker...I've only seen this otherwise on 8ma936). This is why I guessed a ~November '69 manufacturing date. My heads and manifold are all the same week. My intake manifold is exactly as '1088 (cast 8G5), with stamped DeT engine number 302/209. You know, I have a distributor from a Mangusta in the mid-8ma600# that is also marked  8G2--Ford production seems to have been a lot tighter on inventory control in the 60's than I would have assumed ! 

Tachi-san, I think the only valuable part about the "hi po" heads were because of the installation of guide-plates and adjustable rockers necessary for the mechanical camshaft.  The standard 235hp engine (shipped with all the 302s) used a low performance hydraulic camshaft, so anyone wanting more performance would modify the heads so they could use a higher lift camshaft. This is easy for a machine shop to modify.

  If your car was built for the US market, it would have had the smog pump (and the bell housing will have a pedestal to mount it, that Euro cars did not have). The heads were the "smog" type and had ports for the air injection. But my guess is only about 5% or 10% of Mangustas still have these (!) I am curious is DeTomaso shipped any Euro cars with the smog pump, and I'd speculate that 289s were used for Europe so that DeT could avoid warehousing the non-smog variant 302....! 

  Tachi-san, I completely agree with Denis, you are very lucky to have your original intake manifold, most (or at least, many) Mangustas have lost theirs and this is the only really unique component to the engine. Everything else is easy to change or repair, and (unlike old Corvettes or Mustangs, where tens and hundreds of thousands of cars were made) this kind of detail is really not so important in the DeTomaso world. DSCN1265P1020582P1020583


Images (3)
  • DSCN1265: bulkhead sticker for 8ma1046 (September '69)
  • P1020582: 8ma1076 machine date, July 12
  • P1020583: 8ma1076 block casting date, July 2
Last edited by George P

Lee, You are correct that stamped date on the front is the actual assembly date. Up until about 20 years ago there was no crate engine program. Engines were sold via the assembly plants. I am convinced that motors were ordered in batches and sent by sea to Modena.

Only item I am very intrigued about is the carburetor (mine is long gone, replaced by a holley) The build sheets I have seen list the carb as an Autolite 4100 series C6ZF-C again I doubt it to be accurate as C6's may not have been around still, but who knows, I guess we should contact Dave Catagallo maybe he would know if the archives still have copies. I know who would have the info but then it would cost a lot to find out

koji tachi posted:

Thanks for helpful advices, Mr PANTERADOUG

 We would like to return the original parts to mangusta, but the primary our goal is to run the car in any time and at any place. I know your effort to run. You did weld and finally did change the engine to 347 with shaving the head to give the same size of chamber. How hard effort! Regrettably we don’t have such knowledge and experiences. We will choose the way to look for the head to work well.

Again, this all depends on what you want to do with the car. IF you want it to be just stock, and as close to as delivered new, then your path is clear.

If you have all of those parts, then it's simple to do. If you are missing parts, it gets more complicated. 4v J heads alone have become challenging to find with the casting dates that you want.

The 4v heads for the automatic transmission cars are more common. They differ in that they do not have the air injection ports drilled for the air injection. Only the manual transmission cars do. I'd take an educated guess and say that it is around 3 or 4 to 1. That narrows the search and makes it more difficult. Adding a specific casting date range makes the narrow search, narrower.

The Ford 302 is one of the easiest engines to put power into now without changing the outward appearance.

For instance, there are really lots of relatively inexpensive stroker kits available for it. It is as simple to build a 331, a 347 or a 355 as it is a 302. I did it because there was no logical reason not to.

A stock J code 302 was rated at 230hp. That's about right. By today's standards it is very anemic and done by a little over 5,000rpm. It's not a high performance engine and is a bit of a mis-match for a car like a Mangusta.

Everything in the original J package is limiting. If you are building just a museum piece to look at, that is no problem. For me that only lasts a little while. Everyone is different.

Last edited by panteradoug

As PanteraDoug says if you want to keep it stock and already have the parts it's simple. He's also exactly right to suggest the original engine was limiting and to build that way may very soon frustrate you (or your customer).

Finally I agree a 220/230 bhp engine revving to 5500 rpm max is a mis match for a car like the Mangusta. But I also feel the 289 /302 engine is one of the best ever made, but only if you let it breath! 

 I race a 65 Mustang and even with all period / iron components a 289/302 engine can put out very good power (over 400bhp) with good torque.

With a stroker kit, 400bhp,is far easier and much cheaper. You may not want to go that far of course or have something modified in that way.

I'm sure many will think it is heresy to talk about modifications! But when modification can easily be reversed to standard specification I do not see that is a bad thing. 

I'm in UK and it's not easy to find 289/302 performance components here but easy to get US companies to ship overseas. Our import taxes are high (adds 30% to US price) but still good value versus modern components.  In fact I know  it is cheaper for me to buy a new set of aluminium heads complete with valves and springs than what I would pay to refurbish the original components.

If you wanted to you could build the bottom end of the engine as a 302 with good balancing and buy a set of aftermarket aluminium heads, a better (but not wild) camshaft, aluminium inlet manifold and decent Holley carb. That would be completely and easily reversible if you wanted to change to standard spec but I would suggest would add at least 100bhp to the standard J code, you would  be able to get the Pistons manufactured to your required compression ratio (for the fuel you have available) and  any good engine builder would be able to build that for you.  It would also lighten the rear of the car which is not a bad thing either and the engine would start to come to life and be very drivable on the street. 

Although a stroker engine like the 347 would be even better for the road from what I know  Japan's roads are crowded, just like UK so I doubt you'd notice much difference and it would be much simpler (and cheaper) with a 302 to return to standard if you wanted to.

and if you do not have some of the original components you could build the modified engine and take your time to find and import the original specification components

something for you to consider


I apologize for no response for a while. I have no time to visit the garage now. Japanese call December Shiwasu, which means December is so busy month that let teacher run. I’m working in high school as a teacher. That’s why I had no enough time to understand and arrange these useful information you gave me until now.

 I talked with friend who owns mangusta about what he wants to do for mangusta. His answer is the first he want to know if this engine has replaced or not. The second is to return the proper engine that was installed in this mangusta.

 Many folks gave me thankful info about difficulties to find the proper parts and keep good condition to run. I understand the difficulty to find out the parts that has the proper cast date, but he doesn’t care the date or the casting of other parts such as head, rod, water pump and so on. He wants to return to the original type of engine block. If the 289 had been installed, he would satisfy. If the 302 had been installed, he would want to return the block to the 302.

 The discussion in this forum may conclude that this mangusta had been built with the 302 block and replaced by some one and some reasons. The reason why we  can conclude is the following

-stamp on intake

-cast date difference between block and other parts

-the fact that no 289 block had been built after july 1968

 The conclusion is almost clear, but let me say why I thought this mangusta was built with the 289 block. The reason why I thought is from the following wiki links, which says the European model was built with the 289 engine.

Wiki sometimes includes incorrect information. Is this also inccorect information, isn’t it?

 Anyway My friend must decide if he uses this 289 block or replace it to the 302. I will give hime advice to use this 289 block, because some mangusta had been built with 289 block. It is not a wrong combination. Does this make sense? If he decides to continue using this 289 block, he also wants to replace the cylinder head. What is the best choice for cylinder head? PANTERADOUG said the uses the AFR 1388 heads that give good flow in chamber. Does it need be shaved to have the same chamber volume? And I can find the so-called overhauled cylinder heads in low price in ebay. Is it a bad idea to use them.

 This Thursday I’m going to visit the garage to confirm the engine cast number. I will confirm or look for the block and head cast date, the Det logo. Are there any parts I should confirm. We must step forward to let the mangusta run.

Last edited by George P


Sorry. I don’t know the origin of this mangusta, but I know the reason why the other mangusta in japan you introduced me has a 351 windsor. I happen to know the previous importer of mangusta. This is just coincident. I am in fact the landrover defender owner, which car was bought by him. He works as the biggest landrover defender importer now. I asked him what the original mangusta engine is. His answer was the 289, but he insists to have replaced all mangusta engine to 351 before sale. I don’t know the reason. It would be to add the value in that period, though the genuine engine has more value in this period.

koji tachi posted:

Anyway My friend must decide if he uses this 289 block or replace it to the 302. I will give hime advice to use this 289 block, because some mangusta had been built with 289 block. It is not a wrong combination. Does this make sense? If he decides to continue using this 289 block, he also wants to replace the cylinder head. What is the best choice for cylinder head? PANTERADOUG said the uses the AFR 1388 heads that give good flow in chamber. Does it need be shaved to have the same chamber volume? And I can find the so-called overhauled cylinder heads in low price in ebay. Is it a bad idea to use them.


The AFR 1388 heads use a 2.02" intake and a 1.60" exhaust. You can not use the stock pistons with it. The piston needs a larger cut in it to clear the valve head.

The J head will measure out as 53cc's. The AFR 1388 comes with a 58cc chamber. There are two choices to make to maintain the stock 10.3:1 compression ratio.

1) reduce the size of the 58cc combustion chamber of the AFR 1388, or 2) change the piston to reduce the size of the combustion chamber.

You can also use a thinner head gasket such as the Cometec which is .027" thick. The caution there is that you must have a MINIMUM total of .035" between the top of the piston and the bottom of the cylinder head. If you don't, you will get piston to head interference.

My piston is .013" down in the hole and the head gasket is .027" compressed. So I have a total clearance of .040".

You can buy the head directly from AFR already shaved .024". That would make the chamber 54cc. You can't cut that head any more then that. You will be into the valve seat.

After they are cut (milled), then all you have to do is bolt them on. They are a direct replacement with the exception that they will have an adjustable rocker arm. The J heads rocker arms are not adjustable. You just bolt them on.

The J head has pressed in rocker arm studs. The stock valve springs are on the weak side and will only provide enough spring pressure for 5,000 to 5,500 rpm's. If you change to stronger springs, the rocker arm studs will eventually pull out of the head.

You need to change those to the screw in type, that will also make the rocker arms adjustable.

If you buy used 302 iron J heads, make sure that they are marked 4v. Many sellers are selling 2V heads as 4v. They are not the same. The 2V's have larger combustion chambers and will give you something like 8.0:1 compression. They conveniently get "confused" over the C80E castings on the bottom of the head. Both the 2v and the 4v have that same marking. You cannot mill the 2v heads down enough to get 53cc chambers.

Low cost? They are heavy. 55 pounds each. By the time you ship them, then have them rebuilt, and have the pressed in studs changed over to screw in, they won't be cheap.

They have terrible flow numbers stock. 180 on the intake. 80 on the exhaust. IF you were to take them to a professional porter, the best of them are only able to get about 215 on the intakes.


Personally I think, if you want to build an original engine, then you need the original casting dates. Otherwise the engine isn't original to me? 

If you are trying to sell me that car as "original", I want to see pictures of the engine while it is apart and I want to see the casting dates. I'll allow updates like bigger valves, better springs and screw in studs with guide plates but the casting date better be in the correct vacinity ...for me.

Some of the '68 J casting dates are from June and July of '67. For an "original" 'goose, try May or June of '68?


What is wrong with the heads that you have now? Can't they just be rebuilt?

Again. It all depends on what you want. If you are building the engine for resale value, good luck. Every buyer is going to have different criteria. Build the car for driving enjoyment. Let the next buyer grumble about what they don't like. It will always be something and often just a negotiating tactic. No one is going to find a Mangusta just around the corner. No way. Are you building a museum piece that is too valuable to drive?

With a rare car like a Mangusta, you have to buy what is available.

Last edited by panteradoug

Thank you for your detailed info. we must check the 4v mark on head.

I have to buy what is available will be answer. I understand the difficulty to find the parts that has proper casting date. We living in japan has more difficulty to do so than others like you. It may be impossible. Just what we can do is to make mangusta rebuilt to near original condition within what we can do. I understand the rebuilding cylinder head is an option. I don't know what is wrong in head. Maybe there is few special technicians for ford small block in this area, so I guess that importing the head will be cheaper than rebuilding. Tomorrow I will visit my friend and talk about these issue.

thanks for very useful info!

Today I visited the friend's garage mangusta engine was stored. The attached is the pics of parts. Surprisingly all parts except block are made in 1968. The crankshaft, though I cannot find out the cast date, has 2M that means maybe for 302 engine.

 Is there a little probability that this engine has been built with these parts initially? Anyway my friend decided to build up the engine using almost all parts. He thought that cylinder head must be replaced due to lots of corrosion. It will occur the water leak.

 We will look for the cylinder head that can fit to this block. Is there any attention before purchase? I should confirm the 4v mark on top.








intake (2)






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  • block
  • blockflat
  • cover
  • crank
  • gauge
  • head
  • headspring
  • intake (2)
  • intake
  • rod
  • waterp
  • waterpump
Last edited by George P

Tachi-san, I see you referring a couple of times in the various posts  to expertise with the "small block Ford" but I do think you should think of rebuilding or modifying things locally rather than trying to source these difficult to find parts and then having them shipped from USA.  

The engine is very simple and easy to work on and tuning is not hard to get good power levels.  To get the really big power on original (period) parts (versus say aluminium heads) is more difficult and expensive but that's not what you need nor what you should aim for.  In 1965 Shelby produced 308 bhp with very little change (basically "bolt on " parts) for the road car Mustang GT350. I agree with Pantera Doug that an additional 100bhp (so 320bhp for a 302) is easy in 2018 and would make a nice street car.

In the same year as the Mustang was released, Honda produced the S800, with 9,000 rpm and roller bearing crankshaft!  So any good engine builder / tuner should be able to help you, and I'm sure that engineering expertise is available to you locally in Japan. 

The head parts like valves etc are easy to source and because the engine is shared with many cars,  people know what works and what doesn't.  The parts are also relatively cheap too.

But the problem you have to source big parts with specific casting dates is that they are not easy to find (even in the US) and so I think you are making your job more difficult but of course, this is your decision.  And because any parts are likely to be located in USA and are very heavy they are not easy to send to Japan even if you do find them.  But if you import just valves, springs, guides, retainers etc they are much lighter so easier / cheaper to send and you can buy these new off the shelf at any time.

Secondly I completely understand the owner wanting to know if the engine block is the original.  But you do have the unique item to your Mangusta (the inlet manifold).  The engine block does not have a unique number, only a casting date that any of the blocks made around that period could have.  Unless someone has a totally traceable history or single ownership I don't think anyone can say their block is 100% original to their car. 

DenisC stated in one of his posts:

"If there is a number stamped on flat area on 302, that block was stamped for a Ford vehicle therefore not the original DeTomaso block".

 have a look there and let us know the actual casting date (should be on a small plate above C5AE 6015E. Also look in the valley area for '289'.   That should tell you if it is the original block and whether 289 or 302.  

I have found the people here on this forum to be incredibly helpful and knowledgable, (far more than me!)  If you, the owner or your engine builder, need any help building or tuning the 289 or 302 you will find help here, definitely.

What I would like to know, and this would benefit Tachi-san too, is if anyone actually knows if whether every European Mangusta was a 289 (your Wiki point) and every (other than Dick Ruzzin's) car was a 302 or whether the 289 engined Mangusta just stopped being made when Ford stopped making 289's.  As I understand it the first year of manufacturer in US were 4 headlight cars but were these all  302's?  Or were the early US 4 headlight cars 289's?  

Is there a specific cut-off date by chassis number when the change from 289 to 302 happened?  I'm not sure anyone knows......... 

I also think you / owner need to work out whether getting the Mangusta on the road is the priority or whether having the original parts are?

Although no-one likes duplicating expense, with the restoration costs of a Mangusta being what they are, changing the heads or even the block when you can source the parts you've decided you want, is not a major proportion of the expense. 

Last edited by George P
koji tachi posted:


thank you for your pics. I didn't find out the mark 2v or 4v, but of course this must be 4v. My friend worry about coolant leak due to corrosion. I will buy the head with 4v mark.   

Where is the leak in the head located? I initially had no intention of using the AFR 1388 heads. What happened was the left side head developed a coolant leak through the exhaust port.

Normally Ford cast iron is pretty easy to weld using stainless 304 or 308 welding rods. This head just kept getting worse, the more we welded it.

What happens on Ford castings is that there is always a "seam" in the casting. It's as if they pour the bottom in the mold, flip it over, then pour the other side. This results in a visible mark resembling a "seam". Those are weak/thin spots in the castings and can rot through.

The old casting process had no way of xraying the castings and examining if contaminants had gotten into the castings. From what I see, they generally do, and they can have an impurity in the casting, usually the size of a green pea.

You can fill the hole left by the pea dropping out of the casting but it is usually surrounded by additional contaminants like a carbon build up. You have to luck out in being able to remove it to get to the good metal so the weld will stick to the good iron.

I couldn't. The heads are here, and will go with the car in the future but that one head is a gone'r.

The point here though is that these heads are 50 years old. What you/we are seeing as far as rotting through, is going to become more and more common.


This happened in May. I'm still looking for a good 4v head with a close casting date. So far, no good. Lots of 2v heads around though but the 4v heads have dried up recently.


I got tired of waiting and at least for the mean time am using the AFR's. Nothing wrong with just bolting on 100hp even temporarily?


There is an early 4v head on Ebay now for $450. The casting date is from July or August of '67. For me, the date doesn't work, plus, figure on rebuilding it. That's easy $1,000 finished, plus shipping, with the possibility of rotting through as well?

The seller says it's a "non-smog" head, which is true, but the answer is it is from an automatic transmission car. Only the manual transmission cars had the exhausts drilled for the air injection.


The AFR's cost $1,700, in the door. A better deal and a quicker solution for me.







Last edited by panteradoug

Unless you / owner really want to find 50 year old iron heads and recondition them, I would also consider the AFR heads as a quick and very good alternative.  

Just for fun I put Tokyo Japan into Summit's delivery address  and a pair of AFR heads would be $191 UPS expedited shipping.......!! Plus your import duties.

(be careful which model AFR head you pick, they are a great head for SBF but some are more suited to competition use and you don't need to go too wild on valve size etc).

There is a good and easy to read article on AFR heads, although it's a later engine it's still a 302 and they use a better inlet manifold ( I have a Holley Performer RPM - ported- on my race Mustang as we have to use dual plane and it revs to 7,500 easily, they are $200 plus cost for tuner to port - not a hard job).

(I can't seem to post a hyperlink for some reason)

Or Google "AFR Heads Hot Rod Magazine SBF" and it should be top article.  They "bolted on" 100+ bhp and said it was best they'd ever seen from just bolt on heads, no other changes. And this is the AFR Street head, not race. Torque also increase by more than 50 lb ft.

The Mangusta exhaust manifolds are not as good as some (cheap) alternatives but you will need to stay with them and they could knock back performance a little.  The headers they use are pretty good for what they are, but even if the Mangusta headers knock 20-30 bhp off their number it's a strong little engine for just heads and little effort, no real tuning expertise needed.

I doubt you could rebuild your existing heads for $1,600 even if you didn't have to buy a new head.

 PS I don't have any affiliation with any company mentioned above.

Last edited by George P
v8jet posted:

(be careful which model AFR head you pick, they are a great head for SBF but some are more suited to competition use and you don't need to go too wild on valve size etc).

There is a good and easy to read article on AFR heads, although it's a later engine it's still a 302 and they use a better inlet manifold ( I have a Holley Performer RPM - ported- on my race Mustang as we have to use dual plane and it revs to 7,500 easily, they are $200 plus cost for tuner to port - not a hard job).  

Correct. As stated, you want the AFR 1388. It's a 185 intake runner. All accessories bolt up.

BUT as stated also, you can't run them with stock pistons. The valve relief in them won't accept the 2.02 intake valve.

For a street car, there is little performance difference with the 195 and the 205 UNLESS you increase the cam lift to about .700", increase the cam duration and turn 8,000 to 8,200 rpm.

Those heads also raise the exhaust ports 1/4". It doesn't sound like much but when your headers all of a sudden have clearance issues that were never there before, it's the raised ports. Some cars will need custom headers for that.

You can run them with any intake manifold and carb but if you want to take advantage of them, you need much better then stock and really want a valve lift of .550 or over for the street. More then that and it starts to be a race only engine.

Could he use the 1.90 valve to clear stock pistons?  Do AFR do that size as alternative or only 2.02?

It's just that he sounds more comfortable in not having to do machining or order custom pistons (although if he's rebuilding engine then he may as well)  and like UK he probably has access to higher octane pump fuel than in US, so could even take advantage on that if he wanted to go custom piston route.

On our Mustang 289 race heads we run 1.90 inlet and 1.60 exhaust, we were told by race company in US that there is no point in us going to 2.02 intake as the iron heads and crappy Tri Y manifolds we have to run can't take advantage and heads won't flow enough (same comment as you've made about iron heads). We're also mandated to run to max 7,000 rpm through sealed limiter on MSD box.

May be different for Ali heads which agree are far superior but I wonder if this  might make life easier for him??

Last edited by George P

Go over to their website,, and read the specs on each head. I believe the 165 uses the smaller valves. 1.90 intake. 1.60 exhaust.


The best flowing iron 289 vintage heads were the GT40 heads. Those flowed around 240. The 2x4 Holley T/A manifold matched it. That is quite a unique manifold. Nothing exists quite like it. It ran two Holley 735cfm center squirters.

When the Boss 302 heads were introduced, they became a revelation because of their flow potential. In his testing Dan Jones flow tested iron "Cleveland" heads at 296 cfm @.600" lift.

The dyno test that I posted here showed 539 @7,000 with Webers on a iron head 357 "Boss 351".


The iron J heads flow around 180 stock. About 215 professionally race ported. The AFR 1388 shows flow results of 295 @ .550. Using those, you should be able to get similar results to that Cleveland, with similar cubes, similar data?


Induction is another issue.

I chose to go with the T/A 2x4 Holley manifold with two 600cfm 1850 carbs. .550 lift cam.  347 cubes. Whatever the number it's making, I'm happy. It causes quite a scene and adds to this local tale of a crazy old guy in a white Shelby. It's a little like the story of  Washinton Irving's tale of the 'Headless Horseman'. Appearing occasionally late at night on spooky moonlit nights scaring the wits out of the innocent locals? But that's how I get my jollies.

That "T/A" intake carb combination is worth about 50 hp over any single 4v set up that was tested. Webers are pretty well documented at around 80-85hp.

I have no idea what the original 302 4v iron intake and Autolite carb actually do flow but it likely is complimentary to the stock flow of the iron heads, i.e., not much? I'm sure it's likely a huge restriction to making any kind of power expected of even street engines today.

I never did flow testing on that set up and don't recall anyone else publishing information on that? The best "stock" induction that I saw for the J engine is the S7MS COBRA single 4v high rise and the S8MS 600cfm Holley carb for the 68 Shelby GT350. It changed the characteristic of the J engine and made it "sporty".


Acknowledged, building an engine for a Mangusta does raise a bunch of questions that only the present owner can answer. It all depends on what they want out of the engine.


Images (7)
  • 68 GT350 carb 3
  • 68 GT350 carb 5
  • AFR sb Ford flow chart
  • Barnes dyno sheet
  • Ford  sb head intake_flow comparison
  • 2018-08-17 20.00.23
  • Ford High Rise 2x4 Holley 2
Last edited by panteradoug

I love the comment about “headless horseman”!!!  Dead of night, a little mist maybe... I can see the open mouths now!!

As I’m getting my Mangusta to FIA Race spec (to obtain an HIstoric Passport for it) I have a set of 4 x 48 IDA Weber’s about to go on. Will be interesting to see what they do. Although not a cheap option, that is also a “legitimate” specification for a Mangusta (looks amazing too!!) . Tachi, I can send you the specification form if you wish. 

unfortunately FIA also dictate the original headers and i’ll also lose the Ali heads I currently have and must use Pre 69 iron heads flowed as best we can.  Can’t have everything....

PanteraDoug without hijacking this post  too much?  do you have any suggestions on branded headers that would fit into a Mangusta? The Mustang benefitted from some Dougs Headers (D690 YS) which are still TriY but slightly larger diameter and about limit of what regs accept.  Anything equivalent for Mangusta?

Cant wait until my car back together

v8jet posted:

I love the comment about “headless horseman”!!!  Dead of night, a little mist maybe... I can see the open mouths now!!

I usually punch it up a little by adding "long flowing grey hair, rapidly turning to white". Kinda' suggesting a Richard Branford image. In bad light, that's a little disturbing?

Don't forget this is a white "special Mustang" so the image of a mechanical white steed should occur to some too?


On the headers, the originals are a little small but the biggest issue is they have no collectors to speak of. I don't know of any "cheater" 'goose headers but I'd expect there to be some hidden under covers somewhere...not very far away.


It sounds like you don't know, but Curt Voght, owner of Cobra Automotive in Connecticut, did a project of recasting the GT40 iron heads. The 4 bolt GT40 block had already been done.

I'd suggest that you send them an email about these parts. I would have to think those are legal for historic racing since that's what was run in the Cobra and GT40 "team cars" (factory works in Brit English).

Just do a Google search and you will find their web page and contact info. probably: sales You will be talking to Scottie.


They race their own built engines. 292 ci., 620hp @8,200 rpm. This on a single Holley and a Bluethunder Cobra intake.

I say he is turning 8,600-8,700 rpm down the straights. Curt says no. 8,200. He even did a You Tube showing the tach.


Curt's dad was a "restorer" of antique items. He made his own parts that were missing. I think of him more as a counterfeiter. Curt followed in his footsteps.

In the You tube, he probably rigged the tac to read 8,200 when it in fact was at 8,700. He gets creative. The harmonics of the engine would suggest a bit more then 8,200.

You want to talk to these guys about an engine or parts to make yours competitive. You won't be sorry.

I do know that they have a "header guy". They might be able to help you with your exhaust issue amongst other things right in house. If you ever are around looking to visit, their workshop looks like the race shop at Holman-Moody or Shelby America did. You name it, there is one of those cars there being worked on. I have to tape my mouth shut otherwise I will just drool constantly.


Webers are certainly a great choice to go with but you need the rest. How fast you want to go, depends on how much you want to/can spend. The entire bunch of them are too fast for me.  I just watch from the sidelines, plus I'd have to stop too many times to pee, from the trauma of scaring myself to near death by going impossibly fast of course? Although I understand that there is an entire new line of adult diapers that you can't notice?




Last edited by panteradoug

Definitely! You’d be at the back of the grid in a V8 race these days with that power 

In fact a couple of years back I had a long (and pretty unreal for a Brit) conversation with Larry Ofria who is still at Valley Head Service in Ca who did all the Shelby head porting. So today you could still have same guy do your head porting....unbelievable 

great guy 

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