View Full Version : 5SFE Head compatibility

04-11-2014, 05:09 PM
Okay, I KNOW there are a million posts on all the boards about this, but only one kind of answers my question: http://www.mr2oc.com/showthread.php?t=485258

The head gasket on my 1990 5S-FE is shot. Since the exhaust mani stud bores are stripped in the head anyways, I'm going to replace instead of rebuild.

Is the Rev 1 (90-91) 5S-FE head interchangeable with the Rev 2 (1992 +) head? I realize the valve covers are different, but that seems a cosmetic non-issue since I can reuse mine. As long as the coolant passages are comparable and it'll line up properly with the new head gasket, I'm going to grab a low-mileage out of a '93 at my local wreckers. I know the cam journals are different between the two, so I won't be swapping anything over from my Rev 1 head.

Thanks for any help,


04-11-2014, 05:47 PM
I'm not an expert but I *Think* the only other difference besides the cams are that the Rev2 head (the 92+) has a knock sensor. But since you are working backwords, that shouldn't be an issue.

04-11-2014, 07:35 PM
No No No. The intake manifold studs screw in. Have a machine shop take them out for you. I broke mine off also. If you were to order aftermarket headers. You can also order manifold studs.
Unless youre head is cracked why replace it. Im having Brian Crower 3sgte valves and springs installed in my head and a cam regrind was done. Dont waste youre money if its not needed. Head Gaskits are dirt cheap. Look for MLS gaskits if youre looking to eventually go FI.

04-14-2014, 02:21 PM
Thanks for the input, guys. Despite the fact that I never came even close to overheating it after the head gasket started leaking, I'm replacing the head because

a) two (maybe more) of the bores for the exhaust manifold studs are stripped completely, and

b) the engine has 350,000km on it (approx. 218,000mi) and I can absolutely predict that the cam lobes/journals will be out of spec by now.

My local yard has a 92 GT-S with just over 200,000km/124,000mi on it and they only want $50 for the head if I pull it myself...so one Saturday in the wrecking yard and I've saved myself a mint. I'm obviously reusing my stock wiring harness, so the knock sensor is no problem--It'll just get lonely without any use.


04-15-2014, 08:25 PM
My head has 265K on it and the machine shop said it was fine.

04-17-2014, 04:21 AM
When I start mine on a cold (or even cold-ish) morning, I get valve slap for about 4 seconds before it quiets down. And loud. So without even popping the valve cover off, I know I'm going to find a lot of wear (my guess would be the head needs a complete rebuild--the cams/cam journals and the valves/valve springs/seats are all almost definitely due for replacement).

Rather than messing about with a rebuild (I'll be busy swapping the transmission and the power rack, then painting the car), I'm going to grab the rev 2 head myself from the wrecker car and they're letting me steal it for $50 (plus I'll have to have the head machined). I can't complain, really...

04-17-2014, 07:53 PM
Plus if you start having issues with the new head, you can rebuild the old one and do a quick swap with less downtime.

04-18-2014, 04:55 AM
Good point.