Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Geismar, LA, USA
Re: 1986 Ford 302 Rebuild...
Your heads should be E6TE. If they are E7TE, roll with them, but if they're E6TE, don't waste your time. Another drawback COULD be the pistons. If you're intent on keeping the 1986 motor and you plan to run an aftermarket cam, newer heads, or both, you'll need pistons with valve reliefs. If you plan to have someone rebuild the motor, have them install new pistons while they're in it. It wouldn't be that much more cost for the reliability of not putting your valves into your pistons (that's bad).
All 1996-1997.5 V8 Explorers (and Mercury Mountaineers) had GT40 heads. If you look on the cylinder head (on the exhaust side), you'll see "GT" on the bottom right corner near the head bolt. If it's a GT40P, it'll show "GTP". I took pictures of mine, but they didn't turn out any good, so it'd be a waste of time.