Thought I'd follow up as I finally completed this project 2 1/2 months after starting it........
Looked around for a Mexican head but no luck. If they are out there I don't know there they are. I finally settled on a bare head purchased online from an outfit in Cali. Looked like a nice unit once it arrived and I dropped it off at a local automotive machine shop along with the old head so the valves could possibly be reused. The tech shaved .020 off the bottom due to shipping marks, and ground the valve seats to match my valves which were reusable. Had to wait a month for turnaround.....but the head reassembly went ok except for a bit of confusion regarding the old camshaft which didn't fit the new head tower journals. I wasn't aware there were two camshafts (a standard size and an oversize) for this period engine, but the tech at the machine shop thankfully knew about it. My old camshaft was .020 oversize and my new head required the standard camshaft. No biggie as Autozone had both camshaft kits available so I ordered a standard unit and i plopped in just fine. Yea!
This was just as well as the tech said my old camshaft lobes were "worn to much" in his opinion. No sense scrimping on parts.
The rest of the assembly went along fine. Fresh oil and coolant and a bit of tuning and its running great. Lots of power so I'm pleased with the results.
Like I said before, I"m a first timer on this job and I appreciate the feedback provided here at this site. The tech articles were quite helpful as well when it came to set basic timing and work towards completion. I learned a great deal but I must admit at times the gig got stressful, but that was mostly due to a few mental walls I had to overcome. Cheers! :thumbsup:
head gasket differences pertain mainly to cross drilled vs non cross drilled engine blocks and cylinder heads. the 2.2T1, carb and 80's tbi cars didn't have the cross drilling (steam ports) that help alleviate the extra heat you get with siamese cylinders. the 2.2 T2, 1989+ (2.5) T1 and 90's tbi cars all have the extra cooling. don't miss and match early and late style heads and blocks. all 1989+ blocks are the common block with extra meat in the block that can support a cast crankshaft in high power applications. even the 86-88 "tall deck" 2.5tbi and 87-88 2.2 T2 (that featured a forged crank) still had the hole in the front of the block for a mechanical fuel pump even though they were fuel injected with an electric pump mounted in the gas tank. common blocks don't have the hole and the deck height is the same for both the 2.2 and 2.5 (hence the name)
as for the oil squirters on the camshaft~ the old slider cams needed all that extra lubrication. do not use a slider cam in later cylinder head because they did away with the extra squirters in the cam caps once they finished phasing in the roller camshaft. roller cams have 30% less friction at high rpm and a whopping 70% less at idle. less wear also, so your engine oil stays a bit cleaner. another thing to consider is that modern engine oils (even $$$ synthetics) doesn't have the extra protection needed for a slider cam. the reason being most manufactures did the roller cam boogie 20+ years ago so its an economy and environmental reason the extra protection was dropped.. be sure and use an additive in your engine if you have an old school cam.