How To Install
An Intake Manifold
on FORD 289, 302 and 351W Engines
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Also, visit the FAQ Page for more info on
intake installations.
This page will walk you through the necessary steps to install an aluminum intake manifold on a 289, 302, or 351W engine.
Remove the old manifold and clean up all the mating
surfaces.  Finish by wiping clean with carb cleaner or
other non-greasy solvent.
It is best to use brass threaded inserts in your
aluminum manifold.  It will keep the sending units and
hose fittings from seizing in the aluminum.
Take these cork (or rubber) end seals and throw them in
the trash can.

They are NOT to be used in this installation!
Clean up the thermostat housing as well.  Take some
gasket adhesive and glue the thermostat in place as
shown.  This will make it much easier to install it on
the manifold.  Note thermostat direction.  IT MATTERS
Get everything spotlessly clean and be sure to clean
up all gasket debris from the lifter valley.  A shop vac
works well to suck any gasket pieces from the lifter
valley and from the intake ports.
Once the paper thin layer of adhesive has completely
dried, THEN place the gasket onto the heads.  The
adhesive will stick immediately,so be sure you get the
gasket in the right spot the first time.  Once the gasket
is glued to the head, apply a paper thin layer of RTV
to the surface of the intake gasket that will fit against
the intake manifold.
Clean the intake mating surfaces thoroughly.
Coat ALL mating surfaces on the bottom of the intake
manifold, including the end seal areas, with a paper
thin layer of RTV.  This will make for a 100% seal
once the manifold is placed on the engine.
Apply a paper thin layer of black weatherstrip
adhesive or gasket adhesive on the "head" side of the
intake gaskets.  Do the same on the heads where the
gaskets will mate up.  Notice the tab on the bottom of
the intake gasket.  That tab is designed to hook over
the head gaskets.  Trial fit before gluing!
Place a bead of RTV on each end of the block as
shown.  Notice about how thick the bead is.  Smooth it
slightly to remove any lumps.  Put a little extra in the
Be sure the water ports on each end of the
gaskets are properly sized.  There are different
sizes of intake gaskets for 289/302/5.0/351W
engines.  A mismatch will cause a major water leak!
water port
intake port
5/16" x 2"  alignment
stud installed  (use 4)
Place the intake on the engine using 4 alignment studs
screwed first  into the heads.  The studs will be
removed after some of the intake bolts are in place.  
The studs will keep the intake from sliding on the RTV
surface and will properly align the manifold to the heads.
This is a view of the rear intake seal with a thick bead
of RTV and the intake gaskets after coating them with
a thin layer of RTV.
alignment studs here
(use 4)
Torque all bolts to specifications in a circular pattern starting from the center bolts and working out
to the ends.  Retorque 3 times.  Let the RTV cure overnight before starting engine for best results.
Now install the distributor and carb and neatly install the plug wires.
Make a steel tubing line from the fuel pump to the carb inlet.
Taking extra time to do it right will make a big difference in the way things appear (and function) under the hood.
If you are installing early 351W heads on a 289, 302 or 5.0 engine, take note of the water port differences and gasket requirements.  
You MUST use the correct 351W gaskets on the early heads or you will get four major water leaks! The early 351W intakes had 4 extra
bolts that went through the 4 water jackets.
You MUST use a 351W head gasket on early 351W heads that have the "L" shaped water ports