How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold

Posted 7/6/2015 by Landan Durham

Install an intake manifold onto your 302 or 351 based engine with this helpful installation guide.

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Intake Manifold Install

Intake Manifolds

Topping off any custom engine build boils down to your intake manifold. We offer quality intake manifolds from industry leading brands such as SVE, Trick Flow, Edelbrock, and Holley. All of which feature different power band performances, custom finishes, and different throttle body openings to match the expectations of your engine build.

When bolting on your new intake manifold, hard ware is obviously needed. We carry a complete upper and lower gasket kit for small or large port heads. Depending on your intake manifold combo, most brands require specific upper to lower intake manifold gaskets; which are usually included with any intake manifold kit.

Sometimes an upper to lower intake manifold spacer is required when running taller valve covers for proper clearance. Of course, that raises the upper intake which could then cause hood clearance issues as well. So it is extremely important to keep all of that info in mind when selecting an intake manifold for your build.

Lower Intake Manifold Hardware

Any intake manifold you do decide to go with can be bolted down with our EXCLUSIVE lower intake bolt kit. These bolts are made by ARP exclusively for us here at Late Model Restoration. They are a direct replacement for OEM intake bolts, will feature a black oxide coating for longevity, and will have the stud and nut for use with factory 86-95 heater tubes.


Required Tools

  • 3/8" Drive Torque Wrench
  • Socket Set
  • Cutters
  • Black RTV Silicone
  • Engine Oil
  • Blue Loctite

Removal Procedure

Step 1:
Disconnect your battery's negative cable and drain the cooling system.
Step 2:
Disconnect any electrical connections, control cables, throttle body linkages, vacuum hoses, ventilation tubes, and coolant hoses at throttle body and intake manifold. There is no need to disconnect fuel lines unless it is absolutely necessary.
Step 3:
Remove distributor cap and spark plug wires together. Place a reference mark on distributor for rotor alignment during reassembly. Remove retaining bolt and remove the distributor.
Step 4:
Remove the cover plates, retaining bolts, upper intake manifold and manifold gasket.
Step 5:
Remove accessory brackets attached to lower intake manifold. Remove heater tube assembly from lower manifold. Remove retaining bolts, lower manifold, gaskets, and all seals.

Installation Procedure

-Before you begin, it is in your best interest to have a clean working area and to clean all of your parts prior to install.
-Be sure you’re cylinder head and valve train is assembled.

Step 1:
Start by aligning your cylinder head to lower intake gasket with the tab on the head gasket.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 2:
If you notice, when aligned with the tab, the gasket does not align with the intake ports on the cylinder head.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 3:
If this happens, simply trim the tabs and apply a small amount of gasket adhesive or RTV to the cylinder heads.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 4:
Apply some RTV at the corners where the cylinder head and engine block meet.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 5:
Align the gaskets with the intake and coolant ports, then apply pressure to ensure the gasket adhesive holds the gasket.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 6:
Run a bead of RTV across the front and rear of the engine block. This bead of RTV will run between the cylinder heads and ideally needs to be about a quarter inch in diameter.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 7:
Position the lower intake onto the cylinder heads.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 8:
Before installing the lower intake bolts, apply some oil to the threads and underneath the head of the bolt.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 9:
Loosely thread all of the lower intake bolts.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 10:
For you 86-95 guys, be sure and install the stud into the passenger side, second to last bolt hole on the manifold.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 11:
Starting on the inside and working your way out, torque the bolts in two steps. The first step is 15 ft/lbs and the second is 25 ft/lbs.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 12:
Position the gasket over the intake ports.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 13:
Apply blue Loc-Tite to the upper to lower intake manifold studs and finger tighten.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 14:
Lightly apply engine oil to the threads on the upper to lower intake manifold bolts and finger tighten.
How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold - How To: Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold
Step 15:
Torque the bolts from inside out to 15 ft/lbs.
Step 16:
Double and triple check everything.
Step 17:
Re-attach accessory brackets attached to lower intake manifold. Re-attach heater tube assembly from lower manifold.
Step 18:
Re-attach the cover plates.
Step 19:
Re-attach distributor cap and spark plug wires together. Place the distributor back and attach the retaining bolt.
Step 20:
Re-connect any electrical connections, control cables, throttle body linkages, vacuum hoses, ventilation tubes, and coolant hoses at throttle body and intake manifold.
Step 21:
Connect your battery's negative cable and re fill the cooling system.

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About the Video

How To Install 302/351 Mustang Intake Manifold (79-95)

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Published on 2015-06-22
In this particular video, we are going to show you the general idea and installation procedures when installing an intake manifold and components onto your 302 or 351 engine.

Topping off any custom engine build boils down to your intake manifold. We offer quality intake manifolds from industry leading brands such as SVE, Trick Flow, Edelbrock, and Holley. All of which feature different power band performances, custom finishes, and different throttle body openings to match the expectations of your engine build.

Any intake manifold you do decide to go with can be bolted down with our EXCLUSIVE lower intake bolt kit. These bolts are made by ARP exclusively for us here at Late Model Restoration. They are a direct replacement for OEM intake bolts, will feature a black oxide coating for longevity, and will have the stud and nut for use with factory 86-95 heater tubes.

Mustang Fitment: 1979 (79), 1980 (80), 1981 (81), 1982 (82), 1983 (83), 1984 (84), 1985 (85), 1986 (86), 1987 (87), 1988 (88), 989 (89), 1990 (90), 1991 (91), 1992 (92), 1993 (93), 1994 (94), 1995 (95) 5.0L/5.8L, 302/351