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Old 11-03-2008, 09:12 PM
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Aluminum vs. Iron

ok what is better for street uses on a 406 sb aluminum heads with 2.02in 1.60ex and 200cc runners and 64cc combustion chambers or iron heads with 2.02in 1.60ex and and 170cc runners and 67cc heart shaped combustion chambers? the block will have .135 dish and 4 valve reliefs pistons and comp cams Advertised Duration 268/280, Lift .477/.480 cam and a 5.7 rod.

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Old 11-03-2008, 09:17 PM
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I guess It all has to do with what you are going to do with the Engine. Is it a street car, I would go with the iron heads, smaller runner would probably produce more torque at lower RPM and be a little more streetable. Vehicle weight and gear ratio are also to be considered.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:13 PM
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I'd go with the irons, but that will limit you to 5500 rpms or so. 200cc is a little big for the street, but the larger cubes will help by replacing some of the torque you would lose with the big runners.

Depending on the cam and weight of the vehicle (big cam, light car) the 200cc heads might really wake it up, but there are other options out there in the 180-195cc range that might be a perfect balance.

torquey street car on a budget = vortecs
torquey street car with a little more money = 180-195cc aftermarket
street/strip car that you don't mind losing some torque trying to chase down the last few HP = 200cc aftermarket.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:39 AM
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i really never understood the use of aluim heads its softer so wouldnt it warp under heat?also with the steel bolts they would weld themselfs to the head after a while.(ever try to take an old alt off a car, and the bolts are froze right inside the alt casing?) i know they have been around for a while, but back in the 70's when i first got into drag racing no one was using aluim heads.they werent invented yet,for the price you pay for the aluim ones you can do a hell of a lot of trick work to iron ones
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Old 11-04-2008, 12:10 PM
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THe material is not the issue, nor should be the question. What you need to determine is which cylinder head has the most efficient combustion chamber and best flowing intake and exhaust port. Then you choose your cam. With a 400 a 200cc runner is not an issue.
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:35 PM
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Right, Rick. Aluminum is a fine material for heads. OEMs put them on iron blocks all the time and warranty them for 100,000 miles, or sometimes for the life of the vehicle.

Aluminum and iron have long been debated. The three major benefits to aluminum are 1) easier to port with the softer metal, 2) lighter weight, and 3) ability to use a tiny bit more compression on the average without upgrading octane. But, back to back studies have shown that identical heads cast in iron and aluminum don't affect engine output more than a couple ponies, and that can be attributed to core shift or casting differences.

It usually boils down to weight savings and how fat the wallet is, but don't let it affect your decision otherwise. If you find the right head with the ports, flow, and options you need, buy it regardless of what metal its cast in.
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