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Old 02-28-2009, 08:39 AM
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Best Iron Head Sbc Engine Combo??

I have been doing a lot of searching and really not finding what I want, I am trying to put together a budget build SBC out of alot of cheaper new parts and nice used parts, I want to know what everyones opinion is on BEST STOCK STYLE OR BUDGET IRON HEAD.

I know most will say vortec I just want to weigh my options and I dont really know what combo people have most luck and power output from. I am really putting together the combo now so I am open to whatever, it will most likely be a 350-355 short block to start with. and either a hyd or solid flat tappet cam.

all help is greatly appreciated

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Old 02-28-2009, 11:11 AM
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I'll say it.... Vortec.

they flow better than sportsman 2s, they're about $400 a pair rebuilt and they have great chambers. Everyone complains about the .470" max lift, but if you're using anything but a stock cam you'll have to change springs anyway. Just make sure the spring/retainer package is good for .550" lift and you're good to go.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:37 PM
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Go on ebay and find some bare heads then assemble them with the parts you need slowly.

I picked up a set of dart iron eagles (old stock) from terry roush motorsports for a few hundred bucks.

Stock though, vortec is definitly the way to go.
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Old 02-28-2009, 12:49 PM
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There are two budget high perf heads that I like and recomend.
1. The Summit branded 200cc aluminum heads
summit #162111

2. The new revised GM (large port) Bowtie Vortecs
GM/Summit #25534446
You can readup further about these, here
http://www.fbparts.com/gmp%20SBC_head.htm

You can build a mean lil 10:1 10.5:1 355ci street/strip motor based around either of these good solid entry level high performance heads. They also have "room to grow" right into a radical race motor with some port clean up work etc.
Lota bang for the buck.

How will you be using this motor?

Last edited by F-BIRD'88; 02-28-2009 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:18 PM
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I'll echo Fbird's recommendations. They're nice heads.

As with any head decision, I suggest you find a target flow you need to support your power, then get that flow from the smallest possible runners. That is the one reason why Vortecs are so often recommended. They flow as much as some 190-200cc aftermarket heads, but they do it with only 175cc. Major drivability and torque benefits.

But, Vortecs also kinda hit a wall around 400-450hp. If you're planning on 400+ hp, I would suggest aftermarket heads.
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:11 PM
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I see this as a loaded question. For a mild street strip 350 the Vortec head is a good deal. If you're going to need screw in studs and guide plates with bigger valves for a more radical set up the afternarket heads start to be a better deal.

Something else to consider is what parts you already have and what they are compatible with.
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:44 PM
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Dart iron eagle platnums 200cc or 215. Solid cam .
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:55 PM
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Vortec all day long...

Bowtie Vortec 180cc if you plan on a cam change (which I assume you are)
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Old 03-01-2009, 08:24 PM
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Vortecs all the way.
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Old 03-02-2009, 01:14 PM
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sure vortecs are nice, but they need a vortec intake, vortec valve covers, and vortec rocker arms. If you have these things already, then the vortec heads aren't so cheap anymore. But, if you need to buy these things (rockers, intake, and valve covers) then vortecs are nice.

The problem with vortecs are the exhaust port flows poorly. They run better with a cam that has more duration on the exhaust side.

I would get a set of dart iron eagles (200cc) if you already have an intake, rockers, and valve covers for a regular chevy head.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 454C10
sure vortecs are nice, but they need a vortec intake, vortec valve covers, and vortec rocker arms. If you have these things already, then the vortec heads aren't so cheap anymore. But, if you need to buy these things (rockers, intake, and valve covers) then vortecs are nice.

The problem with vortecs are the exhaust port flows poorly. They run better with a cam that has more duration on the exhaust side.



I would get a set of dart iron eagles (200cc) if you already have an intake, rockers, and valve covers for a regular chevy head.
You've been reading the hot rod books again. Vortec heads work just fine with single pattern and/or dual pattern cams. The exhaust ports are not weak compared to simular entry level comparable performance heads or other stock heads. Bolt em on and go.
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Old 03-02-2009, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F-BIRD'88
You've been reading the hot rod books again. Vortec heads work just fine with single pattern and/or dual pattern cams. The exhaust ports are not weak compared to simular entry level comparable performance heads or other stock heads. Bolt em on and go.
Someone once told me... "put down the Car Craft and walk away."

Quote:
sure vortecs are nice, but they need a vortec intake, vortec valve covers, and vortec rocker arms. If you have these things already, then the vortec heads aren't so cheap anymore. But, if you need to buy these things (rockers, intake, and valve covers) then vortecs are nice
No, they just need 86-later centerbolt valve covers, available for $14 just like any other stamped steel valve cover. Same thing for the rockers. Self-aligning rockers are very common. The intake I agree, but 99% of the time you are buying an intake for your combo anyway... just get the vortec intake.

Even if you have all the old-school SBC parts laying around, sell them and buy the vortec stuff instead. But a set of Vortec heads complete with rockers and that's the end of it. When I converted my boat to Vortecs, I bought rebuilt 062 heads assembled for $350, sold the used marine heads for $250 (marine guys are suckers). I bought a new GM crate Vortec intake off Ebay for $120 and sold my non-vortec aluminum intake for $80 after a pressure wash and rattle can paint job. Total net investment was something like $200 with gaskets and other things.

If you're planning a build before you buy stuff, then a Vortec build is no more expensive than a non-vortec build. If you went ahead and purchased all the accessories before planning the engine build... shame on you
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:49 PM
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no, exhaust flow is weak on the vortecs. just the facts.

I doubt stock valve covers or rockers will handle too much cam. He is talking solid.
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:06 PM
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My modified Vortecs are taking .545" lift with Harland Sharp rockers that are fairly bulky under stock stamped valve covers... but you're right, if he's going nuts on lift and rockers it won't work.

But... he would need aftermarket valve covers for either head style. Since he has to buy valve covers anyway, its the same cost to get tall centerbolts as it is tall perimeter bolt covers.

And the flow numbers don't support your exhaust opinion. Not arguing, just stating facts. Some common heads and their average E/I flow ratios from the srweiss website:

Bowtie: 69%
441: 69%
461: 63.4%
462: 67%
882: 73%
L98: 77%
Vortec: 73%

Numbers don't lie. Vortecs have a better E/I ratio than many of the common factory heads.

Last edited by curtis73; 03-02-2009 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:40 PM
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I ended about getting a pair of worked old sportsman2 heads for 450 could not pass it up
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