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Old 07-11-2005, 03:40 AM
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Chevy head comparison: 291, 993, or 601

I was wondering out of the 3 heads which would be the better choice. The 291's are the old double humps with 1.94 valves. I'm afraid the heads might need alot of work. I also have a set of 993's off a 72 350. These heads also have 1.94 valves and the 76cc chambers. Lastly I have a set of 305 HO 601 heads with 1.84 valves. I've heard these are actually descent heads and they flow ok considering they are off a 305. The 291's are currently on my 350 which has flat tops. It is around 10-1 cr. Of course the 993's will drop the cr and the 601's will raise it. if you had to make a choice out of the 3 which would it be?
Thanks for any help.

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Old 07-11-2005, 04:05 AM
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if the 291`s don`t need guides, I`d use them. If they do, I`d find something else. the 993 is a smogger casting, not the hot ticket for performance. the 601 is also nothing special compared to modern performance heads. The 601 is light and crack prone with small valves. if it were me, I`d likely go Vortec or aftermarket, if you sell all 3 sets of heads, you`ll likely have enough to get them. your heads, your money, your ride, your choice.
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Old 07-11-2005, 06:42 AM
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Use the 291's or as already mentioned-sell all of them and buy some good aftermarket castings. Even if you sold all these and still had to add a few dollars to make the purchase you'd still be money ahead IMO. The 291's should fetch a few bucks on ebay. I was selling sets of 882 heads on there awhile back and routinely got $175 per pair-for rebuildable cores. The 291's are good heads, how much do you want for them ? The 291's don't have hardened seats. With good aftermarket heads or Vortecs you'll have new guides and hardened seats, etc.
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:41 PM
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I haven't really thought about what I would want for the 291's. I did a quick valve job on them, reseating the valves, new springs and new seals. The engine still emits a puff of smoke upon startup so I think it has bad guides. I've had the heads on 2 different engines and the performance hasn't inpressed me, but I think its because they need to be fully rebuilt.
thanks for the replys.
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:51 PM
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There's nothing special about the 291s in stock form. They just have a little more material to work with when you're porting. That and they don't crack as easily as the late model heads.

Larry
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:00 PM
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The 291s are by far the best of the three. The 993s are better flowing tahn the 601s.
993s are the best of the large chamber heads along w/ 487 and 441s but are no camel humps.
The 601 is not evan the better of the 305 castings.If you go 305 heads for CR use 416 castings.
I put a set of these on a 350 w/ good lowend torque results.
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Old 07-11-2005, 11:14 PM
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if your 291 heads need guides and you dont work at a machine shop(too Costly)
993 s are o.k. but can u port and polish them to get peak numbers
last opt. is go vortecs and call it a day
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Old 07-12-2005, 03:56 AM
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Thanks for the replies. Vortecs are very tempting. I would like to stick with a head that doesn't require me changing the intake, valve covers, and rocker arms. But it would be worth it.
Thanks,
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