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Old 08-08-2012, 12:24 PM
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head and cam selection

Howdy, I've been racking the internet looking at heads for my new motor for my 73 C10. I have a 2 bolt block, std bore 87-95 1 piece block wiith factory pistons. Its a shortblock with about 30k miles on it. Originally it was a crate motor from GMPP before it was stripped of its heads.
I THINK it was a ZZ4.. according to the block number... but I know the ZZ4 motor came with aluminum heads and these were cast heads that came off.

I am building this truck for a daily driver/occasional tow rig with reliability a priority over high performance... but id like a little pep under my foot.

Anyways... the Dart SHP heads have caught my eye, id like to stay under/at 1000 for the pair.

Dart heads
Dart 127422 - Dart SHP Special High Performance Cylinder Heads - Mobile SummitRacingEquipment.com

Those are 72cc and they also have the same head w/ 64cc chambers. I've been looking at vortec heads also, but I want to buy heads ready to bolt on and the vortecs require
modding for a bigger cam... so I'm kind of confused as to what is better... an OE vortec head with a cam sized for it.. or the dart heads (cc?) with a mild cam. Also... is a retrofit roller cam worth the money for a DD or is a regular hydraulic cam just fine?

Any light you guys could shine on my dilema would be great.. that and id love to find some good head/cam tech articles with some knowledge, as this is my first motor build. Thanks!

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Old 08-08-2012, 12:47 PM
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low compression and iron heads last a very very long time. what do you call pep?
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:14 PM
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It is hard to beat the Vortec heads for the money. What kind of cam are you going to use? What is your budget? I don't know anything about the Dart heads but the Vortecs probably out flow them by a lot at partial lifts, and would make great heads for towing. Check out the Vortec head wiki to see the extra costs involved (only really an issue if you have already got the other parts purchased).
http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w..._Compatibility

If you have already got the other parts purchased for your long block (intake, gasksts, valve covers, etc) then perhaps the Darts would be better since they would be compatible.

Also, have you priced out a retro-roller setup? Cam, lifters, pushrods, cam button, bronze distributor gear. You are already at $700+ dollars on the cheap side, realistically more. Then are you going to use stamped rockers on a roller setup or go and get a full rockers? Better tack on some more hundred dollar bills.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:45 PM
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head and cam selection

Check this website, it has the specs. and part numbers for the ZZ4 engine. ZZ4 350 Crate Engine Tech Specs (Part # 12499712) | GM Performance Parts. You can compare the GM cam specs. to a Howard's HYD. Roller cam specs. I like the Dart SHP heads you posted too. Add an Edelbrock Performer RPM intake also. You can also go to Holley's Carb Selector at hollet.com to find a carburetor.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Surfer View Post
It is hard to beat the Vortec heads for the money. What kind of cam are you going to use? What is your budget? I don't know anything about the Dart heads but the Vortecs probably out flow them by a lot at partial lifts, and would make great heads for towing. Check out the Vortec head wiki to see the extra costs involved (only really an issue if you have already got the other parts purchased).
http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w..._Compatibility

If you have already got the other parts purchased for your long block (intake, gasksts, valve covers, etc) then perhaps the Darts would be better since they would be compatible.

Also, have you priced out a retro-roller setup? Cam, lifters, pushrods, cam button, bronze distributor gear. You are already at $700+ dollars on the cheap side, realistically more. Then are you going to use stamped rockers on a roller setup or go and get a full rockers? Better tack on some more hundred dollar bills.

I've got nothing except the block, I'm perfectly fine with completely stock vortec heads, and the self aligning rockers.. I just don't want to have to take brand new heads to the machineb shop for modding. Are there any decent cams that will have a smooth idle, and provide decent torque for the vortec's low lift? Id like to go atleast better than a stock cam, this motor will have no emission items or anything on it besides A/C. Will the 64cc chamber + factory pistons and factory head gasket cause compression issues? As I'd like to keep it on 87 octane.

I haven't added anything yet for a roller set up, but was tossing the idea around.. doesn't. look like that will happen, hyd tappet is fine for me.

With either head I plan to run a performer intake, buy one for the vortecs or use my current one from my old motor on the darts. Stock gm HEI ignition and my rebuilt quadrajet also original to my 73. Thanks for the quick replies!

Last edited by toyojake; 08-08-2012 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:04 PM
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You need to find out your deck clearance (how far down the pistons are in the hole). Standard factory SBC350's are .025"

You said before that you think this is a ZZ4 350. So that engine uses these pistons. I don't see a volume listed here, but since we know the ZZ4 is 10.1 with these pistons and 58cc heads, and factory deck clearance is .025" and factory head gasket is .015", that means these pistons are 13cc dish.

Now *assuming* this is in fact what you have, putting on 64cc Vortecs will be very pump friendly 9.4:1. Those 72cc Darts will be 8.7:1. Keep in mind those pistons are probably MORE than 13cc and the Vortecs usually measure 66-68cc due to the casting process. So those are going to lower your compression.

Also keep in mind that you want to keep your squish around .040-.050" so keep that in mind when you measure your deck clearance and select your head gasket. So don't just select the head gasket only based on compression ratio. Keeping a nice tight quench in the .040" range will DECREASE your chance of detonation and INCREASE your compression.

Last edited by Silver Surfer; 08-08-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:21 PM
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Hey I found the flow numbers for the Dart heads. The Darts flow better exhaust (but hey that is what dual pattern cams are for, right? :-)

Intake-wise, it looks like the Vortecs flow slightly better than the 180cc Darts and the 200cc Darts outflow the Vortecs. But a 200c intake runner is probably too big for most 350's, especially considering you want a tame daily driver/towing rig. You are going to need a big cam and a lot of RPM's to make use of a 200cc intake runner (and low end grunt will suffer with a 200cc runner).

180cc
Lift INT EX
.200 139 114
.300 190 145
.400 218 164
.500 222 172
.600 218 174

200cc
Lift INT EX
.200 129 114
.300 185 145
.400 229 164
.500 261 172
.600 263 174
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:30 PM
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unless you are looking for 500 hp,you dont need that much flow.
Silver? do the vortecs flow 230 ish intake side?
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinniekq2 View Post
Silver? do the vortecs flow 230 ish intake side?
lift.....in....ex
.500" 239 160

Full flow numbers are here
http://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/w...1_Vortec_heads
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:45 PM
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450 lift cam with 10 extra degrees on exhaust side would make the vortec package great
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Silver Surfer View Post
You need to find out your deck clearance (how far down the pistons are in the hole). Standard factory SBC350's are .025"

You said before that you think this is a ZZ4 350. So that engine uses these pistons. I don't see a volume listed here, but since we know the ZZ4 is 10.1 with these pistons and 58cc heads, and factory deck clearance is .025" and factory head gasket is .015", that means these pistons are 13cc dish.

Now *assuming* this is in fact what you have, putting on 64cc Vortecs will be very pump friendly 9.4:1. Those 72cc Darts will be 8.7:1. Keep in mind those pistons are probably MORE than 13cc and the Vortecs usually measure 66-68cc due to the casting process. So those are going to lower your compression.

Also keep in mind that you want to keep your squish around .040-.050" so keep that in mind when you measure your deck clearance and select your head gasket. So don't just select the head gasket only based on compression ratio. Keeping a nice tight quench in the .040" range will DECREASE your chance of detonation and INCREASE your compression.

OK, well the fact that the darts have 200 cc runners and would require a large cam settles that for me, I will run OEM vortec's... how exactly does one measure deck clearance?.. and what do you mean by a "tight quench"?

I will post up the block casting number when I get home, you guys might know what I've got from that.. everything I've found online points to a ZZ4... but I saw the heads and they were your basic run of the mill cast heads....IDK.
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Old 08-08-2012, 06:32 PM
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So the casting # of the block is 10243880 after a little research it seems a zz4 could be bought as a shortblock, so seems confirmed as a zz4 shortblock. Thus making your estimation above right at 9.4:1 Thanks guys, any torque cam recomendations for stock vortec heads?
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:06 PM
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112561-12 CL112561-12 259 269 205 215 .420 .455 112 108 Hyd. Hyd. 1
1000-5000 Smooth idle, Street, Towing,good fuel economy.
phone howards and ask about something close to this and explain your situation
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:55 PM
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Don't want to be a wet blanket. I thought all the zz engines had 4 bolt mains.

Also, if you go with vortecs be sure to get a vortec compatible intake manifold. They ARE different.

PatM
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyojake View Post
and what do you mean by a "tight quench"?

Squish and quench is the distance between the top of the piston at TDC and the bottom of the cylinder head. You find this out by measuring the deck clearance (how far down the piston is from the block at TDC) and adding it to the compressed thickness of the head gasket.

When the piston comes up you want it to violently squish the fuel and air from the flat side of the head over to the combustion chamber. This causes better mixture by way of turbulence. Coupled with the modern day heart shaped combustion chambers (instead of the old school 'bath tub' combustion chambers), this leads to more power, better MPG, less emissions, less total timing, and reduced chance of detonation. The closer you can get the piston to the head the better. Ideally you want to be about .040" and not much more than .050". This why flat top pistons are better than dome or dish pistons. Dish doesn't allow a good squish and domed pistons interfere with the turbulence and flame propagation. In the end its a win-win. More compression ratio while reducing detonation, octane requirements, less timing, more MPG and all the while making more power.
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