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Old 09-19-2013, 02:51 PM
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Heads for 87 octane SBC build

Hi all,

I am in the "wish list" phase of upgrading a nice little SBC street motor. I thought I would jot down my thoughts here and see what the experienced folks think of what I have in mind.

This is for a first generation GMC S-15 SBC conversion. The truck is run daily, and is an absolute hoot to drive.

Currently:
1980 4-bolt truck block w/stock internals (8.2-8.4-ish SCR)
882 heads
Shortie headers into 2.5" duals
Pertronix HEI controlled by a Crane HI-6 CD box
Edelbrock EPS intake
Holley 750 DP
Summit 1787 HFT cam (260/260 and .427/.427 110 LSA) - great little cam for a stock engine, BTW!
700R4 with stock converter
4.11 rear

My goals are to do a head and cam swap to upgrade overall power and torque and be able to run on 87 octane gas. The truck will live on the street and never see any track duty. All I want is make the grin on my face a little wider than it already is when I drive it, and to whoop the occasional unsuspecting boy racer Mustang/Camaro if the opportunity arises.

Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I am targeting a DCR of about 7.5 to 1. I can achieve that with 64cc chambers along with the right head gasket and camshaft.

So, for parts here is what I have in mind at the moment:

Cam (HFT):
Lunati VooDoo 60101 (256/262 and .454/.468) or 60102 (262/268 and .468/.489) - both are 112 LSA. I am of the "pick the smaller of the two you like" school when it comes to cams, so I am leaning towards the 60101.

Although I'd love to, a hydraulic roller conversion simply isn't in the budget at the moment. Maybe later.

Heads:
For exhaust system reasons I need to have stock exhaust port locations - nothing raised. So, AFRs are out. As are Jeg's aluminum heads, and likely several others.

So far I like the price/quality of both the 180cc Brodix Iron Killers and the 180cc Dart SHPs. Neither would require a spring swap to accommodate either of those VooDoo cams, or any other similar grinds I suppose.

I have entertained the thought of using 062 Vortecs. The issue I have there is once I'm done with the spring swap and buying new Vortec-specific parts (intake, self-guiding rockers, etc.) I am already very close to the cost of the assembled aluminum heads I mentioned. At that price, I might as well enjoy the 40 or so pound weight savings as well.

So, what do you guys think - are there any other similarly priced non-Vortec heads with stock exhaust port locations out there that I should consider? Thanks in advance!

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Old 09-19-2013, 04:17 PM
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For a basic head without paying the extra money the dart 180cc heads are really great heads. My build 350 600 holley VS weiand dual plane high rise dart shp 180cc 72 cc chamber aluminum heads and a lunati voodoo hydraulic roller cam 272/280 219/227 @50 duration 515/530 lift with full roller rockers. I have about 9:1 compression and I run 89 octane with no issues. I have tried 87 before and it did fine without any issues but I prefer to be safe. Mine sits in a 96 s10 3.42 rear gears with a 350 turbo and 2200 stall and this thing is absolutely very fast and has excellent street manners and throttle response with a great power curve to about 5500 to 6000 rpm. I had a set of rhs iron heads before the dart shp and I cold not believe the difference just swapping out the heads to the dart shp and one step bigger in cam size. I love my truck and drive it year round. Gearing up for a posi unit for it. I would go with the dart shp heads and the 60102 cam which is the same as mine just a flat tappet version. You should push 375/400 hp and 400 ftlbs with flat top pistons.

Last edited by eric32; 09-19-2013 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:52 PM
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Eric listed a very nice street build. I only caution to be very careful wen using aggressive flat tappet cams.
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:53 PM
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When cam shopping,keep all of the specs in mind & do the math.Don't get so hung up on the lift & duration that you overlook 1 of the most critical specs, IVC(intake valve closing).You can have the perfect combo of heads,pistons,a great SCR,but,if you choose a cam with the wrong timing,none of it will matter.Too early of an IVC & you'll be detonating all day,too late & it won't pull the hat off your head.Also,the combo needs to match.If your chosen cam has a RPM range 3000 to 5000 RPMs & your heads reach max flow @ 4000 RPMs,what do you got ???The intake power range is just as critical.Choose your parts,do the math,make corrections.
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Old 09-19-2013, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceless Bob View Post
Hi all,

I am in the "wish list" phase of upgrading a nice little SBC street motor. I thought I would jot down my thoughts here and see what the experienced folks think of what I have in mind.

This is for a first generation GMC S-15 SBC conversion. The truck is run daily, and is an absolute hoot to drive.

Currently:
1980 4-bolt truck block w/stock internals (8.2-8.4-ish SCR)
882 heads
Shortie headers into 2.5" duals
Pertronix HEI controlled by a Crane HI-6 CD box
Edelbrock EPS intake
Holley 750 DP
Summit 1787 HFT cam (260/260 and .427/.427 110 LSA) - great little cam for a stock engine, BTW!
700R4 with stock converter
4.11 rear

My goals are to do a head and cam swap to upgrade overall power and torque and be able to run on 87 octane gas. The truck will live on the street and never see any track duty. All I want is make the grin on my face a little wider than it already is when I drive it, and to whoop the occasional unsuspecting boy racer Mustang/Camaro if the opportunity arises.

Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I am targeting a DCR of about 7.5 to 1. I can achieve that with 64cc chambers along with the right head gasket and camshaft.

So, for parts here is what I have in mind at the moment:

Cam (HFT):
Lunati VooDoo 60101 (256/262 and .454/.468) or 60102 (262/268 and .468/.489) - both are 112 LSA. I am of the "pick the smaller of the two you like" school when it comes to cams, so I am leaning towards the 60101.

Although I'd love to, a hydraulic roller conversion simply isn't in the budget at the moment. Maybe later.

Heads:
For exhaust system reasons I need to have stock exhaust port locations - nothing raised. So, AFRs are out. As are Jeg's aluminum heads, and likely several others.

So far I like the price/quality of both the 180cc Brodix Iron Killers and the 180cc Dart SHPs. Neither would require a spring swap to accommodate either of those VooDoo cams, or any other similar grinds I suppose.

I have entertained the thought of using 062 Vortecs. The issue I have there is once I'm done with the spring swap and buying new Vortec-specific parts (intake, self-guiding rockers, etc.) I am already very close to the cost of the assembled aluminum heads I mentioned. At that price, I might as well enjoy the 40 or so pound weight savings as well.

So, what do you guys think - are there any other similarly priced non-Vortec heads with stock exhaust port locations out there that I should consider? Thanks in advance!
For a nice little street engine, I'd put a pair of Comp 190 cc port aluminums on it (White Performance Detail Description) with an Edlebrock Performer RPM intake and leave the rest alone.

These heads will take 50 pounds off the front wheels, perform close to Vortecs, accept normal in and out manifolds and headers, are budget friendly. The compression boost will wake your existing cam way up, the aluminum will allow a ratio boost or more in compression which is what you'll get and you'll get by with regular to mid range fuel. The 4.11's will work with the bigger ports and more aggressive intake to keep the low through mid RPM torque up while cranking on the top end.

Ya gotta love an S10/S15 with a V8 although I have a Ford freind that's running a 460 in a Bronco II on the street, talk about a beast! If you got 'em, smoke 'em kind of machine when it comes to tires.

Bogie
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:57 PM
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I would get a set of Vortech heads and be cheap. If you just have to have aluminum, then Dart SHP Aluminum head is excellent for the money. The Vortech head would not need machining with the cam you have, so it would make the Vortech head cheap. Good valve job and roller rockers is all I would do. You don't need a lot of head to support what you have and make a bunch more power. 882 heads are power robbers. If you go with a bigger cam, then go Dart head and better intake.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:06 PM
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motorcitykid and f bob,welcome to the forum
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:02 PM
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consider shp heads,9 1/4:1 compression,small roller hydraulic,,,, should make close to 400 hp on 87,with similar torque numbers
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:27 AM
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Thanks for the inputs everybody. Looks like the Dart heads are very well respected around here. I had been leaning towards the IKs, but I'll have a closer look at the SHPs now. With the IKs, the lifters can be pulled out without removing the intake, which is a really neat feature in my opinion. I wonder if that's possible with the Darts?

I also should have mentioned that I am not able to go with a taller intake due to hood clearance issues. Shoehorning the SBC into an S-10/S-15 has its challenges.

The good news is that the EPS seems to be a great choice among the shorter of dual plane manifolds out there - it can support some serious grunt.

Dual Plane Intake Manifold Comparisons - Car Craft Magazine
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:56 AM
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Look at the hood on my car(hint). you should use a performer RPM intake
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Old 09-20-2013, 07:00 AM
How fast is fast enough?
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faceless Bob View Post
Thanks for the inputs everybody. Looks like the Dart heads are very well respected around here. I had been leaning towards the IKs, but I'll have a closer look at the SHPs now. With the IKs, the lifters can be pulled out without removing the intake, which is a really neat feature in my opinion. I wonder if that's possible with the Darts?

I also should have mentioned that I am not able to go with a taller intake due to hood clearance issues. Shoehorning the SBC into an S-10/S-15 has its challenges.

The good news is that the EPS seems to be a great choice among the shorter of dual plane manifolds out there - it can support some serious grunt.

Dual Plane Intake Manifold Comparisons - Car Craft Magazine

Why would you need to pull the lifters out? Get the proper flat tappet cam the first time and this becomes a non-issue. FWIW, apparently the SHP 180's are a lot better than the 200's, so if you need a head larger than 180 you may want to look at a different head.

On a 350 on pump gas a 180cc port is good to put your peak power somewhere around 5500-5700 and your redline around 6,000. This is a very common target zone for hot street 350's.


All that being said, a LS with a cam swap is cheaper, so you may want to at least consider it before you put any more money into a sbc build.
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Old 09-20-2013, 08:57 AM
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Yes with a s10 hood clearance is a problem but I am able to use a 14x3 air filter no problem and also there is drop base air cleaners that drop the air filter one inch and I am using that on mine cause I have to use a one inch carb spacer in order for my holley center hung fuel bowl fuel line rail to clear my heater connection coming out of my intake. My 86 how ever I had to put a hood scoop on the hood in order to clear but that was because my dad put in welded motor mount and it sits it up kind of higher then with normal motor mounts. Also on my 96 s10 I am using the s10 motor swap mount kit and it uses the old 2.8 v6 motor mounts that fit any s10.

Last edited by eric32; 09-20-2013 at 09:21 AM.
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