1st gen procomps
I know this thread is really old but i want to add to this procomp debate with my actual history. first a little on me. I am a process engineer. i started out at the bottom as a machinist running a drill press or handscrew. i was smart and soon was running CNC lathe and mills. because i am fairly smart i kept right on going and now i am figuring out how to process medical instrument and implate parts thru a machine shop, send out to passivation, plating, silk screening what ever is needed. i know parts and machining. casting everything to make a chunk of metal in to a beautiful instrument that will possibly save a life or make it better. NUF said about me.
I'm just building a SBC 350 (355) for my 65 malibu SS. I like to play and do everything so my car is set up for street, strip, autocross, whatever trouble i can get my self in to. I first bought a set 1st gen 190cc, straight plug, 64cc chambers, 2.02/1.6 heads, complete off ebay. the casting core shift was horrible on the intake runner of 1 head. bad enough to where the center port dividers only overlapped the head by .03 and i didnt think it would seal and sent them back. aside from the casting core shift the machining looked superb. all threads and milling look great. nice finish everywhere. the intake ports were very small on these 190cc heads. smaller than my "461" camel back heads. because of the core shift and me sending them back, the seller let me exchange/upgrade to the 210cc intake, angle plug, 64cc chamber, 2.02/1.6 heads, set up for roller cam (i did not know these werre raised runner intake ports). these heads were much better. again the machining looked excellent, all threads were nice, all milled surfaces looked great. there are very large casting ribs in the intake port in two places. 1 is by the push rod and the other is closer to the bowl end around a head bolt between the Siamesed runners. the distance cross the opening by the push rod was smaller than my 461 heads because of the casting bulge. i figured "aluminum casting" and that these were supposed to be ported, so i did just that. i also checked the valve seat to guide runnout and all the seats were within .002 except for 3 seats were .003, .004, .006. i feel this is pretty good considering 16 seats. i have had fresh heads out of the box on "American" made heads that had seats up to .015 out of whack so this wasn't to bad right out of the box. I like to see less than .002 so i corrected the three seats. all the exhaust seats were within .002 right from the start. also, the intake port is a raised port on these heads so it doesn't work with stock gaskets. you need the larger and thicker felpro 1266 gasket. a 1206 will not work it is too thin. I gasket matched a Vic Jr intake to the raised port head. an RPM air gap didnt have enough meat to do this, at least the one i had looked at. after porting the intake runner out as far as i felt safe without going to thin and breaking thru i still had some small casting humps but it is way more open and the raised intake runner is supposed to help make more power so i dealt with the extra porting of the intake. i installed the heads on the motor using the procomp parts as i was short on money and time and figured i would upgrade the parts after the summer of driving. the engine ran like a raped ape. i have a howards oem style roller cam p/n 180265-10. paired with 1.6 rockers it is .565 lift int/ .581 ex. final lift. so far the heads are kicking as. i raced a buddy with a 409 sbc with Dart heads and he dynoed at 498 hp 502 tq and its in a 74 buick apollo with the same 3.73 rear gears i have in my malibu. we raced and we were dead even so im assuming im making close to his power with a 355 cid engine. not bad at all.
after this summer ended i pulled the heads off and inspected parts. all the ends of the exhaust valves were beat to ****, looked like they have been actuated by a chisel & hammer. some of the valve tips had little chunks of metal chipped out of the edges and the end surface looked horrible in general. one intake valve also looked like this. I was also running some really crappy KMJ stainless steel full roller rocker arms. DO NOT BUY THOSE THEY ARE JUNK. the roller tip is not perpendicular with the rocker trunion so the roller tip doesn't contact the valve tip squarely.
Back to the heads, the seats and castings still look great after beating this motor about 4000 miles this summer. i am now installing manley valves, crower springs, comp cams ultra pro magnum full roller steel rocker arms.
i could have bought the heads as bare castings and looking at this with hind sight, thats what i should have done. i think the bare castings were around 350.00, add the 300.00 for new manley valves and crower springs, & stem seals i would have been right around the 650.00 i paid for the complete heads with crappy parts. i know procomp is now speedway and i heard they have improved quite a bit. so i would tell you i am very happy with the heads but not the parts installed in the heads. the new speedway heads might be better. i could have saved a lot of money if i would have bought bare heads. with that being said, even after upgrading the valves, valve springs, valve guide seals, plus add gaskets i am still LESS than the cost of a pair of complete "American" made heads. total cost is sitting close to $1000.00 after all the upgraded parts are added in. So Mrperformanceparts is pretty much right on the money. you need to ask, or build it your self so you know what parts are in your heads. then you will have no worries.