Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board

Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board (
-   Engine (
-   -   iron performance heads for SBC (

LD85 09-22-2002 02:36 PM

iron performance heads for SBC
Is aluminum the only way to go to have some really good gains from a head upgrade? I mean aluminum AFR's, GM Fastburns, Edlebrocks all cost $1000-$1250.

Is there no equivelant flowing head with @200CC and 2.0-1.6 valves that are affordable? Whats is anyone else running? <img src="confused.gif" border="0">

dallam1 09-22-2002 02:54 PM

I remember when the sportsman heads first came out. Every one raved about them and all in the Chevy world was happy making 400 horsepower in their grocery getter. Now, it seems that all of these newer heads are light years ahead of the Sportsmans and as such you can't give the Sportsmans away. Well, I'm a cheap SOB and have got my eyes pealed for that bargin basement set of Sportsmans. If you find a low priced set, just take the old die grinder and smooth out the short side radius just a tad and viola, you've got a nice set of horse power heads on the cheap! Good luck

TtopIroc 09-22-2002 03:15 PM

i was looking at the sportsman heads for a sbc but I happened on a set of gm fastburn heads complete and ported for 1k so I opted for them instead. But ive heard nothing but good thinks about the sportsman heads <img src="graemlins/mwink.gif" border="0" alt="[mwink]" />

LD85 09-22-2002 03:52 PM

Everyone says Sportsmans or Vortec is good. I just cant believe that a cast iron head can't flow the same as a aluminum head, I just dont get it.

I have seen the GM-fastburns for as low as $550 with what they call 70% ported.

BTW, my eyes are peeled too! ;)

78 monte 09-22-2002 04:13 PM

My opinion is unless its going to do some serious cometitive racing aftermarket heads are just extra $$$.In my opinion for a street strip motor around 350-400hp just get a decent set of GM heads double humps or something.

dallam1 09-22-2002 08:35 PM

78Monte, I couldn't agree with you more. The difference between a 350 horsepower stock headed motor and a 375 horse power fancy headed street car ain't that much. Sure in a grudge match on a back road the fancy headed motor will take the lead towards the end but the driver is going to sweat all the way! I've got a set of double humps with large valves and hardned seats and two sets of 993 heads with big valves. I have less money in all three sets of heads than I do in a after market set. Incidently, I think that the very plentyfull and cheap 993 head is a "secret" recipe for a stout more than 350 horse power (with .100" domed pistons and a dirt cheap SSI 224/234 cam)street bruser 350. It will do very nicely in a 3.73 geared Camaro and the real nice thing is you'll have an extra 500 to a thousand bucks in your pocket when all is said and done!

LD85 09-23-2002 02:31 AM

My car is an 85 Vette with cast iron heads. They only gained another 5-10 HP in the years up to @ 1990 and then went to the LT-1 motor which was improved from the L-98 that I have.

So I have flat top pistons and a flat tappet cam. I want to replace he heads and cam. My goal is 300 RWHP. Basically a hi-12's car that is streetable.

The aluminum heads I have been looking at are 190CC with 2.0-E and 1.6-I valves.

My real question is, dont heads with the same numbers flow the same, cast iron or aluminum?

If I could save some money on the heads I would go with a roller cam setup with the xtra money and gain some HP there.

dallam1 09-23-2002 07:25 AM

Since no one is answering, I'll take a stab at it. I really don't know Vettes but I thought your year had the L-98 aluminum heads on it, I guess not. What do your have...TPI heads? In any event, do you want to save alot of bucks and gain 50 horsepower? Then you hit the nail on the head with that roller cam! How about getting a book from the "master" David Vizard (14 bucks) and port those heads that you already have (one hunders bucks give or take and that includes the supplies AND electric die grinder but not the 2 six packs of beer!)Then how about a lets say, 215 degree duration with .510" lift, give or take, roller cam? What a nice, nasty littly street roller cam that would be and it would fully compliment that few nights work that you did, porting your stock heads! Thats 50 horse power, my friend and the best part is, it's for around 500 bucks! The motor would idle nicely and have great street manners and when you hit the throttle, she'd pull like a freight train! Good luck

LD85 09-23-2002 12:47 PM

Thanks, and yes the early 86's and all 85's had cast iron heads. I have heard that they dont have a lot of meet to grind on but I need to investigate this further. I am a machinist by trade and could get myself onto a milling machine if necessary.I already have a die grinder with some carbide cutters as well as a Dremmel tool.

I could have the valves opened up I think to 2.0's and 1.6's. I mean the Fastburn GM heads and the AFR's flow 190CC's. I would think this is possible and I will investigate this further.

I just orderded the John Lingenfelter motor building TPI book book and the book How to Tune & Modify Chevrolet. I hope they will give mesome flow numbers so I can determine how much meat would need to be removed. Noone has said it cant be done just that its expensive to do on iron heads. Hey time is all I have a lot of !

I like the roller cam idea alot BTWQ.

Thanks again for your input. :)

LD85 09-23-2002 04:03 PM

Dudes, I found out my stock heads can be ported to a range of from 240-260 pretty easily. It can be done with new SS valves, 2.02 and 1.6's for $500 total.

More money for other stuff lef tover! :D

dallam1 09-23-2002 04:10 PM

I have ported several sets of heads and just as importantly, done alot or reading on the subject. You can definetely and easily port your stock heads and even if you don't increase the valve size you will gain up to 30 horse power for two nights work! I really think what you are referring to about your "thin" heads it that they don't have alot of material on their decks which means you can't grind the decks very much for increased compression. Of course you have to be somewhat carefull when porting and polishing and some heads do in fact have more "meat" to grind on but over all, you should have zero problems street porting your heads. Read the book! Now, with the addition of that well thought out roller cam, I bet that it is entirely possible that you can gain 70 horse power when all is said and done! Like I said, I really don't know Vettes but they seem to have big exhaust piping and I even recall seeing factory tube headers. A little bit of tuning and maybe something like a K&N air filter and I guarantee that thing will boil the hydes all the way to the grocery store!

Bill McCabe 09-24-2002 12:22 PM

I have been doing some research for an engine im building now and I will go with the steel vortec heads. couldn't justify the gains from using aluminum over the cast iron items. at $ 250.00 each ready to run this seems to be the best bargain going. What do others think

bigjoedo 09-24-2002 05:14 PM

I Just replaced the "Smog" heads on my 1976 Monte Carlo with a 350 CI small block, 4 days ago. I had a hard time deciding between the Vortec heads and other Aftermarket Cast Iron heads.
Because I already had a Edelbrock "Performer" manifold I went with World Produsts "Sportsman II" heads. WOW what a difference, the engine is making a lot more torque and HP and really moves the 3900# Monte down the road. The heads were $850 for the pair and were ready to bolt in place.
If you are on a limited budget, the Vortec heads flow very well according to the research I did and are a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the World Products heads. Hope this helps.


LD85 09-26-2002 06:14 AM

I would say you can go with inexpensive iron heads and have them ported for $350, this is what I am doing with my stock heads

roys63 09-27-2002 02:02 AM

For the money you can not beat the Sportsman IIs for bolt on HP and price!!

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:20 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.