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Old 05-09-2011, 03:01 PM
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max lift on stock chevy heads small block

i want to know the max lift on a stock 1980 Chevy truck heads. and what i can do to make it hold more lift?

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Safely .480" is about it. To install more lift you will need to..... Replace the retainers with aftermkt +height units. Eliminate the rotators and shields. Replace valve springs with proper aftermkt pieces for cam applications.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by colton755
i want to know the max lift on a stock 1980 Chevy truck heads. and what i can do to make it hold more lift?
Something that has to be checked to be sure there's sufficient clearance between the top of the guide and whatever is between it and the bottom of the retainer. Then there is the spring which needs to maintain .050 inch when the valve is fully open between each and every coil. Then there is the slot clearance of the rockers to their studs again about .050 is as close as you can let this come. Then there is push rod to it's guide, increasing lift can run these into the ends of the guide, figure anything over .45 will require relief, tools are available from the hot rod sites for this mod. There there is sweep of the rocker end on the valve stem this needs to be centered as much as possible as the side load at high lifts eats the guides and stems letting a lot of oil into the combustion chambers and letting the valve roll around on the seat instead of closing things up.

For 1980 era smog heads lift beyond .5 inch is a waste of time as the port maxes out at that point and pushing for more lift doesn't net any flow improvement even when these old heads are ported.

Frankly by the time you try to change these sows ears for heads into a silk purse you'll spend as much money as anew set of modern heads like the Vortec would cost and those will deliver about 40 more horses out of the box over the best ported smoggers.

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Old 05-09-2011, 04:27 PM
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Here's a list of some areas of the valve train that need to be checked and verified. This is a general guide, and is not all-inclusive. There is no substitute for physically measuring critical areas like piston-to-valve clearances or valve spring installed height and coil bind. For those type things, do not rely solely on published figures:
  • Springs for installed height
  • Coil bind
  • Retainer to seal/valve guide boss at full lift
  • Retainer to rocker
  • Trunnion to stud boss
  • Piston-to-valve clearance (both before and after TDC on overlap)
  • Push rod to guide slot in head (if used)
  • Can use EITHER self-aligning rockers OR pushrod guide slots in head OR guide plates, not two or more of these at the same time
  • ”Rails” of self aligning rockers (if used) to retainer
  • Rocker to valve tip (by adjusting guide plates if used)
  • Rocker slot to stud (if using stamped rockers w/pivot balls)
  • Proper geometry (push rod length)
  • Rocker/polyloc to valve cover or baffle
  • Camshaft endplay
  • Distributor shaft and gear endplay
  • Distributor gear material compatible with cam material
  • Hydraulic lifter preload or solid lifter lash setting
  • Timing set phasing
  • Cam gear to crank gear alignment
  • Cam gear end play if roller cam
  • If using the SBC OEM roller lifters and retainers (aka dogbones), lobe lift must be kept below 0.354” so the lifters don’t lose contact w/the retainers
  • Cam lobe to connecting rod on strokers
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