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Old 11-01-2012, 08:31 PM
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Need ya'lls opinions on SBC heads

Hello fellow hot rodders, I built a .030 over 350 flat top motor instead of the 327 for my '68 Impala. The motor hasn't been decked or anything just the overbore. I put my "186" camel hump heads on it that have been cut 0.010, previous owner ported to the max, on the runners anyway, 2.02/1.60 valves, screw in studs and guide plates. I'm running an Isky 284 Mega cam, 236/236 @ 050/ 0.510/0.510 lift on a 106 LSA with matching springs. I went with Doug Herbert anti pump-up lifters. Pete Jackson geardrive, TH400 with a Hughes 3500 stall and running a 3.73 gear, will be changing to a 4.10 over the winter months. After breaking the cam in I found one lifter that is bad, bleeding down very fast, so I pulled the intake, Tunnel Ram with two 1850-2 600 Holleys, and am going to replace all the lifters. Well, right after I built the 350 and put it in the car I ran across a 400SBC thats standard bore and it came with a pair of brand new, new style, Patriot Freedom heads for a super good price so I bought it. Now, i've got the intake off my 355 to put the new lifters in so my question is, do I leave the "186" heads on it or would I be able to tell a large difference by putting the aluminum Patriots on? If so, now is the time to do it lol. I haven't driven the car much at all due to the bad lifter but when I did drive it down the road, that's when the ticking started, the motor has very good power. This is my weekend toy for next year and it will be on the drag strip very little for tuning purposes and to have fun with my buddy's. My next build is gonna be the 400 for my S10 with just an RV cam and a good set of heads as it's going to be a semi daily driver. I value ya'lls knowledge alot and have done a whole lot of reading on here. Thanks

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Last edited by Camaro_Nut2001; 11-01-2012 at 08:33 PM. Reason: Forgot to ad LSA on cam.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:48 PM
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Putting new lifters on a used cam is a very iffy proposition. I'd rather you work on the lifter that's bleeding down- it might just need cleaning. More here.

There may be a lobe going bad on the cam. If that's the case, replace it NOW before it fills the engine w/ground up metal.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:06 PM
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I think the patriots would deffinatly breath a lot better than those humps. Have a look at the link below. Patriots seem to be holding there own

Eight Budget Small Block Chevy Heads Tested - Car Craft Magazine
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cobalt327 View Post
Putting new lifters on a used cam is a very iffy proposition. I'd rather you work on the lifter that's bleeding down- it might just need cleaning. More here.

There may be a lobe going bad on the cam. If that's the case, replace it NOW before it fills the engine w/ground up metal.
Yep lol I know. I'm gonna take the bad lifter apart and see whats going on before I put the new set in, should have said that in my post, sorry. If I do have to put the new lifters in I'm going to do the cam break-in again and keep my fingers crossed. When I first heard the ticking that's what I thought had happened, a lobe going bad. When I let the motor cool down I pulled the cover off to see if one of my locks had come loose on a rocker but it hadn't. I pulled the plugs and got that cylinder, #4, on TDC and readjusted the rocker. I looked at the plugs to see how my carb tune was, put the plugs back in and gettin ready to put the cover back on and just felt of the rocker arm, well all of them on that side, and it was very loose again. I took the rocker completely off to inspect, everything looked good, put it back on and readjusted. Went inside to eat supper, came back out to put the cover back on, felt of the rocker again and it was loose again, by loose I mean sloppy loose. So that's how I determined it was a lifter bleeding down.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:14 PM
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I think the patriots would deffinatly breath a lot better than those humps. Have a look at the link below. Patriots seem to be holding there own

Eight Budget Small Block Chevy Heads Tested - Car Craft Magazine
Thanks for the link, i'll read what they have to say about them. What I'm really wondering is if they are gonna perform a whole lot better, make a difference like between night and day, or if I should just leave the humps on and use the Patriots on my 400 build.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:20 PM
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Need ya'lls opinions on SBC heads

If they are the Patriot Freedom heads 2168 with the 185cc runners they should work real well with your 355 motor. The 64cc chambers with the flat top pistons will have about 10:1 compression which is good for aluminum. I would be worried about detonation with the iron heads especially after being milled. Be sure to have the matching valve springs for your camshaft installed on the new heads. If you install new lifters get some 30w Royal Purple break-in oil. Do the cam break-in procedure for about 20-30 minutes at 2500 RPMs. When changing oil after break-in use 10w30 or 10w40 oil with the ZDDP additive and a good filter. When time come to build the 400 motor you will need a set of heads with about 210-215 intake runners.

Last edited by cdminter59; 11-01-2012 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:30 PM
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I second that cdminter59. If you read that article you will see that the patriots made 40 more HP than the vortecs and the vortects are superior to cammel humps. If it were me Id bolt the patriots on if they have a 185cc runner.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by cdminter59 View Post
If they are the Patriot Freedom heads 2168 with the 185cc runners they should work real well with your 355 motor. The 64cc chambers with the flat top pistons will have about 10:1 compression which is good for aluminum. I would be worried about detonation with the iron heads especially after being milled. Be sure to have the matching valve springs for your camshaft installed on the new heads.
I knew I would get some great opinions but never thought they would come this fast. Thank ya'll so much. I was kinda worried about detonation when I first put the heads on but I took a chance and am running my timing a little lower than I normally do and also raised my octane level to 102. I think I'm gonna pull the heads and go with the Patriots, which are the 64cc. 185cc., and run a set of "462" on my 400. If I found a pair of good Vortec heads, would I have to drill the steam holes in them to run em on my 400?

Last edited by Camaro_Nut2001; 11-01-2012 at 09:43 PM. Reason: Forgot to ad something.
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:47 PM
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I have a pair of "461" heads, "041" and another pair of "186" if I don't find a good pair of Vortecs. Out of the three, which do you think would do the best on the 400 with a .030 overbore?
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:15 PM
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If your camels are ported,you better port the patriots also.The aluminum heads are lighter.with out putting them on a flow bench it just a guess.With that hydraulic cam and 600s you are limited there also. should make a tonne of mid range power
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camaro_Nut2001 View Post
I knew I would get some great opinions but never thought they would come this fast. Thank ya'll so much. I was kinda worried about detonation when I first put the heads on but I took a chance and am running my timing a little lower than I normally do and also raised my octane level to 102. I think I'm gonna pull the heads and go with the Patriots, which are the 64cc. 185cc., and run a set of "462" on my 400. If I found a pair of good Vortec heads, would I have to drill the steam holes in them to run em on my 400?
For a street engine, I would drill steam holes, but there is evidence it might not be needed.

I agree w/the others on the Patriots- use them as long as the intake runner volume isn't too large for the 355. Should be worth a good bit of power, especially lower in the rev range if the fuelies are fully ported.

Also the aluminum heads will give you a bit of a cushion against detonation since they shed heat better than iron heads plus they are probably not milled down like the fuelie heads now on it. They should let you run pump premimum w/o needing to take any total timing away. At least, try it that way because removing max power timing is the most ineffecient way of dealing w/detonation.

In case you're interested, there's a page on quench you might get some ideas from.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:02 AM
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With the intake off,the car down for the winter,swapping on heads,your haft way there to be sure about repairing the problem.Might be best off by replacing the cam and lifters.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by vinniekq2 View Post
If your camels are ported,you better port the patriots also.The aluminum heads are lighter.with out putting them on a flow bench it just a guess.With that hydraulic cam and 600s you are limited there also. should make a tonne of mid range power
Thanks for your advice feller. I failed to mention that I'm going back with a dual plane and a Holley 4779-2. I've got to do a couple of motor swaps and my Impala is going to have to stay outside for a few weeks and I don't really want to have to cover the motor up, due to rain and maybe snow, and I can put the hood back on if I leave the tunnel ram off. But, it will be going back on before spring if the good Lord is willing.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:42 AM
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For a street engine, I would drill steam holes, but there is evidence it might not be needed.

I agree w/the others on the Patriots- use them as long as the intake runner volume isn't too large for the 355. Should be worth a good bit of power, especially lower in the rev range if the fuelies are fully ported.

Also the aluminum heads will give you a bit of a cushion against detonation since they shed heat better than iron heads plus they are probably not milled down like the fuelie heads now on it. They should let you run pump premimum w/o needing to take any total timing away. At least, try it that way because removing max power timing is the most ineffecient way of dealing w/detonation.

In case you're interested, there's a page on quench you might get some ideas from.
Well, I think ya'll have made my decision for me, lol. The humps are coming off. I know what ya mean about taking the timing away and I don't really like it either but just trying to be safe. Man, this forum is awesome. I have messed with cars since I was just a young teenager, my father raced dirt track and taught me alot, and been a mechanic my whole working career but I have learned so much from this forum.
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camaro_Nut2001 View Post
I have a pair of "461" heads, "041" and another pair of "186" if I don't find a good pair of Vortecs. Out of the three, which do you think would do the best on the 400 with a .030 overbore?
These heads are all similar. Prolly not a 5 hp difference between them as long as the are prepared the same. The 041 is supposed to have a little more meat under the spring seat and is "stealthy" in that it doesn't have the double hump identifier.

Pay attention to the compression ratio- a 64cc chamber on a 400 SBC w/flat tops and a tight quench can exceed 11.5:1- higher than pump gas will allow w/o detonation. A 22cc dished piston will put you at about 9.75:1, the absolute limit I would recommend using iron heads- and even then the cam has to be chosen carefully so the dynamic compression ratio isn't too high.

Calculators
Static compression ratio
*Interactive JavaScript to Calculate Engine's Compression Ratio (CR)

Dynamic compression ratio
*Dynamic CR
*United Engine & Machine Co. Incorporated

You should CC the heads to be sure that each pair are the same, and that none were milled excessively. Even if they are as cast and never been milled, the chamber volumes can vary from published figures.
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