Poll: Best set of heads for a SBC - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 01-29-2006, 09:57 AM
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Poll: Best set of heads for a SBC

I was just wondering what you guys are running on your SBC's.(especially the early to mid 70's 350's)

it seems that everyone has differing opinions on what the best set of heads to use on a small block are....so.....

What do you recommend and why?

I went with a ported,,polished, and shaved set of 400's on my 71' 350 and am quite pleased thus far.

So, what is the best bang for the buck in your opinion?
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:15 AM
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Now THATS a loaded question

I just recently ordered a set of afr 195's for my 406,which has a set of dart 230's on it at the moment.The only intakes that fit large port heads like 230's are all big single plane monsters that stick out the hood and left me with a big dead spot off idle.Lousy set up for the street i found .But as far as head selection it all depends on what you intend to use the car for.
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:18 AM
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I should add if your building a 350 for the street i personally wouldnt go any bigger than a 170cc head like the vortec or say edelbrocks etec 170 looks pretty sweet too,as well as many other manufacturers.This way you get that nice offf the line pull that makes our tires go up in smoke and puts a big sheet eatin grin on my face atleast
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:52 AM
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I think the owners of many aftermarket 180-200cc heads would disagree.

Dart, AFR, Brodix, World Products, Patriot, Trick Flow.....it's kinda hard to go wrong these days. The biggest deciding factor between manufacturers is money.


Larry
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Old 01-29-2006, 11:38 AM
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cubic inches X 50 % = maximum street runner volume

cubic inches X 55 % = race runner volume

I like AFRs... look at all the charts.... The AFR 195s outflow most other brands 210+ heads without the excessive port volume which hurts throttle response.

It is all about COMBINATION and balance of ALL parts.... versus intended useage...

Are you racing a dyno with full throttle only or driving a car ?

Think about it.

edited= I would avoid the foreign made stuff based on what I have heard.... It is hard to beat "the proven locals"... Edelbrock, AFR, etc.

Last edited by xntrik; 01-29-2006 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 01-29-2006, 12:58 PM
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I have Edelbrock perf RPM, I think that AFR is the best head out there. But for my 388 I love the perf RPM they have great flow #s for there size, and have superb quality for the price.
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:10 PM
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This thread has become a prophecy of sorts today....

Went with a buddy to look at a few 1968-72 chevy trucks and ended up finding a vortec 350 with fuel injection, ecm, and all harnesses for dirt cheap.

One of those "messy divorce, wife got the house no there's no where for the toys and parts" deals....poor guy, lucky us! The soon-to-be ex wife wants it all gone and has given the poor guy a short deadline to get rid of all of it.

So, now I am really considering swapping my carb and heads for the vortec set-up. He also has an LT1 out of a caprice police cruiser with all it's goodies.

Now my not so old 350 is looking a little out-dated...
then again, that LT! would fit nice and snug under the hood of my truck too..
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:22 PM
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Although Ive not used em yet. The Edelbrock performer rpm's have some darn nice flow#'s and there CNC ported + you get a reputable name. HG
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:32 PM
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Best heads ...?

To my way of thinking, torque is what gets it done for a street car and too big a head or carb will be detrimental to that snappy response I like.
For my 350 (LT-1) 170 cc with 10.5 CR and 3.73 gears. For most 350-383 ci
with streetable camshafts 170-195 cc heads are the best for drivers.
I really like the new vortec bowtie heads ... 2 sizes: small/185 cc runners, and large/215 cc. Part #s are 25534421 and 25534431 for small & large respectively. They're good to 6k rpm's and come assembled (w/LT-4 springs) or bare ..... make about 400 hp with the "hot" cam & kit on a 350 which means they're about the best performing iron heads Chev. ever built for the dollar spent.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:40 PM
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Definitely the best aluminum heads are the AFR's. As far as the cast iron heads, the vortecs are the best bang for the buck but definite limit the total valve lift in stock form.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:40 PM
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I think these are the best bang for the buck on a street 350-383.

http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/store...tegoryId=26569

It just depends on where you want to make your power at between the 180's and the 195's. If you dont mind running a 3000-3500 stall, The 195's along with a ~240@.050 duration cam, and 10.5:1 compression will make a great motor. If you are looking more for something that will make more low end torque and only want to run a 2000-2500 stall the 180s would be a good choice.

Here are a couple of 350s with the AFR 195's
http://airflowresearch.com/articles/article54/A-P1.htm
http://airflowresearch.com/articles/article32/A-P1.htm

Here is a 350 with the 180's: i really think you could go with a little more cam than they did, or a set of 1.6 rockers and still have alot of low end power along with more top end.
http://airflowresearch.com/articles/article40/A-P1.htm

Adam
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:54 PM
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$275 extra for angled spark plug holes?


Larry
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Old 01-31-2006, 08:53 PM
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From the info I could easily find AFR 190-195 heads flow 260 cfm intake, 190 cfm exhaust @0.500 lift, 262 cfm intake, 194 cfn exhaust @0.600.

TF 23* heads flow 253 cfm intake, 177 cfm exhaust @0.500 lift, and 254 cfm intake, and 190 cfm exhaust @0.600 lift.

So, what is the effect on HP between an intake lift of 260 cfm vs 253 cfm (difference of 7 cfm) @0.500 valve lift? Valve lift on my cam is 0.510.

My question is, how much am I loosing by not going to the recognized leader (at least on this forum) AFR heads??

What is 7 cfm worth??
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:25 PM
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Actually the 7cfm at max lift won't mean squat. What matters is the flow difference FROM .100 to .500. The area under the curve. With that being said I guess I never did see much difference at the track between cars that ran the trick flows and those that ran the AFR's. Both heads can make very good power. Also good to note that there is more than just flow numbers that go into making a head that will perform well.

If you can afford them the AFR's would be the way I'd go, not based on history as I ran these heads since 93 but because the heads have been slightly redesigned in the chamber and are now a very very nice casting. They also enhanced the drainback as well which should make some folks happy. I would order them direct from AFR to make sure you get the new castings. If they question you just say you want the nice casting they had on display at the PRI show in Orlando, not the old junky casting.
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Old 01-31-2006, 09:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick WI
Actually the 7cfm at max lift won't mean squat. What matters is the flow difference FROM .100 to .500. The area under the curve. With that being said I guess I never did see much difference at the track between cars that ran the trick flows and those that ran the AFR's. Both heads can make very good power. Also good to note that there is more than just flow numbers that go into making a head that will perform well.

If you can afford them the AFR's would be the way I'd go, not based on history as I ran these heads since 93 but because the heads have been slightly redesigned in the chamber and are now a very very nice casting. They also enhanced the drainback as well which should make some folks happy. I would order them direct from AFR to make sure you get the new castings. If they question you just say you want the nice casting they had on display at the PRI show in Orlando, not the old junky casting.
That being the case, why AFRs? What else besides flow numbers, which every seems to hang their hat on, will influnece performance? Velocity? Haven't seen any figures on either head.

Just trying to figure out what is a good head for my street 383. AFR seem excessively priced, based upon published numbers, for a street engine.
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