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Old 10-31-2012, 06:14 PM
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Procomp versus Edelbrock Aluminum Heads

I have a mildly built Gen 1 SBC. It's putting out somewhere between 375 and 400 HP. I need to replace my Edelbrock Heads (they were used) that I bought on Ebay around two years ago and which were originally purchased around 2002. I need to replace them because the rocker arm alignments are terrible. In fact one was so bad that it partially tapered the top surface of a valve stem.

What I mean by bad rocker arm alignments is that most of the rocker arms are not 90 degrees to the centerline of the rocker arm studs so they kind of look like this (/ \) or vice versa even though the guide plates are now adjusted to as best as I could.

What I'm looking for are opinions and experiences on/with Procomp Heads versus Edelbrock E-Street Heads.

How are the Procomp heads? Do they work good? Anyone had any problems with them? Did they give a noticeable increase in power? How is the rocker arm alignment on yours? Etc?

As for the Edelbrock E-Street heads, do they work good? Anyone had any problems with them? Did they give a noticeable increase in power? How is the rocker arm alignment on yours? Etc?

Any experiences and/or opinions will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

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Last edited by hoops; 10-31-2012 at 06:20 PM. Reason: Change Wording
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:28 PM
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Ive used edelbrocks /dart/afr,all worked as they were supposed to work. Never tried pro comps. I buy heads based on air flow for the job and try to get the best I can afford.
how much power are you looking for?what size engine are you building?
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:35 PM
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When my old man built the engine in my 68 it was a low budget sbf 357w we bought the pro comp heads bare they were a cheap copy of the vic jr seeing i had a 408 in my fox with the vic jr heads i was able to compare side by side and honestly they arent perfect but after extensive port work throwing in our own valve and springs having the heads machined i had about $1100 into the pair and they worked good for what it was although im wanting to toss on some afr heads and see if otb they perform better....
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:37 PM
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I think this is a common problem but I dont think it is a huge issue as long as the roller tip of the rocker arm is centered over the valve. I am building a 355 sbc right know and bought a set of E Street heads which I ported and changed the valve springs on. I have the same issue of the rockers sitting the same way but with a set of adjustale guide plates to center the roller tip over the the valve tip. I think this is an issue with most after market heads because of the bigger intake runners. see the link for adjustable guide plates below.

COMP Cams Pushrod Guideplates 4835-8 - SummitRacing.com
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:20 PM
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china dolls, pro junk..
support our economy..
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:17 PM
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That is a very common problem with SBC heads.. Both are going to be the same.. it has to do with with valve spacing vs Stud spacing.. The only way to fix it is to manipulate the Guide plate positioning or use some of the adjustible 2peice jobbies. Either way it is time comsuming trying to get the roller tip covering the valve.. the roller is narrower than the stander tip on a stock rocker.. this is why there is no issue with stock parts. I say stick with the Elelbrocks and spent some time lining the stuff up..
.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinniekq2 View Post
Ive used edelbrocks /dart/afr,all worked as they were supposed to work. Never tried pro comps. I buy heads based on air flow for the job and try to get the best I can afford.
how much power are you looking for?what size engine are you building?
Engine is a 350 with stock bore and 375 hp to 400 is what I have.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by E.Furgal View Post
china dolls, pro junk..
support our economy..
FYI: I attempt to buy American, but the Edelbrock heads I have are so bad on rocker arm alignment that when I contacted Edelbrock about the alignment they were going to replace the heads until they saw the date code (2002) and then they offered me their employee's discount price.

That said, with all the money I've put into building this engine, including the $660 I paid for the heads, I'm now on a budget.
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:46 PM
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You know, I've heard before that the poor rocker arm alignment problem is common. It's reinforcing to hear it again by those of you that mentioned it.

The last time I tried to improve the alignment I installed adjustable guide plates, the there was a problem with them. The slot the pushrods slide in were much narrower than the Edelbrock guide plates. In fact a few of then were a very tight fit and with the rocker arm alignment affecting the angle of the push rods and the tight fit of the adjustable guide plates being so bad I could hardly spin some of the oily pushrods when making the final adjustments.

Also, during the initial break in of the cam there was only a rocker arm alignment noise on the right side of the engine, but since I've added the adjustable guide plates there is now a worse noise on the left side of the engine which I believe is being caused by the narrow width of the adjustable guide plates pushrod slots.

Take a look at the picture below and let me know if you think the rocker arm alignment shown before installing the adjustable guide plates is excessive.

Meanwhile I think I will try to find some adjustable guide plates that have a wider pushrod slot to see if those will eliminate the noises.

Thanks.


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Old 11-01-2012, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoops View Post
FYI: I attempt to buy American, but the Edelbrock heads I have are so bad on rocker arm alignment that when I contacted Edelbrock about the alignment they were going to replace the heads until they saw the date code (2002) and then they offered me their employee's discount price.

That said, with all the money I've put into building this engine, including the $660 I paid for the heads, I'm now on a budget.
by dart(this) next time..
come on man.. 660.oo for heads.. that was a red flag right there..
sorry you got taken..
where you the original buyer or you buy it off someone that "changed there mind"

if you bought from a big chain.. like summit.. they should have some recoarse with edle.. to get them returned defective.. even if cast in 2002.. if you have a receipt and they are new..
good luck...
I think you should call edle again and with photos show the problems.. and they'll more than likely replace them.. if they've never been run..
if they where bought as bare castings.. all bets are off
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoops View Post
I have a mildly built Gen 1 SBC. It's putting out somewhere between 375 and 400 HP. I need to replace my Edelbrock Heads (they were used) that I bought on Ebay around two years ago and which were originally purchased around 2002. I need to replace them because the rocker arm alignments are terrible. In fact one was so bad that it partially tapered the top surface of a valve stem.

What I mean by bad rocker arm alignments is that most of the rocker arms are not 90 degrees to the centerline of the rocker arm studs so they kind of look like this (/ \) or vice versa even though the guide plates are now adjusted to as best as I could.

What I'm looking for are opinions and experiences on/with Procomp Heads versus Edelbrock E-Street Heads.

How are the Procomp heads? Do they work good? Anyone had any problems with them? Did they give a noticeable increase in power? How is the rocker arm alignment on yours? Etc?

As for the Edelbrock E-Street heads, do they work good? Anyone had any problems with them? Did they give a noticeable increase in power? How is the rocker arm alignment on yours? Etc?

Any experiences and/or opinions will be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Early E-Streets had lots of problems of which you're seeing one, another was loosing seat inserts which is a devistating event to the engine.

Pro Comp also had many early on problems but these appear to be solved with recent heads, most of their problems were porous castings that leaked coolant both externally and internally. This seems to be corrected today. We've used a few of these on budget builds where people wanted them, in terms of performance thay are about the same as the E-Streets. They come in big and bigger port sizes 190 or 210, but don't flow as well as their size would lead you to think. The 190 flows about like the L31 Vortec up to .4 inch lift then it begins to out flow the Vortec. The 210 flows more than the 190 but you have to take into account that on a smaller engine like a 350 the 210 will lose port velocity which will make the engine react more cammy, push the torque and power peaks into higher RPMs which will reduce driveability and flexability from the engine. The combustion chamber is OK more like a Dart head than a Vortec or GM Fastburn which is to say its spark plug placement isn't so deep toward the valves and the shapes are swoopier which looks better on a flow bench but isn't as effective at remixing liquid fuel streams with the air flow at lower lifts and certainly lower engine RPMs. I don't have a lot of experience with this head, I know there are guys out there that feel the chamber needs considerable reshaping on the floor between the valves under the spark plug. I'd take the conservative route and leave this alone for a street engine as I see this shape as guiding the flow to the spark plug which would be helpful with a low to moderate lift cam and moderate RPMs. On heads with low position spark plugs (closer to the head gasket than chamber roof) GM always placed a pad in this location to help direct flow into the plug so unless I really knew better, I'd leave well enough alone.

The ProComps come with a .1 inch taller valve, if you buy a set without valves keep that in mind when ordering valves or if using standard lenght Chevy valves then order a set of lash caps to put on the stems.

I'd say the newer production is not a bad head and priced like they are from China, what frosts me is paying made in America prices for made in China stuff and you'd be shocked by how much really is sourced from China with nothing more than some finish machining and packaging done in the U.S.

Bogie ---

This is a PS I meant to include and got off track about guides, it is important to prelube the guides as todays seals really reduce the oil that can enter. I plug one end when the head is new and fill all the guides with oil letting them set at least a day, more if I can. Drain them and apply assembly grease. The soak period gives time for the oil to work into the pores of the guides especially if they are sintered material.

Last edited by oldbogie; 11-01-2012 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Add some blah, blah between prens(---) and a PS
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:28 PM
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Frugal, like I previously wrote, they were bought on Ebay and were used.

Also, as I wrote above, I did contact edelbrock and they offered me a discount if I wanted new ones. But, because of the poor rocker arm alignment I didn't want to take a chance of ending up with the same situation without doing some research, which is part of what I'm doing now.

Oldbogie, thank you very much for the very informative and excellently articulated post.

Did you look at the above picture and if so do you consider the rocker arm alignments to be normal or excessive?

Thanks.

Last edited by hoops; 11-01-2012 at 04:43 PM. Reason: Bolded Names
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoops View Post
Frugal, like I previously wrote, they were bought on Ebay and were used.

Also, as I wrote above, I did contact edelbrock and they offered me a discount if I wanted new ones.

Oldbogie, thank you very much for the informative post.

Did you look at the picture and if so do you consider the rocker arm alignments to be normal or excessive?

Thanks.
I can't say for certain looking at the picture because the rockers are being actuated by the cam so I don't know if all I see is misalignment or simply some valves are open and some are not and that changes where the rocker is on the stem. The stem is in a fixed position while the rocker is rotating an arc about its fulcrum so between the valve being closed or open the apparent length of the rocker is different. It does not move to the tangent of the stem but rather a cosine which would be an arc where it first moves from inboard of the stem's centerline to outboard of the centerline, then back over and inboard of the centerline again. So the actual measure would be the distance between the center line of the stem to the centerline of the stud. Another quirk of the SBC is that the rockers may splay in the front to rear direction, the valve stems and the rocker studs are often not in a direct line to the lifter and the push rod-guides may not line up with either, this will angle the push rod and cause the rocker to angle with regard to the valve stem. This would be a condition you want to correct on a competition engine, but for the street it costs a lot of money to do for a small gain in performance.

Bogie
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:12 PM
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Got it

Thanks.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:25 PM
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I've heard the ProComps are alright. A friend of mine has them and said he thought they had a good look to them. I'm currently using a set of worked over Engine Quest Lightning heads. Good bang for the buck there, made in the US, nice looking heads. Only light cleanup is really necessary.
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