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Old 08-10-2005, 08:27 PM
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Rebuilding BB Heads

Trying to get everything planed out for winter this year i am going to be asking a lot more questions.
I am going to be swaping the camshaft and while i have everything off i might as well try to do the heads too.
What i want to know is how hard is it for a novice to rebuild a set of heads?
Are there any special tools required besides the valve spring compresser?

Motor is a mostly stock '70 402BB

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Old 08-10-2005, 09:30 PM
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even the experienced people have to have special tools...grinders for the valves ..tools for the valve guides..and valve seats..etc..these are not tools that can be rented either..a machine shop will be your best bet..probaly around 200.00 for the work i would guess
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:50 PM
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69ChevelleAdict,

Where to begin?
The first tool would be a "Hot Tank" to clean the heads. Now this is not a "must have" but it makes everything that comes next a little easier to do if the head is clean. Speaking of cleaning you will want to "Wire Wheel" the valve head and tip but not the stem. Also use a wire wheel on the combustion chambers so there is no oily carbon and run a wire brush down thru the valve guide.

The next tool you will want is a "Magniflux Crack tester" This is a BIG electro-magnet that will allow you to find cracks in the heads before you spend hours of time grinding the seats just to find out you have a big crack in the head and you need to get another head.

You will then need a valve grinding machine. This will spin the valve while you bring it into contact with the grinding stone. This will grind the "Face" of the valve at the proper angle. Once all of the faces are ground then you will need to grind the "Tip" of the valve flat and perpendictular to the "Stem" of the valve.

The next machine you will need is a "Valve Seat" grinder. This has many different grinding stones that can be attached to the grinding stone holder. Once the correct sized stones have been picked out, they must be sharpened at the correct angles. Then you must pick a "Valve Guide Pilot" that fits your heads valve guides. If your guides are worn beyond the over sized pilot then new guides must be installed. This is WAY beyond a novice.
You will need three stones for both the intake and exhaust seats. One for the top of the seat (30deg). One for bottom the seat (60deg) and lastly the seat angle (45deg). Be sure that when you install the reground valve that the face of the valve contacts the seat midway on the face.

So that is about it.

Good Luck
Scholman
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Old 08-10-2005, 11:19 PM
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yep..just what i said
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Old 08-11-2005, 05:47 AM
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Also if changing the cam you will also be changing the springs most likely so proper setup of the springs will have to be done... You`ll need a spring tester to check the springs before hand and also a micrometer to measure for the correct height at correct spring pressure... Then you will have to mock up every valve with locks and retainers to figure the amount of shim`s you`ll need to set the height as figured from before... Cost plus time will put a dent in things...


In other words take it to an experienced machinest...
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:53 PM
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Any idea the average cost of that type of rebuild?
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Old 08-12-2005, 08:30 AM
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No tools needed, just pull the heads and take them your local machine shop.

You should also bring them the valve springs for the cam you plan to use. If it is a very mild cam then the stock springs will work.

Depending on the condition of the heads it can be as cheap at 150.00 or as much as 500.00. If they seem to be running ok now then it should be on the cheap side.

If you plan on using roller lifters then install 1.900" long rocker studs (30.00 to 60.00)

Pulling BBC heads off an engine in the car is tough. Those suckers are heavy! And it is even tougher to get them back on with out messing up the gaskets. Pulling off the hood will help a lot.
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Old 08-12-2005, 11:15 AM
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69ChevelleAddict,

Now these are guess-ta-ments mind you. If you want the true prices call your local shop and ask them for a quote.

Basic Valve Job: 250.00 This will get the heads cleaned, checked for cracks, install new guide seals, grind valves and seats (three angles), and surface the head and then re-assemble. No Parts needed and no cracks to worry about. The shop will usually paint the heads factory color or black.

Install new guides: 220.00
Install new valve seats: 450.00
Install longer studs: 200.00
(All of the above would include the new parts)
Measure the combustion chambers(CC the heads) 1500.00 or more

What you want to remember is the more time the machine shop has to put into the heads the more money you are going to have to shell out. And it does cost money to go fast.

Good Luck
Scholman
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Old 08-12-2005, 12:13 PM
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Wow! Those must be Hollywood prices. hahahaha

But yes, you should check your local machine shop for prices.

200.00 it install longer studs! Wow! If that is the case then do it yourself. The 16 studs cost 30.00 from Summit Racing plus 9.00 shipping then less than 5 minutes with with a 1/2 drive impact wrench and it's done. 20 minutes with a 1/2 drive wrench. 200.00! man that is amazing. I guess i'm a cheap sob. hahaha

Here in south texas a "basic" valve job for as V8 is 150.00 which includes the same things that were listed above. So, I guess it depends where you live. Let's hope you don't need guides, valves, or valve seats. If your engine is running good now and doesn't burn a bunch of oil, chances are a basic valve job is all that you need.
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Old 08-12-2005, 05:24 PM
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454C10 is right those must be "Gold shop" prices...? Just to add I was quoted at $110 for bronze guides installed including the guides just recently..
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Old 08-13-2005, 08:04 AM
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454C10,

I was thinking of the SBC heads. They need to be "pulled", threaded and then the new rocker studs can be installed.

Blessings
Scholman
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