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Old 08-18-2005, 10:16 PM
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SBC Heads - 487 or 441?

I have a 010/020 standard bore block to build up for another project. The plan is for compression not more than 9:1 with edelbrock performer power package as the main basis. I have head sets of 441 and 487 casting, and am undecided on which would be best for this motor. It use will be a daily driver.

Which heads might be considered best of the two sets for this build. I currently have no plans to enlarge the valves from stock.

Thanks for the advice.

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Old 08-18-2005, 11:37 PM
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sbc heads

It's me again. Go to the knowledge base, click on ,Engines then,Engine articles, then Heads, go to #4 sbc cyc. heads, there you will find something on both your heads. Both as I recall are pretty good stock heads. Look at the whole number on the 441's. If you have the 487x heads I think I would choose them.
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Old 08-19-2005, 07:22 AM
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Thanks. I have read all I can find on the subject but was hoping someone could provide something else that would swing my decision one way of the other. I do have one 487X head and know where another is. Next time I am by there I will check on it again.

Has anyone taken the 441/487 heads and enlarged the valves? Do both have hardened seats? Any specific porting issues or would a general smoothing be the best approach?

Again, Thanks
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:07 AM
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I would just bowl port them, in other words, clean up the bowls, there`s a ridge line below the valve seat, smooth it down even with the rest of the casting, don`t remove bunches on metal, just give it a good clean up. Both the 441 and 487 are both heavy casted stock heads, but have 76cc chambers which aren`t great but workable, I would give it a Quench distance of around .040 to help out the somewhat inefficient chambers. For a daily driver with the edelbrock performer package, the stock 1.94 1.50 valves are fine. If I remember correctly the heads were made before hardened seats, but I`m running a set of 041 castings, seats are still fine, but I do run a bottle of lead additive now and then.
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Old 08-19-2005, 11:04 AM
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There is no descernable difference.
I would suggest paying very close attention to the compression ratio on a 350. see here:
http://www.bidwhale.com/cgi-bin/auct...m=291125495146
It has approx 9.5:1 using dome-top pistons
If you run flat-tops and a decent cam you will be sorely dissapointed with both power and economy as 8.5:1 is good for nothing but a blower!!
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Old 08-19-2005, 12:49 PM
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NXS,
This will be a daily driver motor, not a full race. There is nothing wrong with a 8.5:1 or a 9:1 motor in terms of power or mileage. Anything higher would require premium which moves this out of the daily driver category in my opinion. Thanks for your input though. Good luck selling your mill.
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Old 08-19-2005, 01:19 PM
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Compression in the 8:1 figure does cause the engine to have to somewhat labour, especially with high rear gears. you can safely run 87 octane gas on 9.5:1 compression, a tight Quench lowers the octane requirement plus helps efficientcy and torque. How you could achieve this compression ratio would to have the block decked about .010, have the heads skim milled to assure flatness, use a GM head gasket that has a .028 thickness, and lastly use Speed Pro H631CP, which is a flat top 2 valve relief piston, it has a coated skirt, uses 5/64 3/16 ring set, has a 1.560 compression height, and doesn`t require the rings to be gapped. With the above mods, it would place the Quench distance right around .043, which is ideal. The pistons can be had a dirt track thunder, mad dog racing, or ebay, at a real good price.
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Old 08-19-2005, 03:51 PM
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Thanks for the clarification. I plan to run 3:08 out the back with a TH350 behind the engine. Does this fall in your definition of "High Gears"? To me high gears are numerically low.

I bought my last slugs/bearings/etc from Mad Dog. I was pleased with their price and service. A pic of my last engine is in my gallery above.
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Old 08-19-2005, 04:49 PM
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sure they fall into my definition of high gears, 3.08:1, means the pinion gear has to turn 3.08 times to make the ring gear turn once, thus, a high ratio, a higher ratio would be like what came stock in my cutlass, which was 2.14:1, super high gears. but you likely already knew that. and yes, high gears are numeral lower, low gears are numeral higher. with a 3.08 gear, the added compression would be of benefit, the engine won`t have to labour as hard to overcome it and get the vehicle moving.
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Old 08-19-2005, 05:06 PM
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With that gear ratio, I'd stick to closer to 8.75 or 9 to 1 compression ratio. The main difference between those head castings is the spark plug. The 487s will use the taper seat plugs, the 441s the washer seat type. I built an engine using 487s for a friend of mine a while ago. H631CP pistons, Lunati solid cam (small street grind). I installed 1.60/2.02 valves, hardened exhaust seats, bowl-blending and intake port-matching (didn't take much, the ports are big for stock heads). The heads were milled .030" to get 72 ccs. Block was decked, quench .045". Balanced rotating assembey (stock rods with ARP bolts, cast crank). This engine has been flogged for 4 years and still sounds good.

tom
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Old 08-19-2005, 08:33 PM
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It's not my motor.
If you look at all the top manufactures these days 9.4 is about the minimum compression they run. Increased compression makes better power and fuel economy with the same amount of fuel. 9.0 would be considered a bare minimum with todays fuel.
All I'm saying is to be careful with the compression when using the heads. As was mentioned, block decked, heads milled, steel shim gaskets may be required....or for a cheaper method run a small dome-top.
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Old 08-20-2005, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NXS
It's not my motor.
If you look at all the top manufactures these days 9.4 is about the minimum compression they run. Increased compression makes better power and fuel economy with the same amount of fuel. 9.0 would be considered a bare minimum with todays fuel.
All I'm saying is to be careful with the compression when using the heads. As was mentioned, block decked, heads milled, steel shim gaskets may be required....or for a cheaper method run a small dome-top.
One needs to remember that today's (factory) engines use computer controls, fuel injection, knock sensor feedback and other systems to make today's gas work with that kind of compression ratio. A carbureted engine would be hard pressed not to detonate itself to pieces trying to get the same efficiency in a a typically overloaded stock vehicle.

tom
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:05 AM
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And they have aluminum heads too. What compression do you recommend?
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NXS
And they have aluminum heads too. What compression do you recommend?
Good catch on the aluminum head thing.

A lot depends on the type of vehicle, weigh, tranny type and first gear ratio and cam. I don't recommedn a torque cam with more than 9-9.25:1, especially in a heavy vehicle or truck. A bigger cam with more duration will be compatible with more compression. One really has to be on his toes with total ignition timing. Get that wrong and it's all for naught.

tom
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Old 08-21-2005, 08:17 PM
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The vehicle this motor will be in is a 59 Chevy Apache 1/2 ton. I have a TH350 that will be going behind it unless another option presents itself. The rear gear will be a 3.08 posi 10 bolt. also unless another option falls into my lap. The intended use will be daily driving and towing the 18' flat bed with any other treasures I decide to hide behind the garage. The plan also includes a 600 cfm carb (edlebrock probably) and ceramic headers.

The higher compression is a concern but the reasoning provided was some new to me. Learned something from this post. Still thinking flat top slugs. I will put both sets of heads in the shop and see which one looks the best. The other will go back on the shelf or be designated swap meet fodder.
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