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Old 01-09-2013, 09:57 AM
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Switching to aluminum heads sbc

Hello guys been a while. first off here are my engine specs.
350 sbc 9:1 cr
lunati voodoo hydraulic roller cam 211/219 @ 50 507/515 lift.
Weiand high rise dual plante intake
rhs iron heads 180cc
Hope this in the right section.

Ok that should be it for the engine specs. My thing is I am changing over to set of Dart SHP aluminum heads in about a month or so and I have never dealt with aluminum heads before and was wondering if you guys could give me some pointers or advice on them or things I should be carfull with etc.

I have concerns about stripping threads out when tightening down things, and will the screw in rocker studs stay inplace, are they durable, torquing down bolts etc.

I know the edelbrock heads come with helicoils in the rocker stud and exhaust areas for strength but to my knowleadge on what I could find they are the only ones who does that and dart does not along with other name brands. How strong and durable are the aftermarket heads made of aluminum?

Several reasons why I am switching over. Hope you guys that have used aluminum heads on your engines can input here.
Thanks Eric

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Old 01-09-2013, 10:03 AM
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are you looking for more power?curious
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Old 01-09-2013, 10:44 AM
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Voodoo Retro Fit Hyd Roller Cam - Chevrolet Small Block 262/270 - Lunati Power
Intake closes at 31.5 degrees ABDC
With 9.0:1 SCR, DCR will be 8.578:1 on the KB calculator.
The manufacturer of the heads should have all the torque specs for you. Get them on the phone.
Default head gasket for aluminum heads is Fel-Pro 1003.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:13 AM
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Hello Tech thanks for the info. I got the torque specs on the heads and such just worrying about the intake as you cant get a torque wrench on all the bolts. I am just scared of stripping threads as I have heard its easier with aluminum heads then cast iron.

Reason I am changing out is one I wanted to do aluminum heads the last time but they did not have any set up for roller cams at the time unless you wanted to spend over 1500.00 bucks which I didnot have to spend for aluminum heads.

Brodix had the iron killer but they only had 64cc chambers at the time and I use 72cc to put me at 9:1 so I can run well on pump gas with out ping.

I went with a set of rhs pro action heads and they are a good head but I had to get the valve seats machined better at the machine shop cause they did not do a very good job.

After we got everythnig all said and done and the engine all set up and down in my truck we found out they took the spark plugs and angled them down and I have never seen this on any chevy head with straight plug heads or angle plug style heads and they stated straight plug never saying angle down.

I had to hack up my headers just to get them to fit when normally they just bolt right up with no issues. Dart finally came out with a nice aluminum head for a 1000.00 with a dual spring assembly straight plug configuration and 72cc chambers which is perfect for my setup. I had hated what rhs did to the heads since day one but not cheap to fix right off espically when whole engine is in truck.

Dart just came out with these heads shortly after I had everything done or I would have gotten them then.

Its been hard for me money wise cause I just went through health issues last year with stage 4 nasel cancer and just got done with all kinds of chemo and radiation and after months of getting buy I am now finally able to do things and save some dough or I would have done it earlier.
Eric
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:31 AM
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Hey Eric, It's good your in good health.
BTW: Make sure your cooling system are in good shape. Alum heads can warp very easy if you loose your anti freeze.
If you can get a good set of head bolts. And add tape sealer around the threads on the head bolt.

Last edited by lg1969; 01-09-2013 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:12 PM
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Use locktite on the rocker studs, use antiseize on the intake and exhaust fasteners. Consider using studs where possible- studs put less 'wear' on the threads than bolts.

Tighten the intake bolts that can't be reached w/a torque wrench the exact same way you would if it was iron heads- by feel. Same thing for the exhaust.

Aluminum threads can erode quickly if a fastener is loose, so after every heat cycle go back and snug everything back down, especially the intake and exhaust. After doing this for a while they'll take a set and will stay tight. From then on you can check them at oil change time. You do not need to retighten the rocker studs. Once they're torqued w/locktite, they're all set.

As for retorquing the heads, that's your call. Some guys do, others don't. I do if the head gaskets are composite, don't if they're steel shim.

Be sure the threads are spotless. Don't use a tap. Instead, use a thread chaser to clean them, it won't remove metal like a tap.

More on torquing and sealants here.

Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:32 PM
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Don't forget to use a dab of anti-seize paste on the threads like intake, accessories brackets, header bolts, and spark plug threads. any bolts that bolt on to the heads.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:05 PM
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hello guys thanks for the comments.As far as head gaskets goes I will be using felpro 1003. I will use antiseize on all intake bolts and the accessory bolts as well. I will recheck the header bolts and intake bolts over time and after a few heat cycles its I am just a little scared about tighting down the intake fastners and the accessory bolts and exhaust cause I am used to iron heads and never had problems with them. I know to use antiseize on the plugs as well. I guess we weill see hopefully I will get the right feel on tighting things down without over doing it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:25 PM
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Sure would be good if you made a move to increase the SCR because now you have aluminum heads.And no I did run it to see what you C/R would be at 64cc's.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:17 PM
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First off be sure to get the right head bolts for aluminum heads! I use ARP that use a washer under the head, and I don't know of any other brands that don't also use a washer when they are designed for aluminum. Without a washer you'll gall the surface and get inaccurate torque readings.
The head manufacturer, or ARP can give you torque specs, but my buddy who's done way more aluminum heads than I have told me he always torques them in 3 steps. He starts out at 25 ft. lbs, then goes to 40 ft lbs, and then to final setting. After they've been run and the engine is cold again, he checks the final setting once more. I used his method on mine with the ARP bolts and had no problems.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric32 View Post
Hello guys been a while. first off here are my engine specs.
350 sbc 9:1 cr
lunati voodoo hydraulic roller cam 211/219 @ 50 507/515 lift.
Weiand high rise dual plante intake
rhs iron heads 180cc
Hope this in the right section.

Ok that should be it for the engine specs. My thing is I am changing over to set of Dart SHP aluminum heads in about a month or so and I have never dealt with aluminum heads before and was wondering if you guys could give me some pointers or advice on them or things I should be carfull with etc.

I have concerns about stripping threads out when tightening down things, and will the screw in rocker studs stay inplace, are they durable, torquing down bolts etc.

I know the edelbrock heads come with helicoils in the rocker stud and exhaust areas for strength but to my knowleadge on what I could find they are the only ones who does that and dart does not along with other name brands. How strong and durable are the aftermarket heads made of aluminum?

Several reasons why I am switching over. Hope you guys that have used aluminum heads on your engines can input here.
Thanks Eric
Hey Eric, where did you get your 9.1 compression figure from? What's in the block currently? Stock crank and rods? What pistons etc? Thanks
Dave
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:26 PM
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Hello guys well as far as compression goes my block has been decked. I also am currently using arp head studs and I always use felpro 1003 head gaskets. I will also make sure to antiseize on all fastners. I am using flattop pistons with 1.560 compression height so with all that I get. Around 9 to 1 from keith black website. Also cooling system is all new and only few years old and antifreeze was just changed. Sorry if text looks bad I am typing from phone. Thanks for tips guys.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:03 PM
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I agree with what Gary said above, with a 64cc head your right around 10.2:1 which would work well with alum heads.
As well as giving you a larger selection for heads. More power, more choice, and as long as your not trying to run it on moose pss it should run fine.
Jmho
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:38 PM
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eric32,
You mentioned your cam specs and I imagine you know or can find out the manufacturer's spring specifications for the cam. When shopping for heads, get the spring specs the heads come with and call Lunati and see if the springs are compatible. Not just lift numbers, but seat lbs., and over the nose lbs.. Also note that springs need locators/seats to keep from chewing up the aluminum.
Many people recommend buying bare heads, and then purchasing valves, springs, retainers/locks, rocker studs, and guide plates to get everything matched, and machined to your specs. Many times people complain of excess guide to valve clearance, or bad valve jobs(seat runout, poorly ground seats/valves or no three angles or just cheap components). May want to give it some thought before buying a complete set. I know my last set had every component swapped and a new valve job before I was satisfied(very anal) and I would have been better off buying them bare to begin with. Also better to do any porting/polishing before the seats are finished in case you slip if you decide to give it a try(aluminum is so much easier to work with than cast iron). Keep in mind that it will probably be more expensive buying everything seperately, but its up to you as far as what you would rather have. Some manufacturers offer great quality out of the box, but it costs $.
Also as someone else has mentioned, get them with a bit smaller chamber size than the iron heads had, and take advantage of the aluminums greater heat disipation. If the heads were identical in chamber shape, size, and port flow, and available in both iron and aluminum, the iron would make more power. If you don't increase the compression with the aluminum heads you could conceivably lose power.
FWIW,
ssmonty
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:55 AM
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Be aware that alum heads can tolerate more compression by at least one point. What is 9:1 compression on a iron heads is 10:1 to alum heads because it produces less BTU. It releases more heat then iron heads as a result less chance of detonation in the chamber.
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