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Old 09-12-2002, 10:49 AM
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Post Vortec Heads Revisited

I am currently assembling a 350 four bolt bottom end and I am deciding between Vortec or Sportsman II's. I realize the price is the biggest determinig factor beetween the two for me. But, I am trying to make up my mind on the heads. My vehicle is a 90 model chev short and wide p/u and will be strictly for recreational use. I will be running headers, 2.5 inch exhaust, and a moderate cam/ torque cconverter (2000 stall). I was hoping for some real world references for either. Someone please help! Also some cam spec. experiences would be nice. I am going for the somewhat streetable rough idle, mid to upper RPM horsepower. Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-12-2002, 03:05 PM
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read all about it at "350 chevy heads" think that'l make up your mind
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Old 09-12-2002, 03:24 PM
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I Just replaced the "Smog" heads on my 1976 Monte Carlo with a 350 CI small block, 4 days ago. I had a hard time deciding between the Vortec heads and other Aftermarket Cast Iron heads.
Because I already had a Edelbrock "Performer" manifold I went with World Produsts "Sportsman II" heads. WOW what a difference, the engine is making a lot more torque and HP and really moves the 3900# Monte down the road. The heads were $850 for the pair and were ready to bolt in place.
If you are on a limited budget, the Vortec heads flow very well according to the research I did and are a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the World Products heads. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-13-2002, 08:46 AM
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I had a stock 350 two bolt in my F-1 until last winter. I built it as a stroker 383 using Vortec heads, Edelbrock RPM intake,Holley 670 cfm Street Avenger, CompCams XE268H cam, lifters and springs and 1.5:1 rockers. Compression is 10.2 and hyperutectic double eyebrow pistons. Rods are 5.7". Using a 2000 stall in front of TH350. 1 5/8" headers into 2.5" collectors and final exhaust with crossover. I use a mag lite distributor and MSD 6AL system (not necessary with this combination. This is basically the 425 hp Chevy 350 builds that all the magazines put on the dino except it is 38 cu inch bigger and a lot more torque. The longer stroke gives the motor something like 450 ft lbs at 2000 rpm and would do that with a two barrel and a crappy cam and intake.

The engine wants to idle at about 850 rpm and is definitely a hot sounding combination. The motor has massive low rpm torque for street driving, gets bad mileage (becasue of the cam). At about 3500 rpm it begins building what I will call flash power which is linear to a point I have not tested. It feels a jet take off surge and the rpm's build so fast it is scary. I will say it is a lot more motor than is necessary for a spirited ride where you want a good passing gear. I would be happy with a smaller cam really but this one really performs without bad manners except for the high idle. The stroker build is the real sleeper, you get the low rpm torque which is what you want in a pickup.

The Vortec heads are plenty. They will flow well to about 4500 rpm without modification. If you want to race and win, you would want to spend $1200 or so for bigger heads, but for street, you can't beat vortec for price/performance.
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