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Old 05-13-2003, 08:34 AM
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Post Vortec Heads vs Regular

I'm looking for heads for my 350 rebuild. Someone told me to get the Vortec heads, will these work on an older block? Also what is the basic difference between the two types of heads.

Regards
Mark

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Old 05-13-2003, 12:30 PM
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Yes they will bolt to a old block .The different is most vortec are not cast iron like the old heads .If it was me I would get set of camle hump and have them worked.
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Old 05-13-2003, 01:37 PM
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The Vortec heads are far superior to the older heads in a few ways, The ports are bigger at 170cc`s and there redesigned so they out flow the older heads also. the camel hump has really gone to the way side since the release of the vortec, by the time you find a set of camel humps and have them worked, you`ll have about the same amount in them as you could have gotten a new set of vortec`s for and you`d still make more power with the Vortec. Most Vortec heads are cast iron heads just as the older heads but they are light, so you do have to watch the tempature closer. The vortecs come with 1.94 intake and 1.50 exhaust valves, and stepping them up to 2.02 valves doesn`t help them any so it`s not recommended, the port was designed to match 1.94`s. the combustion chamber was redesigned also and has more of a heart shape and is more efficient than the camel hump chamber, with the vortec you need less spark advance to make power and that`s a clear indication of a more efficient burn. when the circle trackers here got word the rules changed and they could run vortec heads, they got rid of there camel humps fast. if your wanting to run vortecs, make sure you get the L31 350 heads and not ones from a 305.
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Old 05-13-2003, 02:27 PM
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OK, but are there heads better yet than the vortec's. I was looking at getting the Edelbrock Performer RPM package which boasts 420hp. Just wondering what heads out there give you the most for your money, out of the box. I really don't have the resources or money here in Idaho to have good head work done.
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Old 05-13-2003, 04:11 PM
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The nice thing about the Vortec heads is they work great right out of the box... The best things to do with them are to either have the rocker studs pinned or have them pulled and machined for screw in studs... Here you also have choice if either guide plates or run a self alining rocker... With the addition of the adapter to use a side to side bolt hole valve cover which is the older type rather than the center bolt new style you can run a roller rocker with just a little modding... As for the intake ports just port match to your intake and leave them alone and rough... On the exhaust side just deburr and extra flash but leave the port shape alone... Going to a set of 2.02 & 1.60 valves will not make much of a difference on the street and infact the stock valves are better for the lower and mid range power... Also go with new iron dont go looking for a used pair as you might find trouble... The make power no doubt...
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Old 05-13-2003, 06:09 PM
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I agree totally with Bartman. vortec is the way to go. made a unreal difference in my 350 vette. dont forget the center intake bolt holes will have to be modified, but its easy to do. the combustion chambers are also smaller than the camles so you get instance compression increase too.

my heads came for ajunk yrad $50.00 bucks and I had another $264.00 for my machice shop work.
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Old 05-13-2003, 07:17 PM
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Don't forget that stock vortecs will not accept a "standard" manifold, and the newer vortec manifold is pretty expensive. I strongly suggest you shop around for a set of vortecs that have been drilled to accept the old-style manifolds ... they are only a few bucks more.

Are there heads better than vortecs? Are Edelbrocks better? Well duh! Vortecs are half the price of most other aftermarket heads! They had better be better ... but if you check Car Craft, Chevy HP and other mags that do side-by-side comparisons you'll see why all of us are suggesting them.
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Old 05-13-2003, 07:34 PM
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Hmmm....I'm sure somebody has played with a Vortec 383, is that a good idea to build, yay or nay?
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Old 05-14-2003, 11:46 AM
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aside from the fast burn GM heads that go for $1100 set, are there any comparable to the vortecs at a similar price ($550). when you put the vortec heads on your vette did you use an older intake? what did you have to do to get it to fit? i would like to get them but have 2 old style manifolds and i want to be able to use them. i've always heard the intakes wont fit because of the holes but havent heard anyone say it was an easy matter of just redrilling holes
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Old 05-14-2003, 03:15 PM
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A "good" machine shop with a head mill and table that can clamp them down properly can do the job of drilling holes for your early intakes... But note two things... 1st be sure to have them drill the end holes on each corner well oversize and add large pin then drill and tap the correct size... This is to reinforce that area which is thin on one side... 2nd be sure to use 5/16" std SAE threaded bolts and plug off the end holes that were there before you had the new holes done... These have open areas to water uh...uh...uh found out the hard way on that one... The best way on this is to get 4 of the 5/16" set screws with std SAE threads and use teflon tape or the brush on type to seal them... It sounds like alot but really is not... One other thing the ports on the vortec`s are much taller than stock so you`ll have to port match and use aftermarket gaskets (stock are just way to small...) Any questions feel free to email me... Best of luck...
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Old 05-28-2003, 06:36 PM
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If you're still checking this post, take a look at the latest Car Craft mag. It has a good article on porting vortecs,

Good Luck <img src="graemlins/pimp.gif" border="0" alt="[pimp]" />
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Old 05-28-2003, 07:46 PM
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I just want to chime in about big valves in the vortec heads.

Adding big valves will make no difference. Well, it will make a very slight difference. When you add a big valve to a stock combustion chamber, the bigger valve will be closer to the combustion chamber wall. It will be so close that the big valve will not allow good flow between it and the pocket wall. This is how the smaller valves can flow well. They can get good flow coming from 360 degrees.

When you add bigger valves, you have to "unshroud" the combustion chamber. This means having someone grind around where the valve seats to make for room to get more flow. If you don't do this, then yes, you will not get more flow. This is a must when going to a larger valve.

Big valves won't help flow? I have flow charts right here next to me that have INCREDIBLE flow numbers from a factory casting. These suckers have 2.055 and 1.60 valves.

:-)

They'll flow enough for 500 hp. Realistically.

Ben T.
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Old 05-28-2003, 07:55 PM
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If you don't have an intake manifold at all, then the cost is only a little more for a vortec intake. These heads are around to stay. An Air-Gap for the vortec is only $20 more than a regular RPM air-gap. AND the ports will line up. Get an intake designed for the heads if you buy them. Don't drill the vortec for an intake that won't bolt up right. Vortecs use a intake runner raised .100" of an inch.

To the guy asking about a stroker and L31 heads. Yes, this is a good combo. The L31's make good torque and that's also what strokers are known for. A stroker with vortecs and a mild performance hydraulic roller cam would make a SUPER street combo.

I could ramble on for 10 minutes on why I felt that way, but I'll spare everyone.

Ben T.

[ May 28, 2003: Message edited by: MuscleTruck ]</p>
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Old 05-28-2003, 08:06 PM
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the Vteks, have to have a special intake, i used the edelb. performer, they make a vortec version. also they take a different intake gasket ($40).

the Vortec heads are far superior to standard heads and they ARE cast iron, not aluminum.

they are probably the most bang for the buck as far as heads go.
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Old 05-28-2003, 08:22 PM
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Yeah, I have been reading people saying the vortecs are aluminum. EVERY and ALL vortecs are 100% cast iron.

The GM "FastBurn" head is aluminum. It uses the same intake and the same combustion chamber style as a vortec head, but should not be confused.

Ben T.
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