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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As per title, has anyone done it themselves? Seen a video by AC dodd on YouTube on how he machines heads for unleaded inserts himself. (
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But no info on the actual seat cutting.
Not gonna fit hardened seats myself, only increase valve size. Will keep running lead additive.
Chevy SBC head with 1.94 valves going to 2.02 valves, and 1.5" going to 1.6".

Got a Pilar drill and tempted to get either a carbide set or a set with what I call a boring bar (see picture, I probably translate it wrong) .
Also a tad tempted to just buy a set of newmann cutters. Need to do 16 valves to start.
The bottom set looks a bit like the 'old' LISLE brand valve seat cutters. I've heard multiple people reporting succes with those.


Yes, I know machineshops exist who can do it, finding one around here is a tad harder. They also charge 7-20 dollar PER cut. SO a 3 angle valve job on 16 valves is 330 - 960$....

Thanks for any insights!

valve-seat-cutter-500x500.jpg


Valve-Cutting-Tool-Dia-22-63mm-Valve-Sea
 

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I would suggest hiring a shop with a serdi type machine/tooling to do the cutting---3 hours at most to get the seats cut to size and all at the same depth, as practicable. I finish the seats with a wet grinder to get a mirror finish but that is not always necessary, but do vacuum test the valve seal during assembly.
 

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Around this area you can't hardly give away a vintage "Sioux" or comparable valve grinding machine , find one of those . I've seen 2 thrown in the scrap in the last couple years , benchtop grinder , hand motor , mandrels & stones ..served many of us well for 1/2 a century ! BTW , Grinding / cutting out those seats removes all " flash-hardening" they won't last , additive or not !
 

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You trying to do this with a hand drill or do you have a vertical mill?
Don't forget you have to do the guides first, then cut the seat indexing off the guide centers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You trying to do this with a hand drill or do you have a vertical mill?
Don't forget you have to do the guides first, then cut the seat indexing off the guide centers.
Guides are done and reamed to size already.
I have a drill press/Pilar drill, quite a big one

Around this area you can't hardly give away a vintage "Sioux" or comparable valve grinding machine , find one of those . I've seen 2 thrown in the scrap in the last couple years , benchtop grinder , hand motor , mandrels & stones ..served many of us well for 1/2 a century ! BTW , Grinding / cutting out those seats removes all " flash-hardening" they won't last , additive or not !
Why wouldn't they last with additive?
Afaik all the European cars I've owned didn't have the induction hardening these heads had.
 

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Neway cutters are good option is the drill is slow enough and ridged enough. 100 rpm or so
 

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Something that you have to consider is that he is machining a head that has an upper surface that is parallel to the bottom surface of the head. That allows both surfaces to sit level on the table and the valves are perpendicular to the table. Chevy isn't made that way, so you would have to come up with some way to clamp the head to the table. The valve cover surface "may" work , but on some engines the rocker stud bosses may interfere with sitting flat. Don't know how your heads are made, so can't say for sure.
I would buy a few "junk" heads off Facebook to practice on before you do your good ones............

Hood Black Bumper Grey Motor vehicle


Also, for the repair prices you quoted, you would be better off buying some aluminum replacement heads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Something that you have to consider is that he is machining a head that has an upper surface that is parallel to the bottom surface of the head. That allows both surfaces to sit level on the table and the valves are perpendicular to the table. Chevy isn't made that way, so you would have to come up with some way to clamp the head to the table. The valve cover surface "may" work , but on some engines the rocker stud bosses may interfere with sitting flat. Don't know how your heads are made, so can't say for sure.
I would buy a few "junk" heads off Facebook to practice on before you do your good ones............

View attachment 619055

Also, for the repair prices you quoted, you would be better off buying some aluminum replacement heads.
I intend to use the rocker cover ( valve cover) area indeed.
I would buy new if I was in the US of A. But shipping 2 chunks of aluminium 5000 miles across the ocean is a real dealbreaker after you add 21% tax + 10% import tax + shipping & handling. ( AFR heads would cost me 2K). Unless I'd get some DNA motering castings and play around with them.
 

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Yes, but you should also realize that once you have those heads, they will be a prize possession and the envy of all your friends.........and they will retain most of their value as long as they are usable.
Its kinda like the people who don't want to pay for a Miller welder. They go buy a cheapie no name with no support or replacement parts. A large number of them go bad and its not worth the shipping costs and repair costs to fix it, so now they have nothing. The guy who bought the Miller paid 3 times as much, and 10 years later he can sell it for 75% of what it cost him. So both people spent appx the same amount of money. My son bought a Miller 212 for $1700 almost 10 years ago. Keeps it clean and nice, looks like new. Today they sell for $2200 and he can easily resell his for $1500/$1700.
So you have to look at the long term rather than the short term.

Machinining heads for inserts looks easy, and an experienced person can do the work pretty easily. There are lots of little things though that can go wrong. Thats why I suggest trying it on some junk heads before doing your good heads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
But 2K heads wouldn't make my life or car that much better. Imho not comparable to welders, a cheap head or even the stock head will be good for the rest of my life probably. The 20 or even 30hp difference will only increase the gap between me and those pesky BMW's.
 

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What happens if you send money and someone here buys heads, then you pay to ship them over, can they be listed as used heads and would taxes be lower on used auto parts
 

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But 2K heads wouldn't make my life or car that much better. Imho not comparable to welders, a cheap head or even the stock head will be good for the rest of my life probably. The 20 or even 30hp difference will only increase the gap between me and those pesky BMW's.
They won't make your life better but they will definitely make your car better............how much better depends on your car and your abilities. Basically the people over here that are still building old smallblock Chevies use aftermarket aluminum heads because all the older performance ones have too many problems and aren't worth the cost to rebuild properly. Its almost as expensive to build good used heads as to buy new aluminum ones. There are those that want nostalgia because they want to look cool instead of actually have a cool (fast) car.

Doesn't matter if its a welder or an aluminum head or anything else of value, if you don't see how the metafor applies to your situation, then I can't explain it to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
They won't make your life better but they will definitely make your car better............how much better depends on your car and your abilities. Basically the people over here that are still building old smallblock Chevies use aftermarket aluminum heads because all the older performance ones have too many problems and aren't worth the cost to rebuild properly. Its almost as expensive to build good used heads as to buy new aluminum ones. There are those that want nostalgia because they want to look cool instead of actually have a cool (fast) car.

Doesn't matter if its a welder or an aluminum head or anything else of value, if you don't see how the metafor applies to your situation, then I can't explain it to you.
If I sell my car after fitting these heada it won't be worth 2K more.
Yes, in the USA it's far cheaper the use aluminium heads, I don't live in the USA.
The 20 HP won't instantly make it a fast car either. A 350hp corvette c3 isn't fast.

Why do all these threads always go from someone asking about what tools to use to people being dead set on spending other people's money?
If I'd want a fast car id buy a c7 or a delta integrale thats able to take a corner.
 

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Why do all these threads always go from someone asking about what tools to use to people being dead set on spending other people's money?

ekimneirbo
As someone who once made their living as a machinist and has a home shop that has some pretty serious machines and tooling available for my personal use, I'm well aware what it takes to do machine work correctly.............and what can happen when an amatuer thinks he can buy a couple cheap tools and do quality work. It costs money to get the proper tools and often it takes more than just what you think you need.



If I'd want a fast car id buy a c7 or a delta integrale thats able to take a corner.

ekimneirbo
So if you don't want a fast car, what is the purpose of putting 2.02 valves in your heads? If you do the rebuild job right, you're gonna spend more money . If you don't spend more money, you ain't doing what should be done.
I applaud people who want to improve their skill set, but with the attitude that you have, trying to discuss options with you seems to be wasted effort.



[QUOTE="ImDusky,
Thanks for any insights!

ekimneirbo
Apparently not ...................
Please put me on your "Ignore List" so we can avoid any future wasted effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you'd have given a tool suggestion it would've been an insight yes.

Simply building an LT1.
The question was if one of the above tools could work. Not that it should work. I'll happily pay the machinist to so the job right if I can't do it at a feasible price myself. But even then aluminium heads are twice the price of getting a 3 angle valve job on the existing heads.

You could've put me there yourself if you can't handle someone who doesn't want to go the easy way and just blows money.
 
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