Aluminum head advice - Pontiac GTO Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-12-2013, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
 
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Aluminum head advice

Which aluminum heads are better.Edelbrock and Kaufmann's are about the same price.I live in Canada so I want to order the heads and stroker kit from the same place to save on shipping.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 09:52 AM
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I've only got first-hand experience with Edelbrock. I'm running the Performer RPM's (72 cc chambers, round port exhaust) on my car. They aren't "out of the box" heads though. Dave Wilcox at CVMS did his "mild" porting job on them and they're significantly better than "out of the box". The Kauffman heads (both the D-port and the High-port) honestly I think have better chambers on them. (Their other heads are in my opinion race-only).

Which exhaust do you want to run? If "everything" else you already have is set up for the traditional Pontiac D-port style exhaust, then I'd probably go with the Kauffman D-ports (or maybe the new Edelbrock D-ports - they have very nice chambers too and I really like Edelbrock quality.)

If you're set up for round-port exhaust then my preference would be for a set of Dave Wilcox's E-heads. Untouched out of the box, I'd be tempted to go with Kauffman high ports.

The question to ask first though, is how will you be driving the car most of the time and how much power are you looking for? (It's easy to say "all I can get" but "Bear" in mind there's no such thing as a free lunch. The more power you're packing, the less user-friendly it's going to be for normal street use.)

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 07:35 PM
 
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Bear, I know this is a GTO forum, but I just picked up a 1965 Barracuda project. I got two of most everything with the car, a 273 that needs built and a 318 that has a machined block bored .30 over and machined crank. Can you recommend a proper set of heads for that 318? It's the wife's project. Just need a driver with some pop but we don't need a race car. If I am out of line I apologize, but I love this forum and am not a Mopar guy and would rather not go there.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 09:11 PM
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340 X heads or 360 heads will work great on a 318. Add a decent cam, small tube headers or 340 manifolds (think RA III lol) and a stock or edelbrock manifold and you'll have a nice running small block. The thing to remember on these motors is bigger is not better. Use some restraint on cam size and it will run strong.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-13-2013, 11:19 PM
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I'm glad Alky chimed in No, you're not out of line (in my opinion) but you could put everything I know about building fast Mopars into a thimble and still have enough room left to float a battleship....

Making power is all about air flow and air velocity so the principles are the same - but I don't know squat about specific parts for Mopars

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 09:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by skurfan View Post
Bear, I know this is a GTO forum, but I just picked up a 1965 Barracuda project. I got two of most everything with the car, a 273 that needs built and a 318 that has a machined block bored .30 over and machined crank. Can you recommend a proper set of heads for that 318? It's the wife's project. Just need a driver with some pop but we don't need a race car. If I am out of line I apologize, but I love this forum and am not a Mopar guy and would rather not go there.

I had a 340 in my Barracuda years ago and for my money that was the best small block produced by any of the big 3. While I was playing with them, Mopar released the W-2 head and that was the ticket in an iron head. If memory serves, it had a chamber design that mimicked the quench area on the old big block wedge heads and had what they called a "Raised D" port design to improve exhaust flow.

Again, this was over 30 years ago and designs have probably been markedly improved since then, but see if you can find an old set of small block W-2 heads. You wouldn't be sorry.

Chuck

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 11:16 AM
 
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Thanks Alky, Bear and Chuck for your help.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-14-2013, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by chuckha62 View Post
I had a 340 in my Barracuda years ago and for my money that was the best small block produced by any of the big 3. While I was playing with them, Mopar released the W-2 head and that was the ticket in an iron head. If memory serves, it had a chamber design that mimicked the quench area on the old big block wedge heads and had what they called a "Raised D" port design to improve exhaust flow.

Again, this was over 30 years ago and designs have probably been markedly improved since then, but see if you can find an old set of small block W-2 heads. You wouldn't be sorry.

Chuck
340 is my favorite small block ever. A friend had one in a 71 Demon with the 727 auto that would upshift in drive at 7000 rpm and chirp the tires on both shifts. Stock except for tube headers it was a low 13 second ride on 8 inch slicks with 3:23 gears. Embarrassed many a Bow tie with that car.

That said, IMO W-2 heads are too much for a 318, I'm pretty sure the valves will hit the bore. 360 heads with the 1.88 Intake valves and 1.6 exhaust are the ticket for a 318 and they are cheap and plentiful. You might look into the later Magnum heads too, more modern swirl chamber and will bump up the compression too. The big downside to Mopar small blocks is the shaft rockers are non adjustable on the old ones and the newer Magnums use a non adjustable ball pivot design. Aftermarket is your friend here though.

Oh, and make sure you use those cool 273 valve covers! Or sell em' to me for wall art!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-18-2013, 05:36 PM
 
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Yes, I know. Been gone a long while. Was invited back by a new customer.

We have recently done a pair of the Edelbrock D-ports. If you want good power for a 400 but not much larger, the E-head is good. Nice quality. If you want power for a bigger engine, use the KRE d-port. Much more room in the walls and roof for porting. Both have a good HSC chamber.

Either way, buy them "bare" and install high quality hardware. Neither are really "ready to run" out of the box. A good head shop should clean the ports up, at minimum. Careful who you "listen" to, as well, as there are those "out there" claiming the best but nowhere near. The BEST Pontiac heads come from places other than the "traditional" Pontiac sources. Cerelli (AllPontiac's GrandAm), BES (Langer) and H&M (Goateus Maximus) are examples of GOOD porting shops that "also" do Pontiacs. These are the three Pontiacs at the very top of their particular "niche", including the quickest/fastest Pontiac on the planet.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-19-2013, 05:01 AM
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Jim! Good to see you, man!

I'm glad you weighed in on the D-ports, I was wondering if you guys had done any of those yet.

Bear

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