Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Gastonia, NC - Born & raised in Connecticut - 31 years
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
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$2,000 -$2,600 plus shipping is what it will run for the aluminum heads. So there goes your budget, plus.
If you take a look at the KRE website, you will see some big horsepower figures. Now, I am not challenging these BUT............. you won't get those numbers on a stock engine/rebuild. I would love to see a factory 350-360HP 400CI put on a dyno and then have the stock iron heads pulled and set of the KRE heads only slapped on. My guess is that performance would drop in the lower and mid-range (street driving range) and pick up slightly in the high upper end where you won't be doing much of (find an online article on the Ram Air IV engine. It had bigger cam, better heads- disappointing on the street, better suited for the drags). Bigger is not always better.
More than just carb,intake, & heads make an engine perform. You have to match everything or you're just wasting big dollars for bragging rights in the parts you purchased - and your car is a slug. What about cam, exhaust, torque converter, rear gears?
Compression is a big consideration. Do you want to run on cheap gas or the high dollar premium or race gas? Then you'll want to match the cam to the compression, RPM range, head CFM flow, carb & intake.
So your build should be aimed at street use. This will mean lower compression, 8.5 -9.0 max. KRE heads would not be a wise choice because they flow big CFM numbers that you will not be able to use effectively and port velocity will most likely be low and you will have a poor performer on the lower end of your RPM's. You want a high port velocity ie, your stock iron heads as Pontiac made them. You want 2.11" intakes, 1.77" exhaust and preferably screw in studs.
What is your compression now? What heads do you have? Cast pistons or forged? Cast rods?
Cast rods will keep your RPM's down, so you don't need a big duration, big lift cam that turns on at 3,000 RPM's and up. How is the bottom end on the engine? If you go building HP on the top end and have marginal bearings -how do you feel about spun bearings?
Not being a hard ass, but, if you are going to build your engine, then rebuild it completely and you won't have to worry about it.
Best bang for the buck is the Butler 461CI balanced rotating assembly -complete. More cubes in itself will probably give you more performance than spending $2,500 alone on heads. Now you will have a rugged bottom end you won't have to worry about it and will spin 6,000 RPM's if you choose. Add ARP main cap studs for insurance. With bigger cubes and higher RPM's, now you can take advantage of the KRE heads, but..... you now need a matching cam to go with that. Your budget has now climbed into the 5-6 grand range, maybe more. Not cheap.
The Butler set-up is the best way to go when rebuilding an engine as you want to replace most of this stuff anyway and you want new rather than your older parts which may or may not last. You have to know what heads/cc's you are going to use so you can get the correct pistons that will give you that 8.5-9.0 street compression.
Go with factory iron heads. KRE and other builders offer these ready to go. KRE advertises a set complete with port work @$925.00 -not a bad deal. You could probably go cheaper with a local machine shop, but you won't get the quality porting work that KRE and others will do because they do Pontiacs all the time.
The Butler kit & KRE iron heads are still going to be pushing $2,500. Then you have machine work on the block -which you will do anyway if you rebuild your engine.
For a lower compression cam, Comp Cams has a great selection which uses a 110 degree LSA. I don't like these on higher compression engines or big RPM's. You need a different grind. On a low compression engine, they are tire shredders. So you can run cheap gas with no problems.
Use the Q-jet and factory intake -one of the best, if not the best, performance combo's for a street build.
You will hopefully get some other replies to your question. You got my opinion on it all. You can build your combo an infinite number of ways and each person has a favored build that works. Biggest piece of advice is to do a lot of research and comparative reading. Money doesn't grow on trees so you only want to do this once and you want to do it right with satisfying (spelled Chevy, Chrysler, Ford, Honda killer) performance.