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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    28

    aluminium heads - should I?

    Hi there,
    Pretty sure my value seals have had it and need replacing.

    I'm going to take the whole head off it double check the cylinders themselves (and see what pistons I have) . . and give anything a good clean.

    I'm actually intending to pay someone to do the seals and set it up for me (http://www.probuildamerican.com/) . . . but in the back of my mind, I've wondering whether now is the time to upgrade the heads.

    The engine is a grate (Mexican) chevy 350, but I believe it's had a cam and pistons to make 383 (one of the things we're checking). It's a nice relaxing drive at the moment, with plenty of power.

    It seems the main benefit of going aluminium is weight reduction, heat management and perhaps a bit more power . . . . oh and a bit of bling.

    Should I do it?

    Are new ali heads simply a bolt on affair . . . or would they need setting up?

    Where would I get them from? - roadcraft?

    Sorry for the stupid questions.

    Regards
    Phil

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cowbridge, United Kingdom
    Age
    62
    Posts
    10,119
    Roadcraft or Real Steel. in the UK.
    Summit Racing , Jegs, many more in the USA.
    Kev Davies
    South Wales Area Rep. UKCC Membership Secretary
    DAX Mk4, 383 Chevy Stroker, Tremec. SOLD
    Contemporary CCX 3-4028, 445ci Big Block FORD FE,TKO 600, Old School IVA'd and SOLD
    Dax De Dion LS2 and T56 IVA'd June '17 SOLD
    1965 Ford Mustang 289 Convertible SOLD
    In build- Hawk 289 Sebring Awaiting IVA

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    9,158
    Assume you are going for a new reg?
    Crendon Chassis No.49
    Huddart FE428 + toploader

    Not listed in the Shelby Register.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hilperton,Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,613
    What is wrong at the moment. 383 uses a different crank i think.

    Andy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    28
    What do you mean 'new reg'?

    There nothing wrong . . .. just thinking could it be better (oh and I meant to put crank not cam in the original post - doh)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    9,158
    Quote Originally Posted by early_911 View Post
    What do you mean 'new reg'?

    There nothing wrong . . .. just thinking could it be better (oh and I meant to put crank not cam in the original post - doh)
    I understood you had a Mexican crate engine - which is either a new engine, or one that does not carry proof of an age-related block?
    In which case you would be tested on modern emission standards (rather than age-related emissions standards)......in which case, a brand new reg is a good way to go.
    Maybe I misunderstood something in your OP?
    Crendon Chassis No.49
    Huddart FE428 + toploader

    Not listed in the Shelby Register.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northampton
    Posts
    1,811
    Quote Originally Posted by KevinW View Post
    I understood you had a Mexican crate engine - which is either a new engine, or one that does not carry proof of an age-related block?
    In which case you would be tested on modern emission standards (rather than age-related emissions standards)......in which case, a brand new reg is a good way to go.
    Maybe I misunderstood something in your OP?
    As I read it it’s a straightforward question about changing cylinder heads to aluminium ones. Nothing to do with emissions or registration. I’m assuming the car is already registered and on the road as he says it’s “a nice relaxing drive with plenty of power”.
    Dek

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    West Sussex
    Posts
    9,158
    Quote Originally Posted by Dek View Post
    As I read it it’s a straightforward question about changing cylinder heads to aluminium ones. Nothing to do with emissions or registration. I’m assuming the car is already registered and on the road as he says it’s “a nice relaxing drive with plenty of power”.
    Dek
    ah OK, misunderstood - thought it was a project in build. Disregard my comments.
    Sorry for any confusion.
    Crendon Chassis No.49
    Huddart FE428 + toploader

    Not listed in the Shelby Register.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Shropshire/Wales Border
    Age
    49
    Posts
    6,036
    You can’t tell if it’s a 383 by looking at the pistons. A 383 uses a longer stroke crank. (Being pedantic usually in combination with a rebore which adds a few cc of the 383).

    Pretty much every new ally head is an aftermarket item so additional power is invariably the goal with a little weight reduction thrown in. There are a wide range of heads available, some great street heads and some which are far more suited to race use.

    You’d be very wise to get some advice on this area if you’re uncertain, and have clear goals in mind. No point spending a tonne of cash on new heads unless you want more power for example?
    Lloyd B
    Current: Crendon #54 in build - 427 Side Oiler/Cobrajet Heads/Dual 600cfm Holleys/4 speed toploader/Vintage cast knock on wheels
    Dedion Dax/Clarkson 383 Chevy with roller 4/7 swap cam, AFR195 heads - SOLD

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Chelmsford Essex
    Posts
    1,384
    A change to ali heads is a good improvement if you had standard heads. Measure of chamber size and upping the compression adds all easy power upgrade but a lot of the ali upgrades also have there inlet manifold. The type of cam sounds like a good road cam and not over the top as it's a nice drive. You could also add lift with increase rocker ratio.
    Ditching the iron will be a nice weight saving.

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