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  1. #1
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Default Anyone using cheap aluminum heads?

    I know the old saying about getting what you pay for, but I'm curious to see if anyone has had any luck with them. I put a set of Flotek 180 58cc on my 331 (pace car) and I was impressed by the quality. I know they're not going to flow as much as the better heads, but it was a good compromise between AFR and worked GT40's.

    I've heard good and bad things about Pro Comp. There's also Promaxx, RHS (not sure if they're cheap or not), and a bunch of others that are apparently just rebranded pro comp. I'm planning on buying AFR Renegade 195's for my 408w. They're just expensive, so I'm considering buying a bare set of cheap(er) heads and having a shop do a proper valve job. I figure I'll save a good $500. If I'm not satisfied with the performance, I have a couple other project motors planned, so they won't go to waste.

    So what's the verdict? Wasting money? AFR/TF or bust?

  2. #2
    FEP Power Member Ourobos's Avatar
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    Had some procomp not long ago.. garbage.. If you put all new valve train in them and a bunch of machine work, they'd be ok, but for that cost you could just buy the victor jr.'s they're ripping off.. Buy some used Twisted Wedges for $800 and call it good.
    1986 CHP SSP Coupe

  3. #3
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    I had a set of procomps too. They didn't seem nearly as nice as the Floteks, but same price. I've read the same thing about Promaxx heads... supposed to be nicer than the procomp. I've seen some used heads for sale recently, but they seem to be going for nearly new prices and you can't really see them in person first. I just got burned on a set of "new" forged pistons, where the seller did a terrible job cutting valve reliefs. Machinist said they were unusable. Locally, sellers are literally asking new prices for used heads. There's a guy selling some pro comps for $1k. I guess there's enough idiots around here to ruin it for the rest of us.

  4. #4
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Here's an example. The only Edelbrock heads available near me. Name:  20180206_075803.jpg
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  5. #5

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    Lol. I paid $600 for my Edelbrock heads.

    Hard to argue with 230+ CFM on the intake side. That's enough to support a 302 all the way out to 8700 with a radical cam.

  6. #6
    FEP Power Member Ourobos's Avatar
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    I picked up a NEW set of TFS170s for $800 not long ago.. Just bide your time and search several places, if you're not in a hurry, they'll show up.

    Otherwise, if you insist on a new budget head, I'd look at these :

    http://www.adperformance.com/index.p...oducts_id=1168
    1986 CHP SSP Coupe

  7. #7
    FEP Power Member STL79Coupe's Avatar
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    I have no expierence with these heads, but the NKB skip white heads look pretty good. They come with good parts that skip white assembles them after getting them bare.
    Keith formerly STLPONDS
    '79 V8 coupe in the works!
    Build thread http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthread.php?t=89153

  8. #8
    FEP Super Member mmb617's Avatar
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    I've had a set of ProComps on my engine for the last 11 years. New they were $850 for the pair complete minus rockers. Money was tight and the thought process was to get the car running and upgrade at some later date. That later date never came as I was never able to swing the coin for name brand heads.

    I ran the bracket races with those heads for 7 years making 691 passes. The only problem I had mechanically with them was when I blew an engine and bent a bunch of valves. I replaced the bent valves and put those heads on a new motor and was back in business. Durability-wise I can't say I didn't get my money's worth out of them. They are still on the engine today.

    However...There is no disputing the fact that I would make a lot more power with good heads. Several of my racing buddies said I would pick up anywhere between 1/2 and a full second with just a head swap and I don't doubt it. But I was a bracket racer and getting the fastest time isn't the most important thing in that sport.

    For what I paid and the service I got from them I can't really complain. I did always wonder just how much difference some good heads would have made though. Now that I'm retired from racing the point is moot as the car has more power than I can use on the street anyways.
    408/T5/3.73's

    We're not fast racers, we're more what's known as half fast racers.

  9. #9
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Looking at flow data for Flotek, Skip White, Promaxx, and AFR... that's how they flow in order from lowest to best. I compared similar intake/combustion chamber sizes (as close as I could, depending on what was available) and compared the flow numbers at .500 and .600 lift.
    Skip White 190/60
    Lift.....intake...........exhaust....
    .500 245 168
    .600 259 170
    Flotek 180/58
    .500 257 190
    .600 224 136
    Promaxx 175/60
    .500 257 190
    .600 267 199
    AFR 185/58
    .500 285 210
    .600 297 215

    So yes, if these flow numbers are correct, I would think the big name heads are well worth the extra cost. For a fun street car, I'd be inclined to run one of the cheaper sets. Still probably better than ported e7's or gt40's for roughly the same cost as having a set complete redone, with the added benefit of weight savings and having brand new heads instead of used.
    I'm still a little curious about the RHS heads. The website I found was a little confusing.

  10. #10
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Now that I'm looking at the data, those Promaxx heads look promising. Smaller intake runner than the AFR 185 and not too far behind in flow numbers. Not bad for literally half the price.
    Last edited by Broncojunkie; 02-06-2018 at 10:50 PM.

  11. #11

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    Average flow is the number to pay attention to.

  12. #12
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    Average flow is the number to pay attention to.
    The problem there is that none of them list the average. I could figure it out if I wasn't exhausted and still at work. I may get time tomorrow, but I found a good deal on an early fox hood with forward-facing scoop and emblem in pristine condition, so the little time I'll have will be drive 2 hrs each way.

  13. #13

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    I had a set of procomp heads briefly, swapped them out for some used trick flows, changed nothing else, and picked up 60hp at the wheels.
    1979 Mustang Indy 500 Pace Car
    Modified Mustangs Aug, 2006 Feature Car

    2015 F150 2.7 Ecoboost

  14. #14
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    I'm not arguing that the cheap heads are as good as TF, Edelbrock, or AFR. The problem is that I'm trying to put together a budget motor with some upgrades. For some reason, used GT40's are going for $3-500 in stock form. Upgrade the springs and I'll have even more invested. So my thought is that I could throw in another $300 or so and have new Aluminum heads that flow much better.

    I am in the process of putting together a nice 408w motor right now, which will get a good set of heads one way or the other. At the same time, I'd like to get another project running (79 cobra) and it's just going to be a basic cruiser...no racing. If I could find a set of gt40 heads for the $150 that everyone says they go for, I'd just slap a pair on and call it a day. I just think if I'm going to be in them $500 or so, I'll suck it up and buy aftermarket for $800(ish).

  15. #15
    FEP Power Member STL79Coupe's Avatar
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    Have you checked the junkyards? A friend just pulled a set og 3 bar GT40's from a local yard for $130
    Keith formerly STLPONDS
    '79 V8 coupe in the works!
    Build thread http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthread.php?t=89153

  16. #16
    FEP Supporter NAVYCAT's Avatar
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    I got a set of procomps for my 351C and half the push rods wouldnt go thru the holes to the lifters.... what crap
    2017 Mustang ECO BOOST (DD)
    1986 Capri 5.0 Silver/Red
    1969 Falcon XW GTHO coupe
    U.S. NAVY 1980-2009
    Past 4 eyes-
    4th. 1981 Capri "White" Black Magic I6
    3rd. 1984 Capri RS V8 Black/grey
    2nd. 1984 Capri RS V8 White/red
    1st. 1984 SVO Grey/grey (traded it for a worn out 1970 BOSS 302)
    Both '84 Capri's vin# were 10 away from each other

  17. #17

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    Cylinder heads are such a huge part of a good performing motor why would you go with a cheap questionable part? Don’t do it. I found a set of used Eldebrock heads that needed some clean up work done on them. $800. If you look on the usual sites you can find them. Don’t skimp on such a vital part because in the long run it will wind up costing you more. I know from experience.

  18. #18

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    Guess I should chime in. The heads on the 393 in my mustang are a set of 190cc ProComps. $400 to my door bare. I ported and cleaned them up a bit myself, then had a good three angle valve job done on them. I also added good brand name valve train. I don't race the car, just spirited driving occasionally, they haven't given me any trouble, even boosted, been fine. I don't have a lot of money in them. If it were a race car I might have done differently, maybe.

    Jess
    Previously owned;
    1979 Mustang, v6 swapped to EFI 393, custom installed m122 blower, 4r70w trans, Megasquirt II, T-top swaped in.
    1990 Mustang, 545 BBF, C-4 with brake, ladder bars.
    1983 Mustang, 1984 SVO Mustang
    1984 Mustang convertible, v6 swapped to 351
    1986 Mustang GT, 1989 Mustang GT convertible
    1992 Mustang coupe, 4 swapped to 302

  19. #19

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    You always find the money to do it right the 2nd time around
    1986 GT T Top- stock except for magnaflow cat back
    1990 LX vert- 500hp V3 and all that stuff
    2013 GT- usual bolt ons

  20. #20

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    I have a set of the 210cc heads on mine. I got them about 6 or 7 years ago. I think they were about $600 back then. I've only put about 3000 miles on them but they were a definite improvement over E7's.
    1985 GT, Sunroof, 5 Lug, Rear Discs, 01 Graphite Bullets, 88 forged piston shortblock, 2.02/1.60 Alum heads, Weiand Stealth, Holley C950 TBI, BBK Long tubes

  21. #21
    FEP Super Member xctasy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NAVYCAT View Post
    I got a set of procomps for my 351C and half the push rods wouldnt go thru the holes to the lifters.... what crap



    Quote Originally Posted by NAVYCAT View Post
    do i have any pictures...... i have a crap load lol
    Show us All!

    You used a 351C in your 69 Replica GTHO?

    The heads and rocker gear on all stock push rod Canted valve engines had little clearance anyway, so guide plates and hardened push rods are very important.

  22. #22
    FEP Supporter NAVYCAT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xctasy View Post





    Show us All!

    You used a 351C in your 69 Replica GTHO?

    The heads and rocker gear on all stock push rod Canted valve engines had little clearance anyway, so guide plates and hardened push rods are very important.
    I used all those parts, but it was the procomp crap heads that were the problem.... thats why they are sitting on my shelf. not worth the cost for the machine work
    2017 Mustang ECO BOOST (DD)
    1986 Capri 5.0 Silver/Red
    1969 Falcon XW GTHO coupe
    U.S. NAVY 1980-2009
    Past 4 eyes-
    4th. 1981 Capri "White" Black Magic I6
    3rd. 1984 Capri RS V8 Black/grey
    2nd. 1984 Capri RS V8 White/red
    1st. 1984 SVO Grey/grey (traded it for a worn out 1970 BOSS 302)
    Both '84 Capri's vin# were 10 away from each other

  23. #23
    FEP Supporter NAVYCAT's Avatar
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    Default Heads

    Quote Originally Posted by xctasy View Post





    Show us All!

    You used a 351C in your 69 Replica GTHO?

    The heads and rocker gear on all stock push rod Canted valve engines had little clearance anyway, so guide plates and hardened push rods are very important.
    I used all those parts, but it was the procomp crap heads that were the problem.... thats why they are sitting on my shelf. not worth the cost for the machine work
    2017 Mustang ECO BOOST (DD)
    1986 Capri 5.0 Silver/Red
    1969 Falcon XW GTHO coupe
    U.S. NAVY 1980-2009
    Past 4 eyes-
    4th. 1981 Capri "White" Black Magic I6
    3rd. 1984 Capri RS V8 Black/grey
    2nd. 1984 Capri RS V8 White/red
    1st. 1984 SVO Grey/grey (traded it for a worn out 1970 BOSS 302)
    Both '84 Capri's vin# were 10 away from each other

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