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is a vortec head swap worth it?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by slowk5, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. slowk5

    slowk5 Registered Member

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    Its time for a little more power,I got a pretty stock 350,has a lunati truck avenger cam,hedders,dual plane intake,and a q-jet.The long block was a reman,that i got.Dont have a clue the compression,i do know it has 76cc truck heads.Summit has vortec heads for 649.99 that flow really well,and have 64cc combustion cambers.I know i whould need a new intake and rocker arm,so it would be over a grand quick.Has anyone ran these heads with good results?Any info would be great.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2005
  2. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    I have these heads on mine and they freakin' rock. I paid a tad over $500 for my set new. But like you said, you will need to buy self aligning rocker arms, different pushrods (I think), a different intake manifold, head and intake gaskets, etc. I don't really think it is worth it in your situation. If the cam was stock and you hadn't already bought an aftermarket intake, I would change the cam and heads on a stock 350 in a second. If you are willing to put up the money for a head swap you absolutely cannot beat the vortecs in a truck. I would buy a dual plane intake and go ahead and swap to a cam with specs something like this:

    Part # 270-114112

    PowerMax Hydraulic Flat Tappet Camshaft & Lifter Kit
    Lift: .401''/.423''
    Duration: 254°/264°
    RPM Range: 800-4400

    The max lift on the vortecs is about .430" so try and keep it under that (unless you want to have them machined for bigger springs). If you go this route you will see a very significant power gain and will probably be pleased by the results.
     
  3. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    I didn't mention it before but I recommended swapping cams because your cam has more lift than the vortecs can take in stock form. The more I think about it, you may be better off just buying a standard set of heads like the Iron Eagles . I don't have desktop dyno anymore so I can't tell you which will make more power but the Iron Eagles with the slightly bigger cam will probably make about the same power as the vortecs with a slightly lower cost.
     
  4. slowk5

    slowk5 Registered Member

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    Sound like ,i need to start saving money.I have never been happy with my engine,what a about the pushrods?Does any one know if i can reuse the old ones?How much whould my CR change going from 76cc heads to 64cc heads?Sorry i got a lot of ?s
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2005
  5. slowk5

    slowk5 Registered Member

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    In the summit catalog,the heads am looking at are not the gm performance part heads.Summit has a pair of there own heads ,said their good up to .520 inchs of lift?My cam specs out 204-216 and .427-.454 lift,so i shoud be fine right?
     
  6. beastofablaze

    beastofablaze 1/2 ton status

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  7. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    [QUOTE/]
    :surepal:
    Are you serious? you realize by the time you buy the manifold, rocker arms, pushrods, and whatever else you'll need you'll be over 800 dollars. A pair of Brand new pair of fully assembled dart iron eagles can be had for 750 off ebay from a very reputable company with almost 1000 feedbacks. Not only will they bolt right on without any new manifolds, pushrods, or rockers, but they also make WAY more power than vortechs. your lookin at 70 plus horse over stock heads. thats about 30-40 hp MORE than vortechs...

    correction... they are iron eagle platinum heads(better than iron eagles) and they are 790 bucks with shipping.

    http://search.ebay.com/search/searc...rom=R8&satitle=Dart+iron+eagle+sbc&category0=[/QUOTE]

    And I corrected myself saying that since he already has the intake an aftermarket intake that he is probably better off going with the iron eagles (or something comperable). If he were starting from scratch I like the vortecs better since you will probably be replacing the intake with an aftermarket one anyway. The rockers and pushrods are not expensive. Flow numbers are similar, but the vortecs do it with a 170cc intake runner and would probably make the motor get better mileage. The heads you are pointing out have 230cc intake runners which will really hurt bottom end power. Those heads (not all iron eagles, but the ones in the link) are meant to make top end power, which may be why you are claiming they make 40 more hp than vortecs. On a truck motor the 170cc iron eagles (if they have the 2.02 and 1.6 valves) and vortecs would probably make similar power. This would be real easy to prove if someone wants to run it through Desktop Dyno.
     
  8. beastofablaze

    beastofablaze 1/2 ton status

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    Oh, my bad... didn't see it in my haste to correct you.

    By the way there are about 20 sets of heads on that page from 230cc to 165...lol i wasn't pointing out any particular set. but if i was going to, it would be the 180cc platinum iron eagles... 170cc is a little small.

    feel free to put up the dd numbers... i'll bet you 100 bucks that the 180cc dart platinum iron eagles for 699 blow the vortechs doors off off idle and up top.

    :D
     
  9. 1977k5

    1977k5 3/4 ton status Vendor

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    Well, after researching it a little bit I found the flow numbers I was looking for and I was right. The vortecs flow better than the 180cc iron eagles. Then I remembered that he pointed out the new platinum iron eagles. The flow numbers for those are very impressive (I could only find numbers for the 200cc and up). Intake flow for the vortecs is about 240 at .500", old iron eagles were 222 and the new platinums are over 270 (and I realize that flow at max lift is not all that matters). Given the price, the 180cc Iron Eagle platinums are a really good way to go.
     
  10. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Check the for sale section, someones got a set of protoplines (I think that's what they were) complete for about $600. All setup with better springs and what not. Superior to off the shelf "standard" vortecs.
     
  11. beastofablaze

    beastofablaze 1/2 ton status

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    Pro toplines? Never heard of em. Who makes those?
     
  12. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Protopline is the company, but I think they make have changed names once or twice since then. From what I understand, they are essentially copies of Vortecs, but upgraded where the Vortecs typically need upgrading, to include thicker castings.

    There is some question as to how accurate flow numbers are for the heads (you hear high, low, or as advertised) but for the cost they seem to be a great head package. Do some searching on the net or over at thirdgen.org, try pro-topline or protopline.

    At one point I found new PAIRS for $500 at a circle track parts seller online, but that was after I spent my money on Vortecs. :(
     

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