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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:23 am
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Location: Texas
So on another post Brent suggested not cluttering another's post. It kinda started again so I am doing what was suggested. This only pertains to Cleveland engines

So first let me say I am no way an engine builder/machinist/head flower etc.. Wish I was though. This is no way a discussion to bash anyone thinking or experiences. I respect everyone here and have embraced alot of your guys knowledge,experiences and stories. So with that said lets begin:

Alot of people here being new to the forum or already members either doing a new build or looking to change from stock heads to aluminium heads look for more seasoned/experienced members for info and recommendations. What they are looking for (like I was when younger) is guidance to what works best. Well there is no definitive answer to that because every build and application is different. What I see alot are questions about Trick Flow heads vs all other heads. Some people are hard set on one item may it be a particular brand or style. Everyone here has a budget and a need. I would say most on here the needs tend to be more towards drag racing but some need guidance to street applications too. I have been guilty of saying "you need this because this is what I have" That usually wont help someone who needs a street application. So here is open discussion topic and feel free to add any other question or topics

1) What are some great engine combos you have put together for yourself or a customer? This includes total cost with whatever heads/ bottom end kits/ balancing/ intakes /what the machine work would cost at your rate if your a builder and dyno time if you offer it? This can be for street - street/strip/ full race. Dyno results and graphs are cool to show.

2) When it comes to heads, what particular cylinder head would you use on any particular combo you want to share? For instance, If one was to build a stock stroke or a 383 or 393 or 408 , what have you guys put together induction vs stroke and how much did it cost and how reliable was it? This is probably geared towards the street - street/strip people looking for guidance.

3) When it comes to cylinder head choice, what head(s) do you recommend and why? Weather its cost, quality, features or ease of buying?

4) What order would someone start a new build? Some say build the bottom end first then the heads. Some say buy the heads then build the bottom end. Some even say build around what cam you want to run. Ideally you would want to build it all at once but not everyone can do that. How about with a stock stoke engine - buying the cylinder heads first but planning on a stroker later but you want to make sure you get good heads for the stroker? How about the reverse order with bottom end first then heads?

5) Over all what cylinder heads do you prefer the most and for what builds and why you prefer those heads? Same with stroker kits , intakes and different style cams like solid/hydro flat vs solid/hydro roller.

I know this is alot of reading and there are endless builds and possibilities that can be made. All info , suggestions and criticism is welcome on this post. Of coarse staying on topic is ideal but if someone strays off topic, its ok- god only knows I have done it a few to many times. I think the more builds in detail in a more centralized post might help with straying off topic in others build post. Might help people that surf the forums be able to just go to this post for ideas and instead of having to ask 100 questions, they might just have 1 or 2 questions to a member for details. Maybe I'm right - maybe I'm wrong guess time will tell. Also, for someone who does have a question, ask away.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 12:49 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:05 am
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Good topic.

I think the dyno results page has a lot of good info on it, except for pricing. If anyone is interested, I could probably produce the costs of some customer builds that I've done in the past.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:01 pm
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Location: Massachusetts
Brent, feel free to post my long block build if you want.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:50 pm 
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IMHO cylinder heads make or break the build. Costs vary, but it's pretty much more economical in the long run to buy a set of aluminum heads - AFD, CHI, Trick, etc - than to work a set of old iron. Good iron is getting hard to find and the costs to replace guides, machine, port, correct modify for upgraded parts plus the parts vs the bolt one performance make iron hard to justify. I'm personally happy with my AFDs. Be a little happier if I could find the matching intake in the US lol. Pretty much any new heads run rings around the old units. just one example, at 10.5:1 with the iron heads I run 38 degrees of timing, the AFDs at 11.5:1 run at 26. Way better chamber. The flow numbers, FWIW, are better and I didn't have to do anything but bolt them on. I spent easy 40 hours on the iron heads to get the flow. With new heads, most of the engineering is already done. Except for a mild street build with stock parts - which are still iffy after 50+ years - I'd replace the heads. Compression is not a problem as pistons can be ordered in any configuration these days.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 7:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 2:49 pm
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Location: Orange County, NC
IMHO, the reason to run a cleveland is for the factory iron heads. If you're gonna buy aluminum, build a windsor. If you bolt aluminum heads on a cleveland and start to make really good power, you're gonna exceed the power the block can handle, and then you will end up having to buy an aftermarket, short decked, windsor block anyways.
Being honest here, the only reason I run a cleveland is because when I started messing around trying to go faster (1988-89), there were no readily available aftermarket windsor heads on the market. If you wanted a small block head that flowed better than 250 cfm, you used a cleveland, period. So I started buying cleveland parts. Now I have so much stuff it's not financially logical for me to switch platforms.
If I was building a street car and wanted a cleveland, I would still run iron heads. Plenty of guys selling iron heads out there that have had all the work done to them. You have to keep an eye out, but they are out there.
As far as having build info, I seem to be a walking talking example of "what not to do" with a cleveland.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 1:05 am 
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Fwiw, AFD as a cylinder head supplier are out of business atm. Whether this will change or not remains to be seen.
Being based in Australia, we are very blessed to have a great selection of cylinder heads . Aluminium seems to be the most common choice and whilst 4V irons are available the price of these has steadily increased to a point where they are only a viable solution if you already have a pair or need a set for nostalgic reasons.

Personally,I’m a big fan of the CHI and SCM line of heads. CHi has a range that caters for just about every application known . SCM’s range is smaller but the quality is top notch .
I’ve used AFD’s on several builds, the last being a 427 based clevor and whilst the combo did well the castings required a lot of work to fit. I’ve had this happen on more than one occasion .


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:41 am 
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Disappointed to hear about AFD. I seem to be good at picking shortly to be obsolete parts LOL. At least I have these and they are in good shape. I note the AFD Facebook page hasn't been updated since 2019. But his web site is still up. If he's out of production, he should say so.

Wonder if a 4V CHI intake will work with the AFDs like the Funnelweb works. They have a similar 228cc port setup on their "4V" heads.

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"Owner built, owner abused."


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