Is it worth the trouble to have stock heads ported?

Grand_87_national

I lika... do da cha cha.
#1
Good day, all! I have an opportunity to acquire a set of stock heads for a song. I thought it might be a decent plan to have a set to send off and get them worked over by a known, reliable person who can do good port work? The heads on my car, according to the previous owner, had some porting and bowl cleanup done several years ago, but it's uncertain to me how much material was removed, or how well the job was done. Wouldn't mind a fresh start, just so I know it's been done right. Is this a crazy idea? Is it more cost effective to just buy a set of Champion ported irons that are already consistent and proven? Thanks in advance, everyone.
 

Jerryl

Tall Chinese Guy
#4
Hand porting runs $700-1000
Budget +$350-$500 for mag, surfacing, a quality valve job, and springs. Doesn't include replacement valves, maching and adding valve seals, keepers, clearancing for roller rockers, retainers and possibly guide bushings.
Prices vary based on goal/combo, risk, location and skills.

Doing it incorrectly will at least add the cost of time to replace and HG cost, shipping and possibly other damage.

If you think an expert is expensive, wait till you hire an amateur.
 

Grand_87_national

I lika... do da cha cha.
#5
Hand porting runs $700-1000
Budget +$350-$500 for mag, surfacing, a quality valve job, and springs. Doesn't include replacement valves, maching and adding valve seals, keepers, cleanancing for roller rockers, retainers and possibly guide bushings.
Prices vary based on goal/combo, risk, location and skills.

Doing it incorrectly will at least add the cost of time to replace and HG cost, shipping and possibly other damage.
Looks like Champions are the way to go. Thanks!
 
#10
I just had my stock 8445 heads ported/polished, along with new valves, springs, locks, retainers and seals installed and it cost me a grand. Looking back now, I wish I would have just waited and saved up another $800 and bought me a set of aluminum TA heads. Lastly, I wouldn't spend $1,500 on a set of irons when you can buy a new set of aluminum heads for $1,800 and be done with it.
 

Grand_87_national

I lika... do da cha cha.
#12
I just had my stock 8445 heads ported/polished, along with new valves, springs, locks, retainers and seals installed and it cost me a grand. Looking back now, I wish I would have just waited and saved up another $800 and bought me a set of aluminum TA heads. Lastly, I wouldn't spend $1,500 on a set of irons when you can buy a new set of aluminum heads for $1,800 and be done with it.
Something to look into. Thanks!
 

ek02

Well-Known Member
#17
Your Harland Sharp rockers will work with Champion iron heads, but the valve spacing is different on TA or Champion aluminum heads. Stock rockers will work with TA SI heads because they are wide enough to hit the valve stem, but rollers won't work unless you space them correctly.
 

dank GN

BlackArts Automotive (661)993-8277
#19
I have been porting turbo Buick heads for years now and can tell you the stock untouched heads are terrible as far as flow goes . There is definitely gains to be had by doing minimal port work . A out the box set of aluminum heads flow as well as a nicely ported set of irons . It is definitely worth porting a out the box set of aluminum heads to actually get the performance gains you would be looking for out of them . Back to irons . They have to be set up correctly for the cam you are running and not just slapping some 980s in because the internet said that’s the best spring to go with . Springs need to be measured and shimmed to get the correct seat pressures and open pressures . Here are some flow numbers
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Grand_87_national

I lika... do da cha cha.
#20
Did it have all the parts in your signature when you got the car?
If so it may have a good set of heads on it already
It didn't. Some parts were there, others I've added. In fact, the cam in my sig is literally just taking the word of the PO. Now, I have no reason to doubt his claim, it doesn't sound or feel stock and everything he told me about the car has been accurate, but I have no proof. It was a bizarre transaction, my purchase of this car. The guy was a flake, very hard to communicate with. I figured out quickly why he hadn't sold it. It was a bit of a basket case, needed some love, but it was a running, driving (and seemingly in good health) turbo Buick, so I bought it sight-unseen and trailered it 5 1/5 hours home. Just one example, it has a 212/212 cam, some porting and bowl cleanup on the heads, but it had stock valvesprings and rockers. Makes no sense, right? You'd think with the cam swap you'd want a good set of springs and hardened and/or braced rocker shafts at minimum, especially if the heads were already apart for port work... and that's why I've always been skeptical of that claim.