Aluminum heads vs original - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old May 18th, 2017, 08:08 AM   #1
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Aluminum heads vs original

Hi Guys,
Just herd from my machine shop that said the heads (E or F heads, cannot remember off top of head which one, but are the desirable heads) from the 455 are shot and need a complete rebuild. Approximately $800.00. He mentioned aluminum heads.
Not sure benifits of either original vs. Aluminum (besides weight difference)
Any thoughts would be greatly appriciated.
Shay
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Old May 18th, 2017, 09:08 AM   #2
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First, you need to know if these are F heads or E heads. If these are F heads and you don't have a W-30 then sell them and either get E heads or aluminum heads. If they are F heads they sell for $3000.
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Old May 18th, 2017, 09:09 AM   #3
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If you have a W-30 you need to keep the F heads.
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Old May 19th, 2017, 05:57 PM   #5
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And by aluminum heads I assume you mean edelbrock or ProComp?

They offer upgraded performance with work...but in stock form, the benefits would probably be minimal.

Then there are Rocket Racing, Batten, WISE and Bulldog.
(Not sure about availability of the last 3)
There are also Edelbrocks developed/configured by Bill Travato.

These heads all flow better and will deliver a lot more power in the right engine.
They also cost more.
-Pete
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Old May 21st, 2017, 06:19 PM   #6
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Bill Travato did not configure/develope the Edelbrock head, Joe Mondello did.
What Bill did was take a raw Edelbrock casting and CNC them for improved flow etc.
Batten, Wise and Bulldog are now either not available or very difficult to find in good condition.
However the Procomps offer a distinct advantage over the stock irons. They're reasonably priced and offer about a 10-12% increase in flow along with a better, more efficient combustion chamber. I've installed and sold a bunch of them. Worth the $$$ in my opinion.

Last edited by cutlassefi; May 21st, 2017 at 06:22 PM.
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Old May 21st, 2017, 06:35 PM   #7
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It kind of depends what you want to do with the car. Is it a full-on nut and bolt restoration? Then get the original heads redone. Going racing? Get one of the aftermarket aluminum heads mentioned above. Something in between? You'll have to gauge performance vs. money. $800 doesn't sound like a lot to get your E-heads redone. With a standard performance grind and maybe some pocket work, you might not even be able to tell the difference between those and some high-dollar aluminum performance heads when it comes to the old "butt-dyno".

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Old May 22nd, 2017, 06:27 PM   #8
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The aftermarket aluminum heads are a 50hp bolt on. The repair estimate for the iron heads is 800 bucks, your almost halfway to the purchase price of the aluminum heads. The return on investment of 50hp is pretty good, especially when you consider there is no downside as far as driveablity is concerned. To gain the same power would probably require more cam, more compression, etc.
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Old May 23rd, 2017, 01:10 PM   #9
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In case the OP likes the stock look

Can the aluminum heads be painted like stock iron heads or do you need to do special preparation ?
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Old May 23rd, 2017, 03:14 PM   #10
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On a mild build the hp gain is more like 30-40, not 50.
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Old May 24th, 2017, 04:48 PM   #11
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Aluminum heads will lighten your car by 70#s along with lightening your wallet a bit more.
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Old May 24th, 2017, 06:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary M View Post
Can the aluminum heads be painted like stock iron heads or do you need to do special preparation ?
I filled the Edelbrock incuse script, ground off the raised Edelbrock name, degreased, applied 455 blue from a spray can, and topped off with clear coat.

I wanted a stealth head that most people wouldn't notice. Only the ones who look for the casting letter or casting number figure it out.

I did that 10 years ago and the paint is still holding--no flaking. The aluminum has such good heat transfer that the paint above the Siamesed exhaust ports is still unscorched.
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Old May 24th, 2017, 06:54 PM   #13
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Cool

The OP mentioned in a past thread he was interested in keeping it stock. If he hasn't already gone with the E heads that may help him decide.
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