Questions after pulling my heads - ClassicOldsmobile.com


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Old May 17th, 2018, 05:38 PM   #1  
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Questions after pulling my heads

I just pulled the heads off my 70 442 with a 455 because I had 45% cylinder leakage on one cylinder. I do not know the history of the car or engine, I purchased it from the widow.
The letter is an F on the head but I am not sure it is a real F head. the valves measure 2.070 intake and 1.625 exhaust.
The engine block casting number is 396021F and the code on the side of the block is 3oE185265, which does not match my vin.
The piston dish is approx. .140-.150.
I am also trying to decide whether to rebuild these heads or go to the aluminum ones Mondello sells.
I have had a pinging issue when hot since day one of owning the car. I have slowed the distributor curve, set total advance to 36 degrees at 3500 RPM, base timing at 10 degrees.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Joe












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Old May 17th, 2018, 07:40 PM   #2  
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Which "mondello" are you referring to ?
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Old May 17th, 2018, 08:50 PM   #3  
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Personally I like the original cast iron heads over aftermarket aluminum. Maybe I'm a purist, but over my mechanical career I have seen too many people cause themselves problems with aftermarket performance parts that take serious creative thinking to correct without going back to stock. For my money I would have the heads rebuilt.


As far as the pinging goes, I assume you are running 91 octane or better gas? Is your carb stock? How about your distributor? I put an HEI distributor on my 68 442 because I like the consistency of the way it runs. I ended up replacing the carb on the engine because it was a Frankenstein of parts to create a carb that always weeped gasoline. Not a good thing. I bought a rebuilt quadrajet direct from Sean Murphy induction. Very nice carb, but after I installed it I had a pinging issue on anything but light acceleration. I am a diesel mechanic so carbs and distributors are admittedly not my forte, so I called Sean to discuss the issue.


Long story short, while my timing was correct, it turned out the vacuum advance was something like 36 degrees! Disconnected the vacuum advance and it ran great with the stock timing. Doing body work so haven't spent the time to adjust the vacuum advance or make a stop for the travel if there isn't much adjustment, but it may be worth looking at on your engine too.


Good luck!
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Old May 18th, 2018, 04:29 AM   #4  
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First of all hang on to those F heads they’re worth a lot of money.
Get them rebuilt if you want to stay stock. Then check all advance curves as mentioned and buy yourself a wideband O2 sensor next and tune it right. With today’s gas it’s most likely running leaner than it did 45 years ago.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 04:29 AM   #5  
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Which "mondello" are you referring to ?
Bernard
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Old May 18th, 2018, 05:21 AM   #6  
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Just for my own knowledge, how is a fake F head spotted. Lower part of an E can be ground off to make it an F. Valve size if the heads are off, but what if they are not off? Casting number is unique isn't it?
That picture looks like a smooth part around bottom of F that looks like it could have been worked?
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Old May 18th, 2018, 05:28 AM   #7  
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Just for my own knowledge, how is a fake F head spotted. Lower part of an E can be ground off to make it an F. Valve size if the heads are off, but what if they are not off? Casting number is unique isn't it?
^^^THIS!

It's relatively easy to turn the "E" into an "F", but pretty difficult to change the casting numbers above the center two exhaust ports.

E head casting number is 403686
F head casting number is 404438

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Old May 18th, 2018, 05:47 AM   #8  
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Joe,
So my suspicions are correct, these are not F heads. Here is what I found when I disassembled them.
Someone has rebuild these before, they have steel valve guides installed. All the guides are worn and the number eight exhaust guide has an extreme amount of play and the seat is extremely worn, probably needs to have hardened seats installed.
So do I get these heads redone or go for the Bernard Mondellos aluminum heads.
I figured to redo these heads will be pretty close to the price of the aluminum heads.
Here are two valves from the head, note the weird valve seat pattern. I have done hundreds of "valve and carbon" jobs in the day but I have never seen this. It is not evident on the valve seats. All the valves have rotators on them.
Thanks,
Joe





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Old May 18th, 2018, 05:51 AM   #9  
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Maybe it's my eyes playing tricks on me, but it sure looks like the casting roughness is different around the (former) lower leg of the "E".

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Old May 18th, 2018, 05:57 AM   #10  
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Not your eyes
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Old May 18th, 2018, 06:33 AM   #11  
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Originally Posted by 2oldsguy View Post
I just pulled the heads off my 70 442 with a 455 because I had 45% cylinder leakage on one cylinder. I do not know the history of the car or engine, I purchased it from the widow.
The letter is an F on the head but I am not sure it is a real F head. the valves measure 2.070 intake and 1.625 exhaust.
The engine block casting number is 396021F and the code on the side of the block is 3oE185265, which does not match my vin.
The piston dish is approx. .140-.150.
I am also trying to decide whether to rebuild these heads or go to the aluminum ones Mondello sells.
I have had a pinging issue when hot since day one of owning the car. I have slowed the distributor curve, set total advance to 36 degrees at 3500 RPM, base timing at 10 degrees.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Joe












I would guess that you,or hope that you are going to rebuild the whole engine not just the heads,as that is a lot of wash out shown on the pistons.This is only a guess,but maybe the valves chattered when being ground.In 45 years I have never seen that odd pattern either.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 07:02 AM   #12  
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Bernard

Correct choice.


Cutlassefi should also be considered......just my opinion.

Last edited by OLDSter Ralph; May 18th, 2018 at 07:05 AM.
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Old May 18th, 2018, 10:12 AM   #13  
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[QUOTE=joe_padavano;1096352]Maybe it's my eyes playing tricks on me, but it sure looks like the casting roughness is different around the (former) lower leg of the "E".

I agree, I didn't notice that until I had it on the work bench and was able to take a closer look.
I just got a quote to redo the heads with new hardened exhaust seats, new valves and the labor is approx. $1,300.00.
Any advice you can give would be appriciated.
Joe
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Old May 18th, 2018, 10:19 AM   #14  
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I just got a quote to redo the heads with new hardened exhaust seats, new valves and the labor is approx. $1,300.00.
Any advice you can give would be appriciated.
Joe
That's in the ballpark, especially given the work yours need. I paid $1100 last year to redo a set of C heads. This included disassembly, hot tank, and magnaflux of three heads since one of the first two was cracked. New 2.070 valves, machined for teflon seals, hardened seats on the exhaust valves, and I provided the springs, retainers, etc.
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Old May 20th, 2018, 05:35 PM   #15  
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Instead of spending over $1,300.00 on these F-E heads I was thinking of going with Barand Mondello's aluminum heads he has advertised on ebay for $1,399.00.
Has anyone had any experience with them? Are there any drawbacks to using aluminum heads. Can you use the factory brackets, W-30 aluminum intake and original exhaust manifolds?
This is a driver and I just want dependablily.
Thaks,
Joe
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Old May 23rd, 2018, 12:25 PM   #16  
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Doesn't dish on those pistons look rather deep for even a E head? Second generation Old's engines aren't my fortay so I shouldn't probably even be posting but it does look odd to my uneducated eyeball... Tedd
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Old May 23rd, 2018, 12:32 PM   #17  
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Doesn't dish on those pistons look rather deep for even a E head? Second generation Old's engines aren't my fortay so I shouldn't probably even be posting but it does look odd to my uneducated eyeball... Tedd

The "V" notch on the piston would indicate a 1970 high compression 455 piston. That would be 10.25:1 advertised CR, and the dish was 2.90" diameter by 0.141" deep, yielding about a 15cc dish. Looks about right in the photo, but that's a bad angle from which to make that determination.
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Old May 24th, 2018, 04:15 AM   #18  
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If it has a 10.25:1 compression ratio wont pinging be a serious problem with modern pump gas unless the timing is pulled right back?.
Maybe a rebuild with pistons giving a bit less compression but allowing more timing advance might be another path to take?.
This is speculation, over to the guys who can explain the pros and cons of such a move....

Roger.
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Old May 24th, 2018, 04:32 AM   #19  
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The Procomp heads should help with detonation due to the better spark position in the chamber. The intake and exhaust manifold's will fit. The mechanical fuel pump will be a tight fit, hopefully someone running aluminum heads will chime in. The bracket's should all bolt on.
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Old May 24th, 2018, 07:06 AM   #20  
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Instead of spending over $1,300.00 on these F-E heads I was thinking of going with Barand Mondello's aluminum heads he has advertised on ebay for $1,399.00.
Has anyone had any experience with them? Are there any drawbacks to using aluminum heads. Can you use the factory brackets, W-30 aluminum intake and original exhaust manifolds?
This is a driver and I just want dependablily.
Thaks,
Joe

Bernard does good work with those Procomp heads. The raw casting is fine - it's all about the components and setup. Buying complete heads out of the box from Procomp isn't a good idea unless you can verify them yourself.
IMO the aluminum head swap is quick and easy, and with the rising prices of properly rebuilding iron heads they make a lot more sense. As noted, the very large mechanical pumps, like the RobbMC, hit the head. Stock pumps are generally fine. You can do some very minor clearancing if needed, but the water jacket comes within a 1/4" or so of the edge of the head there.
Everything bolts right up. Note there is no exhaust crossover which is a good thing in my mind, but could be annoying if you drive a lot in the cold.
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Old May 24th, 2018, 11:35 AM   #21  
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As I mentioned in my build thread on the '40 ******, I have visited and spoke with Bernard Mondello several times. He seems to be a straight up guy and does ALL the machine work on the raw castings. I just splke with him last week and he said the newest batch of raw castings are even better than before..... good news. He will notch the head by the fuel pump for free .... IF you buy his chrome fuel pump for $79.95, not going to do that as a die grinder and a little careful work can handle that.

I'm planning on buying his Premium heads in the near future but they are $1899 or so, I don't know about the $1399 heads or what the difference may be. I just know I want the heads complete so I have nothing to do but add Harland Sharp rockers. So, instead of paying $1300 for iron heads, unless you're a tradionalist then I would most certainly go for the Mondello's. All brand new stuff, you can run 91 oct at 10:1 due to the alum casting and the weight saving is significant. Just my thoughts ......... Dave
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Old June 1st, 2018, 07:01 PM   #22  
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Just want to keep everyone updated. I spoke to Banard and he said it would cost me about 3K plus shipping for everything.
I also spoke to Mark, cutlassefi, and I decided to purchase a set of aluminum heads from him.
Joe
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