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.
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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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Quote:
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.

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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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