ProComp Teaser

Old February 2nd, 2014, 02:30 PM
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ProComp Teaser

I've decided to post something here that I had previously written for use on another site. I never posted it there because, well, you all know why. Since the members of this board have been civil in the cylinder head threads I thought it would be appreciated here. I do appreciate how people conduct themselves on this board and the fact that the moderators do their job.
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I spent the last 4 hrs working on the intake port of a set of ProComp heads. Out of the box they flowed
.100 70
.200 143
.300 205
.400 227
.500 231
.600 235
.700 uncontrolled turbulance and NOISE
IMG_20140202_125152_148_zpsrnfi1wdj.jpg
The port mouth is extremely resrticted between the pushrod holes and the air speed was absolutely rediculous. Even with ear plugs in the sound was unbearable at all lifts. I expected this before I even put valves in them.
I then opened up the mouth of the port by what looks like an extreme amount but it isn't. There is actually room to go yet before even getting near the pushrods. With just this work the numbers were totally different. The air speed was more reasonable but it was still louder than a good port. I also cut a different seat on them and I suspect that is the reason for the loss at low lifts. This is corrected later in the day.
IMG_20140202_133830_002_zps7bkydzyn.jpg
.100 64
.200 137
.300 200
.400 247
.500 267
.600 no gains

Next I turned myattention to the bowl/short turn and throat opening. The throat opening of the seat insert was only at 88% . Well small of what is needed on a shallow valve angle head. The short turn also had a big gouge in it from the person who cleaned the heads up before they were cut for seat inserts.
IMG_20140202_125224_026_zpswhxkibj8.jpg
So I began by opening it to 92% which is about the minimum for an Olds head. I then blended it all in so the bowl and short turn were a nice blend with the new throat diameter. I was unable to remove all of the gouge that was left from the factory at this point.
IMG_20140202_155106_742_zpswg3uoeeo.jpg
The port response whas short of baffling. Nothing improoved. Though I knew I was on the right track from experience. There was still way too much air speed and it couldn't make the turn. Just wasn't going to happen at this point. So I went back to the mouth of the port and opened it to teh widest I was comfortable with and not to risk going into the pushrod holes. I also straightened the walls from the casting line down and put a smaller radius into the floor. I just cleaned up the walls going towards the roof. Knowing it would help I also put a much more generous radius on the short turn from seat to floor. Now we had something. Low lifts didn't change and I didn't expect them to. But the higher lifts took off nicely.
IMG_20140202_155051_798_zpsknw3d0xs.jpg
.100 64
.200 139
.300 200
.400 247
.500 270
.600 288
.700 300
I was very surprised it continued to flow better all the way to .700 lift. I really expected it to level off at .600 and would have been happy with that as these are for a 400cui street motor with a cam lift in the mid .500 range.

Back to that valve job hurting the low flow numbers. When I use this particular cut pattern I always use a back cut on the valve. Since I'm using a wide seat, these valves leave very little material to put a back cut on. I popped the valve in the grinder and was able to get almost a 1/16" wide back cut on without getting into the actual seat area of the valve. Well, I got back the lost flow and then some with this one tiny little detail.
.100 73
.200 146
.300 207
.400 247
.500 270
.600 288
.700 301
Now to go out and duplicate this 7 more times. I'll make templates and detailed notes so it is easy to replicate.

Eventually I'll get the Exhaust side worked up and will post a similar "progress report" on that side of the head.
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Since I wrote this I have been able to massively increase the intake ports capacity to move air without any loss of low lift flow . This is not a bad casting to work with at all and in my opinion the bowl area is better than E'brock head. The downside is that they left a LOT of material in the port from mouth to short turn and bowl. But I'd rather have more than I need than nothing at all.
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Old February 2nd, 2014, 02:48 PM
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Hey Smitty,

Great post. I'm guessing stock valve sizes?
I talked to the VP of sales for Procomp a couple of years ago at the PRI. He mentioned that they did move a few things around and didn't copy the head straight up. However he did expect to have a CNC program for them long ago. Based on your findings I'd say there's potential in them there heads.
Remember the Procomp BBC head is the cat's meow in that arena.

Good work Smitty and thanks for posting.
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Old February 2nd, 2014, 02:58 PM
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Yes, stock valve sizes.

Once I get caught up on work and my own car ready to go racing I'll do another set of these to the max. with a progress thread. Not many detailed pics though. Gotta protect the income makers. This head is capable of anything the E'brock head is capable of, I've had it there. I actually think maybe a tad more. We'll find out some day just how far they can go.
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Old February 2nd, 2014, 07:46 PM
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Great post and good to see you over here Smitty!
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Old February 3rd, 2014, 08:59 AM
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Thanks for sharing Smitty. Were these the new Pro Comp castings, or the older version? I understand some improvements have been made to the port entrances and was wondering if you could give us any details, if these are the new castings. I was also told there's some inconsistancy in the guides. Have you found this to be true?
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Old February 3rd, 2014, 10:31 AM
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I have no idea which version. Didn't know changes were made. These were purchased in November '13 if I remember correctly. The guides in this pair of heads were perfect for a .3415 valve stem. They were all identicle. Another pair that came in December were the same as these. I will say the castings were very nice and only minor imperfections that I've seen in just about every cast head I've ever worked with.
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Old February 3rd, 2014, 11:10 AM
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ProComp is being pretty quiet about the new version. They still have a lot of old stock to move from 2011. The older version comes in plain boxes while the new ones are in multicolored boxes with new graphics.
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Old February 3rd, 2014, 11:18 AM
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Smitty, thanks for doing the work on these!
I'm running a set of these, straight out of the box, and have been happy, but eventually may look into having some work done.

Originally Posted by 67 Cutlass Freak View Post
ProComp is being pretty quiet about the new version. They still have a lot of old stock to move from 2011. The older version comes in plain boxes while the new ones are in multicolored boxes with new graphics.

Interesting- I bought mine in late Dec2012 and they were in boxes with graphics/photos on it. I bought from Jegs (PN order, they were not listed in their catalog with any details), but they were shipped directly from Procomp in california.
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Old February 3rd, 2014, 12:29 PM
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All the ProComp heads I've had here all came in very nice bright blue boxes with graphics on them.
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Old February 3rd, 2014, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Smitty275 View Post
All the ProComp heads I've had here all came in very nice bright blue boxes with graphics on them.
That would be the latest version. I'm very curious about the changes. I heard they were very subtle. Are you going to shave the heads Smitty?
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Old February 3rd, 2014, 03:34 PM
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This pair will just get skinned. The next pair will be slammed like a '50 Merc.
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Old February 3rd, 2014, 06:16 PM
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I am really interested in seeing where this goes, nice job!
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Old February 4th, 2014, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Smitty275 View Post
All the ProComp heads I've had here all came in very nice bright blue boxes with graphics on them.
The intake port of the Procomps I bought almost 2 years ago looks exactly the same as what you posted, exactly.
Not sure what the supposed changes were.
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Old February 4th, 2014, 02:41 PM
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So,is the cheaper initial cost of the Procomps negated by the extra work needed or additional material needed to be removed to get them flowing,thus more cost in machining/labor?
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Old February 4th, 2014, 03:08 PM
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Porting wise that extra material doesn't mean squat. It comes out so easy that time wise you never really notice it. Since I use more traditional machining methods than most automotive shops, cutting the decks isn't that big a deal because I can take .100 off in a single cut if I want. And usually if a guy wants a head cut for a given cc chamber its going to be less than 77cc. So starting at 83 or 84 really isn't much of an issue for me. Though I guess for a guy doing it himself it could make a difference.
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Old February 4th, 2014, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 507OLDS View Post
So,is the cheaper initial cost of the Procomps negated by the extra work needed or additional material needed to be removed to get them flowing,thus more cost in machining/labor?
I am also curious about this. when I mentioned pro comps to my engine builder he said "steer away for a few more years" that every set he has have needed alot of work now, I know he doesn't build olds every day more of a chev builder maybe that's the difference
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Old February 4th, 2014, 05:35 PM
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The Chevy guys who had experience with the very early ProComp stuff will have nothing good to say about ProComp. They had serious issues with their early products. A lot of shops refused to have anything to do with ProComp. Now there are professional porters who purchase their machined castings by the pallet and run CNC programs on them ending up with some pretty wicked cylinder heads outfitted with top of the line hardware. ProComp today is nothing like it was 10 yes ago.
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Old February 4th, 2014, 06:12 PM
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Thanks Smitty
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Old February 4th, 2014, 06:50 PM
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Any plans on having a program for these?
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Old February 5th, 2014, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Smitty275 View Post
The Chevy guys who had experience with the very early ProComp stuff will have nothing good to say about ProComp. They had serious issues with their early products. A lot of shops refused to have anything to do with ProComp. Now there are professional porters who purchase their machined castings by the pallet and run CNC programs on them ending up with some pretty wicked cylinder heads outfitted with top of the line hardware. ProComp today is nothing like it was 10 years ago.

Correct, but it was mostly on the BBC heads. They were porting the hell out of them leaving very little meat in the roof area. While running stout spring pressures because of the solid rollers they'd pull the rocker studs/port roof right out of the top of the head. Everybody learned from that.
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Old February 5th, 2014, 12:48 PM
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Thanks for posting this info. Will you be offering these done as a complete assembled package? Will you have these on a dyno? It would be nice to see a head and cam package maybe for a proven combo.
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Old February 5th, 2014, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by oldsmoboogie View Post
Thanks for posting this info. Will you be offering these done as a complete assembled package? Will you have these on a dyno? It would be nice to see a head and cam package maybe for a proven combo.
Yes to both questions. I'll have to sit down and figure out a price on them. Its going to be a while before I get them on a build and dynoed. But I do have results from Edelbrock equipped builds and these will perform very similar if not exactly the same. If you have a particular HP level you want to achieve I'm sure I have a cam and head flow profile to get you there in my 30yrs of trials and tribulations.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 09:22 AM
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I think there's something that's being overlooked here.
IMO this a perfect head for a small block. Take a simple cartridge roll to clean up the port entry, have Smitty whack .100 off the heads and you'll have a big upgrade over any small block head. Look at the low lift flow numbers, plenty of velocity there.
And when I installed my electric fuel pump on my EFI'd Cutlass it was one of the easiest things to do in the conversion.
Jmo
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Old February 6th, 2014, 09:29 AM
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With .100 off the heads will you not have to have the intake milled and port matched ?
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Old February 6th, 2014, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Bernhard View Post
With .100 off the heads will you not have to have the intake milled and port matched ?
Most likely. But its not that big of a deal.
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Old February 6th, 2014, 10:28 AM
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Cutlassefi although it is an upgrade going to the aluminums . The electric pump is still an added cost. Most of the cars we mess with are 40 years old and once you start messing with the fuel lines they probably have to be upgraded then probably cleaning up the tank a fuel regulator , fittings , fuel psi gauge. It adds up. I ugraded my pump to carb lines to a more professional no backwoods set up. I have about 150 into that alone between fittings and aluminum tubing and all the little stuff. That's not even the tank to the pump lines . Is all the added cost really worth the effort are the gains enough to validate the cost. That's what I want to see. This being if someone where to put aluminums on an sbo. I'm not worried about the flow numbers I want to see an iron headed sbo with the typical mods like bowl work put up against an equally built sbo with aluminum heads. Same compression , same cams apples to apples. I know it does not make sense since you can run more compression with aluminums on pump gas . But I think it would be intresting to see the gains from just swapping to aluminum heads on an sbo and see if the extra cost is really worth it. There is no denying the aluminums are better but is it worth it.

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Old February 14th, 2014, 04:11 PM
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For those who may be interested. I can now offer the same deals as others on most ProComp products including the Olds cylinder heads on bare castings and "as built" from ProComp. Custom heads I will still quote on a per order basis depending on application.
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Old February 14th, 2014, 06:55 PM
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Smitty do you have a set pricing structure on the various stages of porting, or a guess at power performance levels for the different packages you may offer. I understand if you don't want to post any numbers here because of all the variables. I just thought it would be good to give these guys an idea of how much a set of CNC heads would cost. Some people may assume that it's out of there budget before ever picking up the phone to contact you. Thanks for your input.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 06:01 AM
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As cast and assembled $1100. Street port & assembled $1700. Upgrade to street port; Set chamber to specific cc add $100.

For race or other serious high performance I'll price per build do to the high number of variables from one build to another. I would guestimate that an all out no holds barred port with chamber modifications and hi-grade hardware would top out in the $3500-$4000 range.
One of the things I'm working on is getting the castings with some machine work omitted which will make some of the desired modifications easier.

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Old February 15th, 2014, 06:44 AM
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$1700 for a set of ported aluminum heads ready to bolt on is a steal.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 07:39 AM
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Forgot I had exhaust numbers for the street version.
Exhaust
.1 55
.2 100
.3 143
.4 171
.5 186
.6 190
.7 194
This is with a short piece of curved tubing in place that is bent 90 like a header tube is where it comes off the flange.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 07:54 AM
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What is the intake flow on the street ported version?
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Old February 15th, 2014, 08:04 AM
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Street Intake Port
.100 73
.200 146
.300 207
.400 247
.500 270
.600 288
.700 301
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Old February 15th, 2014, 08:11 AM
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I was going to go stock Edelbrock's next year, forget that. I think I know who to buy from now. Very nice.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 01:19 PM
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I would like to know what kind of power the street port heads would make with a good roller cam and a 9.5:1 350. I personally would like to see a package deal with heads, intake, cam as a bolt on deal with the machine work done by the same person for the heads and intake to work on a sbo.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by oldsmoboogie View Post
I personally would like to see a package deal with heads, intake, cam as a bolt on deal with the machine work done by the same person for the heads and intake to work on a sbo.
The problem with this idea is that everybody wants something different. For the vast majority of SBO guys, the Performer RPM is going to be the best intake and it is better to match the cam to the individual application based on factors such as weight, gear, converter, trans, intended use, etc. It does not cost any more and Smitty, Mark, or any other experienced Olds guy will put a good combination together for you. One size really does NOT fit all.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 03:01 PM
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It won't set the world on fire,but it would be adequate enough to satisfy most people.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 03:16 PM
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package

Originally Posted by oldsmoboogie View Post
I would like to know what kind of power the street port heads would make with a good roller cam and a 9.5:1 350. I personally would like to see a package deal with heads, intake, cam as a bolt on deal with the machine work done by the same person for the heads and intake to work on a sbo.


I think any of these guys would be happy to set you up with a top end package that would meet your needs. These guys know what they're doing and want to help you maximize your performance. Each application is very specific and I think all these top Olds engine builders would prefer to set you up with exactly what you need. My suggestion to anyone who is serious about building a high output Olds, would be to talk to all these guys and whoever gives you the warm fuzzys, go with them. All these guys are top notch. Remember cost is not everything.

http://www.btrperformance.com/


https://www.facebook.com/pages/Berna...08309059257851


http://www.mjproformance.com/


http://www.jsmachineoldsmobile.com/home.html


https://www.facebook.com/pages/KTRE-...91814724168123


CJ Smith - Head Machinist @ Joe Mondello Racing Engines
931-459-2760 M-F 8am-5pm
[email protected]
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Old February 15th, 2014, 03:21 PM
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Smitty, I'm sorry if my post in your thread was not appropriate. I just think everyone should do their research and have options. I have a lot of respect for you, and these other guys. In the long run it comes down to who can deliver what they promise.
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Old February 15th, 2014, 05:11 PM
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Just curious, is a .100" cut needed, .050" per side on the intake when the heads are milled .100"? What about the end rails? I imagine Smitty would sell a RPM intake milled to match the heads.
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