Why do alum. heads .........? - ClassicOldsmobile.com

Why do alum. heads .........?

Old August 28th, 2018, 08:48 PM
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Why do alum. heads .........?

I asked this question on another members thread about alum. heads but no one ponied up. So, from all the pics I've seen it looks like both Edelb. and Procomp heads stick out over both ends of the cyl. block by about 1/2" -3/4" ......... Why? Is it because they are in fact aluminum and just need a little extra meat for strength or what? My 455 didn't have heads on it, do the stockers stick out the same way? Thanks, Dave
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Old August 28th, 2018, 09:15 PM
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The stock iron heads do not really hang over the block deck surfaces at all, except for the accessory bosses that stick out a bit from the rest of the head casting and the deck.


I think part of the reason why the Edelbrock heads are cast "wider" and hang out over the block deck surface is that they made the ends of the heads flat where the accessory bosses would have been compared to iron heads, instead being only threaded holes in the overly-thick ends of the heads. It is stronger to thread into a flat end of a large aluminum casting than a small boss that sticks up. The Procomp heads are pretty much a copy of the Edelbrocks from what I have seen/read.

The cast aluminum aftermarket heads for Olds engines will work fine with a Big Block and a mechanical fuel pump without any mods.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Battenrunner; August 29th, 2018 at 07:26 AM.
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Old August 29th, 2018, 06:46 AM
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You canít use aluminum heads at all on a small block with a mechanical pump. You canít grind enough away before you hit water.
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Old August 29th, 2018, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for coming in to correct that Mark, I removed my incorrect info about small blocks.
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Old August 29th, 2018, 07:35 AM
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Betcha it's quicker/cheaper/easier to cast and machine the aluminum that way. The factory needed mechanical pumps to fit on small blocks. The aftermarket sure doesn't.
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Old August 29th, 2018, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by cutlassefi View Post
You canít use aluminum heads at all on a small block with a mechanical pump. You canít grind enough away before you hit water.
Bad information. They have been grinded and welded shut. No sense for doing that, but done nonetheless.
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Old August 29th, 2018, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Inline View Post
Bad information. They have been grinded and welded shut. No sense for doing that, but done nonetheless.
You hit water though right? So I was right.
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Old August 29th, 2018, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cutlassefi View Post
You canít use aluminum heads at all on a small block with a mechanical pump. You canít grind enough away before you hit water.
Cant use at all.

Is different than hitting water and welding it shut.
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Old August 29th, 2018, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Inline View Post
Cant use at all.

Is different than hitting water and welding it shut.
Sure.

Last edited by cutlassefi; August 29th, 2018 at 11:46 AM.
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Old August 29th, 2018, 08:57 PM
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Ok, thank you for answering my question............
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Old September 2nd, 2018, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Inline View Post
Cant use at all.

Is different than hitting water and welding it shut.
I guess that right there explains the difference between "can't" and "shouldn't"!
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