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 Vortec Heads

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bladerunner

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Posts : 212
Join date : 2012-07-16
Location : Maine

PostSubject: Vortec Heads   Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:36 pm

So I am looking to do a rebuild on the 350 in my K10 this winter/spring. I am looking at picking up some vortec heads and still am in the middle of doing research. At this point I want to know what opinions are on buying used heads and having them machined vs buying new or aftermarket heads? Folks have recommended Sallee Chevy for L31 Vortec heads, but I can't seem to find a price on their site. GM has the heads listed at $291 a piece.

I am just worried about picking up used heads and getting them magnafluxed only to find out they are cracked. Is the investment in new heads worth it?
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Machine-De-Zine

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Join date : 2010-11-16
Age : 60
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Vortec Heads   Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:17 pm

bladerunner wrote:
I am looking at picking up some vortec heads and still am in the middle of doing research.

I am just worried about picking up used heads and getting them magnafluxed only to find out they are cracked. Is the investment in new heads worth it?

Clean new heads are always a nice choice for "peace of mind" if the pieces are affordable within your budget.

Good used heads can be a real bargain, but I would Mag & pressure test any used heads, before any machine work is commenced.

Get a price from your local reputable machine shop for cleaning, disassembling, with Magnaflux and pressure test only, because you may wind up with junk.

B.T.W., What are you going to use for your induction? What year is it, and what SPID/RPO code is assigned to your engine?

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bladerunner

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PostSubject: Re: Vortec Heads   Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:29 pm

I was thinking this for my intake:
Edelbrock manifold PN 7516 - http://www.summitracing.com/parts/edl-7516

This is the price I found on the heads:
http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/results.cfm?singlepart=1&partnumber=12558060

Any recommendations on a cam?

The truck is a 1985 K10. The engine was swapped from the stock 305 to a 350. I have not ID'd the current engine, though I need to get the casting number. I have not removed the heads to check the code stamping numbers there.
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Machine-De-Zine

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Join date : 2010-11-16
Age : 60
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Vortec Heads   Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:16 pm

bladerunner wrote:
I was thinking this for my intake:
Edelbrock manifold PN 7516 - http://www.summitracing.com/parts/edl-7516

This is the price I found on the heads:
http://www.gmpartsdirect.com/results.cfm?singlepart=1&partnumber=12558060

Any recommendations on a cam?

The truck is a 1985 K10. The engine was swapped from the stock 305 to a 350. I have not ID'd the current engine, though I need to get the casting number. I have not removed the heads to check the code stamping numbers there.

Great choices here.

Incidentally, you do not have to remove the passenger-side cylinder head to get a view of that stamped code, just look down behind the alternator, you will have to clean it with a wire brush.

Don't get too aggressive on that area in case the numbers are lightly stamped, you could obliterate them if not careful.

Lets hope that the replacement engine is a later & newer Hydraulic Roller engine!

Under $600 for two new heads is pretty good, no worries or costly machine work.

You will need correct gaskets, head bolts, valve covers, push rods, good rockers, and other ancillary items.

If the new block is not already a hyd roller motor, but has been factory machined for that, I can recommend the LT4 hot cam with GM Hyd-Rlr lifters for good power and reliability on a budget.

Even though it was designed for the LT4 reverse cooled Corvette, it will work in a properly machined roller lifter type block, you just have to make sure the drive pin is the correct length.

The cam lobes were profiled for LT4 ports which are just a little bit better, but still very close to those Vortec heads in design and flow numbers.

You can buy one of those cam kits for around $600 (alum rckrs incl), but personally, I prefer the Crower Enduro 17-4PH stainless steel roller rockers for virtually every street performance engine.
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bladerunner

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Join date : 2012-07-16
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PostSubject: Re: Vortec Heads   Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:20 pm

Machine-De-Zine wrote:

Lets hope that the replacement engine is a later & newer Hydraulic Roller engine!

I am pretty confident that it is a pre-86 flat tappet with 2 piece rear main. But here is hoping!

I also want to keep the CR under control. No race fuel Very Happy

Thanks for the tip.
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