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Old 11-17-2012, 11:22 PM   #1
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Default cylinder head help

im looking to get new heads for my 94 trans am lt1 but not sure what to get. could someone give me some advice??
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:01 AM   #2
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im looking to get new heads for my 94 trans am lt1 but not sure what to get. could someone give me some advice??
What cam are you gonna use with the heads?

KW
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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Your complete mod list or goals are what is needed to pick heads. More info.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:01 PM   #4
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all i have done is cold air intake and exhaust and im not sure what cam, ive never done any head work.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:57 PM   #5
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all i have done is cold air intake and exhaust and im not sure what cam, ive never done any head work.
In your immediate future, I can see you spending $1100 to $1500 for a really nice set of heads and getting absolutely no benefit what-so-ever out of them......because you don't have any supporting mods that will allow you to take advantage of a heads upgrade.

NOTE: The heads are not even close to being the 'weak link' in the LT1. As a matter of fact, in a stock LT1, the heads are about the best thing going.

You'll want to do a LOT more research before you spend your hard earned money on upgrading your car.

Jus' sayin'.....

KW
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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I agree with all,
On that note the best head for the money would be the AFR 195 Eliminators.
Now you have two options with these heads: STREET PORT or COMPETITION PORT. Comp port (in lamens terms) is for modified engines from the oil pan up and street port is for cammed, bigger throttle body( optional) and slightly ported intake (optional). If you are going to upgrade the engine please do yourself a favor and do it in the correct sequence. Meaning since the bottom end of the LT's are pretty stout for stock start at the cam and move up from there. I take it you just want a little more grunt right? There are several different cams being used but ensure you pick one that will give you usable power. Bigger isn't always better. But with cams comes upgrades to the heads and since you will have them off just take off the top end completely and just have everything ported. If budget is whats on your mind then have a reputable person port the stockers and intake. You dont have to buy news heads as the stock one's flow nicely. Its only when you start to heavily modify your engine. Example: I am building mine as we speak. I have an all forged rotating assembly with 11:5.1 compression pistions (dynamic comp will be lower), AFR 195 Eliminators with comp porting,xtremely ported intake and 1300 cfm mono blade TB, internal engine coating, LT's etc etc.. This said what is your goal and budget? we can all help here. Hope this helped a little. I can give you a good cam choice also but the cc306 and 503 seem to be what people are running. Remember USABLE POWER!
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:19 AM   #7
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Yes, the stock heads will take you quite a ways, but there are limits. A camshaft change should definitely accompany any kind of head upgrade. Stock LT1 camshafts are on the anemic side and have some weird timing events ground into them. You would greatly benefit from an upgrade. I'm not sure that I would use either of the two that were mentioned (CC503, CC306), but somewhere in between would work well. Those are two VASTLY different camshafts. Any off-the-shelf cam is going to be a compromise of one sort or another, though. The Comp XFI grinds work well in the LT1. Much of the time, though, guys will have them ground with a tighter LSA than the 112 that Comp grinds them with.

USMC, that's an interesting combination that you're putting together. Some interesting parts choices... What camshaft are you running in that setup?
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:15 PM   #8
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Dynamic,
This cam will yield me over 500ftlbs with street ported AFR 195's with my current combo. It is a custom cam that is 244 degrees of duration @ .050” on the intake and 248 on the exhaust with a .580”/.580” lift with a 112 LSA. This said it is by no means set in stone as I have comp ported heads that would yield more torq if the lift was a little more. To be honest I am still doing research on what I believe is the best cam for my combo being that I want this to be a RELIABLE DAILY DRIVER...lol. I will be talking to cam manuafacturers to establish the best cam configuraton because my heads are one step under full comp race. This is the last piece to my puzzle so I need to be patient on this one .
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:15 AM   #9
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Dynamic,
This cam will yield me over 500ftlbs with street ported AFR 195's with my current combo. It is a custom cam that is 244 degrees of duration @ .050 on the intake and 248 on the exhaust with a .580/.580 lift with a 112 LSA. This said it is by no means set in stone as I have comp ported heads that would yield more torq if the lift was a little more. To be honest I am still doing research on what I believe is the best cam for my combo being that I want this to be a RELIABLE DAILY DRIVER...lol. I will be talking to cam manuafacturers to establish the best cam configuraton because my heads are one step under full comp race. This is the last piece to my puzzle so I need to be patient on this one .
That's a big camshaft for a daily driven 383, but those are decent heads, so that setup should work pretty well. I, personally would go a little higher on the static compression with an intake duration that large. Unless you install the cam pretty far advanced, your dynamic compression ratio will take a pretty big hit. The monoblade TB choice for a 383 also intrigued me. I've found the tuning issues it presents to be 'not worth it' unless you really NEED that much flow.

I'm not knocking your selections by any stretch. Custom engine package planning and setup, camshaft selection/custom grinds, system planning, etc. is what I do for a living (among other things), so I was just curious as to your goals and thoughts. As an AFR head dealer and I don't see many people buck up for the competition porting on the 195 heads. Most people just buy larger heads (myself included) and then the serious guys spend the cash for comp porting on the larger heads if they want max flow...

If you need help with final camshaft choice, shoot me a message. I have some custom grinds that I like in the LT1. I'd be glad to lend my opinions...
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KW Baraka View Post
In your immediate future, I can see you spending $1100 to $1500 for a really nice set of heads and getting absolutely no benefit what-so-ever out of them......because you don't have any supporting mods that will allow you to take advantage of a heads upgrade.

NOTE: The heads are not even close to being the 'weak link' in the LT1. As a matter of fact, in a stock LT1, the heads are about the best thing going.

You'll want to do a LOT more research before you spend your hard earned money on upgrading your car.

Jus' sayin'.....

KW

To elaborate a little from what KW was getting at, catback and cold air intake are only the tip of the iceburg of what need to be done to support any head/cam upgrades. You need long tube headers, stall if it is an auto, clutch if it is a stick, gears (3.73 if auto, 4.10 if M6), valvesprings, NSA rockers, pushrods, guideplates, ARP rocker studs, rear suspension, etc. And on top of all of that, A TUNE. Not a hypertech or diablo programmer POS waste of money, a REAL TUNE, a custom tune, whether it be mail order or dyno tune. All the supporting mods listed above will run you EASILY over $1500, if you piece it together with used parts, you can save some $$.

As far as cams, the 306 is too big for a stock head/stock bottom end LT1. Period. End of discussion. Unless you are only putting it in for sound, and dont care about daily driveability, then fine. The stock rod bolts will also let go if you are spinning that cam to where it wants to be spun, 6700rpm. The 503 is a good stock head/stock bottom end off the shelf grind.

Dont do the heads unless you are doing a cam first, or at the same time. Heads alone will net almost nothing because they are not the weak link in that pair, the stock cam is. You can either spend $1200 in heads and gain 5-10hp, or $1000 on a valvetrain and cam and get 40-60hp. My favorite grind (right now) for a stock bottom end LT1 with stock heads, is the AI 226/232 on a 110. One guy made over 370rwhp with just that cam and thinner impala head gaskets.

USMC, your compression ratio is too low if you still have time to change it, head for something closer to 12.5-12.8:1. Just make sure you have someone who knows what they are doing tune it.
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Old 11-22-2012, 06:07 AM   #11
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Just a point of interest on Camshaft lift. Higher lift for a fixed duration with good flowing heads nets the same result as added duration because more effective duration is added at lower valve openings below peak lift. This extra lift adds torque and horsepower without harming idle quality and vacume. Cam ramps accelerate faster with higher lift to steeper duration to lift ratio requiring Stiffer valvespring seat and nose pressures along with lightened valvetrain and a requirement for bronze valve guides. Follows is a good example although with Mopar products informative : Adding lift at the cam lobe or with rocker arms provides greater flow area under the curve and pushes the peak HP to a higher RPM range. Ok on a built engine with good valvetrain but also why most off shelf cams for the LT1 are ground to .510: lift or less, Longevity of the stock shortblocks connecting rod bolts and stamped steel rocker arms begins a downward spiral at 6150RPM per GM engineers longevity tests.

Cam Velocity-Advantage Mopar - Mopar Muscle Magazine
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