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c0reyl
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PostSubject: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:18 pm

okay so what's the difference between stage 3 heads and stock? is it the same material?

and how much does it cost to get your heads ported and polished if you send them? I ask this because my mom has a blown series II engine from her bonneville, and I got the idea of instead of buying new engine heads, take hers, and then get the stock ones ported while I drive mine.

how much horsepower can an L36 gain from L67 ported heads? can you make stock into stage III or is it not worth it?

edit: I'm pretty sure the heads are fine by the way, before anyone says not to use them but I'll ask my step dad if they are good anyway
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:55 pm

Stage 3 heads (I'm assuming you mean from Intense) all start out factory heads. The stage 3 package is a lot of precision porting and machining, bigger valves, and the high performance valvetrain bits. The only heads I'm aware of that aren't born stock in a GM plant are the aluminum heads ZZP makes. They went through a lot of trouble to improve on the original design but the cost is astronomical by the time you're done.

You can usually send your heads to them or buy what they have on hand and send your heads in later as cores. The cost aside from the initial core charge is the same either way you go.

Also L36 heads are not interchangeable with L67 heads. The Intake manifold on an L36 houses the injectors while the heads themselves hold the injectors on the L67 to give blower room.
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:01 pm

I guess its a good think her Bonneville is actually naturally aspriated. I said L67 to make it simple because everyone here doesntbseem to like upgrading the L36 lol

So how much can you improve stock heads at what cost? :3
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:21 pm

c0reyl wrote:
everyone here doesntbseem to like upgrading the L36

So how much can you improve stock heads at what cost? :3

Largely that's because it pretty much costs a fortune to make an N/A 3.8L produce a little more power than a stock supercharged motor. The supercharged motor is the bargain seeing as you can top-swap your L36 for less money than getting N/A heads and already be ahead. It doesn't make much practical sense to go the N/A route if you're looking for supercharged power. The only reason would be if you just want to see what you can get out of the N/A motor but that's a different goal.
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:26 pm

Well, i was under the impression that L36 motors can make upwards of 500 horses at he crank if you supercharge them. Im willing to risk my pistons because A: im not gunna boost it that much and Be: if they chip, I can put better, lower compression ones in eventually down the road.

Point is, if im pitting a little less than stock boost to begin with until kinks are out... why not focus more on breathing mods and a cam with improvements to the valvetrain? That would effectively increase power output by quite a bit if Im not mistake?
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:02 pm

You threw me off with the "people don't like to build the L36" comment. I thought you meant you were going to spend a bunch of money on heads and keep it N/A which is silly IMHO. I remember your other thread now - you're doin' a top swap. I know what you're saying - as long as you're already building a spare motor, it makes sense to get the heads out of the way before it gets put into the car but the thing is the heads will set you back a good amount of cash which you'll need - trust me. The hardest part of it is prognosticating what's going to be enough, goal wise because most of the time if you change your mind later, it'll cost you. If 350whp will quench your thirst, skip the heads and just get a solid XP cam and get the intercooler when you can. If you really need more than that, then get the heads I guess.
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:10 pm

Seems like good advice, and I'm definitely boosting it.

The thing is, a stage 1 cam is the same cost as a stage 3 cam.., but I can't put a stage 3 cam in without a better timing belt, injectors, valve springs and probably fuel rails and a fuel pump mod.

But... stage 3 cam will enable the motor to rev to 7,000 RPM, which is a huge ammpunt of power gain without having to brake the somewhat fragile transmission.

I kind of wanted that route to increase power without breaking the car with too much torque.

So, im just wandering.. is it possible to get a stage 3 cam to work well with a re machined stock L37 engine head?

And you never said how much it will cost me. Will it cost anywhere near the $2,000+ for stage 3 heads? :3
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:41 pm

c0reyl wrote:

The thing is, a stage 1 cam is the same cost as a stage 3 cam.., but I can't put a stage 3 cam in without a better timing belt, injectors, valve springs and probably fuel rails and a fuel pump mod.

As you've started to get into, the cost of the cams is not even close to the same. The stage 3 cam requires heads. $1000-$2000+ difference right there plus the $200+ timing set and plenty more things. The fuel system requirements is directly related to the power level you're going for, not so much the heads & cam setup used.

c0reyl wrote:

But... stage 3 cam will enable the motor to rev to 7,000 RPM, which is a huge ammpunt of power gain without having to brake the somewhat fragile transmission.

The cam doesn't enable the motor to spin faster. The specs on the cam specify that the peak power and torque will be made at a higher rpm which means in order to make the advertised power, you need to be able to safely spin the motor faster which again points to proper parts and tuning which is $$$ again.

c0reyl wrote:

I kind of wanted that route to increase power without breaking the car with too much torque.

Basically, it just doesn't work that way. The torque comes with the power. Having a really high horsepower potential at high rpm isn't easier on the transaxle than the same amount of power at a lower rpm.

c0reyl wrote:

So, im just wandering.. is it possible to get a stage 3 cam to work well with a re machined stock L37 engine head?

For the S3 cam, the heads need to have the valve guides machined for clearance for the higher lift and you also need the appropriate valvesprings, retainers, timing set, etc. If you go the minimalist way about the heads, you're just spending most of the money for less than most of the power - doesn't make sense.

c0reyl wrote:

And you never said how much it will cost me. Will it cost anywhere near the $2,000+ for stage 3 heads? :3

If you found those heads fully dressed used, they'd be around $1000 and you still need to get everything else. I can also tell you running a cam at or beyond the territory of an xp cam, you'll need pro tuning and so the snowball goes...
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:51 pm

Set your expectations properly. Are you trying to turn the Riv into a drag car? I can give you some great advice - the 3800 FWD platform has the potential to make a lot of power, but the transmission is too fragile for it. You will spend a TON of money making the Riv fast. For the same money you could BUY and mod a RWD V8 car (Fbody etc) or buy a modded RWD V8 car and have a great time at the dragstrip over and over again.

I stopped building my car after the GenV blower and VS cam on stock heads, but I have helped several other L67 people mod their cars (cams, heads, tuning, etc). Most of them gave up because they keep blowing transmissions, axles, etc, after making all the power. It's easy to make power, but this platform is really not designed to throw down 400HP and still have a reliable daily driver.

My car is pretty quick (high 13s @ 100 in the 1/4 mile) and very fun to drive, and still very reliable.
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:57 pm

So you think I'd be better off buying a used L36 zzp set of heads than getting heads I already have machined?

And I was talking about the price of the actual cam, not extras.

Didn't even factor in the pro tune. That could be costly.

So maybe the better option is get extra heads ported and polished then stage 1 cam, supercharger, LS6 valve springs, northward throttle body, better thermostat, (is 160 a bad idea for an L36 to reduce KR? ), then ill need cold air intake, better rockers and a few other odds and ends and im good til maybe 350 crank HP?
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:20 pm

deekster_caddy wrote:
Set your expectations properly. Are you trying to turn the Riv into a drag car? I can give you some great advice - the 3800 FWD platform has the potential to make a lot of power, but the transmission is too fragile for it. You will spend a TON of money making the Riv fast. For the same money you could BUY and mod a RWD V8 car (Fbody etc) or buy a modded RWD V8 car and have a great time at the dragstrip over and over again.

I stopped building my car after the GenV blower and VS cam on stock heads, but I have helped several other L67 people mod their cars (cams, heads, tuning, etc). Most of them gave up because they keep blowing transmissions, axles, etc, after making all the power. It's easy to make power, but this platform is really not designed to throw down 400HP and still have a reliable daily driver.

My car is pretty quick (high 13s @ 100 in the 1/4 mile) and very fun to drive, and still very reliable.

Honestly I just want under a 14 second 1/4 mile, and keep reliability.

Not sure what the cheapest way to do that is with a stock L36 block lol
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:58 pm

c0reyl wrote:
deekster_caddy wrote:
Set your expectations properly. Are you trying to turn the Riv into a drag car? I can give you some great advice - the 3800 FWD platform has the potential to make a lot of power, but the transmission is too fragile for it. You will spend a TON of money making the Riv fast. For the same money you could BUY and mod a RWD V8 car (Fbody etc) or buy a modded RWD V8 car and have a great time at the dragstrip over and over again.

I stopped building my car after the GenV blower and VS cam on stock heads, but I have helped several other L67 people mod their cars (cams, heads, tuning, etc). Most of them gave up because they keep blowing transmissions, axles, etc, after making all the power. It's easy to make power, but this platform is really not designed to throw down 400HP and still have a reliable daily driver.

My car is pretty quick (high 13s @ 100 in the 1/4 mile) and very fun to drive, and still very reliable.

Honestly I just want under a 14 second 1/4 mile, and keep reliability.

Not sure what the cheapest way to do that is with a stock L36 block lol

top swap, tune, nitrous = done
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:00 am

Lol im not interested in nitrous.

So top swap plus what else to get under 14 seconds without Nos? :3
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:57 am

A top swap, cam and careful tuning should get you very close to the 14s if not below. I'm not sure if the cam recommendations change for a top swap, a S1X or XP is a great cam in an L67. It would be worth a conversation with ZZP before making your purchase. You may need to upgrade injectors to 42 lbers to keep up, but you can determine that after you are going fast. Just another purchase to keep in mind down the road.

Tuning of a top swap is the MOST IMPORTANT PIECE. If you don't get it tuned properly you are going to blow it up, and most definitely won't see it's full potential.
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:56 am

Head porting is one of the most important factors when you want to make power. It is money well spent. One of the best porters in the Northeast is Greg Gessler. Greg has been racing Buicks for many years. A lot of the guys in my club have used Greg including me. Here's Greg's website. The prices are right there. I've posted this before.

http://www.gesslerheadporting.com/gesslerheadporting/ghp.nsf/822dcaaaa26c6da985256dd80023623d/e8e174c35393295085256e5e000a5cde!OpenDocument

Here's my car on Greg's site

http://www.gesslerheadporting.com/gesslerheadporting/ghp.nsf/sub-menu/Photo%20Gallery20

Have a look at Greg's 72 GS455

http://www.gesslerheadporting.com/gesslerheadporting/ghp.nsf/sub-menu/Photo%20Gallery06

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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:06 pm

So stage 1 cam, top swap, new valve springs I could really use because I have an engine tick, injectors down the road, true ram air intake will happen too.

Where would I get this thing professionally tuned anyway?

And it looks like porting my heads from that guy is just as expensive as brand new racing heads :/
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:14 pm

c0reyl wrote:


And it looks like porting my heads from that guy is just as expensive as brand new racing heads :/

That's right Corey. Wanna go fast? It costs money. Still wanna go fast, but don't have the money? This is what you do. Save your money until you have enough to do it right. Decide what is most important to you. Do you want the car to look nice, or would you rather it be fast? Do one thing at a time. That way, you are moving towards a goal, and getting some satisfaction along the way.

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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:19 pm

BTW, what are the specifications of this Stage3 cam? Just curious.

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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:21 pm

LARRY70GS wrote:
c0reyl wrote:


And it looks like porting my heads from that guy is just as expensive as brand new racing heads :/

That's right Corey. Wanna go fast? It costs money. Still wanna go fast, but don't have the money? This is what you do. Save your money until you have enough to do it right. Decide what is most important to you. Do you want the car to look nice, or would you rather it be fast? Do one thing at a time. That way, you are moving towards a goal, and getting some satisfaction along the way.

That's understandable that it costs money to go fast, but I wasn't expecting it as much as brand new, completely re engineered racing heads lol

Ill probably do the top swap and wait until I can find a good deal on used ported heads lol
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:25 pm

LARRY70GS wrote:
BTW, what are the specifications of this Stage3 cam? Just curious.

http://intense-racing.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=IR&Product_Code=CHP-xx4&Category_Code=3800_HCV

For the price of that Guy's better porting job you can get that.
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:59 pm

You can go a long way on the stock heads.
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:04 pm

True. Its just bugging me that there's an extra set of heads for my engine thats just laying around. Lol.

I wonder how hard it is to do a mild head port given the right tools :3

I know it seems simple, but given the multi thousand dollar price tag, I don't think its easy in the slightest.

But Honda engines and other 4 bangers have racing heads for a few hundred. Wtf? frown
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:12 pm

I'm not surprised at all Corey. I have TA Performance Stage1 SE Aluminum heads on my 70 GS. Right out of the box with a good valve job, they outflow most of the BEST Iron ported heads. Porting heads is Very labor intensive, and it costs a lot of money. The better deal is to buy the aluminum heads as I did. The only thing you need to do with aluminum is run a higher compression ratio because aluminum conducts heat so much better than cast iron. Of course with a turbo or supercharger, you don't need to do that as you can run more boost.

I was just curious about the cam profiles. When you increase duration, you move the power band up, so you lose low end power to gain top end. Not a big deal with a turbo or supercharger, but on a normally aspirated engine, you can over cam it for the street, and make the car less drive able.

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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:16 pm

And they don't have aluminum heads for a 3800 I'm guessing?

Don't think a series III set of heads would work. But yeah that does make sense. And I really wouldn't mind losing torque for a bit of power in this engine. I was driving my step dads super charged rivvy, and the thing breaks loose at 30mph sometimes where mine couldn't even begin to break loose if you tried.
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PostSubject: Re: Engine head port and polish?   Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:18 pm

c0reyl wrote:
True. Its just bugging me that there's an extra set of heads for my engine thats just laying around. Lol.

I wonder how hard it is to do a mild head port given the right tools :3

I know it seems simple, but given the multi thousand dollar price tag, I don't think its easy in the slightest.

But Honda engines and other 4 bangers have racing heads for a few hundred. Wtf? frown

You have to know what you are doing. You can easily ruin a set of heads if you make a mistake. You want all the chambers to be as equal as possible. It takes experience. Why do you need Stage4? All out competition heads can actually lower port velocity. They may produce more top end power, but lose some low end response. Even entry level porting will show gains that you can feel on the street. You know you can call Greg and talk to him. He's a great guy to talk to. Tell him what you are after and see what he thinks. It's just a phone call.

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1970 Buick GS455 Stage1, TSP built 470BBB, 602HP/589TQ
Best MPH, 116.06 MPH, Best ET, 11.54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCda-t_Jls
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfT2tEO4XcU
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