Life being what it is the rebuild of my 8BA flathead is slow going but finally to the point of head selection. I have a simple question that I hope will not spark too much controversy among builders. Is the expense of aluminum high compression heads justifiable or can I get the same results from my cast heads simply by shaving them? The intent for my engine is to keep it close to stock (no 4" crank or superchargers in my bank account) but I have a super dual intake, headers and a Pertronics ignition upgrade to add to the engine. I love the look but could use the $450.00 elsewhere if it the cast heads can be made to perfrom as well as the aluminum.
Your advice is greatly appreciated on head selection or any facet of flathead rebuilds.
Aftermarket heads look really cool on an open hood roadster, but the general consensus is that for a street flathead it isn't worth the $$. Easiest way to up compression is to use a set of stock '52-'53 EAB heads. They have a smaller combustion chamber by 10-15%. Keep in mind there is a lot of individuality among stock heads and unless you want to measure CC's just bolt on the heads you have and start driving.
Don't shave the heads without claying the cylinders to make sure you have valve clearance. I wouldn't take any more off than necessary to true them.
For input from two of the best flathead guru's out there, go to msn groups and find the Ford flathead 1932-1953 group. There is a great deal of this info archived on a page called the techno-site. Well worth the reading. If you can't find it let me know and I'll link you up.