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Old 07-03-2008, 08:38 AM
wildwes wildwes is offline
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Best FE Heads

I have a question. I'm planning to use a set of C4AE heads for my 390, and I was wondering if I could actually bolt my truck headers to these heads, or if there would be bolt pattern problems? I have read about some problems with the bolt patterns from the passenger car 390 heads working with the truck headers. Will this combo work, or will I have to use C8AE-H or C6AE-R? Or would 390 GT heads work? Which one would be the best for a 390 putting out around 450 hp and turning about 2500-6500rpm, with about 10:1 compression?
Thanks, any help is appreciated.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:01 AM
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RapidRuss RapidRuss is offline
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If there Truck headers and they will have the vertical bolt pattern on them..and will work fine with the C4's as thats what I run on my Truck...

The problem you were reading about is the guys that are trying to use the Vertical bolt patterns with cars that have shock towers that get in the way ...Hence most of the so called HiPo heads had a dual bolt pattern on them...

But unless your C4's have been modded with CJ style valves and some port work? I dont see that motor making 450 hp.... without some extreme compression and a Great Intake and cam combo/Carb.... JMO..

RJ
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:11 PM
wildwes wildwes is offline
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I can pull 450 out with the stock valves, it isn't too hard, they flow much better than what people think they do, maybe still not like a CJ head, but good enough. Plus I want cast iron heads because they don't warp nearly as bad as aluminum ones.
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:22 PM
George Frasier George Frasier is offline
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Interesting... I'm in the process of turning a 360 into a 390 by changing the crank & rods. I've been told the 360 pistons are deeper & will make a hi-comp 390. I've got Folwmaster long-tube headers. Still working on the best cam for all-around use. . The best head would be the stock (opened up ) ??
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:34 PM
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When you say BEST, the answer is subjective. Some would say the SOHC head, others would say the Tunnel Port head, others the high rise or medium rise, Dove, Blue Thunder, heads. But for your application, you need the best head that will fit between your cylinder walls, which would be the Edelbrock rpm head.
Example is the Medium riser heads have the valves spaced further apart than the cj or Edelbrock heads and the exhaust valves would not clear the cylinder walls even on a .030 over 428 bore which would be 4.16

Sorry this is such a long winded answer to your question.
Generally, a 390 gt head would be good, 428cj head better and Edelbrock rpm head best, for your application. Remember to use the appropriate intake manifold with your heads.
Knowing what is the best head for your application also depends on cam, valve lift, and application.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwes View Post
I can pull 450 out with the stock valves, it isn't too hard, they flow much better than what people think they do, maybe still not like a CJ head, but good enough. Plus I want cast iron heads because they don't warp nearly as bad as aluminum ones.
Well I'am not the Fartest Smella in this FE room....So I'am sure you know how your gonna go about yur Build...and get your 450 ponies..Thats great!

And with the newer Mix's of aluminum alloy..the days of a Warped Head are a thing of the past... Of course I wouldnt make a coast to coast trip without any coolant in the system tho !!

RJ
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:53 PM
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I didn't mean to say I'm not considering putting cj valves in, i may do it, i just meant to say that it isn't absolutely necessary. I didn't mean to post a harsh reply to rapid russ and say he didn't know what he was talking about, I just meant it isn't absolutely necessary. Also, I agree, aluminum heads have come a long way, I'm just still not too crazy over them, I know they would probably be just fine for my application. I do like those aluminum manifolds though Much better than the 80 lb monsters from the factory. I guess I'll go for an edelbrock performer rpm, or a victor, not sure which yet. Heads are a little more of an issue now. Thanks for the help guys, it is appreciated, and I'm happy for any more info I can get too.
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:55 PM
wildwes wildwes is offline
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By the way, how about the stock 360 heads? How well do they flow in comparison to the 390 GT heads? I really haven't ever done anything with the 360 heads, so I don't know much about them.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:02 PM
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If you want 450 hp and are not going to use nitrous, you better stick with the 428cj heads or the Edlbrock rpm heads.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwes View Post
By the way, how about the stock 360 heads? How well do they flow in comparison to the 390 GT heads? I really haven't ever done anything with the 360 heads, so I don't know much about them.
Same heads. Only difference for the GT's was better valvesprings for the GT cam. C8AE-H's were used on the 360, 390 and 390GT engines. Later D2TE-AA heads are the same only with induction hardened ex seats. Which after a few valve jobs are moot point anyway.

Personally I'd stick with the C4's.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:57 PM
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I agree with FFR428 if:


1. You do not have the extra money for the better heads or;
2. If you are going to use nitrous to attain your 450 hp.

Because modifying your c4's to attain close to 450 hp would cost about as much as buying the better heads.
Most of our project goals are adjusted by our wallets.

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Old 07-03-2008, 06:07 PM
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Well see thats my point the kid says he's gonna pull 450 HP out of stock Heads...I wanna SEE this build....So I'll be quit and learn something here...Remember he said they flow better than most people think... unported there pigs I think...But what do I know...I'll just wait for the build!!

RJ
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwes View Post
I can pull 450 out with the stock valves, it isn't too hard, they flow much better than what people think they do, maybe still not like a CJ head, but good enough. Plus I want cast iron heads because they don't warp nearly as bad as aluminum ones.
I may be a little out of line here, but like Russ, I raise the BS Flag here. The CJs make about 425-435 ponies with their huge valves at 6000RPM. I dont see how you can make 450HP with the smaller stock C4,C8, or D2 valves. They dont flow anywhere near that well.
If you've built a small valved, stock head FE that makes that kind of numbers, please share.
But to answer your question like the others, your C4s with CJ valves are the way to go if you want iron heads. If you didnt already have the C4, the C8s or D2s with a bit of porting and CJ valves are next in line.
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:09 PM
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I agree that they don't flow as well as CJ valves, and I may put CJ valves in, I am just saying it isn't necessary. You just need the right combination of other parts if you don't do it, but it can be done. People say the same thing about small block chevy heads, that you need 2.02 valves to make power, but I had a chevy 350, not a stroker, a regular 350, with a hydraulic roller cam and stock double hump heads, original size valves, no major porting, and about 11.5:1 compression that read around 750 horses on a dyno. The large valves aren't a necessity in a 390 to get 450 horses, just a big help. I may have them put in, but I'm not at that point yet.
My question now though is, since I know that the C4 heads are compatible with truck headers, which head offers better flow capabilites, the 390 GT or the C4?
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:19 PM
wildwes wildwes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FFR428 View Post
Same heads. Only difference for the GT's was better valvesprings for the GT cam. C8AE-H's were used on the 360, 390 and 390GT engines. Later D2TE-AA heads are the same only with induction hardened ex seats. Which after a few valve jobs are moot point anyway.

Personally I'd stick with the C4's.
So actually, if I did go with the 390 GT heads, being that I'm going for new valve springs, rockers, etc, the C8AE-H would be identical? Because I have a set of C8AE-H heads available to me much cheaper than the GT heads. But would I be better staying with that design, or the C4 heads? Which has better flow characteristics as stock, no porting valve improvements, anything? Also, the same question on compression, which would be better?
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Old 07-03-2008, 09:19 PM
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