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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a bad head gasket on my 327, I have good compression on the engine so here is my question. If I get new heads what should I get, it’s a 327 with a mild cam and camel hump heads atm . The engine was rebuilt several years ago and then the car sat until I got it and probably had 3000 miles on the rebuild. Any suggestions are appreciated
 

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Why do you say it has a bad head gasket? You say it has good compression. If it has good consistent compression across all the cylinders, the head gaskets are fine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
White smoke on the right side of the engine and missing antifreeze
 

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If you like the way your car performs with the head you have simply replace the bed head gaskets and call it good
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks
 

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More troubleshooting information needed: 1) Is there water/antifreeze in the oil? This could be a cracked block. 2) Are there two adjacent cylinders with lower compression than the remaining six? This would be a blown head gasket between cylinders. 3) Are there bubbles in the radiator with the engine running? Indicates cracked head generally between the valves on SBC cast heads. 4) Pressure test of cooling system will not hold pressure. Verifies 1 thru 3 and may find the cylinder with the problem. 5) While the plugs are removed, which one is the cleanest. Indicates the cylinder with water requiring the closest inspection.
Nothing wrong with SBC camel hump heads for most street applications. The aluminum heads are very competitive in price today due to high cost of rebuilding cast heads. With the mild cam, I assume you are not racing every weekend and are happy with stock heads. If so, a double hump head with 1.94" intake valves and 1.60" or even 1.50" exhaust valves will give you great street performance and are readily available. Of course aluminum heads run cooler allowing more timing and improving performance under full throttle, gain a few HP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
More troubleshooting information needed: 1) Is there water/antifreeze in the oil? This could be a cracked block. 2) Are there two adjacent cylinders with lower compression than the remaining six? This would be a blown head gasket between cylinders. 3) Are there bubbles in the radiator with the engine running? Indicates cracked head generally between the valves on SBC cast heads. 4) Pressure test of cooling system will not hold pressure. Verifies 1 thru 3 and may find the cylinder with the problem. 5) While the plugs are removed, which one is the cleanest. Indicates the cylinder with water requiring the closest inspection.
Nothing wrong with SBC camel hump heads for most street applications. The aluminum heads are very competitive in price today due to high cost of rebuilding cast heads. With the mild cam, I assume you are not racing every weekend and are happy with stock heads. If so, a double hump head with 1.94" intake valves and 1.60" or even 1.50" exhaust valves will give you great street performance and are readily available. Of course aluminum heads run cooler allowing more timing and improving performance under full throttle, gain a few HP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have no water in the oil, the compression is the same on all cylinders, I haven’t pressure tested the cooling system and the spark plugs look about the same
 

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For the price of an old head replacement aftermarket is an awesome way to go. If your not concerned about looking or being original, I highly recommend the Brodix IK180 CNC with a 64CC chamber. You can then go with cometic Steele shim gasket installed using permtex High Tack lightly sprayed on each side of the gasket. The cometic can be purchased thinner than your standard.040-.042 felpro style composite style gasket and you can adjust the quench and bump the compression a littleI. For example you could go with a .032-.035 range but it’s best to figure that part out and just not assume what you could use and also see what your current chamber size is. The Brodix heads are also casted, machined and built in the USA in Mena Arkansas.
Another option for a cylinder head if you want an original style look a head that’s available from Speedway Motors. It’s an aluminum head that is casted to look like a double hump head but is a vortec head. It’s a pretty cool part but a little more pricy that the Brodix IK180.
You can call Brodix direct and get a lot of information for the PN you need for you cam and ask about the CNC option. They are about an 8 week wait but built for you. Mine were $1100 for the pair with CNC but the price had an increase just after I bought mine in Nov 2020. The Speedway head is $650 each.
You can keep them in the natural aluminum or paint them your engine color. You can also use some body filler and fill in the Brodix etching in the front and fill in the bolt holes if you wanted.


 

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Joe Harrison,
Good info.

Instead of thick, pricey Cometic,
can Mr Gasket steel shim head gaskets
be used ?

I reread your post, disregard ?
 

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Joe Harrison,
Good info.

Instead of thick, pricey Cometic,
can Mr Gasket steel shim head gaskets
be used ?

I reread your post, disregard ?
I have only used the cometic gaskets, I cannot speak for others. One thing about them that I really do like is you can buy them for the bore size which gets your quench tighter/closer to specific number you going for I have never experienced a failure or leak with them when using the spray tach. Fist time using them I had weeping and a builder said that’s an easy fix, use spray tack on them and problem solved….it was just not so easy…..LOL!!! But lesson learned.
Here is a good Write up on quench. I have a zero deck (blueprinted and decked on a mill) 383 and mine is set at .036 with .030 bore comic gasket. I am at 10.06:1 compression and running pump gas with my timing set at 14 initial, with 34 total all in at 3000 and 10 deg vacuum advance. Put in a couple of pictures, one is the comic .036 thick .030 bore with spray tack and the others are the Brodix IK180 with CNC chambers. They are 64CC and Brodix does an angle Mill after the CNC to bring them into specs.




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Joe Harrison,

What do you think of these remarks,
RE: 383 ?


compression height and deck height.

Our custom made pistons have a compression height that is .010 taller on bbc pistons, and .015 taller on sbc pistons, as compared to most all of the catalog pistons on the market. We find this to be a very valuable feature.
Since our pistons sit at a taller than normal compression height, we only have to remove approx. .005-.010 off the deck surface of the block. Our goal is set the piston at zero deck (flush with the deck surface). This maintains the deck's thickness, making it much stronger than a block that has been cut down .025. The engine will also run a bit cooler with a thicker deck. It's well known that the deck dissipates much of the built up heat an engine generates. This also allows for future deck re-surfacing without compromising the integrity of the block. On our bbc engines, we actually leave the piston about .003 to .005 in the hole to allow for possible piston rock. Our sbc engines will have the pistons setting right at zero with the deck.
 

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Joe Harrison,

What do you think of these remarks,
RE: 383 ?


compression height and deck height.



Our custom made pistons have a compression height that is .010 taller on bbc pistons, and .015 taller on sbc pistons, as compared to most all of the catalog pistons on the market. We find this to be a very valuable feature.
Since our pistons sit at a taller than normal compression height, we only have to remove approx. .005-.010 off the deck surface of the block. Our goal is set the piston at zero deck (flush with the deck surface). This maintains the deck's thickness, making it much stronger than a block that has been cut down .025. The engine will also run a bit cooler with a thicker deck. It's well known that the deck dissipates much of the built up heat an engine generates. This also allows for future deck re-surfacing without compromising the integrity of the block. On our bbc engines, we actually leave the piston about .003 to .005 in the hole to allow for possible piston rock. Our sbc engines will have the pistons setting right at zero with the deck.
I think you need to build around your desired package and you need to sonic check your block prior to doing anything. First check for
Me is always core checking core shift. After that is found acceptable then it’s a clean, mag and sonic check. It’s just cheap insurance when using a GM block. I used Maule pistons for 3.75 6 inch rod stroker that did not have the oil ring in the piston pin area.
I would beware of a statement that says our piston allows for piston rock. That just seems odd, because you want to minimize that as much as possible with the correct machine work and tolerances. You need a machine shop that will blueprint and check the assembly and tolerances of everything before they actually start to cut on your block.
Mine was set up and zero decked to my crank, rods and pistons and the bore set to the pistons clearances and the finish in the bore set to the ring type. I have a long time fried Dave Arce from ARCE Racing engines that did all my ma home work in Santee California. He is a builder of championship stock car engines that he sells and also rents nationally. My engine is probably over built on the bottom end and more was done tolerances wise than would be required for a street car engine but it’s just want I wanted to do and I had a great time building it. Checking all the tolerances was really fun, I spent hours in the garage playing with it. I am super statisfide with how well it runs. I am no expert….LOL!! but I do know a guy….and he’s a super cool dude. Not the cheapest but one of the best. Dave is probably when if the great builders I have ever met. He’s down to earth, loves race cars and talking engines. He’s not some snob but hat says payment and I’ll build you a secret engine. Some of his stuff is proprietary but that’s reserved for his race engines. Sorry for rambling on but I had fun doing this last engine.
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👍. Good machine work, good parts.

Some say by the time SBC block, one can buy a Dart block which needs much less machine work.
 

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👍. Good machine work, good parts.

Some say by the time SBC block, one can buy a Dart block which needs much less machine work.
I agree, you can. I just happen to get a great price on machine work and the block cost almost nothing.
 

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I wanted a bit more out of my 327. Had it originally built with fuelie heads 2.02/1.8, 10.5/1 KB dome tops, CC .470 x .470 (one of the magnum cams), 1.6 roller rockers. Was fun but still didn't have the kick I wanted. Finally found an article comparing heads that Hot Rod did,.. Of the recommended heads I ended up going with the Jegs Aluminum Heads with 210 runners. They brought the torque down to the lower RPMs that the 327 normally lacks. Was like having a completely different engine that still gives lots of happy smiles when I take it out.
 
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