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My current set up is 388, 10.5 compression, 282S cam, Edel RPM heads, Air Gap and 700 double pumper. Transmission is Tremec 5 speed with 3.73 gears.

Looking to update my engine to coax some more power out if it. How much better flow can someone make the RPM heads and is it worth it? Trying to decide since I have them I want to use them. Cam looking at Hyd Roller, something like the 294. Not making a race car but would like some more grunt.
 

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I would think that someone like Speier or Dr. J's could get something out of them. Typically how good the head is to start with is the limiting factor on what they can do, and not to bad mouth or anything but the RPM ain't exactly a hi-po head. You can see that in some of their work where on a head like the GM Fast Burn they pick up very little extra below maybe 0.500" lift but on a Pro Comp or even Dart cast head they get massive gains across the board, but of course there's more to what good porting can do on a less than ideal head than just flow. The question is, what does it cost versus what you get compared to buying a set that will already do what the worked heads will. The limiting factor on the RPM with your engine size and cam you want to run will likely be the intake runner size.
 

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Sell the RPMs and buy some bigger heads. At the very least, that 388 needs 180cc heads. RPM are easily 25 years old, design-wise. Edelbrock has not updated the molds, nothing. Look at the chamber, not even close to a modern chamber, the E-Streets are not much better. You can pick up Dart SHP heads for around a grand delivered to your door. These heads are the old Pro 1's. A great head. Are they good as the Platinum Pro 1's? They're down on HP by about 20. That's it. You would be wasting your time with the RPMs. Sell them for $500 to a new, just starting rodder and use the $500 for better heads. Pro-Filer 195 or the Trick Flow Super 23 195 heads would be better suited for your set up.
 

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Sell the RPM heads for $500, put another grand and go for AFR 195 street elimanator heads with 8MM valve stems and CNC ported 195cc intake runners. Do the compression math and flat mill before they leave the store, to get compression you need to stay at 10.5 and reduce quench to aid detonation. If you have 65cc and are happy with that , just put them on.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/afr-1040

If you are still serious, for a few $ more you can go with the Comp porting.
 

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I'm sorry but the pro-filer heads will make better power than the AFR's. AFR has a killer rep but you have to go all out and pay for the cnc porting. Google Chris Spier and find out how good the Pro-filers are. They are the best for the money. You don't race flow benches, you race cars.
 

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I'm sorry but the pro-filer heads will make better power than the AFR's. AFR has a killer rep but you have to go all out and pay for the cnc porting. Google Chris Spier and find out how good the Pro-filers are. They are the best for the money. You don't race flow benches, you race cars.

What you say is true, but I think this guys has a cruiser type motor based on the hyd cam he is running.. But if he is going all out, the Spier heads would be at the top.
 

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Sell the RPMs and buy some bigger heads. At the very least, that 388 needs 180cc heads. RPM are easily 25 years old, design-wise. Edelbrock has not updated the molds, nothing. Look at the chamber, not even close to a modern chamber, the E-Streets are not much better. You can pick up Dart SHP heads for around a grand delivered to your door. These heads are the old Pro 1's. A great head. Are they good as the Platinum Pro 1's? They're down on HP by about 20. That's it. You would be wasting your time with the RPMs. Sell them for $500 to a new, just starting rodder and use the $500 for better heads. Pro-Filer 195 or the Trick Flow Super 23 195 heads would be better suited for your set up.
RPM heads are 185 cc according to Eldelbrock.
http://www.edelbrock.com/automotive/mc/cylinder-heads/chevy/performer-rpm-sb.shtml
 

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I'm sorry but the pro-filer heads will make better power than the AFR's. AFR has a killer rep but you have to go all out and pay for the cnc porting. Google Chris Spier and find out how good the Pro-filers are. They are the best for the money. You don't race flow benches, you race cars.

With all due respect to Chad Speier (not Chris Spier) and Pro-Filer, I would like to to see the dollar for dollar comparison to back this statement up. I am not taking anything away from either of them but only sharing my limited info.....

A quick and dirty look at RPM spread between peak hp and peak torque, and amount of torque per c.i. will tell you how "good" a head is. This of course throws out important things like cam design etc. but like I said quick and dirty. Chad has two dyno charts on his web page for the Pro-Filer ported heads, a 383 and a 421. Those heads are $100 more than the AFR-195's and have a 30 day warranty, my heads were out of the box and lifetime warrantied. Compared to my AFR-195 dyno, the Pro-Filers made slightly less torque per c.i. and the RPM spread mentioned is near identical.

Now, can you do more with the Pro-Filer than an out of the box AFR? Probably yes. They're made for that. What does it cost? Will every head to head dyno between these two come out like the NOT head to head ones listed above? Probably not but I've never seen head to head dynos of them only anecdotal evidence just like what I provided. Until that shows up maybe we shouldn't make such definite statements as to which head is best for the money or application. Like anything else it seems like the answer to something like this is "how far do you want to take it?" because I think the two could go back and forth. To be fair there are probably some circle track guys hiding out in the boonies that can take a 40 year old iron head and make more than either out of the box if you give them enough moonshine and time.

I think both are pretty damn good for the money, and we're lucky to have the options for our dinosaurs. I'd gladly take either for my application.
 

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Both are excellent heads. One brand is $500 less than the other but makes the same power if not more. I'll take the Pro-Filers and use the money I save to pay my Camaro's Hagerty Insurance premium for one year. I have a little bitty 355 so I went with Dart SHP 180s, if I had a 388 I would have gone the Pro-Filers. Personal preference and opinion.
 

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You can re cam the engine and pickup quite a bit of power over what you have. Eddy must have dual pattern cam. The heads you have are capable of making 500HP but your location CO will play a big part in what the engine really makes. What Altitude are you in CO?

Cam, lifters, springs, and pushrods will be a nice increase over what you have now.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the information on this post. I live in Castle Rock, altitude is 6600 feet. I am not opposed to another solid cam, I like the way it sounds. I never thought about a dual pattern cam with the heads I have. I wished when I bought them I would have researched some further than just picking them out of the Summit book.
 

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I have a Goodwrench 350 in my 86 parts hauler truck with RPM heads and the smallest retro Lunati Voodoo roller cam:
http://www.lunatipower.com/Product.aspx?id=1987&gid=289 advanced 6* ( I found it was retarded 6*).
Felpro 1094 shim gasket to get better quench.
Crane gold rockers, Performance Distributor etc.


Edelbrock 650 AVS carb & Eddy EPS maniofold, Thorley Tri-Y headers.
Drivetrain consist of a 700R4 and 3:73 Eaton posi

I was driving it the other day and punched it while rolling down a long stretch and she will flat out get up and go!
I am still impressed with it after many years and it idles great with just little lope.

AFR heads are nice and all and I want to get a pair for my 400sbc but those Eddy heads are no slouch with the right combo.
I imagine there's more power to be had with a professional port job also, however, I am happy with it stock.
 

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You've got a good platform already, 383, 10.5:1, air gap, and decent heads (better than what most run) a wise picked hydraulic roller would really wake it up. There's not really a need for a solid roller being that with the cam the engine probably needs won't need to be spun past 6,200-6,500 imho. You can find very nice well worked AFR 195cc eliminators, and like heads all day on ebay and racing junk. Nothing wrong with buying a nice set of used, worked heads, after all, most people are just selling quality used parts at a bargain to fund their new projects when the speed bug bites. I've sold alot of quality parts, and taken a big hit just to move product to help fund new stuff. I've personally bought used heads that would be well past 1k for half that price, just because 1) they're used, and 2) the person really needed to sell them. Go check out some forums, craigslist, etc... you'll be surprised what you can find for a good price. Yeah, you'll always gamble with used parts, but most people in the car world know if they sell something bad/broke/cracked, it will bite the seller back. However, I wouldn't pick up a new cam, and later down the road change heads, because likely, you'll need to re cam, always do heads/cam all at once. Just my $.02
 
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