Port Edelbrock heads or buy new AFRs?

Discussion in 'High Performance Modifications' started by hypnotix73, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. hypnotix73

    hypnotix73 New Member

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    Hey guys,
    I have built a 383 stroker with nitrous that I am going to begin using for drag racing (not competitively but just for fun). The car is almost complete and I am beginning to think about the one part of my motor that could probably use an upgrade.

    Many years ago I ended up buying some Edelbrock Performer RPM aluminum heads (geez--like 15 years ago). I didn't really want to part with the heads and upgrade at the time due to funds--or lack thereof LOL. Now that I am older and have saved up some money, I could upgrade, but I am still wanting to cheap out. I am open to buying new heads but I just need to make sure that I am doing the right thing. My question is this:

    What do you guys think that I should do?

    1) Keep the Edelbrock Performer RPMs for my SBC and have them professionally ported/port-matched.

    2) Sell the Edelbrock Performer RPMs for whatever I can get for them (new they run $1,400 for the pair). These probably have about 2,000 miles on them and have never been hit with nitrous. I am not even sure what I can get for them. Whatever I did get for them, I would then use to buy some nice AFR heads. I'd have to do some more research on the right head.

    The current motor setup:

    383 Stroker with all forged 4340 internals, H-beam rods, ARP hardware, etc
    Comp cams Xtreme Energy 284H
    Edelbrock Victor Jr intake
    Holley Ultra XP 750
    Hedman 1 3/4" headers

    The motor currently has 10.38:1 compression. I've got it a secondary fuel system set up with race gas in it to help out the motor when it gets sprayed. It will see 250hp shots of nitrous. Car currently has E/T Streets, Caltrac bars, 3.73 gears (likely upgrading to 4.10s), a locker, and a roll cage. It should launch pretty well.

    I feel like I have spent so much money on the car that I am just leaning toward biting the bullet and buying some AFR heads (I am not even sure which ones at this point--going to have to read up) BUT if I can get the Edelbrock heads ported with similar power for a lower cost, I am happy to consider that too.

    You all are so helpful in this forum so I figured I'd ask. Thanks!
     
    1980RS likes this.
  2. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    Welcome to the site. Here is something for you to think about. This year I built a flat top 406 with 2 different sets of Vortec heads both still retaining the aprox 170cc runner. 1st. set was stock no porting and the car ran from 11.49 to 11.69 depending on the weather. the 2nd. set still with not much runner mods except for a little epoxy in one area of the port wall, bowel cleanup and my 3 angle valve job with new valves (1.94 and 1.5) ran 10.90's@120mph no nitrous. AFR heads are great if you have the money and the benefits are well worth while but there are alternatives to them and the Vortec heads are one of them. I tried the Vortec's to prove a point that you do not need high buck heads to go fast, you need quality work to make any head go fast. Remember this, the flow numbers up to .500 or .600 lift are more important than that peak number so don't get hung up on that high point number. A 180cc runner IMO is better for most engine over a 210 engine with small cams. Good luck with the 383 and let up know how it works out. Bet you would not believe I have gone 10.04@136 with 180cc Bowtie heads and a 175hp shot.
     
  3. nova75mike

    nova75mike Veteran Member

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    I have to hop on the AFR wagon. I have a 383 with 11:1 and a hydraulic roller with about the same duration as yours, but with alot more lift. I'm really surprised out how hard this 195 runner head pulls above 4k, even with my dual plane air gap manifold. My BFG's simply cant stay stuck to the road when I'm on the gas hard, even when I lay into it from a 20-25 mph roll. I would ask AFR if a valve spring upgrade is in order as well. the springs that come standard on the 195 heads now have a disclaimer about "not for use with cams above 236 duration at .050." just my .02
     
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  4. G72Zed

    G72Zed Veteran Member

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    First off, nice car and setup, classic street and strip, love it.

    I'm was not as fast as 1980RS back in the day (early 90's), but still remember my setup, tuning with NOS and the lessons I learned back then have stayed with me.

    Just taking a swing here, if your going to be at least in the 500 +/- HP area, and looks like you will be easily, and with a 3,500# start line weight and a 28" tire, your looking at 10:70/80's with 123 'ish trap speed. That would put you at 6,4-6,500 rpm through the lights with conv. slip, and that's about right for a hyd. lifter setup.

    By the time you get the heads ported and sized properly for the cubic inch/rpm and running NOS, you may be almost at the cost of some new AFR's on the labour. Sell your E heads, use the porting money and upgrade to the finer feed AFR Competition options.

    The biggest factor is getting the right size head/runner for your application. Lots to picking a head, it's more than just CFM/CC's that's for sure. Discuss with AFR.

    If you hit the setup & combo, you may be in the low 10's @ 130 ish' area, and going through the traps in the 6,8- 7,000+ range, and the Hyd. lifters may in fact be the limiting factor.

    Good luck, keep us in the loop on what you decide.
     
  5. Lowend

    Lowend Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca. Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I'll agree - the Edelbrock RPM heads were good for the time, but cylinder head technology has moved forward a ton since than.
    Not only are the AFR heads a better LT4 based chamber design, but the larger intake port and better balanced exhaust is going to go a long ways on this engine.
    I'll recommend the 210cc 1103 heads if you have the means. They are incredible. If you are running race fuel anyways, maybe consider having them angle-milled down a few CC to bump your compression.
     
  6. muscl car

    muscl car Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    I would go with AFR''s

    I'm currently running AFR 195's on my Shafiroff racing 427sbc that have been reworked and also been upgraded with .650 lift springs

    Right now this set up is really working well on the street and pulls very hard to 6k rpm . I've not been able take it to the track yet as tracks are closed currently . I do have plans on switching to AFR 210's but want to wait to see what it can run at the track with the 195's
     
  7. ULTM8Z

    ULTM8Z Veteran Member

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    I've been running AFR exclusively since the mid-90s. I'll never go to a different cylinder head.
     
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  8. Chevyforever

    Chevyforever Veteran Member

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  9. Zspoiler

    Zspoiler Veteran Member

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    A lot would depend on your budget .And what is the best return on your cash output /
     
  10. 1980RS

    1980RS Veteran Member

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    I am willing to bet with a cleanup and a super valve job those Eddy heads may work out pretty good IMO.
     

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