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Best heads for an LS6 build?

This is a discussion on Best heads for an LS6 build? within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; help me out here guys, what heads for a mild LS6 build, i have the stock cam and stock LS6 ...

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    Member Edward-T's Avatar
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    Best heads for an LS6 build?

    help me out here guys, what heads for a mild LS6 build, i have the stock cam and stock LS6 intake with LT's y-pipe and a catback, also a 3200 stall, want a good stout LS6 and plan on procharging later on, any help would be appreciated.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Built on a budget or all out?

    You have 2 different problems here. Heads for force induction perform different then heads for stock components. Meaning, to get the best performance for stock parts vs upgrades.

    For stock to medium builds 243's are about the best head you can get on a budget. Used set can go for about $500 for the set, every once and a while you can find some for $400. If you have a LS6 long block you should already have 243 heads. A good porting and polishing job can yield some more HP out of them.



    I've heard 317's are popular for FI builds.

    AI (Advance Induction) Advanced Induction Cylinder Head Development
    (I posted the link because none of the other vendors c&C and mill heads)

    These guys know everything about what works with cylinder heads and cam builds.

    Not all heads work well with certain cams and not all cams work well with NA builds vs FI builds. NA builds tend to have higher intake and exhaust durations vs FI cams.

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    Member Edward-T's Avatar
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    i am turning my high mileage LS1 into an LS6, rebuilding the bottom end and upgrading the oil pump and a 9 key way timing chain. just a stout stock rebuild i guess but using the LS6 cam and intake, so i have the stock 2000 LS1 heads now and was wanting a set to compliment the LS6 componets i am going to use, should i go with stock LS6 heads, Stage 1 LS6 heads or Stage 2 LS6 heads or stage 3 LS6 heads, Texas Speed sells all 3 sets of heads, i just dont know which one will go best with what i am planning on using, i dont want to go to big as i am not building a ground pounder just a strong, stout motor.

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    I plan on getting AIs 232 heads next year to go with my AI custom cam. I personally would go AI or go home on any build budget friendly or not. I personally have talked to Phil, the owner and he was great to deal with. He knows his stuff and will not lead you astray. I would call or email Phil and tell them your plans and your mods and ask what heads they would suggest.
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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward-T View Post
    i am turning my high mileage LS1 into an LS6, rebuilding the bottom end and upgrading the oil pump and a 9 key way timing chain. just a stout stock rebuild i guess but using the LS6 cam and intake, so i have the stock 2000 LS1 heads now and was wanting a set to compliment the LS6 componets i am going to use, should i go with stock LS6 heads, Stage 1 LS6 heads or Stage 2 LS6 heads or stage 3 LS6 heads, Texas Speed sells all 3 sets of heads, i just dont know which one will go best with what i am planning on using, i dont want to go to big as i am not building a ground pounder just a strong, stout motor.
    Was this cam given to you? Otherwise I wouldn't waste the $$ on a LS6 cam. A good solid cam for the money for a DD that won't break the bank would be a 228 cam. It will work with what you currently have and work very well with 243 heads if you find a set. Upgrading the oil pump is good. I recommend using the Melling 10295 pump. It and the SLP LS6 are about the same, IIRC the Melling one is a little cheaper and performs better then the SLP LS6 oil pump. Not sure what timing chain you're using but the LS2 timing chain is a great timing chain for your mild build. Handles up to 500hp motors. Will recommends C5-R, but for your mild build that's over kill. When you go to FI that would be the time to go for it.

    I hope you know the differences of having a LS6 block vs LS1 block with LS6 components. The LS6 block has some internal upgrades in the block structure like the coolant and oil galleys. The rotating assembly (crank, con rods, pistons) is the same as the LS1. The other differences are LS6 oil pump, LS6 cam and cylinder heads. One more thing to make it "look" like a LS6 is the LS6 VCT mod. I'm a big believer in doing this if you know what your doing and are comfortable with notching your block and doing it right. Otherwise you'll be tearing down the whole block because some metal shavings fall down. The mod deletes (relocates) the POS PCV system that GM put on these motors to underneath the intake by replacing the valley cover tray. On your block you'll need to notch a 1.2"x3/4" off one of the "ribs" on the block.

    If interested let me know I'll send you the links about this.


    From what you're posting I recommend the following:

    243 heads, 228 Cam with valve springs, LS7 lifters, (BTR are better), LS2 timing chain, Melling 10295 oil pump. That will give you a nice bump in HP and not break you in the bank. Any thing more and you're going to have to account for other areas that will need upgrading too, to keep from being broke down all the time. For example, Get an aggressive cam and heads and you'll be looking at needing to match the stall and seriously save for a new rear end. You'll need to consider this anyways for your FI build later on. It's not if the rear end will break but when you get above 400 hp. The rear end is the biggest weakness on out cars. Yes I've heard guys running their stock rears with FI and not have any issues, but those are very rear. Suspension upgrades are also in your future. First 2 things I recommend are SFC's and LCA's.

    Doing it this way ^^^^ you can upgrade and still have fun while you are saving and part collecting for the future FI build.


    I hope you know how much the investment is for going to FI. Procharger builds run around $5000 and most Turbos slightly less. Research the hell out of this subject, a few members here are running both SC and Turbos. Both have serious pros & cons.


    One more thing, I would go with AI vs TS&P heads

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    Member Edward-T's Avatar
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    cool, thanks, i will keep all this in mind, yes the cam was given to me so i figured i would use it, this is no new area for my as my last all motor WS6 was at 450ish to the wheels with all the rear end and suspension mods to go with it, this car is atrade i took in for my other one, the guy gave me this 2000 black WS6 with 140 k on it and 4 thousand dollars for my blue one in my pic. so i am not wanting a all out beast like i had last time - so to speak. but i am wanting to use the parts i have and go through the bottom end to be safe.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I also advise to be weary of used cams. At the minimum have a shop check it out to make sure it is still within spec.

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    I agree that if you are going through all the trouble and expense of a cam swap it should definitely be something better than another stock cam. I also second the option for having AI work your current heads over. Take a look at the 219HCR program for the 853/241. That is a pretty budget friendly way to make some really good power and you get to keep the stock PTV. I would also throw on a set of BTR platinum springs.

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