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Help with a Heads/cam combo

This is a discussion on Help with a Heads/cam combo within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I have a set of 243 heads in the garage, and I want to get the built up as well ...

  1. #1
    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    Help with a Heads/cam combo

    I have a set of 243 heads in the garage, and I want to get the built up as well as I can before install. Basically I want my mechanic to just be able to swap the cam and throw the heads on.

    I've already got supporting mods handled, ported oil pump, ls2 timing chain, LS7 lifters, all those goodies.

    What I'm needing help on is what to stuff these heads with. Prety much all the parts I'm looknig at can be found on Texas Speed.

    So lets just assume I have a bare set of 243 heads. They do have springs and valves (not the yellow springs or the sodium fileld valves) But I'm going to take all that out and start fresh.

    Swap guides and seals - can I do guides myself, or does that require a machine shop?

    Valves - I'm looking at both Patriot Performance, and Manley, the Patriots are a bit larger than stock, both stainless and about the same price, or should I splurge and get a set of GM sodium filled? they run about 75% more $

    Springs - PAC 1218 .600 single behive.... comes with the Camshaft package from Texas Speed, or I can spend a little more and get the PRC .650 dual springs

    Pushrods - Chromoly hardened, I'm gonig to get 7.4 and hope they work, I cant have my car down long enough to check them and wait, I'll get them checked, but I want the 7.4s on hand incase they work.

    Rockers - I'm looking at either Harland Sharps or Yella Terra 1.7. my question here is adjustable or non? if i get adjustable, I think Ill have more pushrod lee-way. also, solid or roller?

    Also, the cam is going to be a Torquer V2

    This is my DD, but I dont like to skimp out on anything, I'm gonig to do heads and cam, I'm going to do it all, because I dont want to look back and have any "I should haves" I'm also taking this build pretty slow, as cash is pretty tight at the moment.


    So what I'm looking is which parts to use, and any advice on how to and not to-do things, how to adjust rockers, torque specs, any kind of advice I can reference back to while I'm building.

  2. #2
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    Heads are the most important part of the build. Check into AI(Advanced Inductions). Theycan build your 243's around your cam and supporting mods. Don't skimp on heads.

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    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    Well I want to do them myself as much as I can, I'm just trying to get a parts list together

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    Give Matt at Texas Speed a call

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    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    oh I'm sure I will at some point, I've talked with him before.

    I work nights, so most of my shopping/research is done at night, cant really call

  6. #6
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Best to send the heads to a competent machine shop. Check for guide and valve stem wear, more than likely it will need at least some of the guides replaced. From there a good valve job will have to be done. You can change valves of your choice, nows the time. I prefer lightweight. I also prefer dual springs with lightweight titanium retainers. Behives are constantly evolving though. It's important to select these around the camshaft you plan to use. Check with camshaft manufacture. They need to be set to correct installed height for proper seat pressure and also checked for valve guide/seal clearance at the retainer. They will also check the heads for flatness and possibly mill to straighten or just a clean up pass.

    Most of this is all machine work that cannot be done at home. You can assemble them yourself if you have the proper tools, know the installed height (cam card), have the shims to accomplish it, but since they will be at a machine shop anyway, it's no big deal for them to assemble.

    In the end you may have $800 plus in just cylinder heads to do it right depending on where you go. Starts making those "out of the box" CNC ported heads look pretty good.

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    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    yeah I know, but I feel more accomplished picking out my own parts and knowing that it was my hands that put a lot of this together.

    But now that i've been thinking about, rockers have to be removed to put in pushrods, so there's no sense in my installing them before we put the heads on the car.

    I honestly thought that machine shop work was WAY more expensive than it is, but I found some reputable ones around here that are priced really well. My neighbor builds hot rod motorcycles and he suggested two guys that do the head work on his bikes, one has a flow bench and all the equipment to port and polish, he said this guy ONLY does hot rod stuff, so I'll be looking into them.


    One question, the V2 is a .595 .598 cam, so do yall think that .600 springs are right? or do i risk bottoming them out? should i go with .650? or will that not compress the springs enough for adequate return

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