***Buick 350 Alum Heads Update***

Discussion in 'Small Block Tech' started by sean Buick 76, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    I ordered my heads a couple months ago, Im anxious to see how they perform verses my essentially stock irons with larger valves, that wont be till spring tho:p
     
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  2. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

  3. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    No problem. His build showed that with even just a mild TA-310 flat tappet cam and a dual plane intake the heads make for an easy 400 HP under 5000 RPM which is pretty solid.
     
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  4. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    The TA 310 is a single pattern cam. Heads and all, it might benefit from more exhaust duration. Still would like to know what he thinks of the motor now that it is in the car.
     
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  5. Darron72Skylark

    Darron72Skylark Well-Known Member

    The engine pulls really well through the midrange. There is less bottom end than I was hoping for. Idles at about 1000 rpm, and doesn’t have much vacuum. A lot of the missing bottom end probably has to do with transmission and rear gears.
    When I started on this path, I was convinced thru rpm and speedometer readings that I had 3.42 gears in back. So when I did the rear axle, I did not order new ring and pinion, just the Trutrac carrier, moser 30 spline shafts, TA cover, etc. Once opened up, I discovered that all my careful measurements and calculations were wrong: 3.08 gears. So it all went back together with highway gears out back. I need to change that.
    The other issue is the 3 speed Saginaw. It does not have much for a first gear and the ratios are far apart. So that reduces the seat of the pants feel as well as the actual quickness of the car. Replacing the shifter with a Hurst Mastershift did make a big difference in shift quality and speed, but there is only so much that can be done.
    At this point I’m not ready to give a final verdict since I still need to put a nice 5 speed in there as well as open up the rear axle again to replace the 3.08 with either 3.90 or 4.11 gears.
    Right now I’m leaning towards a G-Force T5 with the .63 overdrive and 4.11 gears. But I should probably do the disc brake conversion first. The new power already makes the 4 wheel drums feel a little dangerous!
     
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  6. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    Agreed, I am sure a different cam could have made a gain. More importantly it is a simple combo that could be re-created (HP wise) using a stock bottom end and less $ invested. That said it is still a great move to do the nice rods and pistons. This combo with a 150 shot of nitrous would be awesome.

    I agree the street manners would be great to hear about.
     
  7. alec296

    alec296 i need another buick

    The 413 would be a good choice in his combo, but the 310 with aluminum heads flowing 245 should be able to reach 400 hp and make decent torque around 24-2500. But the sp3 really would give a strong mid range. I haven’t really got on mine, but with home port, factory type 10 to 1 pistons with .020 off heads, (about9.7) it does feel strong at 2600. But I run it advanced 4 degrees.Pulling the 3.73 gears for 3.42s . 2700 converter. Shall see how well it runs. Maybe his timing isn’t advancing fast enough. 10.5 compression should make a stout engine.
     
  8. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Im going to go out on a limb here with this... For sure do the FRONT disc brake conversion, save your money and keep the factory rear drums.
    I honestly believe drum brakes provide as much stopping power if not more than disc brakes.
    The only advantage to disc brakes is their heat dissipation, self adjusting capability, and simplicity which leads to better control when used with ABS systems.
    Most of the OTR trucks and busses still use drum brakes.
    Discs on the front blow away drums on the front, but only because the discs self adjust, and dissipate the heat better as the fronts do 80% of the stopping.
    If you want more stopping power, install larger diameter discs than stock in the front when you do your conversion.
     
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  9. Dano

    Dano Platinum Level Contributor

    I know ppl will flame us on this, but I tend to agree especially on a 350 car & even more so w/alum. heads. I never did any testing but my old '70 350 4-sp. car (very low option, alum. intake, BBB alum. front drums & steel bellhousing so pretty light - Car prob weighed approx. 3600 lb.) stopped about as good anything after rebuilding it w/all new components (incl. NOS proportioning valve). My current 350 4-sp. project is m/l getting the exact same setup.
     
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  10. alec296

    alec296 i need another buick

    Consider the 11 inch drums from a 73-77 a body car. But I believe disc brakes are superior. But fit in rear can be an issue. As my rears scrape my new 15x8 rally
     
  11. Darron72Skylark

    Darron72Skylark Well-Known Member

    I have had some pinging issues with an aggressive advance curve. I have had to put heavier springs in the distributor and am also running without vacuum advance. That has controlled the pinging. You may be correct, though, that there is untapped potential still to be had. I haven't had the opportunity to focus on it, been more in a reactive mode trying to get it to stop pinging.
    I'm probably overdue to re-read Larry's thread on power timing and go about it methodically.
     
  12. Darron72Skylark

    Darron72Skylark Well-Known Member

    I'm running 17x8 wheels, so disc and caliper clearance are not a big concern. Lots of options will fit inside 17" wheels.
    Strongly considering the Kore3 setup. Keeping rear drums certainly makes the parking brake issue easier (manual transmission, gotta have a parking brake). However, I am concerned that rear drums seem to have less modulation and control than discs and are more prone to lock-up. There are proponents who argue for rear discs and those who argue that rear discs are a waste of money. I understand both points of view and am not 100% sold one way or the other. You could say I still have an open mind and can be persuaded.
    Just realized that I'm way off topic for the aluminum head thread - sorry! this discussion belongs in whoa and sway.
     
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  13. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD" Staff Member

    Tell me more about your ignition system, what distributor you are using, part number if it is a points distributor.
     
  14. 436'd Skylark

    436'd Skylark Sweet Fancy Moses!!!!!

    Awesome. This is the exact data we need- a consistent car with a boatload of slips.. can't wait for the results.
     
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  15. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    I was convinced this past summer after my last couple visits to the track my engine was tapped out as far as power, I got IIRC 3 passes @ close to 102 mph even with a crappy launch the car recovered to go 101,56 mph
    My 60' seems stuck in the 1.9's
    My JW converter flashes to 3500 rpm, I've tested it multiple times in a third gear cruise then stab the throttle without causing a downshift and the tach goes right to 3500 rpm. I forget who told me about checking it this way but it works!
    Im going to pull the engine to do the head swap, I dont feel like torturing myself trying to do it in the car, especially with head studs.
    I think Im FINALLY getting the hang of this, well maybe:D
     
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  16. Fox's Den

    Fox's Den 27 years of racing the same 355 Buick motor

    You won't get the heads off with studs unless you take the steering rod apart I had to do it once.
     
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  17. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    LOL, probably:p
    In simple terms, I find it hard to actually lock up a disc brake equipped wheel.
    Actually its two different forces at work, disc brakes clamp a disc. Drum brakes expand and are self energized, the shoes actually rotate outwards slightly against the drums as hydraulic pressure is increased creating even more force against the drum.
    The only problem with that (drums) is being able to control impending lock up, BUT drums do provide more stopping power.
     
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  18. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Ahhhhhh, thanks Guy, I never even considered that!!
    My mind was all on the AC on the right side:p
     
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  19. sean Buick 76

    sean Buick 76 Buick Nut

    I just remove the head studs and then its not an issue.
     
  20. Darron72Skylark

    Darron72Skylark Well-Known Member

    Hi Larry,
    I'm using a Pertronix billet distributor with the Ignitor 3 module and matching coil. To start with, I had one soft spring (copper) and one medium spring (silver). That combo was all in at around 2750 rpm. I had pinging problems, so I swapped to two medium springs. All in at about 3500 rpm now. Vacuum advance is not adjustable and seemed to be causing more problems than benefit, so I disconnected and have that port plugged on the Quadrajet. I need to go out to the car and have another look to ensure that I'm giving you accurate information on the springs and advance limiters.
    I have a basic timing light, but not the fancy dial-back kind. Do I need to invest in a better timing light? Will that help me figure this out? How about a vacuum gauge?
     
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