Here is what I have been up to:
4-14-2013 I thought would take some time to explain how I port heads. One thing I want you to know I never sacrafice reliability for small gains in horse power. In other words I don't make the area between the pushrod and the port so thin that it blisters and risks cracking or breaking off later on, even if this gives me the desired area in that section and may make slightly more power. I also don't make other areas in the ports so thin that it risks breaking through into water. Dependablity is a number one cocern for me because let's face it engines are expensive and I have yet to meet someone that would be happy if their engine blows up after a few runs as long it made just slightly more power than something that would have lasted longer.
Now to the porting. First I establish what you will be doing with your heads. Then I establish what your engine needs the heads to be then I layout a drawing of your heads that shows the sizes of sections in the head and the flow of the head. After this I apply the math of what the engine wants and what is possible to do in the port of the head. Their are always compromises. Then I pick up the grinder and make it happen. This math does not just value overall flow but the velocities throughout the port. The math I use does not just come from a computer program like Pipemax. Although Pipemax and other programs like it do an extremely good job of getting you information it only gets you about 90percent of the way there. The other 10percent comes from taking good notes on all the heads that I have done in the past and seeing things that computer programs do not show. Their are many factors that I take into account to layout the port design such as Peak flow, average flow, velocity, velocity differences in the port, chamber shape, spark plug location, exhaust port flow, intake to exhaust flow diference, reverse flow, minimum CSA, average CSA, corner radiuses, and many others. These are all important and are interelated to making the head make power. Hopefully this helps you somewhat understand what I think about when I port a head.
2-6-2013 I thought I would clear the air about some things. This business is my part time business. I have a full time job that I love doing and have no desire to end. My full time job has a much higher impact on the world than my business. However just because I do this part time does not mean I don't give it full time attention. In fact in the last three years I have only not worked at the business Christmas and maybe two days a year when I am too sick to work. Everything in life that I do I do it with all my heart and soul or I don't do it. That is who I am. I started this business for a couple of reason. One and this is the reason I still do this because I like it. It is an endless puzzle that always keeps your mind thinking. The second is because I saw some very good people leaving racing because it is too expensive. I wanted to do something to make things a little cheaper for racers. The business is my solution. By doing this business part time I can keep costs down because my income is not based off of how this business does. The money made by the business usually goes back to racing or to sponsorships. Just because I charge less doesn't mean I am not as good as others or value my time as others do but instead to keep people racing and going faster. I get asked almost weekly when I will quit my job and do this full time. It will not happen no matter how big this business gets. I may hire people but I am not leaving my job. I don't like what some full time head porters do to get sales and I don't want to turn into that type of person. As a part time head porter I have no need to lie because my income is not based of this business. I want to thank all the customers I have had over the years. As most of you know I consider you more than just customer but a friend and as always if you ever need anything just let me know.
2-4-2013 I have gotten tired of other companies bragging about their high flow numbers but then when they get on my bench they are way down from their claimed numbers. It suckers people into buying something that is not accurate. Because of this I have decided to guarantee my flow numbers. As far as I know there is only one other company doing this and that is MBE. Others claim to be accurate but I guarantee it. Call or write if you have any questions about the guarantee.
4-4-2011 Haven't posted in forever again. I am very busy, which is good. I am about to have my Brodix 10xRI cnc program done. This one I am going to use for the EMC of 2011. I'll try to write more later.
5-9-2010 I have not posted in forever. I have been extremely busy. I have been porting MANY cylinder heads for customers. I have been accepted in this years Amsoil Engine Masters Challenge for Popular Hot Rodding Magazine. I am trying to get some work done on this engine but thus far customers heads have kept me to busy to do a lot of R and D with the engine masters challenge engine. As far as my race cars go they are making very good progress. I thought for sure I would have been at the track before now but between the weather and bad luck it has not made it out yet. The frame has been repaired from the rust damage and we put the 10.5 slicks on and that is when I found the posi was broken. Right now we are in the process of putting a spool and 4.56 gears in the rearend. I am hopping the car will run good at the track and with a lot of luck and time hopefully next week I will make it out. The engine in the Malibu is the shortblock from the 2007Jeg's Engine Masters Challenge. I changed the heads to ones that flow similar but have a smaller chamber, and I put a solid roller cam .600 lift 250/260 duration at .050. The same carb and intake from the challenge are being used and it still runs on pump gas.
10-11-2009 I just got back from the Jeg's Engine Masters Challenge in Lima, Ohio. This was a very tuff year to compete. All the competitors this year brought some very good engines. I was surprised by the variety of engines being brought. This year newer model engines were allowed to compete such as, Chevy LS, Ford Mod Motors, and the new Chrysler Hemi. Out of 30 total teams there was only two traditional small block chevy's entered. I was one of them. This year's engines should have been called the nightmare. Nothing went together easy on this engine. I was hopping to actually get to spend several days on the dyno before going to the competition however because of multiple problems I got to spend about 7 hours on the dyno. Here are some of the highlights of things that went wrong. I ordered custom pistons and they still did not have enough clearance cut in them for the valve lift I wanted to run, the heads I had done 9 months worth of work on I did not use because of time and other issues (However the heads I ended up using flowed 371cfm on intake and 240cfm on exhaust. This is a 23 degree head and the highest flowing head I have ever had on my bench. Howevever it is 275cc intake runner. Good for big power at 8000rpm but does nothing for torque at 3000rpm. In order to win for the competition you have to make the most average from 3000rpm to 7000rpm, it is not the peak numbers that are important.) I ported a hole in my intake manifold because the runners on the head were so wide and I had to wait for rules approval on that before moving on, the shaft rockers that cost $1100 still needed modiftications to fit on, I ordered the wrong thickness on my intake manifold spacer plate, I spent over $100 on just intake manifold gaskets to just get the right size of gasket, the valve covers took two hours to put on because they had to be clearanced for a part of the head.
I only had 10 dyno pulls on my engine before going to the competition of those pulls 8 were jet changes, one was timming change, and one header change. Most other competitors had at least 100 dyno pulls. I ended up finishing 19th out of 30. Not how I wanted to finish but what can you expect from 10 test. The engine made 635hp and 552ft/lbs of torque. I was the only competitor that made power at the contest than at home. The engine at home made 622hp and 540ft/lbs of torque. It did make more power at home than last years engine which made 581hp and 529ft/lbs of torque. The reason why I mention it is because the dynos at the competition this year must have been calibrated dramatically lower than last year. Here is an example of what I mean last years engine at home made 581hp at home then 624hp at the competition a gain of 7.4%. This years engine made 622hp at home and 635hp at the contest a gain of 2%. Other competitors actually made less power than last year. This seems strange when the rules changed this year to allow an extra point of compression, roller cams, tunnel rams, and spinning the engine to 7000rpm instead of 6500rpm. All of those changes and most people made the same power as last year or worse. The dyno was different.
I have already got back to working on the heads I plan to use for next years contest. I hate finishing like this no matter many times people say you did good.
Thanks to all those who helped me like:
Mike Jones Camshafts
8-3-2009 I have been very busy working on everything. I am trying to get the engine ready for the Jeg's Engine Masters Challenge. I am currently waiting for all the parts to arrive. I am so far behind this year. I hope I have no problems while I am on the dyno. I have been working on my Camaro to get it running again. I am very close to finishing that. I have not driven the car in two years. I spent all that time and money getting it ready and it sits there because I am so busy with the other projects I have. The other project I have is my 1979 Malibu. It has the 2007 Jeg's Engine Masters Challenge in it with a few upgrades. I just got to drive it for the first time yesterday. It is nasty. It is very fun to drive but does have a few bugs to work out like the brakes. They work they just feel weird. I still have to put the carpet in it. I have also been working on the Brodix heads that I was going to use for the Challenge. I have been working on the port version. Odly enough after three weeks it is almost as good as the high port head was after six months. Currently it flows 335cfm on my bench, which is pretty good on my bench. My bench reads much lower than other benches but I like it that way because when I port an set of heads for a customer if he takes it to another bench it will read better not worse.
7-24-2009 I had a major set back on the heads I was going to run for the competition. The heads I had been working on for the last six months will not be ready for the contest. It is a long story but the basics is there is not enough time. I have odered another set of heads and we will see how they turn out. I think they should do as well as the heads I had been working on.
A couple of new things to pass on. I now have a seat grinder so I should be able to valve jobs soon. (I need to get use to using this machine) I have been doing some research on my flow bench and I would like to share with you something I learned. I have a Trick Flow 195cc 23degee head I have been working on different ideas. The latest idea was to increase the valve size. I went from a 2.02 intake to a 2.08. This is a standard valve spacing head so this 2.08 valve size is very safe. You could put a 2.10 intake valve in it but I will do small tests at a time. My assumption with running the larger valve is that it would gain some flow in the midlifts but gain very little in the upper valve lifts. It was acutally the opposite. The head gained 2-3cfm from .1-.3 then at .4- it gained 5cfm but at .5 it gained 10cfm, at .6it gained 11cfm and at .7 it gained 6cfm. This was just from haveing the valve seat cut out to 2.08 no port work. Pretty good gain for the effort involved. It probably would be worth 20hp on this head on a properly equipped engine. Not bad for the $150 it would cost to have them cut out, of course you still have to buy the valves.
Another note I got a hold of a set of 461 double humps I had ported about 12years ago. It was the 3rd set of heads I had ported at the time. I had them cut them out for 2.02/1.6 valves and they were on a friend of mines circle track car. He did very well with them. Anyway, I got them back so I could flow test them. They actually flowed fairly decent. I have learned a lot since porting those heads. The heads flowed 240cfm on intake at .500 and 175cfm on exhaust at .600. I tried a different intake and exhaust valves but they just made the heads flow more at low lifts and less at the high lifts. Those use to be the best heads to have because no one could afford the Dart heads at the time and the vortec heads had just started getting on race cars. I would not use these heads now. The vortec head flows better than stock double humps and almost beat these amatuer ported double hump heads I did. I only beat them by 3cfm at .5 but the vortec's beat my heads by 11cfm at .4. Currently I can get a Vortec head to flow 250cfm on intake and 185cfm on exhaust fairly easily, far improvement from 12years ago.
Another note I will be raising my prices in the next two weeks. I already charge far less than what others charge. Even with the price increase I will still be charging about $300 less to port a set of heads than what I am hearing several other people charge to port a set of heads. I know everybody hates it when prices go up, especially in this economy, but it is a lot work to port a set of heads. I will give you an example the air conditioner repair man charges $90 per hour just to come out and look at my air conditioner. It takes me between 8 and 10 hours to do a basic port job on a set of aluminum cylinder heads and between 9 and 11 hours to do cast iron heads. I was charging $150 for that. That averages out to between 18.75-15.00dollars an hour to do aluminum heads and 16.66-13.63dollars an hour for cast iron. That sounds like it is still good pay but look at the equipment I use to do the port job. The flowbench is around $4000 with the bore adapters. The grinder is around $300 before I buy any of the carbide burs which cost at least $15 a piece and I have about 15 of those. The other factor for increasing the cost is the risk I take porting the heads. If I go porting to much to find extra airflow I could find water and then I have to buy a set of heads for a customer and that could cost at least $1000. Another thing to think about is my knowledge in porting heads. Not everyone can port a set of heads, some people think they can but then they end up being my customers. There are many people out there that can convice people they can port heads then when the customer gets the head back it is worse then when they brought it to the person. The customer never knows and assumes the guy did a good job. I give every customer a flow sheet before and after so you can see if I made any changes and how much. Don't get me wrong flow numbers are not every thing but it is a helpful tool. Don't get suckered. I at least I don't charge you $90 to look at your heads and tell you they could be better.
Good luck racing and keep checking back for updates and as always if you have questions or need help feel free to call or write.
6-3-2009 I have been working very hard on the heads for the Jeg's Engine Masters Challenge. I few months ago I would have said it is impossible to get a 23 degree head to flow 340cfm on my bench. I thought there are a lot of people B.S.ing their flow numbers. Well they probably still might be B.S.ing their numbers but it is possible. Here is the numbers where I am calling it quit on the intake port of the head. These flow numbers are from a Superflow 600 but my bench numbers are very close. I backed up the test several times. Here are the numbers. Remember this is a 23degree small block chevy head.
This head will be available as a CNC ported head after the competition. There will be two version available. One is a slightly raised runner and the other is a taller raised runner head. (Although not near the height of an ALL Pro raised runner head)More specs will be available after the competition.
4-7-09 New flow numbers update on the head for this years Engine Masters Challenge. Flow test Number 72
Yes finally improvement. I don't think I can get a hole lot more out of it because of the valve size.
3-28-09 I have done a lot of work since my last blog. Here is the rundown. I put an eight point roll cage in the Malibu. In the process of doing this I discovered even more rust. I ripped out the rear seat belts by hand. The floor was so rusted the it couldn't hold the seat belt harness. I am glad I decided to put in a cage, otherwise I would not have noticed the rear seat belts. I have almost got the Camaro ready for drag strip I just need to get an ignition. The thing that has taken the most of time is getting this cylinder head ready for the 2009 Jeg's Engine Masters Challenge, I just got accepted last week. I worked on this head for the last month and half it is very frustrating because you can be doing great then the next thing you know the head flows horribly. I am on flow test number 43 and I have not even started on the exhaust. Here are the latest numbers.
Not bad but a long way from were I want it. By the way these numbers are from my flowbench. I have flowed the head on a Superflow 600 bench and the numbers were up by about 10cfm. Keep reading to see how it is going.
3-7-09 I wish I had time to blog more often but I stay pretty busy. I have been working on my Malibu, which now has a similar version of the engine I used in the 2007 Jeg's Engine Masters Challenge in it. It runs but the suspension needs addressed. After the engine was put in the car the car sat really low, which I don't mind but I did some investigation and found a BROKEN front spring. New ones are on the way but I can't drive the way it is now.
I have started working on the heads for this years Engine Masters Challenge. (I still don't know if I have been accepted yet.)I have seen other contestants from previous years already posting their horsepower numbers already. I have not got near that far yet. I have decided that I will post my flow numbers for the heads that I will be running at the competition. I will not tell you how I got those numbers or even what head I am using. I will say that it is a Brodix small block chevy head that started at 200cc. Here is what it flowed when I got it.(Intake only, I have not started on the exhaust)
I am currently on flow test number 12. I have about 17hours on just this intake port and I am far from done. Here is what it is flowing on the intake currently.
Keep reading to see what happens. The numbers might go down, this is a trial and error deal. Some days I have more errors.
1-16-2009 I have started working on the Malibu. The car came looking like a grandma car but I am making significant progress to make it look and run like a mean street machine. The major problem that I am facing is rust. Usually rust takes out the floor boards but this car had it in the floor boards and the frame. I bought this car sight unseen. I had my father look at the car because it was in his home town before I bought it. I love my father but he will not look underneath a car. When I hauled the car back to my shop. I noticed the rear bumper was sitting lower on one side. I touched the bumper and it almost feel off. I got underneath and this is what I saw.
Notice the nice mounts for the bumper. I no have this problem fixed. I will try to post pictures of the finished repair soon. It is definetly stronger now. Point of the story look under the car before you buy it.
1-4-2009 This year I have started my new project called Rust Bucket. It is a 1979 Malibu that has more rust than metal. I have already started repairing the frame and the body. I am waiting for some parts to come in so I can put the drive train in. I will keep you updated.
10-25-2008 It has been very long since I have written a blog. I have been very busy with the engine for this years Jeg's Engine Master Challenge. The competition was a couple of weeks ago and I did very well. I built a 406 small block chevy it made 624hp and 572ft/lb of torque on its best run. The average horsepower and torque were