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best heads for a sbc 383 for towing?

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

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bones263
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best heads for a sbc 383 for towing?

Post by bones263 »

I'm building a sbc 383 for my 93 suburban i have the short blk. and a lunati cam specs are 262/268adv dur. 219/227 at .050 468/489 lift 112 lsa. this will be a tbi motor. we have emissions gear ratio is 3.55 and 31in. tires. i have been looking at heads 170cc up to 210cc runner. i know smaller is better. but want to get best bang for the bucks! how are all this new heads like patriot/procomp/rhs/pbm/eq, and the ones some guys don,t give a name that are alumn . that you see on ebay. patriot says use there 185cc cast head. whitesperformance says 210 procomps. cast or alumn? it looks like the stk vortechs are a real good heads.i know afr is best but they cost to much for a low buck build. if this is to much motor for the tbi i could take all the compuetr stuff out and go with a carb and intake as long as it passes the emission tail pipe test.
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Re: best heads for a sbc 383 for towing?

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bones263 wrote:I'm building a sbc 383 for my 93 suburban i have the short blk. and a lunati cam specs are 262/268adv dur. 219/227 at .050 468/489 lift 112 lsa. this will be a tbi motor. we have emissions gear ratio is 3.55 and 31in. tires. i have been looking at heads 170cc up to 210cc runner. i know smaller is better. but want to get best bang for the bucks! how are all this new heads like patriot/procomp/rhs/pbm/eq, and the ones some guys don,t give a name that are alumn . that you see on ebay. patriot says use there 185cc cast head. whitesperformance says 210 procomps. cast or alumn? it looks like the stk vortechs are a real good heads.i know afr is best but they cost to much for a low buck build. if this is to much motor for the tbi i could take all the compuetr stuff out and go with a carb and intake as long as it passes the emission tail pipe test.
I like the Dart Iron Eagle S/S heads.
You can get them in the Vortec configuration or std. port.
165 cc port volume,2.02/1.60,or 1.94/1.50 valves,67,72,76, cc combustion chambers.
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Post by bones263 »

will i be better off with the 1.94 valves or 2.02 i here it makes more torque with smaller valves.
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Post by new engine builder »

bones263 wrote:will i be better off with the 1.94 valves or 2.02 i here it makes more torque with smaller valves.
I.M.O.,in a Surburan with a 3.55 gear and a 31 tall tire I would run the smaller valves.
I looked at you cam specs. and I think you may need to run a looser torque converter.
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Post by WeingartnerRacing »

I run Edelbrock E-tec 170 on my 350 that has 10:1 compression, hydraulic cam that is .442/.469 with 214/224 duration at .050. It has the Edelbrock performer EPS intake, 1 5/8 headers, and an Edelbrock 600cfm carb. The engine pulls hard and is great when I tow a car. It also pulls 19.5inch of vacum at idle. I like this set up but if you want to get the best bang for the buck I would go with either the vortec heads or the patriot heads and do a little port work. As far as 2.02 or 1.94 valve I don't think it will matter in your situation.
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Post by CamKing »

Your cam is too big for towing.
With a 383, it won't hurt the torque to run 2.02"-1.60" valves.
I'd look at a small Aluminum head like the edelbrocks. That'll allow you a little more compression, and that will help with the low-end power.
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Post by new engine builder »

CamKing wrote:Your cam is too big for towing.
With a 383, it won't hurt the torque to run 2.02"-1.60" valves.
I'd look at a small Aluminum head like the edelbrocks. That'll allow you a little more compression, and that will help with the low-end power.
One area I over looked was the alu. heads ability to disapate heat better than cast Iron.
In other words a little less chance to "rattle" the engine.
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Post by bones263 »

so will my tbi set up work or will i need a chip or bigger tbi or run a carb setup. also this lunati cam part no 60102 says it will work with stk converter.
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Post by new engine builder »

bones263 wrote:so will my tbi set up work or will i need a chip or bigger tbi or run a carb setup. also this lunati cam part no 60102 says it will work with stk converter.
I knew the cam was to big for towing.
I was trying to "band-aid" it by saying you need a looser converter to get the engine to rpm more before the truck moves.
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Post by CamKing »

bones263 wrote: also this lunati cam part no 60102 says it will work with stk converter.
A 260@.050" cam will work with a stock converter too. It just won't work well.

I just looked at the Lunati catalog.
Why would you bypass the two smaller cams that say they're for towing, and go to the one that doesn't say anything about towing?
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Post by Ron C. »

Trust me, what CamKing is say about the cam is to big for towing is the truth and you will be sorry if you don't take the advice. The cam you chose will move the power band above where the motor will be towing and will hurt gas mileage and torque.

Been there done that and sorry for it.

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Post by needforspeed66gt »

We put the big block injector pod on the 383 TBI motors, the computers are very dumb for those trucks and you need custom programming for your setup - a generic tune will not work right.
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Post by MaxFlow »

Since you more than likely have the automatic with overdrive I'd pay close attention to the rpms at the gear change.....o/d to d and drive back to o/d.
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Post by rustbucket79 »

Agreed that if you have overdrive you have too much tire diameter for the gear ratio. IMHO you don't have enough gearing for towing even with stock diameter tires unless you don't have much for hills in your area.

We tried the 383 build/vortec heads in an early 90's tbi setup, even with a GM tech who's knowledgeable with EFI and had his own chip burner, it was a dog. It idled/ran OK, but was less than awe inspiring. We had headers and dual exhaust, edelbrock vortec performer intake, tbi adapter, Holley (IIRC) oversize TB.

At the risk of being flamed here, I feel the best heads are the ones you removed with the small intake runners and port swirls. You have a setup that will spend the bulk of its time from 1200 to 3200. The vortec heads (and engines) are great, but if you've driven in one you'll notice the computer has no problem dropping down a gear and letting it rev to 5000 or so. I don't think the tbi does much above 4000 other than make noise, now you've added another 10% displacement to it. I too would recommend a smaller cam, anything in the 200 to 208 range @ .050 intake will do the trick.

I don't know if I would build another "performance" tbi engine, I mean a job is a job but I certainly wouldn't recommend one ever again.

We never tried it, but it would have been interesting to put a small 4 bbl carb on it, I think it would have helped.
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Post by af2 »

rustbucket79 wrote:Agreed that if you have overdrive you have too much tire diameter for the gear ratio. IMHO you don't have enough gearing for towing even with stock diameter tires unless you don't have much for hills in your area.

We tried the 383 build/vortec heads in an early 90's tbi setup, even with a GM tech who's knowledgeable with EFI and had his own chip burner, it was a dog. It idled/ran OK, but was less than awe inspiring. We had headers and dual exhaust, edelbrock vortec performer intake, tbi adapter, Holley (IIRC) oversize TB.

At the risk of being flamed here, I feel the best heads are the ones you removed with the small intake runners and port swirls. You have a setup that will spend the bulk of its time from 1200 to 3200. The vortec heads (and engines) are great, but if you've driven in one you'll notice the computer has no problem dropping down a gear and letting it rev to 5000 or so. I don't think the tbi does much above 4000 other than make noise, now you've added another 10% displacement to it. I too would recommend a smaller cam, anything in the 200 to 208 range @ .050 intake will do the trick.
I don't know if I would build another "performance" tbi engine, I mean a job is a job but I certainly wouldn't recommend one ever again.

We never tried it, but it would have been interesting to put a small 4 bbl carb on it, I think it would have helped.
Having built one myself with the same heads as rustbucket mentioned but with 33" tires you will like the low end. I used a .210/.210@.050. Passed smog perfect! Good power to 4000! Towing heavy cargo was a breeze and 15 mpg at 70 was nice also loaded down.
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