Speed-Talk is running on www.Speed-Talk.com

IMPORTANT: Update your bookmarks to https://www.speed-talk.com/forum/
(Right-click the URL and select "Bookmark this link")

Vortec heads on '71 400" SBC - any problems?

General engine tech -- Drag Racing to Circle Track

Moderator: Team

Post Reply
PackardV8
Guru
Guru
Posts: 7043
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:03 pm
Location: Spokane, WA

Vortec heads on '71 400" SBC - any problems?

Post by PackardV8 »

A guy on another forum has an engine swap he's decoding - a '71 400" with '86 Vortec heads. He bought it in the car and it's been running fine for some years now. However, some guys have him worried it's going to explode any minute because "only the 400" heads and gaskets have the steam holes."

I just realized I've never done exactly that OEM combination of parts. Anything he should know?

jack vines
Jack Vines
Studebaker-Packard V8 Limited
Obsolete Engineering
binderman
New Member
New Member
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:18 am
Location: sw Iowa

Re: Vortec heads on '71 400" SBC - any problems?

Post by binderman »

As long as they drilled the steam holes in the heads and used the right head gasket he will be fine.....
CNC BLOCKS
Guru
Guru
Posts: 4653
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2004 6:34 am
Location: NORTHEAST
Contact:

Re: Vortec heads on '71 400" SBC - any problems?

Post by CNC BLOCKS »

I have run that combo with out steam holes and no problems.
Website is up and running
http://hinksonautomotive-cncblocks.com/
Machine shop tour
http://hinksonautomotive-cncblocks.com/shop-tour/
Monthly Specials
http://hinksonautomotive-cncblocks.com/specials/
55MM babbit cam bearings with 1 hole
bigjoe1
Show Guest
Show Guest
Posts: 6199
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:16 pm
Location: santa ana calif-92703
Contact:

Re: Vortec heads on '71 400" SBC - any problems?

Post by bigjoe1 »

I have built hundreds of 400 engines, WITHOUT the steam holes, and never had a problem.. Guys used to send me their heads for me to drilol the holes, becaused I only charged 80 dollars to do the job, but I never did it for my own stuff---


JOE SHERMAN RACING
ProPower engines
Guru
Guru
Posts: 8645
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2007 1:16 pm
Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: Vortec heads on '71 400" SBC - any problems?

Post by ProPower engines »

The steam holes are only required if there is going to be extended idling time according to GMP
And I have done lots of engines and again never drilled steam holes. From memory the SHP 4.125" dart block does not have then either.
Jack
Are you sure they are 86? Typo maybe? They had what guys call a vortec head with center bolt covers that started in 87 but the real vortec heads did not come out till 1996
Real Race Cars Don't Have Doors
PackardV8
Guru
Guru
Posts: 7043
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:03 pm
Location: Spokane, WA

Re: Vortec heads on '71 400" SBC - any problems?

Post by PackardV8 »

Thanks for all the reassurances. That will let him relax now.

I haven't actually seen the engine. What he probably has are the post-'87 heads, because they are definitely center bolt.

jack vines
Jack Vines
Studebaker-Packard V8 Limited
Obsolete Engineering
User avatar
af2
HotPass
HotPass
Posts: 6906
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2007 4:42 pm
Location: Grass Valley, CA :Northern Foothills

Re: Vortec heads on '71 400" SBC - any problems?

Post by af2 »

The real Vortec head is from 1995 to 2000. A lot of people call the 1986 and on Vortec when they are not. The intake bolt pattern will tell you with 4 per side.
GURU is only a name.
Adam
Post Reply