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  • Lessons learned

    So, a few months ago I picked up a pair of refurbished Vortec heads from eBay for just over $400. Took em to a machine shop to have the valve guides machined down. I was having trouble reassembling it, valves didn't actually seem to line up. I took em to a shop and they told me the guides were machined incorrectly somehow (not sure how that happens, I gotta learn more about machining)
    Well, Friday I get a call, and apparently the heads were cracked, so they got pinned, but th crack continued to propagate. I can't return them because I had them machined
    Next time I'm gonna magnaflux them myself before I go through this.
    I also think I'm just gonna get a crate motor now.
    Rumors of my demise by rollover have been greatly exaggerated.

  • #2
    Crate motors these days are probably the best fiscal solution over machining parts and rebuilding an old motor.

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    • #3
      I've been curious to hear if anyone has used any of these heads in their build. It's kind of hard to justify machining a set of used heads when these things are around. The big block ones have me raising my eyebrow to get some weight off the nose.

      https://www.ebay.com/itm/fit-Chevy-S....c100008.m2219

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      • #4
        No info on those but you might want to look at the BluePrint heads. The ones on the SBF in the Volvo seem excellent and I've heard good things about their other heads, too. They're cast in China but to US standards.

        Dan

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        • #5
          Man that sucks, sorry to hear it. I've heard plenty of head guys say something that sounds like "it may have been new, but that didn't mean it was right" and spend money getting it "right" to their standards. You'd want to get the right springs for your cam anyway (sounds like you were trying to do that). From all I can tell, Blueprint actually works up a package and not just a bunch of parts bolted together.

          Returns for a cracked head shouldn't be a question, machining be damned, but the kind of machinist that can't set up 23* heads with inline valves to get a valve concentric to the seat probably won't notice if the valve spring pocket has been made deeper or the guides trimmed. They should have picked up on that during the valve job, seat won't be consistent when you lap the valve.

          youtube look up VGS 20 sunnen for some ideas of what a lot of machine shops use for valve guide work. The channel Fiatnutz has one on a 324 Olds head that uses an older manual machine that is interesting.
          Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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          • #6
            I wish I knew you needed heads, even more so that you needed Vortec heads....
            Doing it all wrong since 1966

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SuperBuickGuy View Post
              I wish I knew you needed heads, even more so that you needed Vortec heads....
              Sounds like he still does.... ;) And probably an intake to go with it? :| :|

              I was serious about return for refund, doesn't matter if they were machined. You will eat the machine shop costs, but the 400.00 for the heads should be returned, at least for the cracked one. It's not like Vortec heads are rare, there's no point in fooling with them if they have any cracks.
              Last edited by Beagle; June 22, 2020, 08:56 AM.
              Flying south, with a flock of bird dogs.

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              • #8
                These expensive lessons really suck.
                My fabulous web page

                "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Monster View Post
                  Crate motors these days are probably the best fiscal solution over machining parts and rebuilding an old motor.
                  Yeah.....I've got an Olds 455 to rebuild and I'm wondering if it's really worth it. Short block might be the best answer for a street motor.
                  Ed, Mary, & 'Earl'
                  HRPT LongHaulers, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.


                  Inside every old person is a young person wondering, "what the hell happened?"

                  The man at the top of the mountain didn't fall there. -Vince Lombardi

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                  • #10
                    vortec with cracks and needing guides...

                    wow.
                    don't even bother. you can pluck 450k mile ones off a junk motor and go 900k miles more with no rebuild.

                    someone did something like NOS or something to your purchase.
                    Previously boxer3main
                    the death rate and fairy tales cannot kill the nature left behind.

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