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Aftermarket Heads Early '86

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Old 02-17-2018, 09:41 AM
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NPetts
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Default Aftermarket Heads Early '86

Good morning, all!

I know this topic has been covered before, but most of the threads have old, inactive links.

I have an early '86 with iron heads. It's higher mileage and wearing out, so a top end rebuild is in the works. I've been looking at aftermarket upgrades as far as heads and cams are concerned. The problem is that I'm not sure what SBC stuff will fit on a 'vette L98. Does anyone have way recommendations?

It's an automatic, just for reference. I'm wanting to keep it streetable. I'm also budget conscious, but I don't want to cheap out.

Thank you all for your help!
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:13 AM
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rlane5
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The GM performance heads and Edelbrock are a good a decently priced. But if the engine have high mileage, I would put a crate engine in.
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Old 02-17-2018, 11:40 AM
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1984Z51auto
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I would think the iron head 290 HP crate engine would fill the bill if you are using the stock induction.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:45 PM
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Kevova
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You can get a reconditioned set of l98 113 aluminum heads. GMPP released vortec heads with the standard intake bolt pattern.
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Old 02-17-2018, 09:57 PM
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John A. Marker
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If your block is high mileage, the recommendations to go to a new block makes sense. You have to consider that if you put on new heads (perhaps even increase the compression a little) your weak point are now the old rings. You will start to consume oil and you will start to experience the loss of power as the rings begin to wear faster. Consider a GN short block like the ZZ4 or other blocks. Then upgrade to aluminum heads.
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Old 02-17-2018, 10:11 PM
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Kevova
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You may want to have a compression and leak down tests prior to repairs to determine the soundness of the engine. The leak down test will indicate how well the rings are sealing. What is high mileage?
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Old 02-18-2018, 08:09 AM
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NPetts
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It has 162K on it right now. It doesn't consume oil, but does have a very slight valve guide leak (only notice it on cold starts, no smoke after that). I'll look into getting the engine tested to ensure those seals are good. I may even look into a lower end rebuild.

These are all great suggestions. I'll look into the crate engine option too, but that may be a long term goal due to costs.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:25 AM
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with 162k it burns oil guaranteed...why put nice heads/cam then worry about leaning on the bottom end? keep it running and plan for your next motor to swap out on a weekend.
A simple 10-1 2 bolt bottom end, some decent heads, a reasonable cam headers will really pick it up. AFR 180s TFS 175 are real nice performers
Vortecs are ok but getting dated.You can run a cast crank nothing exotic needed...if you get the itch its less than 200 to make it a 383
A Scat 9000 cast crank is cheap and very strong

pm tpi421vette or rklessdriver bet they can save you some $

Last edited by cuisinartvette; 02-18-2018 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:27 AM
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NPetts
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Excellent idea, I think I'll go ahead with that. Thank you all for your input!
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:29 AM
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dmaxx3500
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Originally Posted by John A. Marker View Post
If your block is high mileage, the recommendations to go to a new block makes sense. You have to consider that if you put on new heads (perhaps even increase the compression a little) your weak point are now the old rings. You will start to consume oil and you will start to experience the loss of power as the rings begin to wear faster. Consider a GN short block like the ZZ4 or other blocks. Then upgrade to aluminum heads.
how about rings and bearings?,maybe a cam swap and an eng rebuild,why would need a new block
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Old 02-18-2018, 12:01 PM
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NPetts
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For me, the rationale would be: if I'm putting forth the effort, why not upgrade? Believe me, I'm considering a rebuild, as well. But the allure of an upgrade is strong.

It'll be some time before I execute this plan; I'll mull it over and let you all know. Maybe I'll start a thread with updates on the rebuild, whenever I start it.

Does anyone who has done a rebuild have an approximate cost range?

Last edited by NPetts; 02-18-2018 at 12:03 PM.
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