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Options for fixing head valve issue (not swapping heads)

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Old 01-04-2018, 04:40 PM   #1  
Synacks
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Default Options for fixing head valve issue (not swapping heads)

What are the minimum required parts and labor required for simply fixing the stock LS7 heads valve issue. I don't want to upgrade and I have a great mechanic that will do the work.

Again, just want the fix only.

I can't find any threads that have the fix only, just a bunch of them with people swapping or upgrading heads to do the fix.

Thank you
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Old 01-04-2018, 05:22 PM   #2  
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AHP.

http://www.americanheritageperformance.com/services.html

Package 4 Cylinder Heads (includes):

- Disassemble and Assembly of LS7 cylinder heads
- Performance Valve Job (show to add 5hp+ over the stock valve job)
- Resurface Heads (or milling of heads)
- Clean and Bead Blast entire head (so they look brand new)
- Hardened Aftermarket Powder Metal Valve Guides (Harder than aftermarket bronze guides)
- Stock Titanium Intake Valves Treated and Polished
- Ferrea Competition Plus Exhaust Valves F2042P (85 grams)
- New Viton Valve Seals and machined valve locks
Total price for American Heritage Package 4 LS7 heads: $1,358 (plus return shipping W/insurance)


And you can also just buy a set of already fixed heads from them for an additional $1000 (core charge) and receive back the $1000 when you send in your heads. This way you have minimal downtime.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:25 PM   #3  
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^ This...doesn't get much easier.

I did AHP heads, on my otherwise stock car. I opted for AHP's MS90 guides, PSI 1511 springs w/Ti retainers, and CHE trunion kit....but I didn't use aftermarket heads, I still have my OE cam, etc.
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:35 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synacks View Post
What are the minimum required parts and labor required for simply fixing the stock LS7 heads valve issue. I don't want to upgrade and I have a great mechanic that will do the work.

Again, just want the fix only.

I can't find any threads that have the fix only, just a bunch of them with people swapping or upgrading heads to do the fix.

Thank you
The Gentlemen above are steering you in the correct direction!

If your looking for longevity and reliability out of your head rework we are your answer.

Our Package 4 heads are the way the heads should have come from the factory.

If your doing the swap yourself we have a full head install kit that contain all parts you need to do the swap correctly (gaskets, etc...) and as we do here in our shop.
We also have core sets of heads in stock for those that dont want any down time (send back your old heads for your core deposit back).

http://www.americanheritageperformance.com/
310-326-2399

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Old 01-05-2018, 05:42 AM   #5  
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I third the AHP option. I used them myself. I did go with the MS90 guides though.
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:52 PM   #6  
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Thanks all. So this really is the most affordable option (that is reliable) if you're doing it yourself?
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Old 01-05-2018, 07:36 PM   #7  
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Unless you or your mechanic are willing and capable enough to install the guides/valves yourselves into the heads then yes the option I listed is very affordable and extremely reliable. It has been used by many, many, many members here and many guys I know that don't even come on the Corvette forum all with excellent, reliable results.

There are other places that do this as well: WCCH, AI etc, and all are very reliable options with reasonable prices. But AHP would be my recommendation.

Again, you can do it one of two ways:

1) Remove your heads and mail them to AHP. Leave your heads partially assembled (leave the valve springs on). You should remove the rocker arms, spark plugs, coolant temp sensor and the intake valve lash caps (they just pull off with a magnet). Then mail them the heads with the valve springs on. They will perform the service/work on your heads and send them back. Depending on their workload this will take a number of weeks. It will cost $1358 plus shipping plus new head gaskes plus whatever the labor your mechanic charges. The labor should not exceed $1000 or he is overcharging you. $800 is reasonable. So figure $1358 + $100 shipping + $80 head gaskets + $800 to $1000 install. So between $2300-$2500 and it is done and fixed and reliable. Make sure your mechanic re-installs the lash caps.

2) Simply buy fixed head directly from AHP for $2358. Once received, remove yours and put theirs on. Then send AHP back YOUR heads and receive back $1000 (core deposit). The rest of the costs remain the same, except now your mechanic needs to move the springs over as well, unless you have purchased new springs from AHP which would then already be on your new heads they send you. Make sure your mechanic re-installs the lash caps. This option gets you back on the road faster as you are not waiting for your heads to be worked on and sent back to you. Again cost is the same, just happens faster.
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Old 01-05-2018, 07:42 PM   #8  
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If going with AHP as I did, I also suggest forking out the extra $$ for the MS90 guides.
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Old 01-05-2018, 07:44 PM   #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordeth View Post
Unless you or your mechanic are willing and capable enough to install the guides/valves yourselves into the heads then yes the option I listed is very affordable and extremely reliable. It has been used by many, many, many members here and many guys I know that don't even come on the Corvette forum all with excellent, reliable results.

There are other places that do this as well: WCCH, AI etc, and all are very reliable options with reasonable prices. But AHP would be my recommendation.

Again, you can do it one of two ways:

1) Remove your heads and mail them to AHP. Leave your heads partially assembled (leave the valve springs on). You should remove the rocker arms, spark plugs, coolant temp sensor and the intake valve lash caps (they just pull off with a magnet). Then mail them the heads with the valve springs on. They will perform the service/work on your heads and send them back. Depending on their workload this will take a number of weeks. It will cost $1358 plus shipping plus new head gaskes plus whatever the labor your mechanic charges. The labor should not exceed $1000 or he is overcharging you. $800 is reasonable. So figure $1358 + $100 shipping + $80 head gaskets + $800 to $1000 install. So between $2300-$2500 and it is done and fixed and reliable. Make sure your mechanic re-installs the lash caps.

2) Simply buy fixed head directly from AHP for $2358. Once received, remove yours and put theirs on. Then send AHP back YOUR heads and receive back $1000 (core deposit). The rest of the costs remain the same, except now your mechanic needs to move the springs over as well, unless you have purchased new springs from AHP which would then already be on your new heads they send you. Make sure your mechanic re-installs the lash caps. This option gets you back on the road faster as you are not waiting for your heads to be worked on and sent back to you. Again cost is the same, just happens faster.
My buddy/mechanic is a GM Master Tech with over 30 years experience. If we were simply to do the job to fix the valve issue, what parts would I have to purchase?

Thanks for everyone's input.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:04 PM   #10  
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Quote:
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My buddy/mechanic is a GM Master Tech with over 30 years experience. If we were simply to do the job to fix the valve issue, what parts would I have to purchase?

Thanks for everyone's input.

That says nothing regarding his ability to repair cylinder heads, which is usually accomplished by a machine shop or someone capable and experienced with actually working on the heads themselves. "GM Master Techs" are trained to "R+R" (Remove and replace). So a GM Master Tech at a dealership or elsewhere would simply remove your heads and replace with new OEM heads (which would also likely be defective) if a defect or failure was found in your existing heads (like valve stem to guide clearance exceeding tolerances) . Additionally, if he doesn't know the EXACT parts you need (and I assume as much since you are asking here), then he shouldn't be actually working on the heads themselves, but rather just performing the extremely simple job of removing them (which could be done in your garage yourself) and then putting them back on (which could also be done in your garage yourself). A "GM Master Tech" is not needed for any part of this procedure. If you want to save money, then cut him out of the equation, not AHP - who actually knows exactly what needs to be done to fix your heads and has the proper tools/machinery to do so.

But to answer your question, you need new valve guides, new exhaust valves, you need to inspect your intake valves and either replace or treat them, new valve seals/locks, new head gaskets, springs should be inspected, heads should be cleaned. If your "GM Master Tech" doesn't know this exactly without checking with the Corvette forum then he shouldn't be "repairing heads", but rather simply removing them and then reinstalling them once someone else (like AHP) fixes them.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:05 PM   #11  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synacks View Post
My buddy/mechanic is a GM Master Tech with over 30 years experience. If we were simply to do the job to fix the valve issue, what parts would I have to purchase?

Thanks for everyone's input.
You'd need a buddy with a machine shop that knows how to perform a valve job, and has a ton of experience in doing so. This is best left to the pro's, and your GM tech buddy is better suited to R&R the heads.

The reason this needs to be addressed in the first place is improper machining (guide to seat concentricity issues) by GM's supplier...why potentially repeat that.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:13 PM   #12  
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You'd need a buddy with a machine shop that knows how to perform a valve job, and has a ton of experience in doing so. This is best left to the pro's, and your GM tech buddy is better suited to R&R the heads.

The reason this needs to be addressed in the first place is improper machining (guide to seat concentricity issues) by GM's supplier...why potentially repeat that.
I should also note that the guy builds motors all day long for many drag cars. Both gas cars and alcohol dragsters. He does normal and sports cars like Corvettes and Camaros on the side for his friends and family. So whatever I asked him to do should be within his realm of capability unless he needs to do hardcore fab or machine work.

I came here not asking for him, but for myself. To become knowledgeable and do some homework beforehand so I can cut straight to the chase if I were to ask for him to do it.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:19 PM   #13  
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Quote:
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I should also note that the guy builds motors all day long for many drag cars. Both gas cars and alcohol dragsters. He does normal and sports cars like Corvettes and Camaros on the side for his friends and family. So whatever I asked him to do should be within his realm of capability unless he needs to do hardcore fab or machine work.

I came here not asking for him, but for myself. To become knowledgeable and do some homework beforehand so I can cut straight to the chase if I were to ask for him to do it.
Not questioning his competency as a master mechanic at all...but I can only assume he's not a machinist, equipped with a full machine shop and years of experience with performing 5-angle performance valve jobs. It's sort of like calling a plumber when you needed an electrician....both can be masters at their particular trade, but not necessarily equipped to perform each-others jobs.

Last edited by MTPZ06; 01-05-2018 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 01-05-2018, 08:46 PM   #14  
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Pay him $600 - $800 to remove and replace your heads (good labor price for a friend). Pay AHP $1358 to fix your heads. Pay $80 for a pair of head gaskets. This is the most reliable, cost effective option. I don't know how else to say it and so now I am done saying it.

Alternatively, ask him what he thinks. There is no way for anyone here to know his experience performing valve jobs, including replacing guides on our heads (I have seen hack jobs here). Most mechanics outsource this work to a head-machine shop like AHP, WCCH, Advanced Induction etc who actually do this exact work for a living.

Here were my heads returned to me by AHP. Nice and pretty and fixed. If you saw them before I sent them to AHP, you would not recognize them. I bet your buddy would love to put these heads back on your car.





















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Old 01-06-2018, 08:14 AM   #15  
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The AHP option is a good one, and one that should be looked at, but it can be done cheaper. That package still comes with a lot of upgrades.

Friend mailed his heads to WCCH, paid $800 for clean/valve job/guides and ~$100 in gaskets. Zero issues, running fine with a big cam for 7+ years now.

Or find a local machine shop that can clean/valve job/guides and call it a day. Hard part is finding a competent local machine shop. To me that is a risk I wouldn't take, but if you are looking for cheap/quick, it may work out for you.
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:43 AM   #16  
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quick question, with the heads off, does it make header install easier (from the top)?
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:58 AM   #17  
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IMO no. Not hard from bottom, and wouldn't want headers in that area. Saw one guy take his short block out trying to do that. Tried to slide headers in, one shifted, dinged the block surface and put a nice dent in the aluminum, making his block a nice paperweight.
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Old 01-11-2018, 02:05 AM   #18  
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quick question, with the heads off, does it make header install easier (from the top)?

Iit only make it slightly easier but then as mentioned above you have to pay attention not to hit the block decks.

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Old 01-13-2018, 01:41 AM   #19  
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When I needed LS7 heads repaired I sent them to WCCH. Amazing attention to detail, great customer service, very nice CNC port work, and solid hp gains.












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Old 01-13-2018, 10:37 AM   #20  
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Another vote with the AHP4 heads... Currently running these on my set up.
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