Get high-dollar glory
for the iron head price with...
aluminum heads from Patriot
Anytime you can find a brand-new set of small-block Chevy aluminum heads complete with val
`If you want the glamorous look and easy porting that come with a set of top-of-the-line aluminum cylinder heads without the big price, the new line of alloy small-block Chevy heads from Patriot Performance will do the trick. Patriot sells these small-block Chevy assembled heads for $795 a pair ready to bolt on, so they'll give you the street cred you crave and a little extra horsepower to boot.
There are several ways to evaluate cylinder heads besides just price. Frankly, just because a set of heads is affordable doesn't mean they're a good buy. We decided to both flow-test them and then wring 'em out on an engine. The test consisted of using both a SuperFlow 600 flow bench and then the engine dyno. We started by bolting on a set of iron Vortec heads and comparing them to the new Patriots using a flat-top piston, 355ci small-block. In our opinion, the Vortecs are now the new standard by which all mild small-block Chevy heads should be compared. So let the test begin!
Rebuilt Iron vs. New Aluminum
Let's suppose you're an entry-level car crafter with a limited budget about to rebuild a small-block Chevy. We'll assume that, as with most worn-out iron heads, the castings will need new guides, valves, springs, retainers, keepers, machined for positive seals, screw-in studs and guideplates, and a performance valve job. By the time all this work is finished, you will have a minimum of $500 to $800 invested in a set of ancient iron heads that don't flow all that well. Or you could invest in a set of all-new Patriot aluminum heads that are lighter, easier to repair if they have a problem, and still offer a performance advantage over earlier stock iron heads. One disadvantage may be that these Patriot heads are only available with 64cc chambers, which can pump the static compression up slightly compared to a set of 76cc heads. This smaller chamber is advantageous if used on a smaller-displacement engine like a 327.
The Patriot 188cc heads are available only with 64cc chambers (we measured 66 cc), but do offer the advantage of a late-model-style chamber configuration. In previous dyno tests, we've concluded that there is no real advantage in terms of iron versus aluminum when it comes to power.
The Patriot 188cc heads are available only with 64cc chambers (we measured 66cc), but do o
The 188cc Patriot heads are hand-blended from the seat insert to the bowl area. Nonblende
The 188cc Patriot heads are hand-blended from the seat insert to the bowl area. Nonblended heads are also available if you wish to do the work yourself. It appears there may be an advantage to doing this if you have some experience with a grinder.
We had Slover's Porting Service machine our Vortec iron heads for screw-in studs just to m
We had Slover's Porting Service machine our Vortec iron heads for screw-in studs just to make them more reliable. Scoggin-Dickey had already modified the heads to accommodate more valve lift.
The Patriot Freedom Series 188cc heads come with 2.02/1.60-inch stainless steel valves, flat-tappet hydraulic valvesprings, and screw-in studs and guideplates. The castings look especially nice considering their price.
The Patriot Freedom Series 199cc heads come with 2.02/1.60-inch stainless steel valves, fl
The Patrio heads come complete with 1.250-inch valvesprings, 3/8-inch screw-in studs, and
The Patriot heads come complete with 1.250-inch valvesprings, 38-inch screw-in studs, and raised guideplates and are drilled for both perimeter and centerbolt valve covers. As you can see, the castings are excellent.