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General Tech Cylinder head costs

Bob Branson

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It's been a long time since I had much machine shop work done, so please lend me your experience. The meta-question is whether to have my 1500 head rebuilt or just buy one already done. I know magnaflux is around $100 here, plus it will then need new valves, hardened seats and guides. If I'm looking north of $500, it seems easier and faster just to pay a little more and buy one already done (maybe an early B.) Thoughts are appreciated.
 

Mickey Richaud

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Several factors here: How much time will yours be in the shop? Any special work you want done (porting, polishing, decking etc.)? Is originality important to you? Do they have a suitable one on the shelf? Will they take yours as a core?

Either way, I don't think there's a wrong answer.

:cheers:
Mickey
 

pdplot

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In 2013, I paid $917.00 for a valve job including hardened seats. In other parts of the country, it most likely would be somewhat cheaper as everything is higher around here.
 

Madflyer

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Time and workmanship That is your choice swap out cost or time at a good shop. They have some Alum. heads but I do not think much of Alum to cast blocks. Let others add to that. And then there is options on head gaskets and shaving the head look at it all. If you do not know what you do not know you may find out the hard way. I know of people that took a night class at local college just to do a motor complete, all tools and help at one place. and they need stuff to teach on. I even know a friend that took a woodshop class in the Bay Area SF and built his sail boat. Madflyer
 
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Bob Branson

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Madflyer, I share your bias against aluminum heads, and there are brand new cast iron ones available for less than pdpilot was charged. I'm kind of leaning that way. Wife has approved the expenditure;-))
 

Madflyer

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The term porting and polish come to mind Your org. head will have rough sand casting that can be smooth a bit for air flow. and gasket trim to ports also needs to be done. As a new head may need more work as to ports to manifolds ports. lips and edges hamper gas flows in and out. Will a new head have valves and spring complete or will they need to be seated also. These are questions you should ask and not just believe are correct out of the box. All added cost. This BLOG will clear up any questions as members are very knowledgeable And GOOD ON YOU with the wife Madflyer
 
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Bob Branson

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UPDATE and final post on this subject (I hope!) Before forking over $700-$900 for a replacement head, and since I had an extra head gasket, I aggressively cleaned and lapped the valves, chased all head bolt and nut threads, flattened the washers and reassembled it with careful increments up to specified torque (50 fp.) Number 3 came up from zero to 145 psi. I can live with that and save the money to spend on something else for the car. Thanks to all who helped.
 

Mickey Richaud

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WELL done, Sir!
 
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