5 Best Aluminum Heads for Small Block Chevy
5 Best Aluminum Heads for Small Block Chevy
4.3 (86%) 20 vote[s]
DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350
High Grade Aluminum, Bronze Valve Guides, Hardened Seats
200 Cc Intake Runner With A 68 Cc Combustion Chamber
Lighter Than Iron Heads
Replacement for Chevy Small Block SBC 200Cc
Advance Port Design For Greater Air Flow
High Grade Aluminum, Bronze Valve Guides, Hardened Seats
68 Cc Combustion Chamber
Racing Head Service 11011
For Street Rods, Drag Racing, Oval Track Racing
Clean Cast Technology. 119 Cc Chamber
For Big Block Chevy
Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Head
64 Cc Combustion Chamber Volume
Exhaust Runner Volume – 60 Cc. Deck Thickness – 9/16"
Intake Runner Volume – 185 Cc
DNA Motoring LEPOW-038
High Grade Aluminum, Bronze Valve Guides, Hardened Seats
Combustion Chamber Volume – 68 Cc. Intake Port – Square
3-Angle Valve Seat

Choose the Best Aluminum Head for Small Block Chevy

Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Aluminum Heads for Small Block Chevy

1104 users answered this survey. Please help us improve this review!

43.03% of users selected DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350, 16.39% selected Replacement for Chevy Small Block SBC 200Cc, 14.4% selected Racing Head Service 11011, 19.2% selected Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Head and 6.97% selected DNA Motoring LEPOW-038. Every month we analyze your answers and change our rating.

The history of Chevrolet manufacturer is very long, but the most exciting part traces back to the 1950s when small engines were produced. Since then till 2003 a lot of models with V8 engines have been produced. Even when its time has passed, a lot of engines from that time are still in use. They have a simple design, which delivers a wonderful performance to drivers.

Nowadays, to keep a low of car owners seek for a way to improve those engines or to install aluminum heads. The market can offer plenty of different models. However, before making a purchase it is important to consider whether you actually need it.

Buying original heads is very expensive. Therefore, here you have a review of five popular models on the market. They are not very expensive, but you need to get the right model and adjust it to your engine in order to have heads working properly. With Buyer’s Guide, you can learn more valuable and helpful information about heads, specifications, and performance of small blocks Chevy.

DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350 – Cheapest Option

DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350In case you need reliable aluminum heads without spending a lot of money, then you should consider CYLH-SBC-350 from DNA Motoring. It is made of high-quality aluminum and its valves from bronze. This unit has improved port design, which greatly increases airflow.

The combustion chamber of 68cc greatly improves the performance of the engine and it allows users to increase the total output. This model is much lighter than iron models which also reduces the overall weight of the vehicle.

Pros

Pros
  • It will serve you properly for many years;
  • Heads are made of sturdy to heat aluminum;
  • You can save a lot of money on this purchase.

Cons

Cons
  • The holes are not centered.

Auto Dynasty SBC 200cc – Best Combination of Price & Value

Auto Dynasty SBC 200ccA lot of car models have Chevy small blocks of various series. To find nice aluminum head become more complicated with every year. However, if you need a model that matches various engines you need SBC 200cc from Auto Dynasty.

 It is compatible with the following types:

  • 302;
  • 327;
  • 350;
  • 383;
  • 400.

The unit is designed to provide excellent combustion and airflow. The bolt holes are predrilled and they have a standard 23-degree angle. This aluminum head you can easily install on various vehicle models up to 1986. It is recommended to use professional assistance if you face any difficulties. 

Pros

Pros
  • Creates wonderful airflow;
  • Reliable hardened seats;
  • It has a long life expectancy.

Cons

Cons
  • Manual is not included in the purchase.

Racing Head Service (RHS) 11011 – Most Powerful Aluminum Head

Racing Head Service (RHS) 11011 Many old cars are wonderful vehicles, which can be driven even today after proper repair. Only their engine lack a bit of power. However, with a new powerful aluminum head, you can improve this issue. Racing Head Service offers the 11011 model.

This aluminum head is suitable for big block Chevy engines. With this unit, you can make your vehicle not only suitable for only roads but also drag and oval track racing.
It offers customers 320cc of intake runner port with 119cc of the combustion chamber. All of that allows you to create wonderful airflow and improve fuel consumption.

Pros

Pros
  • The head is made of sturdy aluminum in a way of clean cast technology;
  • Greatly improves the performance of the engine;
  • The construction is very solid.

Cons

Cons
  • It is not compatible with small blocks.

Edelbrock 5089 – Best for Quality

Edelbrock 5089Edelbrock 5089 is another nice aluminum head for small Chevy engines. It is made of high quality with an aim to greatly improve performance of motors. It is quite heavy, but it endures very high temperatures.

It allows you to change the compression ratio to reduce fuel consumption and bring more power to V8 engines.
All the holes are made with high accuracy, what makes valves and bolts fit very firmly. By installing Edelbrick 5089 you not only increase it optimal performance but also improve its life expectancy.

Pros

Pros
  • It is very easy to install;
  • The unit is made of hardened steel;
  • Valve spring diameters provide wonderful performance.

Cons

Cons
  • It cannot be used with hydraulic roller camshafts.

DNA Motoring LEPOW-038 – Best for Reliable Materials & Build

DNA Motoring LEPOW-038Here is another aluminum head, which you should consider. It is made of reliable sturdy aluminum, which endures high temperatures and provides excellent performance.

It is compatible with a list of small Chevy block series:

  • 302;
  • 327;
  • 350;
  • 383;
  • 400.

It is an aftermarket-oriented aluminum head. It means that you will not have difficulties improving the power output of different models. DNA is a popular company that produces wonderful tools and equipment. As it aims to satisfy customers with quality, you will enjoy using this item.

Pros

Pros
  • Hardened seats and bronze valve guides provide wonderful durability;
  • Greatly enhance the airflow;
  • Improves performance and horsepower of engines.

Cons

Cons
  • Instructions are not included.

The Buyers Guide

Selecting the right cylinder head is not an easy task. The choice has to be very precise according to personal needs. These products can be of various styles and have different specifications. Therefore to make the right choice here is an overview of all important points that you need to know about while selecting aluminum heads for small block Chevy.

Materials

In most cases, heads are made of either aluminum or iron. Plenty of customers take into consideration their funds and prices. Iron is a nice option due to its lower prices, while aluminum models are easier to find, buy, and use.

Speaking about performance, materials also matter. Aluminum heads produce much more power output from the combustion chamber as it conducts heat in a better way. It reduces the chances of motor detonation and increases maximum compression. With iron models, it is difficult to achieve the same result. On the market, various manufacturers produce heads for small block Chevy with both types of materials.

Intake Port Configurations

Aluminum heads greatly differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. It greatly concerns the style of ports. It can be round, oval, rectangle, and even cathedral. While buying one it is very important to ensure what type you need as heads need to match the intake manifold.

Another important point about intake port configurations is their location. It often happens that aftermarket heads have different from standard intake and exhaust ports. In many cases, they are risen to increase the flow. Such application is widespread when several exhaust ports are merged into one. Heads with two separated ports improve cooling and stability.

Intake Port Volume

While checking various specifications of aluminum heads for Chevy you could notice `cc` abbreviation in descriptions. It stands for cubic centimeters and is often referred to as the capacity of the combustion chamber, port flow, and total volume. While speaking about intake port volume it indicates the overall volume of the port, not just the port flow.

You may think that heads with larger ports are better as the flow should be also better. However, small ports can easily compete with them in the flow, air, and power. Quite often small blocks of street engines have a small intake port, which has higher inlet velocity.

By choosing the right head of proper size can improve torque numbers to receive a better throttle response. However, in racing engines, RPM can even decrease. Thus, it is highly recommended to know the type of your engine to figure out which one aluminum head is compatible with it.

CNC Porting

Among various porting, you can encounter CNC. It stands for Computer Numerical Control. Such specification is used to standard cast heads that have been cast in a machined way. Such a process of products involves pouring liquid aluminum or other metal into the head form made of permanent or sand cast mold.

The CNC manufacturing process is very effective in producing large amounts of heads. However, it is less accurate. The main benefit that you can get from CNC porting is that you receive the exact size and shape of the intake runner and combustion chamber what leads to better flow.

Valve Angle

While trying to learn more about aluminum small blocks you will definitely encounter such term as valve angle. It concerns the angle of the valve towards the block deck. Quite often Chevrolet manufacturers release heads with 23-degree valve angle, while aftermarket models can be of various angles. The most popular are from 9 to 18 degrees.

The airflow of the cylinder head greatly depends on the valve angle. By changing it, you can greatly improve performance. In the motion, valve steam exposes the port to more air that flows to the cylinder. It is necessary to mention that non-standard valve angle heads also need new pistons. They need to match to work properly. Most sellers also have them while offering aluminum heads.

Valve Size

Engines and heads have a set of details, where size is very important. With large valves, you can get better flow and performance. However, a lot of customers often forget that small block heads simply do not match very large valves.

Another parameter that goes along with valve size is its spacing. Many aftermarket models are focused on original factory chamber valves. Still, some products offer space for getting the benefits of large valves. There should be indicated a 60/40 shift in specifications.

It provides users with the possibility to move intake and place exhaust valves closer to the cylinder wall. As a result, you can place larger valves and prevent shrouding. To succeed with such improvements reliefs of valve piston have to match in order to work properly.

Combustion Chamber Size

Among various parameters of aluminum heads, combustion chamber size belongs to the category very important. It defines the overall compression ratio of engines. In order to make the right choice of the model, it is necessary to know the preferable compression ratio.

By setting it higher, you can receive much more power for a smaller amount of fuel. Moreover, there will be leas exhaust gases. However, it also increases the temperature engine produces. By adjusting ration improperly, the internal parts will be worn out much faster, and driving in hot weather will be more complicated.

Port Flow

Another point, which you should learn about heads for small Chevy engines, is port flow. Its numbers often indicate the performance of the engine depending on the amount of air that can pass by it. Port flow is often indicated as CFM what means cubic feet of air per minute. As you already know it influences the combustion ratio and performance.

Max Valve Lift

Speaking about engine performance, it is necessary to mention the maximum lift of valves. This specification is often indicated in inches. Even when you can adjust the flow to the maximum lift, you need to leave at least 0.050 inches from the side of the valve spring retainer and top guide valve seal. Such settings prevent valves from hitting and damaging the engine. Coil bind is another name of max valve lift limiter.

Valve Spring Diameter

Valves have springs around them, which play an important role in engine performance. Their diameter is another characteristic that you should pay attention to. Large springs definitely look more impressive and reliable. However, in small blocks, there is no much space for them. Valve springs should not touch each other during the performance or be too close.

Original valve springs have a diameter of 1.25 inches. If you dream about having wonderful output then you should consider 1.437-inch springs. In case you have an aggressive solid roller cammed engine, then springs of 1.550 inches are better for you.

FAQ

What are the best heads to put on a Chevy 350?

When it comes to putting heads on your Chevy 350, you want to make sure you’re getting the best for your engine. Many people swear by aluminum heads, because they help reduce weight and keep the engine running at its peak performance level. Additionally, aluminum heads also offer better cooling and improved fuel economy. There are a few brands that have a good reputation for being reliable and durable, such as Brodix, World Products and Edelbrock. It all comes down to your personal preference and budget, so do some research and decide which ones are right for you. In the end, having good heads means a better-running engine that will last longer!

Are aluminum heads better than cast?

It all depends on what you’re looking for. Aluminum heads are typically much lighter than cast iron, making them better suited for performance applications where weight savings are important. They also tend to provide more efficient heat dissipation which helps manage engine temperatures in high-performance applications. On the downside, aluminum heads can be more expensive and require more maintenance than cast iron heads. You’ll also need to make sure that the engine block and other components are compatible with aluminum heads before making a purchase. Ultimately, it comes down to what you’re trying to achieve and your budget constraints. Weigh your options carefully before making a final decision!

Generally cast iron is much more durable. However, aluminum heads are simpler to fix.

Which heads are better: 706 or 243?

The 243 heads have superior flow, moving more than 20 cubic feet of air per minute compared to the 706 heads. This makes the 243 heads better for cars used in racing or at high speeds, where more air is needed. However, if you’re looking for a head that will provide good performance with regular street driving, then the 706 heads may be a better choice as they require less maintenance and can handle lower revs without compromising on power. Ultimately, it depends on your driving style and preferences, so it’s best to do your research to decide which heads are the right fit for you.

How much HP does 243 heads add?

That depends on a number of factors such as the size and shape of the heads, the type of valvetrain setup you have, etc. Generally speaking though, adding 243 heads to your engine would add around 20 HP. Of course, this is just an estimate and there are plenty of variables that can affect how much power it adds. Ultimately, the best way to find out is to dyno test the engine with and without the head swap. That way you can get an accurate reading of how much power it adds.

How much HP can 706 heads handle?

That depends on the specific application, but 706 heads can typically handle anywhere from 320 to 350 horsepower. However, some high-performance combinations can achieve up to 400 horsepower or more with a well-matched camshaft and other components. After we installed the 706 heads, the power increased to 468 hp at 6,800 rpm and 413 lb-ft of torque at 5,300 rpm.

Of course, the engine’s compression ratio will also have an effect on the amount of power it produces—the higher the compression ratio, the higher the potential for increased horsepower output. Ultimately, how much HP your 706 heads can produce will depend on how you build and tune your engine!

What heads are better: 799 or 706?

That depends on what you plan to do with the heads. The 799 is a bit more expensive, but it offers higher quality and greater durability than the 706 does. It also comes with larger ports for increased airflow. If you’re looking for something that will stand up for long-term use, then the 799 would be a better choice. However, if you only need something to get the job done quickly and cheaply, then the 706 might be a better option. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference and what you’re looking to accomplish.

Are bigger cylinder heads better?

That depends on your engine’s needs. Generally speaking, larger cylinder heads offer better fuel economy, improved torque and power at low speeds, and improved cooling. However, they may also require more maintenance or cost more to install. Ultimately it’s best to consult with a professional mechanic who can assess your engine’s needs and make the best recommendation for you. Additionally, there are several aftermarket options that you can consider if larger cylinder heads are needed for an upgrade. It’s important to research what types of cylinder heads fit your vehicle before making any decisions.

Can heads increase horsepower?

The simple answer is yes, but it depends on your specific set-up. Different types of heads can help boost horsepower by improving airflow and combustion efficiency. For instance, high-performance cylinder heads can increase air intake, and exhaust flow, and optimize combustion chamber design to allow for more efficient burning of fuel. However, these improvements will only be felt if the rest of the engine components are up to par with the upgrades made to the head. In other words, you won’t get a huge jump in power from just swapping out a head unless the entire system is optimized for increased performance. It’s also important to keep in mind that extra power comes at a price; performance heads can be expensive to purchase and install, so you should make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. In any case, it’s certainly possible to increase power output with a high-performance head, but do your research first and take into account the other components of your engine before investing in one!

How do you choose aluminum heads?

When it comes to choosing aluminum heads, there are a few things to consider. First, you need to determine the type of engine your vehicle is equipped with and then decide what style of head is most compatible with that model. Next, research what brands offer the highest quality performance and compare pricing between different manufacturers. Additionally, it’s important to pay attention to the design details – look for features like thick decks or valve angle changes which can make all the difference when it comes to airflow efficiency. Finally, don’t forget about other components such as valves, valve springs, pushrods and rocker arms – they should all be compatible with your new heads in order for them to work properly. With these considerations in mind, you’re sure to find the perfect aluminum heads for your vehicle!

What is the most common problem with the cylinder heads?

The most common problem with cylinder heads is warping or cracking. Warping can be caused by excessive heat from the engine, while cracking can occur due to thermal cycling or poor sealing of the head gasket. Additionally, misalignment between the cylinder head and block could cause issues such as oil leaks and decreased power output.

If any of these issues are suspected, it’s important to have a professional inspect your cylinder heads right away to avoid further damage and costly repairs down the line. In some cases, a full cylinder head replacement may be necessary in order to ensure optimal performance. It’s important to remember that taking good care of your vehicle can help prevent many issues before they become serious problems!

How can I tell if my aluminum head is warped?

If you suspect that your aluminum head is warped, the best way to check is by using a straight edge and feeler gauge. Place the straight edge across the surface of the head and use the feeler gauges to measure any gap between them. If there are more than 0.002 inches of deviation, then your head may be warped. You can also take it to a shop and have a machinist measure it for you if you don’t feel comfortable doing this yourself. If your aluminum head is indeed warped, it should be replaced as soon as possible to avoid any further damage or potential engine problems down the road.

How do you find a crack in an aluminum cylinder head?

The best way to find a crack in an aluminum cylinder head is to visually inspect the head for any signs of cracks. You can also use a dye penetrant test to detect cracks, which involves applying a fluorescent dye into the surface of the metal and then using a black light to reveal any cracks that may be present. If you’re having trouble locating a crack, you can always take it to a professional mechanic who can perform more detailed inspections. Ultimately, finding and repairing any potential cracks in an aluminum cylinder head is essential for keeping it functioning properly.

Useful Video: Aluminum Small Block Chevy Heads Inspection 2.0


Hello! I'm a James Miller, and I'm an expert in materials science. I learned different metal properties in the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and I know everything about all kinds of metal. That's why I want to share my experience with you.

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