How to Build Max Performance Chevy Small Blocks on a Budget by David VizardHow to Build Max Performance Chevy Small Blocks on a Budget by David Vizard The Impala Project, Carl's 64 Impala website 1964 Impala Owners group at Facebook The Impala Project at MySpace The Impala Project at Twitter The Impala Project videos at Youtube How to Build and Modify Chevrolet Small-Block V-8 Camshafts and Valves by David VizardHow to Build and Modify Chevrolet Small-Block V-8 Camshafts and Valves by David Vizard
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Also by David Vizard
How to Build Max Performance Chevy Small Blocks on a Budget

How to Build and Modify Chevrolet Small Block Cylinder Heads

By David Vizard

This is an engaging book if you want to learn chevy cylinder head porting from an accomplished professional. In a world of technical books that just put you to sleep like dry how-to manuals, this is the exception. David Vizard's writing style fuels the imagination in a big way. I couldn't put it down, and found myself staying up later than I should have while reading in bed. His descriptions had me drawing a lot of mental visualizations, not just comparing research testing numbers.

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The value in this book for me was how David Vizard dispelled several myths about cylinder head porting techniques that even some head porting professionals embrace. When I was a teenager I had the fortune to work at a speed shop on weekday evenings and weekends. They specialized in building muscle. In retrospect, some of the things they were doing with cylinder head porting were way off the mark according to David. I can see his point on cylinder head porting since I now realize they weren't using a flow bench to test their cylinder head port work. Counter to his best advise, they were heavily working the port sections that produced minimal results at best in bench testing. I know now that if you want to get results you can validate and take advantage of, you need to flow bench test your cylinder head porting jobs as you progress through the work.

Don't let that discourage you though. He is very clear about the cylinder head port sections that you can work on without the need to flow test them. Not everyone is going to feel inclined to build their own flow bench, nor are they trying to build the ultimate racing engine.

Some of the tools you would want to use or may need to rebuild Chevy small block cylinder heads may not be out of reach if you are a serious enthusiast. If you think you can't afford a flow bench, think again. David Vizard gives you the plans for a flow bench that he made himself before he could afford a high priced commerial flow bench. If you don't have a flow bench, don't sweat it. David points out that Chevy cylinder head porting for most street applications can be done without one if you stick to the techniques he teaches.

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There are other important tools you can buy or make as well. If you have the time and you find making your own tools entertaining, he provides enough information for you to craft them.

Right from the start he takes you through choosing a set of heads, then walks you through working the ports, valve seats, making the best valve choices and matching the right valve guides to your choice of valves, and doing comparison testing to evaluate your work as you progress through the rebuild.

If you're planning on rebuilding your own chevy cylinder heads as stock units, doing some port work on them yourself, or you want to understand what your rebuilder is selling you on, this is the book for you. Or, If you'd rather just buy used chevy cylinder heads, you'd want to know how to recognize good head porting work when you see it. There isn't much you won't understand once you're done reading this book.

The things you'll learn in this book can save you multiples of time, effort and money:

  • Which port work is a big waste of time and not worth pursuing.
  • The effect on compression ratio. It's not just a matter of cylinder volume compressed into a finite space.
  • Important cam specs that you generally won't hear much about, but you should know when assembling your heads.
  • A head bolt is not just a bolt.
  • Aluminum or cast iron. Which is better?
  • Port bias. What is it and how does it effect both mileage and horse power.
  • How taking material out of the combustion chamber in the right place can improve performance.
  • Get the professional scoop on head castings that really takes some of them off the pedestal they were placed on by common public perception. You might not think of Corvette castings the same way again.

Here's an outline of the things he covers in each of the chapters:

  1. ) Cylinder Head Selection
  2. Take a tour of the different castings by number and casting mark. David Vizard gives good reasons for his preference.

  3. ) Pocket Porting Techniques
  4. Identify port flow restrictions, basic equipment for porting, an introduction to testing equipment, and terminology.

  5. ) Port modifications
  6. Understanding characteristics of port air flow, some simple tools to make, port bias and it's effect, and where polishing should and shouldn't be done.

  7. ) Compression Ratio Modifications
  8. Calculating compression ratio, factors affecting compression ratio, when too much is not good.

  9. ) Valve Train Preparation
  10. Identifying valve wear, choosing valve guides, valve seals, cutting or grinding valve seats, studs and guide plates, valve springs and hardened seat inserts.

  11. ) Horsepower and Airflow
  12. Port airflow velocity, ideal port shapes, port efficiency, and flow benches.

  13. ) Flowbench porting
  14. Valve seat design, airflow zones around the seat and valve, calculating the RPM range of peak power, the difference between port flow and velocity.

  15. ) Performance Offsetting
  16. Matching intake ports and positioning headers, changing valve angles, altering bolt hole placements, welding to add metal to appropriate places.

  17. ) High Performance Valve Trains
  18. Non stock valve designs, reducing reverse flow, heat dissipation, valve materials, seat insert materials, valve installation and seating.

  19. ) High Performance Valve Springs
  20. Inate properties of a valve spring, spring designs, cost effective spring choices, why more pressure is not always better, retainers, keeper designs, matching springs to cam specs.

  21. ) Port Swirl and Wet Flow
  22. What is swirl?, controlling pre-ignition, facilitating spark performance.

  23. ) Studs, Gaskets and O-Rings.
  24. Head gasket types, head bolts or studs?, aftermarket bolt performance, containing high compression in performance engines.

  25. ) Modifying Chevrolet Aluminum and Specialty Heads
  26. Pro's and Con's for aluminum and cast iron heads

Also by David Vizard
How to Build Max Performance Chevy Small Blocks on a Budget

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