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Thread: Head Porting

  1. #1
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Head Porting

    I attempted to read through all of the head porting threads in a search recently, and they were great. That said, I still have some questions which may help others. There has been some time since a lot of the really good threads were written too, so perhaps techniques, parts, etc. have evolved in the interim.

    That said, I went to work for a couple of hours on a head today. It's an old junk head which I did some very, very crude porting on years ago. Some of the intake and exhaust ports are still untouched, so I let into those. I'll be attempting to work on the untouched chambers next. I have another head or two which are also junk, so I have plenty of opportunities to get this right.

    After working on this head today, here are my main questions.

    1. I'm looking for a head which will make 350HP to the wheels relatively efficiently. How much should I really be looking to enlarge the ports? I have gasket matched the sides and top of the intake port in the pics. I did the same with the exhaust port, but put way less time into it.

    2. A lot of the pictures I've seen on here make it look like way more was removed from the top of the intake port than just going to the gasket. Are my eyes deceiving me, or are they really that high? If so, do guys just cut out the gasket, or get a custom one?

    3. The bowl of the intake port took a long time to get remotely decent looking. All the pictures I looked at seemed to show a round bowl without the stock ramp on the one side. Am I going about this correctly?

    4. The bowl area seems pretty large, and in the pics you can see that I have a little bit of a pinch point in the middle of the runner to take out still. Should I be going that wide in the first place?

    5. Any tips for deshrouding the valves in the chamber?

    Hopefully we can get a good discussion going on this like we did in the two piece porting thread. I learned a ton from that, although I still need to get my top half welded up from going through it. Thank goodness I'm practicing with junk this time...

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  2. #2
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor ajakeski's Avatar
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    Re: Head Porting

    The offset inside the port is what makes the swirl. If you grind that away, you lose the swirl.

  3. #3
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Head Porting

    Quote Originally Posted by ajakeski View Post
    The offset inside the port is what makes the swirl. If you grind that away, you lose the swirl.
    Is that good, or bad?

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    Re: Head Porting

    Quote Originally Posted by ajakeski View Post
    The offset inside the port is what makes the swirl. If you grind that away, you lose the swirl.
    Specifically where is this offset located inside the port???
    Regards,
    Miles

    DD '87 Sundance T1, 12PSI, SLH with rear disks
    '87 CSX #432

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    Re: Head Porting

    Quote Originally Posted by chromguy View Post
    Specifically where is this offset located inside the port???
    I'll try to get some decent photos of it and post up in a bit.

  6. #6
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    Re: Head Porting

    Here are pics of the ports which hopefully show the ramp/boomerang/offset in the port which I suppose is what induces the swirl. It's really wide right there in the bowl and it narrows down to the runner and out the back of the head. If anyone is comparing to the earlier pictures I posted of my work, I was trying very hard to remove as little material from the sides of the bowl as possible. I did work to take out the ramps and round out the spark plug side of the bowl.

    Anyway, here are the hopefully decent pics. Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
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    Re: Head Porting

    Quote Originally Posted by cordes View Post
    I attempted to read through all of the head porting threads in a search recently, and they were great. That said, I still have some questions which may help others. There has been some time since a lot of the really good threads were written too, so perhaps techniques, parts, etc. have evolved in the interim.

    That said, I went to work for a couple of hours on a head today. It's an old junk head which I did some very, very crude porting on years ago. Some of the intake and exhaust ports are still untouched, so I let into those. I'll be attempting to work on the untouched chambers next. I have another head or two which are also junk, so I have plenty of opportunities to get this right.

    After working on this head today, here are my main questions.

    1. I'm looking for a head which will make 350HP to the wheels relatively efficiently. How much should I really be looking to enlarge the ports? I have gasket matched the sides and top of the intake port in the pics. I did the same with the exhaust port, but put way less time into it.
    I took mine out to the gasket on the side. and maintained that to the short turn/valve guide. I took the top to the gasket line and aimed to match the curve in the bottom to 90% or better to the short turn.


    2. A lot of the pictures I've seen on here make it look like way more was removed from the top of the intake port than just going to the gasket. Are my eyes deceiving me, or are they really that high? If so, do guys just cut out the gasket, or get a custom one?

    3. The bowl of the intake port took a long time to get remotely decent looking. All the pictures I looked at seemed to show a round bowl without the stock ramp on the one side. Am I going about this correctly?
    I tugged the bowls out sideways after I had my throat cut for +1 valves. then cleaned up behind the valve guide. I tried to get the back wall as smooth and straight down as possible.


    4. The bowl area seems pretty large, and in the pics you can see that I have a little bit of a pinch point in the middle of the runner to take out still. Should I be going that wide in the first place?measure your first point at the gasket sides at the exit. and then measure in there. take it out to that size.


    5. Any tips for deshrouding the valves in the chamber?
    I layed my top of the chamber out about 5-6MM. around both valves. the little cut out at the point was almost gone. I had the machine shop cut the sides to fit the head gasket ring.
    Then polished everything. I left a set of used valves in the head when i did this so i didnt nick the seat area.

    Hopefully we can get a good discussion going on this like we did in the two piece porting thread. I learned a ton from that, although I still need to get my top half welded up from going through it. Thank goodness I'm practicing with junk this time...

    Good luck man.

  8. #8
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor ajakeski's Avatar
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    Re: Head Porting

    I use an already ported head as a guide when porting others. I suspect it's a Mopar head, due to the age, but I have no real proof. The valve bowls of this head are enlarged, but still retain the swirl shape. I would guess that eliminating the swirl would cause some kind of efficiency loss or flame propagation issue. There's probably some physics and calculus involved.
    There's some info on this forum about deshrouding valves. 8mm was the suggested amount of lay back if I remember right. The attached photos are of my deshrouded head and the port view of the head I use as a guide.

    I've never flow bench tested any of these, so theres a good chance I haven't improved anything. Todd Nelson may be willing to share some wisdom on the topic.
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  9. #9
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor ajakeski's Avatar
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  10. #10
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    Re: Head Porting

    Looks like you have a decent start there. Enlarging the port to the size of the gasket is plenty big for only 350WHP. (relative to boost level and turbo selection of course, + other supporting mods)

    As you stated, you could stand to smooth out the transition along the walls of the ports.

    You could also stand to raise that ceiling area above the valve, exposing the guide a little more. (this can get a little tricky depending on bits you have ect)

    Not sure what you are referring to when you say "ramp/boomerang/offset", but if it's the brutal casting transition in the port just above the valve, you want to get rid of that completely! Consider the area above the valve Before the valve open and the smooth radial transition + extra volume in that down turn area needed to enhance Even flow around the valve.

    Don't forget to lay back the port floor entry with a nice radial down turn as well. There is a brutal sharp transition in the 782's in that area.

    Now you never stated anything in regards to cam selection, peak power, valve size ect. So guessing you are just looking for a slightly better flowing head for starters....
    Last edited by Shadow; 02-18-2019 at 11:08 AM.

  11. #11

    Re: Head Porting

    While my porting was done....once..., but done really well by Tvalant..?? and that car made easily 350hp. Is it better to increase valve size 1st then port or its a part-n-partial thing I would guess..? OR does addressing the intake make even better sense? Just some spit-balling going on over here!

  12. #12
    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Head Porting

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
    Looks like you have a decent start there. Enlarging the port to the size of the gasket is plenty big for only 350WHP. (relative to boost level and turbo selection of course, + other supporting mods)

    As you stated, you could stand to smooth out the transition along the walls of the ports.

    You could also stand to raise that ceiling area above the valve, exposing the guide a little more. (this can get a little tricky depending on bits you have ect)

    Not sure what you are referring to when you say "ramp/boomerang/offset", but if it's the brutal casting transition in the port just above the valve, you want to get rid of that completely! Consider the area above the valve Before the valve open and the smooth radial transition + extra volume in that down turn area needed to enhance Even flow around the valve.

    Don't forget to lay back the port floor entry with a nice radial down turn as well. There is a brutal sharp transition in the 782's in that area.

    Now you never stated anything in regards to cam selection, peak power, valve size ect. So guessing you are just looking for a slightly better flowing head for starters....
    Well, that's great to know about the power level. It's also nice to know that I'm not way off base.

    I'm not sure what cam I would like to use. I suppose an F4, or R4? It seems to me like both of them have good idle characteristics for something that wild, but I'm not sure if that's as wild, but I'm not sure if I need something that aggressive? As far as valve size, I had anticipated on needing at least +1 valves. If I need bigger, that's fine too. 220,221, whatever it takes.

    I can get back to the back of the port with the bit fairly well. What bit do you generally use to reach back there? Is there a general rule about how much to raise the port near the valve? It seems like there's not much that needs to be taken out at the gasket end, but that it'll come up quite a bit at the bowl relative to the gasket area.

    I think we're talking about the same thing in the bowl above the valve. I just noticed that the ramped portion on the sides of the valve guide are more pronounced on the one side.

    I guess this is going better than I had anticipated thus far. With two more junk heads to go, I should be able to get decent enough at this that I can really give a nice head a go for spring.

  13. #13
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    Re: Head Porting

    Quote Originally Posted by cordes View Post
    Well, that's great to know about the power level. It's also nice to know that I'm not way off base.

    I'm not sure what cam I would like to use. I suppose an F4, or R4? It seems to me like both of them have good idle characteristics for something that wild, but I'm not sure if that's as wild, but I'm not sure if I need something that aggressive? As far as valve size, I had anticipated on needing at least +1 valves. If I need bigger, that's fine too. 220,221, whatever it takes.

    I can get back to the back of the port with the bit fairly well. What bit do you generally use to reach back there? Is there a general rule about how much to raise the port near the valve? It seems like there's not much that needs to be taken out at the gasket end, but that it'll come up quite a bit at the bowl relative to the gasket area.

    I think we're talking about the same thing in the bowl above the valve. I just noticed that the ramped portion on the sides of the valve guide are more pronounced on the one side.

    I guess this is going better than I had anticipated thus far. With two more junk heads to go, I should be able to get decent enough at this that I can really give a nice head a go for spring.
    Let's keep in mind that this is only my Opinion, and other opinions may vary.

    For the kind of porting you're doing, +1 valves would be the only consideration AFAIC. They have many Pros and no Cons, so no brainer. One of the really nice things about the +1 valves is many heads have had multiple valve jobs by this time and you will notice the valves sitting very low in the seats. +1 valve Use the stock seats but need to be opened up so the upgrade can correct this issue.

    Of all the +2 or larger valve heads I've seen, only a few were done right. All the others would have worked Better with the smaller +1 valves as the port work was no were near what it needed to be to support that valve size. Add in Proper installation of the Siamese seats and everything else needed to do a Proper Big valve head and you will multiply things by 4 or 5 times what is needed on a +1 head.

    Also, I almost always start with a good G-head casting, so the 782 I haven't paid that much attention to. I've always looked at that offset as core shift/ mass production casting quality, but even if it does have anything to do with swirl, you can throw it out the window unless you're looking for a very mild/ stockish type build.

    For the area above the valve, I use a 6" bit with small ball end. small enough to fit nicely between guide and roof. Once I have the roof moved out where I want it, another 6" bit with tapered end to blend it back to guide if that makes any sense.

    The pic (posted by Warren S. in the linked thread) will give you an idea of what you're looking for. Most "beginner" porters will not remove enough of the roof, but don't get too concerned about it being perfect. Even if you're just close you will still have a considerable improvement.
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    Re: Head Porting

    Quote Originally Posted by trannybuster View Post
    While my porting was done....once..., but done really well by Tvalant..?? and that car made easily 350hp. Is it better to increase valve size 1st then port or its a part-n-partial thing I would guess..? OR does addressing the intake make even better sense? Just some spit-balling going on over here!
    Intake, potential cam upgrade, operating rpm, valve size, C/R should all be considered Before porting begins. You can certainly do it in the reverse order, but that would kind of say that you're not sure what you're shooting for in the first place.

    Having said that, and having time to think this over, 9/10 builds are prob not serious enough to warrant the kind of attention to detail I'm referring to, so you could certainly port the head first and have valves installed, then just make sure the rest is a good match. (ie. correct valve springs for cam with correct installed heights, make sure intake is not a restriction ect)
    Last edited by Shadow; 02-19-2019 at 04:53 PM.

  15. #15

    Re: Head Porting

    ^^ Gotcha...what you say makes too much sense and we cant have that . As stated I had Tvalant port my head&increase valve size+ I ran custom two piece intake with 70mm TB with 3' intercooler piping....etc...etc... Now I never dyno'd it but that car was a beast and had I been a better tune guy it would have been way more fun and cheaper BUT NO ONE ever beat me on the street, was crazy fast GLHS. Now Id imagine someone gifted at tuning could have a stocker running silly! Sorry about dirtying up your thread Cordes....but Im 'interested' in what your doing!

  16. #16
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    Re: Head Porting

    I'm glad you started this thread. I want to try porting a swirl head. I saved this from 5DIGITS before he made that weird thread about calibrations (still sad that nothing came of this) and went awol.

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    Re: Head Porting

    Basics I think I know - First, don't touch the floor, don't even gasket match the floor, if possible raise it. Second, raise the roof. Both of these ideas straighten the charge air's path as it nears the valve; this is more important than increasing port area - velocity; doing so enables more charge air to directly reach more of the valve's circumference. Third, no bumps, die grinders make bumps, bumps cause tumbling air; use files to take the bumps out. Files can be bent to follow curve ports by heating them to dark cherry red; do it in the dark, bend them gently, don't heat the teeth, heat the core. Fourth, valve job, valve job, valve job.
    John Laing "The sole condition which is required in order to succeed in centralizing the supreme power in a democratic community, is to love equality, or to get men to believe you love it. Thus the science of despotism, which was once so complex is simplified, and reduced . . . . to a single principle." -- Alexis de Tocqueville "One of the methods used by statists to destroy capitalism consists in establishing controls that tie a given industry hand and foot, making it unable to solve its problems, then declaring that freedom has failed and stronger controls are necessary." --Ayn Rand "To evolve, you don't need a Constitution. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box . . . . things will evolve as much as you want. All of these changes can come about democratically; you don't need a Constitution to do that and it's not the function of a Constitution to do that." -- Justice Antonin Scalia

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    Rhymes with tortoise. Turbo Mopar Staff cordes's Avatar
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    Re: Head Porting

    Is there any order in which you guys are removing material? I was thinking tonight that opening up the bowls first might help one to get a good idea of what to do on the way back to the port entrance. Thoughts on that? I'm going to buy a couple more bits and perhaps some abrasives. How do you guys get to the very top of the port around the guide to finish it?

  19. #19
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    Re: Head Porting

    Quote Originally Posted by cordes View Post
    Is there any order in which you guys are removing material? I was thinking tonight that opening up the bowls first might help one to get a good idea of what to do on the way back to the port entrance. Thoughts on that? I'm going to buy a couple more bits and perhaps some abrasives. How do you guys get to the very top of the port around the guide to finish it?
    I used a Dremel type tool with a remote motor for fine control.
    Regards,
    Miles

    DD '87 Sundance T1, 12PSI, SLH with rear disks
    '87 CSX #432

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    Re: Head Porting

    Quote Originally Posted by trannybuster View Post
    ^^ Gotcha...what you say makes too much sense and we cant have that .
    Actually the opposite! After posting that first bit, I thought about the head on the Charger that my bro Brent ported 15 years ago? (dang, has it really been That long!) and realized we didn't take anything into consideration back then. Just focused on porting the head to make more power!

    So I figured, why should I be preaching what you should be doing, and making it sound like a sin if you Don't follow protocall, when we did the exact opposite all those years ago and with success.

    So the Charger is actually an eg. of the 9/10 builds, Not serious enough to take all those things into consideration!

    Quote Originally Posted by johnl View Post
    Basics I think I know - First, don't touch the floor, don't even gasket match the floor, if possible raise it. Second, raise the roof. Both of these ideas straighten the charge air's path as it nears the valve; this is more important than increasing port area - velocity; doing so enables more charge air to directly reach more of the valve's circumference. Third, no bumps, die grinders make bumps, bumps cause tumbling air; use files to take the bumps out. Files can be bent to follow curve ports by heating them to dark cherry red; do it in the dark, bend them gently, don't heat the teeth, heat the core. Fourth, valve job, valve job, valve job.
    In theory, I would agree with pretty well everything you are saying here. Unfortunately, our heads only have so much usable space to work with, and you start to run out of real estate Fast! Not to mention the short turn radius that would be brutal to leave "as is".

    eg. You want to build a 2.2 Big valve head with a .500 lift cam and make power above 6500rpm. (so High duration cam) You would have to take a significant amount of material out of the floor, because you can only go so high on the roof, so wide on the walls, and for that head to breath Efficiently, port size (area) > velocity!

    Quote Originally Posted by cordes View Post
    Is there any order in which you guys are removing material? I was thinking tonight that opening up the bowls first might help one to get a good idea of what to do on the way back to the port entrance. Thoughts on that? I'm going to buy a couple more bits and perhaps some abrasives. How do you guys get to the very top of the port around the guide to finish it?
    It's your baby, so you can go at it from whatever angle you feel most comfortable with Starting with the bowl area first sounds Good to me

    I prob have a dozen different size bits, including small dremel bits that can get in very tight spaces. I do all of the "rough" porting first, getting it as close as I can and as smooth as I can, then on to the sanding rolls for final finishing and blending. You can learn to trust the "feel" method, as your removing material, but the sanding rolls will Show you where you're high and lows are.

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