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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 331's glorious ported '69 351W heads turned out to be a bust for me. They were supposed to be milled. Originally, they should've been just over 60cc, and when I bought them, they were billed as being 58cc.

"Great!" I thought to myself. "I'll get reverse dome pistons to put the compression where I want it, and if I need it a little tighter, I'll just mill a tiny bit more."

I asked my machinist to CC them before any work was done on them. He put it off. Work was done. They flowed 221CFM on the intake side! New bronze valve guides were put in! I couldn't wait.

I just found out they are 63CC somehow. That's not possible, but it's true. It puts my compression ratio in the basement, along with my feelings.

So - anyone have some good advice on what heads I should get? Anyone have a dusty relic that belongs on my engine? How about some Gurney/Weslake dusty old things that need a home for cheap? (lol)

Seriously, I feel a bit lost now, and not sure what to do. Should I throw on some Flo-Teks and just use the hardware I already have for my heads?
 

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Can they be milled?
What about a different head gasket?
Are your pistons able to be swapped?
I dunno...
 
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Dad has a bare set of 1970 Windsor heads that he got with some stuff that we've just been tripping over for years, maybe he'd part with. Although you'll more than likely end up with a lot of money in them by the time its done.
 

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All these specs I take as a suggestion. Ford was making engines fast and furious on the production line. Who knows how accurate everything is? Have the heads cut. Besides the improvement in flow is more then going to offset any loss in compression
 

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My 331's glorious ported '69 351W heads turned out to be a bust for me. They were supposed to be milled. Originally, they should've been just over 60cc, and when I bought them, they were billed as being 58cc.

"Great!" I thought to myself. "I'll get reverse dome pistons to put the compression where I want it, and if I need it a little tighter, I'll just mill a tiny bit more."

I asked my machinist to CC them before any work was done on them. He put it off. Work was done. They flowed 221CFM on the intake side! New bronze valve guides were put in! I couldn't wait.

I just found out they are 63CC somehow. That's not possible, but it's true. It puts my compression ratio in the basement, along with my feelings.

So - anyone have some good advice on what heads I should get? Anyone have a dusty relic that belongs on my engine? How about some Gurney/Weslake dusty old things that need a home for cheap? (lol)

Seriously, I feel a bit lost now, and not sure what to do. Should I throw on some Flo-Teks and just use the hardware I already have for my heads?
I know the feeling. During my project, I bought a Scat rotating assembly and according to Scat literature, 64cc heads would put me at around 10.4:1. At the time I didn't have detailed piston info. I bought some new 70cc Trick Flow 225 High port heads from TEA and had them mill them down to 64cc. They sat for about 2 years. During the engine build, I pulled up the piston spec sheet because I then knew the exact piston I have. Well, guess what. My CR will end up around 10:1. When I called Scat, the guy went away from the phone for a minute and came back and said. " Oh yeah, it must be a misprint" Lesson learned.
As far as your iron heads, I don't know how much metal you have to remove to get down to 58cc, but it seems like it may be a fair amount. Do stock Iron heads have a pretty thick deck surface? I am asking, I don't have any idea. That would be my concern.
From my perspective, it may be worth it to save up and buy some decent aluminum heads. They take so much weight off the front end and the Iron head will never flow as well as a good aluminum head. Just my 2 cents.
 

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I'm running 170 TWs ( ported, milled to 58, polished bowls) offset valve relief forged pistons in my 333.
Together with my custom roller cam and valve train, I'm lov'n it. CR is 10.6
Yah, you'll get a ton recommendations of what to run. Just do the homework (something tells me you will)
 
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Are you sure those are '69 heads? I rebuilt the factory 351W that was in my 1969 cougar. I used flattop pistons and ended up with a compression ratio close to 11:1. Yeah, the 69 351W combustion chambers were tiny. I should have used dished pistons. Something very strange is going on here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In answer to the questions, these are fairly spendy pistons, and the shortblock is already fully assembled and balanced. I'd hate to redo all of that.

The old heads have supposedly been milled once. Even if they hadn't, taking them from 63cc to 58cc is pulling quite a lot of metal, and would mean I'd need to work with port mismatch as well as a very thin face that might cause problems later. So "fixing" them is out. Someone else might well find success with them.
Are you sure those are '69 heads? I rebuilt the factory 351W that was in my 1969 cougar. I used flattop pistons and ended up with a compression ratio close to 11:1. Yeah, the 69 351W combustion chambers were tiny. I should have used dished pistons. Something very strange is going on here.
I have been chewing on this too, but an old racer friend of mine finally nailed it down for me. These had 1.94 intakes and 1.6 exhaust valves put in. I never thought much beyond "Good, those are the valves I wanted anyway". But when they take material out to put in the bigger valves, guess what? The chamber gets bigger too. So there's my problem. If I had flattops with 6 cc reliefs, I'd be fine with big chambers (probably too high on compression unless I go with a hotter cam), but I went into this thinking they were going to be tight chambers, so I got reverse dome 16cc pistons, shooting for 9.5 or less compression. Looks like I got "less" all right! Looked to be around 8.75

Anyone have some aluminum heads lying around with 58cc chambers and smallish intake runners?

It's either that, or I buy some new, looks like...
 

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In answer to the questions, these are fairly spendy pistons, and the shortblock is already fully assembled and balanced. I'd hate to redo all of that.

The old heads have supposedly been milled once. Even if they hadn't, taking them from 63cc to 58cc is pulling quite a lot of metal, and would mean I'd need to work with port mismatch as well as a very thin face that might cause problems later. So "fixing" them is out. Someone else might well find success with them.

I have been chewing on this too, but an old racer friend of mine finally nailed it down for me. These had 1.94 intakes and 1.6 exhaust valves put in. I never thought much beyond "Good, those are the valves I wanted anyway". But when they take material out to put in the bigger valves, guess what? The chamber gets bigger too. So there's my problem. If I had flattops with 6 cc reliefs, I'd be fine with big chambers (probably too high on compression unless I go with a hotter cam), but I went into this thinking they were going to be tight chambers, so I got reverse dome 16cc pistons, shooting for 9.5 or less compression. Looks like I got "less" all right! Looked to be around 8.75

Anyone have some aluminum heads lying around with 58cc chambers and smallish intake runners?

It's either that, or I buy some new, looks like...
Or a supercharger?
 

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You only need to remove about .025 to go from 63 to 58 ccs. If you're comfortable with 60ccs and you don't want to mill any more than necessary, then you can get by with less.

63cc is on the big side for a C9OE or DOOE 351w head. Your porter probably unshrouded the valves which made the chambers a bit larger by a few ccs. Done properly, this will significantly offset any power loss due to slightly larger chambers and slightly lower compression.

There are a few other things you can do to the chambers on those heads to improve power besides unshrouding. Use a .25" flow ball and go around the valve with the flow ball while the valve is open just enough for the flow ball to fit under the valve. You should be able to pull the flow ball out without the valve having to open up any more. Otherwise, the chamber wall needs to be unshrouded. Also, smooth off the sharp edge of the chamber on the straight side of the chamber. Make sure they back-cut your valves. All these little things can add up to some significant gains.

The min CSA in those intake ports is not at the pinch. It's a couple of inches into the port closer to the turn into the bowl. It's about 1.63 sq. in. there. Next time I tear my engine down, if there is a next time, I am going to open this up to about 1.8 to 1.85 sq. in. by widening the side walls about 1/16" per side. This is important for high rpm well above 6000. I have a DOOE head that I experiment on and I did this to it and it came out quite nicely. My 331 doesn't seem to have any issue at high rpm to 7200 so maybe this pinch is just fine and I should leave it alone, but i'll probably do it anyway. Heck, maybe my next build will take things to 7500+ and then i'll need it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
You only need to remove about .025 to go from 63 to 58 ccs. If you're comfortable with 60ccs and you don't want to mill any more than necessary, then you can get by with less.

63cc is on the big side for a C9OE or DOOE 351w head. Your porter probably unshrouded the valves which made the chambers a bit larger by a few ccs. Done properly, this will significantly offset any power loss due to slightly larger chambers and slightly lower compression.

There are a few other things you can do to the chambers on those heads to improve power besides unshrouding. Use a .25" flow ball and go around the valve with the flow ball while the valve is open just enough for the flow ball to fit under the valve. You should be able to pull the flow ball out without the valve having to open up any more. Otherwise, the chamber wall needs to be unshrouded. Also, smooth off the sharp edge of the chamber on the straight side of the chamber. Make sure they back-cut your valves. All these little things can add up to some significant gains.

The min CSA in those intake ports is not at the pinch. It's a couple of inches into the port closer to the turn into the bowl. It's about 1.63 sq. in. there. Next time I tear my engine down, if there is a next time, I am going to open this up to about 1.8 to 1.85 sq. in. by widening the side walls about 1/16" per side. This is important for high rpm well above 6000. I have a DOOE head that I experiment on and I did this to it and it came out quite nicely. My 331 doesn't seem to have any issue at high rpm to 7200 so maybe this pinch is just fine and I should leave it alone, but i'll probably do it anyway. Heck, maybe my next build will take things to 7500+ and then i'll need it.
I've read a lot of your posts in regard to these heads, Tracy! I wish I had the time, tools, workplace, and practice to work my own. Instead I am relying on long turnaround times and paying others to mess with these - it's been a very frustrating experience. Is he wrong about 63 CCs? Right? Darned if I know. The person that ported mine has been doing it for something like 50 years, and really knows their stuff - but who knows if my machinist gave them the right info about what was needed and wanted? What if they're just fine, sizewise? I haven't seen any sort of mods to the chamber itself beyond the valves. I don't think they opened it up to unshroud, and I was looking, so surely I'd have noticed? They limited themselves to exhaust/intake port and bowl work from what I saw.

I feel foolish for planning my build around these heads now -or at least in trusting others to do the things I would if I had the resources. I hate throwing dollars at a problem to fix it, and getting sketchy help.
 

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You can always put them on and run it for a while and see how you like it while you're saving up for something even more fun because heads are kind of expensive but they're not terribly difficult to swap.
 

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I've read a lot of your posts in regard to these heads, Tracy! I wish I had the time, tools, workplace, and practice to work my own. Instead I am relying on long turnaround times and paying others to mess with these - it's been a very frustrating experience. Is he wrong about 63 CCs? Right? Darned if I know. The person that ported mine has been doing it for something like 50 years, and really knows their stuff - but who knows if my machinist gave them the right info about what was needed and wanted? What if they're just fine, sizewise? I haven't seen any sort of mods to the chamber itself beyond the valves. I don't think they opened it up to unshroud, and I was looking, so surely I'd have noticed? They limited themselves to exhaust/intake port and bowl work from what I saw.

I feel foolish for planning my build around these heads now -or at least in trusting others to do the things I would if I had the resources. I hate throwing dollars at a problem to fix it, and getting sketchy help.
Sounds like they did a nice job porting the heads.

Like I said, you can have them milled a small amount to get ccs to 60. You won't have much of a difference in compression between 60 and 58ccs, and the amount of milling to get to 60cc is minimal...about .015.

You can also simply use a Cometics .027 MLS gasket to recover about .3 points in compression without milling.

Post some pics of your chambers and ports and i'll give my honest opinion about them.

Don't worry about the chamber mods that I mentioned unless your going to look for every possible HP out of the engine. What size valves did they put in the heads?
 

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I'm running 170 TWs ( ported, milled to 58, polished bowls) offset valve relief forged pistons in my 333.
Together with my custom roller cam and valve train, I'm lov'n it. CR is 10.6
Yah, you'll get a ton recommendations of what to run. Just do the homework (something tells me you will)
You probably could make your pistons work with TW heads but you will most likely to cut the pistons with something like this.
Automotive tire Material property Automotive lighting Art Pattern

You will need patience and a lot of blue tape with the short block already assembled! I can lend lease you the cutter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sounds like they did a nice job porting the heads.

Like I said, you can have them milled a small amount to get ccs to 60. You won't have much of a difference in compression between 60 and 58ccs, and the amount of milling to get to 60cc is minimal...about .015.

You can also simply use a Cometics .027 MLS gasket to recover a few tenths of points in compression without milling.

Post some pics of your chambers and ports and i'll give my honest opinion about them.

Don't worry about the chamber mods unless your going to look for every possible HP out of the engine. What size valves did they put in the heads?
The block is zero decked, so .027 might be a bit tight? Was planning to be mild RPMS, running an 85 5.0 HO cam with 1.7 rockers, probably all done by 5800 or so. 1.94/1.6 valves.

.036 cometics are what I was planning on, but if tighter quench would work, then maybe that's the way to go? I'll try to get pics next week. Frankly, the ports are a little shaky looking, but from the numbers, I don't doubt they are functional. =) Kind of makes sense from a 75+ year old head porter!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You probably could make your pistons work with TW heads but you will most likely to cut the pistons with something like this.
View attachment 854203
You will need patience and a lot of blue tape with the short block already assembled! I can lend lease you the cutter.
TWs are pretty sweet, but I'd hate to carve up these Mahle pistons. They're a work of art!
 

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TWs are pretty sweet, but I'd hate to carve up these Mahle pistons. They're a work of art!
I currently have some puny little Mahle pistons in my 331 as well with the proper TW reliefs. A lot of money for such a tiny thing!;)
Camera lens Camera accessory Lens Cameras & optics Tints and shades

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The block is zero decked, so .027 might be a bit tight? Was planning to be mild RPMS, running an 85 5.0 HO cam with 1.7 rockers, probably all done by 5800 or so. 1.94/1.6 valves.

.036 cometics are what I was planning on, but if tighter quench would work, then maybe that's the way to go? I'll try to get pics next week. Frankly, the ports are a little shaky looking, but from the numbers, I don't doubt they are functional. =) Kind of makes sense from a 75+ year old head porter!
Yes, .027 quench is too tight.

Your going to loose about .7 points in compression when you compare 63cc to 58cc. 60cc will get back about .4 points so you'll be down only .3 points if you the heads milled .015...not much.

Did they tell you that the chambers are 63cc or did you measure them? If the chambers have not been modified, I would venture to say that your chambers are closer to 61cc. It's not hard to measure them. Just a piece of plexiglass with a hole in it over the chamber and vasoline on the valve seats (optional) and around the chamber for the the plexiglass and then use a graduated cylinder with cc markings and pour water in until the water fills to the point where it rises to the plexiglass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes, .027 quench is too tight.

Your going to loose about .7 points in compression when you compare 63cc to 58cc. 60cc will get back about .4 points so you'll be down only .3 points if you the heads milled .015...not much.

Did they tell you that the chambers are 63cc or did you measure them? If the chambers have not been modified, I would venture to say that your chambers are 60 to 61cc. It's not hard to measure them. Just a piece of plexiglass with a hole in it over the chamber and vasoline around the valve seats and the plexiglass and then use a graduated beaker with cc markings and pour water in until the water fills to the point where it rises to the plexiglass.
They told me they were 63CC. I will roll over there Monday morning and figure out what's really going on.
 
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