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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any opinions on which aluminum heads are better?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That wasn't the question ;) .

I'm looking at crate engines. One (actually several) supplier includes Edelbrock heads and another uses RHS. I need to pick a builder, and his selection of components factors into the decision.

I don't get to pick which heads they use. And I'm not going to rule out any builder who doesn't use AFR.
 

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I think it really depends on which RHS heads the builder is using. RHS heads used to be just ported oem castings, which are not as good as the Edelbrock heads. RHS does have new castings available, AFAIK they are a relative newcomer on the Ford head scene (the new heads, not RHS as a company) so not too many people have had personal experience with them yet. The Edel heads on the other hand are a very well known casting. Better than oem, better than FRPP swirl port (by a small margin), but not as good as most other aftermarket aluminum heads (including the FRPP Z heads), if for nothing else because they have been around so long that designers of other heads have had ample time to improve on the design. From hearing other peoples experiences the flow on the Edel heads is pretty good for a 170cc intake runnner, but overall fall just below the Twisted Wedge in making power which have the same 170cc port volume.

IMO, the newer the design the better the head is likely to flow, like the AFR 165 with a smaller port volume will out run the Edel head hands down. So to answer your question, if the RHS head in question is a new aluminum casting it is likely to flow better than the Edel, but if it's just a ported oem casting then the Edel would probably be better. Another option to consider is if the builder will sell you the engine as a short block, then just get the heads you want to top the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Apparently Comp has revitalized the RHS division based on New Zealand castings. They're not ported OEM heads. I haven't heard anything good or bad about them aside from what I've read in the form of magazine articles. Those suggest that they're high quality pieces comparable to the better ones out there. I like to think that Comp wouldn't bring heads to market that weren't at least performance competitive. I was hoping for more insight on how they compare to the other popular castings on the market.

The short block approach is looking better. I originally figured I'd look around and find the engine I wanted somewhere and just order it. However, there are aspects of each one that make it less than ideal for me.

Besides the time element involved in selecting and procuring parts, and performing the actual (amateur) assembly, there are concerns about compatibility and unknown performance from untested combos. Dialing in the compression ratio and dealing with valve-to-piston clearances is of particular concern with the doityourself approach.
 

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Bashed68 said:
That wasn't the question ;) .

I'm looking at crate engines. One (actually several) supplier includes Edelbrock heads and another uses RHS. I need to pick a builder, and his selection of components factors into the decision.

I don't get to pick which heads they use. And I'm not going to rule out any builder who doesn't use AFR.
Then what you really want to know is which engine is better, and we can't answer that with the information you provided.
 

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RHS was an Austrailian firm named ProTopline. Their performance and finish quality seemed to have been up there in AFR territory, but at a significantly cheaper price. ProTopline went bust and Comp bought them out. I'd be interested to see how they fare.
 

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I thought RHS stood for Racing Head Service, an old company that used to be located in Tennessee, I think. NO?
 

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Here is my understanding: RHS was a Yank company. Pro Topline, a New Zealand company, bought RHS. Comp Cams, a Yank company, bought Pro Topline and revived the RHS name.

A new wrinkle: at a swap meet on Saturday I spoke with the owner of PME Racing of North Highlands, CA. He is selling the "Triton" brand of aluminum heads: http://pmeracing.com/procomp/cylheads.htm. He said that Triton is a New Zealand company. He said their heads are cast in the same foundry as RHS. But check that URL: it says "procomp," does it not? As in Pro Comp Electronics, the well known Chinese knock-off specialists with the nominally Australian home base.

All this suggests to me that RHS is just a dressed up version of Chinese knock-off heads. But, unlike Pro Comp or Triton, they do not go for a knock-off price. A 180 cc RHS SBF head, "assembled," goes for $1600 a pair. Look here too. By contrast, you can buy assembled Pro Comp 210 cc SBF heads all day long for $770 a pair. And PME is selling assembled 180 cc Tritons for $863 a pair.

Then again, maybe I'm making too much of the available evidence -- a nominal New Zealand headquarters and a Sacramento speed shop's use of "Pro Comp" in an URL and its owner's representation of an RHS/Triton connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
True - I do want to know which engine is better, but that's not what I'm asking. Nor would I expect members of a forum to know the answer. What's better to me is probably not what's better to you. It's up to me to decide.

However, all other things being equal, knowing the relative quality / performance of these two cylinder heads, I can make a more informed decision on engines I've looked at thus far.

Having said that, I have found a builder who will gladly provide AFR heads. So, it might be a moot point after all. ;)
 

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What builder would not use AFR heads if you asked them and paid for them? Though some places try to stick you an Edelbrock carb so it's possible... }:|
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You make a good point. When speaking with the builders, I don't ask what I can get, I ask what they are offering. He who offers the best package gets my business.

If I start deciding which components go into my engine, I'm designing it, and I'm not qualified to do so. Part of what I'm buying is the builder's experience with combos and what he has found to work best. We all know (or should) what can happen when you start combining parts that don't work particularly well together.

I do ask questions like, "How do you feel about using a dual plane intake instead of the single plane one you show?" I don't tell them to swap it out.

AFR is pretty widely believed to be the best head out there. But, it costs more. That's probably why most builders don't include it - they don't want to lose in a price comparison. I have to ask if AFR is worth the difference. If we're talking about 10 HP for $800, I'd have to say, "No". That's very subjective, to say the least. Since most builders want to provide Edelbrock, I have to wonder what I'm giving up by not springing for AFR. No one seems to say anything bad about Edelbrock, only that they "aren't as good as" AFR. How "good" is "good enough"?

Your last sentence suggests you have a problem with Edelbrock carbs, too. True?
 
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