Vortec Cylinder Heads: The Definitive Guide

Discussion in 'Engine Topic' started by MikeM79, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. Dogwater

    Dogwater Veteran Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    SanAntonio Tx
    Here's a recipe for valve springs, retainers & valve seals that no machine work is required for iron Vortec heads and its less than $130.00 to do.
    These are Summit's part numbers
    NAL-12499224 LS6 valve spring kit. $ 60.97
    CCA-787-16 16pc. Retainer set. $ 51.97
    These valve seals I bought at an auto parts store, I think they were about $ 15.00
    Fel Pro SS 72861
    The valve springs are bee hive springs. If your using a flat tappet cam these are great for that application because the open spring pressure is below 300 lbs. Without looking it up right now there about 285 lbs. open spring pressure. They drop right in the spring pocket or I should say there a tight fit but they are the correct springs.
    The retainers are Comp Cam an they fit the OME valve stems an locks. I reused the locks I had cause they didn't have a lot of miles on them, bought them new a few years ago. If your unsure about your valve locks buy new 7° locks, there cheap. You HAVE to use these retainers with the bee hive LS6 springs or you'll run into rocker arm issue's. The Fel Pro valve seals come with a soda straw looking thing with a round end. Oil the valve stem, put it into the valve guide then put the soda straw on top of the valve stem when the valve is all the way up then drop some oil into the valve seal on slid it onto the stem to the valve boss. Don't let the valve stem slots drop into the seal, remove the soda straw. Those slots on the valve stem have sharp edges on them an will damage the the seal.
    The valve seals need to be lightly hammered onto the valve boss. They need to go all the way down on the boss until they stop. I used a socket to put them on with, think it was a deep 7/16 or a 1/2 can't remember. I did notice that some of them weren't as deeply set as others were so I went back an reset them all until all were the same, they will stop going down an some point. Take your time an hammer lightly. Anyhow these are the springs/retainers/seals I'm still using to this day. You can get better springs than these such as Comp Cam bee hives, there around 60.00 more but the way I look at it if GM is using these springs on there LS6 heads then they must be good springs. One more thing to check on once you have the cam in an heads torqued down is to check the gap between the spring coils when the spring is compleatly compressed, totally open. You must have a total of at least 0.60 between the spring coils combined, meaning if you can slide a 0.20 gap gauge between 3 or more spring gaps your good to to go. 20+20+20=60 or have a total of 0.60 some how.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  2. Fuzz49

    Fuzz49 New Member

    Oct 7, 2015
    Topeka, Kansas
    So, I have read this sticky from front to back and then one more time just to make sure I understand it. I bought the tools to turn down the valve guides and enlarge springs and am in the process of tapping the rockers bosses for studs and proceeded to knock a chunk out of the top of one of the bosses.(just my luck) Luckily there is a qualified welding shop here that can repair it. My question is running guide plates for the pushrods, how much do you turn the stud bosses down to allow for the guide plates?
  3. TugBoat1976

    TugBoat1976 New Member

    Nov 22, 2013
    Beaufort, NC
    another vortec/cam question

    ok guys here it goes.. I have a work in progress 81 Camaro it has a 260 hp shortblock gm crate installed that the previous owner installed the worst possible smogger heads on and cast iron intake manifold with a holley 4160 600cfm. here is my game plan.

    1. get some junkyard vortec heads and clean magnaflux them new stock springs and a good ole ghetto grind on the retainers.

    2. new lunati barebones cam
    214/224 @ .50
    .443/.465 lift
    lsa/icl 112/107

    3. Weiand street warrior vortec intake manifold dual plane idle to 5500 rpm

    4. gonna keep and rebuild the holley 4160 600cfm.

    do you see any problems with the cam selection I have choosen for the vortec heads? do I need a stall converter? (3.55 gears TH350 trans). what kinda power numbers am I looking at? pretty much gonna be a just a cruiser and will see very little track time if any just ant a decent sounding engine that's fun to drive. suggestions or recommendations are welcomed.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  4. CorkyE

    CorkyE Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Ringgold, GA
    I don't think you'll need a different converter, not that much trouble to change if you do. What rear gears do you have?

    You're saying barebones cam? Make sure you replace the lifters with the new cam. You should be okay with stock springs also.
  5. TugBoat1976

    TugBoat1976 New Member

    Nov 22, 2013
    Beaufort, NC
    yeah i'm buying the kit with the lifters... gears are 3.55.
  6. Green hornet

    Green hornet Veteran Member

    Oct 11, 2015
    North Bay, CA
    I just put a set of used iron vortec heads, edlebrock performer with a 4160 Holley and a Summit SUM-1104 cam that has a 466 lift intake and exhaust on my 307. It runs great and is a great improvement over the 2bbl carb and smoger heads that I took off. Make sure of your air cleaner choice because there is not much room between the carb and the hood. I only had 2 7/8 inches of room with a stock flat hood on my '70
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  7. 70Chev

    70Chev Veteran Member

    Oct 21, 2012
    Brisbane, Australia
    Cam Timing Advice

    Hi guys,

    I've got a couple of stupid questions I'm hoping you can help me with. Sorry if this has been addressed here, but I couldn't find an answer on my specific query.

    I've purchased and am just about to install the GM Hotcam kit into my Vortec. Whilst the mechanics of doing the cam swap is pretty straight forward, I am wondering whether these cams need to be degreed? I understand the basis for it, but am looking for advice on whether the Hotcam needs it, or whether folks have generally just installed as is.

    One thing I'm not sure about is, if the advice is generally that yes the cam should be degreed, what happens if it is off by a couple of degrees? How do you adjust cam timing. I would think the only way you can adjust cam timing is would be by some type of adjustable timimg gears and chain. Does such a thing exist?

    Again, I know they're probably stupid questions, so please don't flame me, but I'd be very grateful for any advice/help.

    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  8. larrylarry

    larrylarry Veteran Member

    Dec 22, 2011
    San Antonio Tx
    GM says Vortec heads are 64cc in the chamber?????

    Mine were not!! More like 62cc. Just a warning if your pushing the compression on your engine an you assume your chamber size to be 64cc, think again!!! I have some 062 Vortecs an none of the chambers were 64. Its easy to check. Use a CD case. place it over the chamber. Mark at top edge or by the spark plug an drill a 1/8 hole in the clear cover. Get some green colored rubbing alcohol an a 20 ml. & 12 ml. Syringe with needles for both. You can get these at a feed store.Place the head with spark plugs in at an angle so the hole in the CD case is pointing up, so air can escape thru it. 1 ml. is the same as 1 cc. Use axel grease to seal the CD case to the head. Then draw up the green alcohol with the needle on the syringe an squirt it into the chamber. Keep a count of the cc's you squirt in.
    You can do this with the intake & exhaust runners also. Pretty easy...
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  9. jdbr1

    jdbr1 New Member

    Jan 12, 2011
    Hey guy I'm looking for some more hp I have a Chevy 350/330 crate motor with vortex heads, I swapped out the cam with a comp cam xe276 hr 502 /510 lift 224/230 duration 110 lobe sep the heads were cut and respringed to fit this cam also roller rockers and 1.5 roller lifters air gap intake Holley ad anger 670 carb my though is to replace the heads and go with the afr 190 vortex heads any pros or cons
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2016
  10. andrewsreed

    andrewsreed Veteran Member

    Aug 20, 2008
    Federal Way, WA
    How would this process differ when using guideplates? Im assuming you would need to use a 7/16-14 bolt to hold down the tool since the guideplate bosses on the rocker studs would get in the way, yes? I plan to use ARP bolts #134-7104 with the Summit brand guideplates for SBC. Wil these work?

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