To choosing the right SBC heads, there are a lot of factors to consider. Because it’s essential to know how to choose SBC heads, so comprehensive guide can help you make an informed decision that will get you the best performance possible from your engine.

Firstly, deciding on the type of heads you need is important – cast iron or aluminum. Cast iron is cheaper, but aluminum is lighter and offers better heat dissipation. Next, you need to consider the valve size and shape.

Bigger valves produce better performance, but you must ensure they fit your engine without any modifications. The shape of the valve can also affect the airflow. You should also look at the combustion chamber size, the port volume, and the flow rates.

How To Choose SBC Heads

Introduction To SBC Heads

SBC heads, or small block Chevrolet heads, are essential to any high-performance engine build. Designed for use in Chevy small block engines, these heads are popular among racers and car enthusiasts for their excellent performance and versatility.

SBC heads come in various sizes and configurations, each designed to meet specific performance goals. Engineers design some heads for maximum horsepower and torque while they optimize others for fuel economy.

When selecting SBC heads, there are several factors to consider, including the intended use of the engine, the size of the engine, and the desired performance goals. People typically make SBC heads from aluminum or cast iron, with aluminum being the preferred material for high-performance applications.

Other factors to consider include valve size, combustion chamber size, and port design. With so many options, selecting the right SBC heads can be daunting.

Understanding The Importance Of Choosing The Right SBC Heads

Understanding The Importance Of Choosing The Right SBC Heads

Understanding the importance of choosing the right SBC heads is crucial for anyone who wants to build a high-performance engine. SBC heads, or small block Chevy heads, are critical in determining an engine’s overall power output and efficiency.

Choosing the right heads can mean the difference between a mediocre engine and a powerhouse that dominates the competition. When selecting SBC heads, factors such as airflow, combustion chamber size, valve size, and port design you must consider.

These factors can impact the engine’s performance, fuel efficiency, and reliability. Poorly designed heads can lead to overheating, low compression, and decreased power output.

On the other hand, high-performance SBC heads can improve airflow, increase compression, and boost power output. Matching the heads to the engine’s intended use for street driving, drag racing, or performance cruising is important.

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Choose SBC Heads

How To Choose SBC Heads


Choosing the right cylinder heads for your small block Chevy (SBC) engine ensures optimal performance. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to choose SBC heads.

  1. Are you building a street engine or a race engine? This will determine the flow rate and compression ratio for the cylinder heads. Next, determine your budget. High-quality cylinder heads can be pricey, but investing in a good set can make a huge difference in performance.
  2. To choose between aluminum or cast iron heads. Aluminum heads are lighter and dissipate heat better, but they can be more expensive. Cast iron heads are more affordable but can be heavier and less efficient.
  1. Look for cylinder heads that match the airflow needs of your engine. You can check the flow rate of the cylinder heads by looking at their intake.

 Types Of SBC Heads: Cast Iron Vs. Aluminum

Cast Iron Heads:

  • Cast iron heads are the traditional and commonly used option for Small Block Chevy engines.
  • They are made from cast iron material, which provides durability and strength.
  • Cast iron heads are typically heavier than aluminium heads, which can affect overall engine weight.
  • They offer good heat dissipation and can handle higher operating temperatures without warping.
  • Cast iron heads tend to have a lower thermal expansion rate compared to aluminium, which can be beneficial for maintaining a proper head gasket seal.
  • They are generally less expensive compared to aluminium heads.

Aluminum Heads:

  • Aluminium heads are an alternative option for Small Block Chevy engines, offering several advantages over cast iron heads.
  • They are made from aluminium alloy, which is lighter in weight compared to cast iron. This can contribute to reduced overall engine weight and improved vehicle performance.
  • Aluminium heads have better heat conductivity, allowing them to dissipate heat more efficiently. This can result in lower operating temperatures and reduced risk of heat-related issues.
  • They often have larger intake and exhaust ports, which can improve airflow and potentially increase engine power output.
  • Aluminium heads can be more expensive than cast iron heads due to the higher cost of materials and manufacturing processes.
  • They may require additional maintenance and careful torque procedures due to the different thermal expansion characteristics of aluminium compared to cast iron.

 Understanding The Design Of SBC Heads

 Understanding The Design Of SBC Heads

Understanding the design of SBC (Small Block Chevy) heads is crucial for anyone who wants to build a high-performance engine. The SBC head is one of the most popular cylinder heads in the performance engine world, and its design has undergone significant changes over the years.

It is typically made of cast iron or aluminum, with aluminum heads preferred due to their lighter weight and better heat dissipation. The SBC head also features several important design elements, including the combustion chamber, intake and exhaust ports, valve seats, and valve guides.

The combustion chamber is one of the most significant design elements of the SBC head. The combustion chamber is the area where the fuel and air mixture is burned to create power.

The size and shape of the combustion chamber can have a significant impact on the performance of the engine. Intake and exhaust ports are also essential design elements of the SBC head.

Consider Port Size:

To selecting the right port size for your computer or electronic device, it’s crucial to consider what your system requires. The port size can determine the speed and efficiency of data transfer, and it’s important to choose the right one to handle the size and type of data you need to transfer.

A smaller port size may suffice if you only need to transfer small amounts of data. Different devices may require different port sizes, and selecting the wrong size can lead to slower data transfer or even damage your device. Another factor to consider is the distance between the devices, as port size can also affect the length of the cable that can be used.

Consider Valve Size:

When selecting a valve, it is crucial to consider the valve size. The size of the valve will determine the flow rate, the pressure drop, and the system’s overall efficiency. Therefore, it is essential to choose the right size of the valve to ensure that the system operates at optimal levels. The valve size is typically determined by the pipe size and the flow rate required for the system.

It is important to note that the valve size should not be too small or too large for the system. If the valve size is too small, it can cause the pressure drop to be too high, which can lead to reduced flow rates and inefficiencies. On the other hand, if the valve size is too large, it can lead to excessive costs and unnecessary weight on the system.

Consider Chamber Size:

When looking for the right chamber for your application, it is important to consider chamber size. A smaller chamber may be sufficient if you want to test small components or specimens. However, a larger chamber will be necessary if you require larger parts or assemblies to be tested.

Remember the dimensions of the parts or specimens you will test, as they may not fit in a too-small chamber. Ultimately, the chamber size will directly impact the effectiveness and efficiency of your testing process, so it is important to carefully consider this factor before making a purchase.

Consider Runner Size:

To choosing the right runner for your home, there are several factors to consider. One of the most important considerations is runner size. The size of your runner will depend on the space where you plan to place it. It’s also important to consider the height of any doors or furniture in the space to ensure that your runner won’t interfere with them.

Another factor to consider when choosing a runner is the material it’s made from. Runners can be made from a wide range of materials, including wool, synthetic fibers, and natural fibers like jute or sisal. Each material has unique properties, so choosing one that suits your needs and preferences is important.

 Factors To Consider When Choosing SBC Heads

 Factors To Consider When Choosing SBC Heads

When choosing SBC heads, several factors must be considered to ensure the engine runs smoothly and efficiently. The first consideration is the material of the heads. Aluminum heads are lighter and dissipate heat better than cast iron heads but are more expensive.

The next factor is the valve size. Larger valves allow for better airflow, which results in more power, but they can also cause clearance issues with the pistons.

The combustion chamber size is also important because it affects the compression ratio. High compression ratios result in more power but require higher octane fuel. The shape of the ports and chambers also affects airflow and power output, so it’s important to choose heads designed for the engine’s intended use.

Other factors to consider include the rocker arm style, head bolt pattern, and the availability of aftermarket parts. Ultimately, the choice of SBC heads depends on the specific needs and goals of the engine builder.

Consider Compression Ratio:

To choosing the right engine for your vehicle, it’s essential to consider the compression ratio. The compression ratio is the ratio of the volume of the combustion chamber when the piston is at the bottom of its stroke to the volume when the piston is at the top of its stroke. In other words, it refers to how tightly the fuel-air mixture is compressed before ignition.

A higher compression ratio typically results in a more powerful engine, but it also requires higher-octane fuel and can lead to increased wear and tear on engine components. On the other hand, a lower compression ratio may result in better fuel efficiency but may sacrifice power.

Consider Camshaft:

To the performance and efficiency of an engine, one component that often plays a critical role is the camshaft. The camshaft is responsible for opening and closing the engine valves at the right time, ensuring that the fuel-air mixture is properly distributed and the exhaust gases are expelled efficiently.

When considering a camshaft, there are several factors to take into account. You need to determine the type of driving you will be doing, as this will influence the camshaft specifications you choose. If you are looking for a camshaft that provides better fuel economy for daily driving, you may want to go with a milder profile that improves low-end.

Consider Intake Manifold:

Regarding engine performance, the intake manifold is a crucial component to consider. The intake manifold is responsible for delivering air and fuel to the engine cylinders for combustion. A well-designed intake manifold can greatly improve engine efficiency and power output.

A high-performance engine will require a different type of intake manifold than a standard engine. A longer runner will increase torque at lower RPMs, while a shorter runner will improve high-RPM horsepower. A plastic intake manifold may be more cost-effective and lighter, but a metal intake manifold will offer better durability and heat dissipation.

Consider Exhaust System:

Regarding vehicle maintenance, it’s important to consider the exhaust system. The exhaust system plays a vital role in the vehicle’s overall performance, as it is responsible for removing harmful gases and pollutants from the engine.

A damaged or malfunctioning exhaust system can lead to decreased fuel efficiency, poor engine performance, and even increased emissions. Therefore, it’s essential to regularly inspect and maintain the exhaust system to ensure it’s functioning properly.

One of the most common issues with exhaust systems is corrosion due to exposure to moisture and salt on the roads. Regular cleaning and rust prevention treatments can help prolong the life of the exhaust system.

 Best SBC Heads For Street Performance

 Best SBC Heads For Street Performance

To building a street-performance engine, choosing the right cylinder heads is crucial. There are various options for small-block Chevy (SBC) engines, but finding the best SBC heads for street performance can be daunting.

The Edelbrock Performer RPM series is one of the top choices for SBC heads. These heads offer excellent flow and horsepower potential, making them ideal for street performance applications.

Another popular option is the AFR 195cc Street heads, which offer great airflow and increased combustion efficiency. They also come with hardened exhaust seats, making them suitable for boosted applications. The Dart Iron Eagle heads are an excellent option for those on a tighter budget.

They offer great performance and durability at an affordable price point. Ultimately, the best SBC heads for street performance will depend on your specific needs and budget. When deciding, it’s important to consider factors like flow, compression ratio, and combustion efficiency.

 Best SBC Heads For High-Performance Racing

 Best SBC Heads For High-Performance Racing

Regarding high-performance racing, having the best SBC heads can make all the difference in achieving optimal power and speed on the track. A variety of options are available on the market, each offering different features and benefits.

One popular choice is the Brodix Track 1 series, which features a 180cc intake runner and 64cc combustion chamber for improved airflow and increased compression.

Another top contender is the AFR 195cc Eliminator series, which offers superior performance with its CNC-machined port and chamber design. These heads are also available in aluminum and cast iron options to fit any racing budget or preference.

Other options to consider include the Dart Pro 1 series, which features a symmetrical port design for balanced airflow, and the Trick Flow Super 23 series, which boasts a unique valve design for improved flow and efficiency. Choosing the best SBC heads for high-performance racing depends on several factors.

 Installing Time And Tuning Your SBC Heads

 Installing Time And Tuning Your SBC Heads

One of the most important aspects of building a performance engine is installing and tuning your SBC heads. Proper installation ensures your engine runs smoothly and efficiently, while tuning helps you achieve maximum performance.

When installing your SBC heads, following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and using the correct tools and equipment is important. This will help you achieve the correct torque settings and ensure your heads are properly aligned with your engine block.

You’ll also want to ensure that your heads are properly seated and that all gaskets and seals are in place. Once your SBC heads are installed, it’s time to focus on tuning. This is where you’ll make adjustments to your engine’s fuel and ignition systems to achieve maximum performance.

Tuning involves adjusting your carburetor, timing, and other engine components to achieve the desired level of performance. It’s important to remember that tuning is an ongoing process, as you’ll need to make adjustments as you continue to drive and use your engine.


Knowing how to choose SBC heads is essential. It is crucial to conduct thorough research, consult with experts, and weigh the pros and cons of different options before making a final decision.

By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can make an informed and confident choice that will optimize your engine’s performance, longevity, and overall value. Remember, choosing the right SBC heads is not a one-size-fits-all approach; it requires a tailored solution that meets your needs and requirements.


1.What Are SBC Heads?

Ans: SBC stands for Small Block Chevy, and “heads” refers to the cylinder heads of an engine. SBC heads are cylinder heads specifically designed for small-block Chevy engines.

2.Why Is Choosing The Right SBC Heads Important?

Ans: Choosing the right SBC heads is crucial because they significantly affect engine performance, including power output, torque, fuel efficiency, and reliability.

3.How Do I Determine The Intended Use Of The SBC Heads?

Ans: Consider whether you’ll use the vehicle for daily driving, racing, or off-road applications. Different heads are designed for different purposes and have varying characteristics.

4.Why Is The Desired Power Range Important When Selecting SBC Heads?

Ans: Different heads have different flow characteristics at various RPM ranges. Choosing heads that match your desired power range ensures optimal performance and power delivery throughout the RPM range.

5.How Important Is Aftermarket Support When Choosing SBC Heads?

Ans: Aftermarket support plays a significant role in terms of the availability of spare parts, upgrades, and technical support. Opting for heads with good aftermarket support can make future modifications or maintenance easier and more convenient.