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Chicken Hawk
11-02-2005, 07:32 PM
On the Studebaker Racing Forum there has been some talk about people wanting good aluminum heads for the Stude V 8. Below is a post I made referring to them. If anyone here might be interested let me know. I'm an old man and if this is going to go, I don't want to put it off very long as I want to be able to use them. Intakes might be a more reality so if you are interested in intakes, let me know on that also.

"All this talk about aluminum heads has me thinking again. About a year ago, I talked with a reliable company in Indy about making them and the price at that time was going to be around $1800 for a pair of bare heads and about $2100 complete with valves, springs, retainers, etc.

I would have had a set made but as you know making one set was not a reality. If I could have come up with at least 25 buyers, he would have done it plus he was talking about making intakes also since I told him we only had the stock intake to use unless we used adapter plates and went with a Chevy or Mopar set up.

I didn't pursue it any further as I told him I doubted I could get 25 people to commit. Besides my set, I could only think of two others that would commit so I didn't think any more about it.

Now it seems there may be more of an interest. Let me know if you are serious about commiting to a set and I'll talk to him again. He said I needed to bring him a block and two heads so if there is the interest, I'll get them to him.

Ted"

whacker
11-02-2005, 08:58 PM
It seems to me that if someone is going to the trouble of casting and milling new heads, that it wouldn't be a lot of extra redesign to make the ports fit the early cadillac V8 manifold, or alter the intake angle for the small block Chrysler intake. There are still a lot of those around, and the availabilty of a wide variety of intake manifolds would expand the market base. Just a thought.

wagone
11-02-2005, 09:20 PM
I've always been interested in aluminum heads myself, but there is one area where aluminum seems to suffer in comparision with iron. That is in the "fact", I believe, that aluminum transfers heat faster (is a better conductor) to the cooling system thus leaving a "shortage" of heat or less energy available to push the piston. Can someone, to satisfy my curiosity if nothing else, quantify the difference--that is how much less efficient is aluminum compared to iron in that it tends to transfer or reject the heat to the coolant faster. What is the percentage and can this "loss" be fully reclaimed through the use of a higher compression ratio? I'm probably over simplifing the issue, but I'm sure someone out there has the answer. Thanks!

wagone

Dan White
11-02-2005, 09:21 PM
The only problem with the Chrysler setup is that (I don't believe) it will fit under the hood of a C/K?

Dan White
64 R1 GT
64 R2 GT

60Lark
11-03-2005, 12:13 AM
Ted, I would be interested in an aluminum intake, contingent upon price.

Studebaker Fever
60 Lark
51 Champion
Phil

DEEPNHOCK
11-03-2005, 08:43 AM
Not enough to worry about.
Trying to equate heat energy loss on a 700 pound dressed Studebaker V8 is about akin to going from a 4 blade to a 5 blade fan. After all, what are you going to gain? 5 hp? (if all you are doing is changing materials, not the design..). What would 5 hp do for a Stude engine? Well, 5 hp is 5 hp, but how much would you spend to make an additional 5 hp?
Just rambling....;)
Jeff



quote:Originally posted by wagone

I've always been interested in aluminum heads myself, but there is one area where aluminum seems to suffer in comparision with iron. That is in the "fact", I believe, that aluminum transfers heat faster (is a better conductor) to the cooling system thus leaving a "shortage" of heat or less energy available to push the piston. Can someone, to satisfy my curiosity if nothing else, quantify the difference--that is how much less efficient is aluminum compared to iron in that it tends to transfer or reject the heat to the coolant faster. What is the percentage and can this "loss" be fully reclaimed through the use of a higher compression ratio? I'm probably over simplifing the issue, but I'm sure someone out there has the answer. Thanks!

wagone



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Jessie J.
11-03-2005, 12:16 PM
It seems to me that if someone is going to the trouble of casting and milling new heads, that it wouldn't be a lot of extra redesign to make the ports fit the early cadillac V8 manifold, or alter the intake angle for the small block Chrysler intake. There are still a lot of those around, and the availabilty of a wide variety of intake manifolds would expand the market base. Just a thought.

I agree with whacker on this, as there is such a limited choice in performance intake manifolds that will actually "fit" the stock Studebaker intake ports. Here is a perfect opportunity to do it 'better' than original, after all what is the of point producing these (expensive) aluminum heads, when decent manifolding is still hard to come by for the original heads, and would still be a limitation on aluminum copies?
Attempts to get any respected manufacturer to produce (or reproduce) an aluminum Stude or early Cadillac manifold have been virtually fruitless.
Try finding a reasonably priced 3x2 or 2x4 aluminum intake that was actually engineered to fit a Stude? Has such a thing ever even existed? Even reproductions of the early Cadillac aluminum 3x2s and 2x4s are unobtainium.
For real performance with an aluminum "Studebaker" head it appears the only logical approach would be to design it to properly interface with the wide selection of SB Mopar intakes that are readily (and cheaply) available, but for this to be done 'right' it would require a radical redesigning the head ports to give a 'straight shot' at the Mopar intake manifolds much more horizontal passages. (presently available "Mopar intake adapters" produce a compromised passage with about a 45 degree 'kink' at the manifold interface)
Bench racing is interesting, what would be the application for these 'ultimate' "Studebaker" heads?
Obviously Ted's Chicken Hawk 'might' benefit, and a few other racers that participate in venues that are not restricted by class rules requiring factory head castings, and a few enthusiasts that just 'need' a set for the bragging rights.
But where does it end? once you get the ultimate "Studebaker" aluminum head, how about a ultimate "Studebaker" aluminum block? and of course your new "Studebaker" aluminum heads still only have two valves, and we all know that dual overhead cam "Studebaker" heads were already manufactured back in the 50's.
As the only racing where these new "Studebaker" heads would be accepted would be those classes that are virtually unrestricted (and you can bet your bottom dollar that if they were successful to the point they threatened the "Big Boys" domination, the rules would be changed to eliminate the 'problem') you might as well "go whole hog" and make them 'double overhead-cams four-valves to a cylinder aluminum "Studebaker" heads'.

I am interested in aluminum V-8 intake manifolds that correctly fit the real genuine Studebaker iron heads that 99.9999% of us actually have on our Studebaker's.

Most of us out here in Studebakerland will never take our pride and joy down even a single pass on a actual dragstrip, but we will always be 'popping our hoods' at every occasion, and displaying our rides at car shows year in and year out all over America and the rest of the world.
Why o'why doesn't someone see that we would like some of those nice aluminum goodies that all the competition has so readily available?
I attend the PSMCDs at Stanton yearly, love seeing Studes running on the strip, and all the neat Studes being displayed in the pits and parking lot too! just my thoughts, others may not agree.

Chicken Hawk
11-03-2005, 09:13 PM
quote:Originally posted by wagone

I've always been interested in aluminum heads myself, but there is one area where aluminum seems to suffer in comparision with iron. That is in the "fact", I believe, that aluminum transfers heat faster (is a better conductor) to the cooling system thus leaving a "shortage" of heat or less energy available to push the piston. Can someone, to satisfy my curiosity if nothing else, quantify the difference--that is how much less efficient is aluminum compared to iron in that it tends to transfer or reject the heat to the coolant faster. What is the percentage and can this "loss" be fully reclaimed through the use of a higher compression ratio? I'm probably over simplifing the issue, but I'm sure someone out there has the answer. Thanks!

wagone


Several questions coming up and I'll try to answer them in a day or so when most questions have been asked.

Ted

whacker
11-03-2005, 10:34 PM
There is another thing that needs to be considered with aluminum heads, and that is machineablity. As any machinist can tell you, raw, cast aluminum is almost unmachinable. Before anything really useful can be done with cast aluminum, it must be heat treated. After heat treatment aluminum can be a dream to work with, before heat treatment it is a nightmare. As anyone who has ever cross-threaded a spark plug in an aluminum head can tell you, aluminum tends to seize against steel, meaning that tooling costs can be high when dealing with cuts at depth in heat treated aluminum castings - the heat treatment tends to be good at the outer surface and less inside. The metal smears badly at depth in heat treated cast parts, meaning another heat treatment is required after rough cut. I'm not trying to rain on the parade here, but there is more to working with aluminum than meets the eye. We need to be sure these costs are included in the original quote.

oldvinyl
11-04-2005, 02:22 AM
Heres a shot at it, Yes It certainly would be great to see a new Stude Aluminum casting, I believe that the intake flange should be kept in factory position. The exhaust porting could really make some great power improvements. 4 equally tuned ports that out flow anything previously made. The intake runners could be dramatically improved over the LS heads. I like Ted Harbits Ideas and perhaps this is a good consideration. A properly designed casting could show more gains than we ever expected. I still think that valve sizes are going to play heavy on the new heads. Bigger valves do not always translate into bigger power gains, With the bigger valves you will need atleast the R-3 bore of 3.655 . I strongly recommend canted inlet valves so we can start really seeing the potential of air flow.It would require special rocker shafts. Canted inlets would work better on smaller bore aswell. Just a thought, Tom.

Dan White
11-04-2005, 06:42 AM
Although there are a lot of good ideas that have been proposed, I hope you guys realize how much R&D cost would need to go into bringing these options into reality, both for heads and intakes. Various prototype designs, both on a computer modeling and fabricated to do real flow work. Not to mention if there is extra CNC machining costs on the final heads, like the Trickflow Chevy heads. If there are non-standard exhaust designs then where would the manifolds come from, another new design? Non-standard valve train? If the intakes do not fit under C/K hoods then you take out a lot of potential customers. I think Ted was planning on $2,200 for the finished casting and I am not sure if that includes the R&D costs for some the ideas that have been proposed. Everything sounds great but if the $$$$ get too large even 25 units would be impossible.

Dan White
64 R1 GT
64 R2 GT

oldvinyl
11-04-2005, 10:26 PM
Yes R&D costs a bit, It would be nice to see a "Voice" approach several companies to have a presentation made for the development of a new cylinder head. Work committed under sponsorship on behalf of All the Studebaker Clubs. If there is a will, there is a way, lets not get too overly afraid of costs. The cylinder heads will sell easily. I wouldnt mind a set of Victor JR. Stude Race Heads, Id buy a couple sets today. Tom.

DEEPNHOCK
11-05-2005, 06:25 AM
(Good points, but there is really only one 'true' answer.....)

Because nobody would pay for it.

A speed parts manufacturer won't gear up production for a few dozen anything.
The small manufacturer will do short run production, but will base his cost on just that...a short run.
Economy of scale will never be a force to reckon with in the Studebaker world.

We DO have aluminum heads available that can be reworked into something fairly decent. Few people have put up the money and actually put them on. The rest just lament and talk about it.
A manifold would be neat. Why not grab what is already out there?
$500 for an Offy that needs work and chokes at 5,000 rpm... They're on Ebay almost monthly.. A Stone Clone manifold is out there to...for similar dollars.. Shoot, the adapters for a Mopar are out there too..
Most Stude types are too frugal for the real speed world.
Not a bitch, just an observation.
Jeff[8D]


quote:Originally posted by Jessie J.


[QUOTE=whacker]
<snipped for brevity)
Why o'why doesn't someone see that we would like some of those nice aluminum goodies that all the competition has so readily available?
<snipped bor brevity)


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DEEPNHOCK
11-05-2005, 06:31 AM
You don't need a voice. You need money.
A presentation would have to include a stack of pre-orders, or orders.
There won't be a manufacturer that would trust a 'club' for anything in the business world.
What we would really need is to have 50 people put up 2 grand each for a pair of finished heads.
Walk into a short run manufacturer and show them the money.
Put half of it in escrow to be paid upon delivery of finished product.
You'd have your heads in a hurry.
Jeff [8D]


quote:Originally posted by oldvinyl

Yes R&D costs a bit, It would be nice to see a "Voice" approach several companies to have a presentation made for the development of a new cylinder head. Work committed under sponsorship on behalf of All the Studebaker Clubs. If there is a will, there is a way, lets not get too overly afraid of costs. The cylinder heads will sell easily. I wouldnt mind a set of Victor JR. Stude Race Heads, Id buy a couple sets today. Tom.


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oldvinyl
11-05-2005, 12:27 PM
Hi Jeff, So whats the problem lets get the ball rolling, and defuse all the procrastinators. A strong Voice and letter of intent to all clubs, I strongly beleive That Cash could be pooled though a trust fund arrangement, legally, and once the quota is met, R&D could begin along with strong support given by some of the best Stude racers like Ted Harbit, Here is a gentleman that really deserves strong recognition. He certainly has had his nose burried deep inside cylinder heads practically all his life, all of his Ideas are really practical and apply to the needed demands, I fully undestand that talk is cheap., There are many people that are going to be just tire kickers, However there are several hundred people that wouldnt flinch at purchacing a new design head after seeing the flow bench data. The list of custommers would start to flow in. Have faith. And at first If we were to commision a company to do R&D (Edelbrock would be my first choice) A sacrifice could be made up front to build a prototype head. I certainly will support that cause. Who wants to step up to the starting line?? Strong motivation is all it takes. We are not talking big dollars here. As an individual yes, but as a group No. Tom.

oldvinyl
11-06-2005, 12:25 AM
Continued, It would be great to hear more feedback! The Impact that the new heads may have could really create a stir. There are several offshore plants that could easily follow blueprints and supply a quality product, and perhaps big savings. Brodix, World, and several good U.S. shops also need the work. Iam very positive that there are atleast 50 people that would dig deep into the piggy bank to get a real good set of highly modified castings. Dont mean to poke so hard but its a reality that can happen with positive support and yes funding. I would think that with good leadership and directives from elected Stude racers, This task would come off smoother than one might think. There are some really great Ideas that have been tossed around. It would be a good thing to see a program of this magnitude transpire. A new Studebaker Performance Company (corporation) could be formed as a basis for this project, and all future Studebaker performance endevours. Tom.

64Avanti
11-06-2005, 10:57 PM
I would be happy to pay $2000 for a set of good aluminum heads and have considered building some for the last 20 years. I have been working in engineering for the last 30+ years involved in both R&D and production. I have also been involved in Studebakers off and on since I was 14.

When we had STU-V products I think I got a good insight into the attitude of the typical Studebaker owner. We never did have very good sales on the performance equipment. Everyone complained that it cost too much, but we weren't making any money on. We were charging about 25% over our cost of production. When the gas crisis came along in 73 everyone stopped buying performance equipment.

So here is my take on what it would take to design a head and a little about the required design. To optimize the port design within the constraints of the head bolt pattern etc. would require something like 200 to 600 hours. So let's call it 400 hours. To finish the design of the heads and make drawings will take about 200 hours. If someone was paid to do this work it would cost at least $100 per hour. Now we need to make the patterns. This will also be expensive. Most likely close to $100K. Now what does it cost to produce these. (We will assume that the first design works and we don't have to do some fine tuning on the design.) I will assume that we are commited to building 50 sets of heads and the casting vendor charges about $400 per head. Machining will be about $150 per head. Valve seats and guides about $50. Valves, valve springs and retainers for good parts for a flat tappet cam will be about $170 per head. So what does this add up to? $4740 per pair of heads.

Perhaps some of us would do the development at no cost and make the drawings at no cost and we can reduce the cost to about $3500. (I might do that.)

Now we need a new exhaust manifold. This will add another $400-$500 to the cost.

So what are the important design requirements?

- Modern cumbustion chamber design and spark plug placement
- Raised exhaust ports with the center ports divided.
- The intake port location needs to be the same as the standard
heads.
- Perhaps two designs for the intake port. One with smaller
ports for good performance in the 2500 - 5500 rpm range and
one with larger ports for the 3500 - 7000 rpm range.

The issue with the intake port location has to do with using more or less stock design intake manifold. Like a slightly modified R3. We need to fit under the hood of an Avanti as well as the C-K models. There has been a lot of discussion of the R3 intake being no good but it is really not a bad manifold. The port size in the manifold is equal to the R3 intake ports. It is not a high rise design since it had to fit under the hood. Now the quality issue as produced by LS is perhaps another issue. You can also modify these intakes to fit on a standard head without too much work. A new two plane manifold could be designed that is 1 inch taller and still fit under most hoods. Beyond that and you get into trouble.

Ok now you can throw the darts. And yes I would be willing to spend at least $2000-3000 for a set of heads.

David L

DEEPNHOCK
11-07-2005, 06:07 AM
Well said David....
And what would the 'total' market be? Once the marketing aspect primed the pump...maybe a hundred heads? Two hundred? I guess a gauge would be the LS head... How many of those are actually out there?
One thought I would have would be to perfect a set of OE Stude iron castings and then program a CNC mill to do that work. Then plug in a set of LS aluminum heads and mill them out. This way the cost per head would come way down for a reasonable modification (which is more in norm with the Stude mentality)...
Jeff[8D]

quote:Originally posted by 64Avanti

I would be happy to pay $2000 for a set of good aluminum heads and have considered building some for the last 20 years. I have been working in engineering for the last 30+ years involved in both R&D and production. I have also been involved in Studebakers off and on since I was 14.

When we had STU-V products I think I got a good insight into the attitude of the typical Studebaker owner. We never did have very good sales on the performance equipment. Everyone complained that it cost too much, but we weren't making any money on. We were charging about 25% over our cost of production. When the gas crisis came along in 73 everyone stopped buying performance equipment.

So here is my take on what it would take to design a head and a little about the required design. To optimize the port design within the constraints of the head bolt pattern etc. would require something like 200 to 600 hours. So let's call it 400 hours. To finish the design of the heads and make drawings will take about 200 hours. If someone was paid to do this work it would cost at least $100 per hour. Now we need to make the patterns. This will also be expensive. Most likely close to $100K. Now what does it cost to produce these. (We will assume that the first design works and we don't have to do some fine tuning on the design.) I will assume that we are commited to building 50 sets of heads and the casting vendor charges about $400 per head. Machining will be about $150 per head. Valve seats and guides about $50. Valves, valve springs and retainers for good parts for a flat tappet cam will be about $170 per head. So what does this add up to? $4740 per pair of heads.

Perhaps some of us would do the development at no cost and make the drawings at no cost and we can reduce the cost to about $3500. (I might do that.)

Now we need a new exhaust manifold. This will add another $400-$500 to the cost.

So what are the important design requirements?

- Modern cumbustion chamber design and spark plug placement
- Raised exhaust ports with the center ports divided.
- The intake port location needs to be the same as the standard
heads.
- Perhaps two designs for the intake port. One with smaller
ports for good performance in the 2500 - 5500 rpm range and
one with larger ports for the 3500 - 7000 rpm range.

The issue with the intake port location has to do with using more or less stock design intake manifold. Like a slightly modified R3. We need to fit under the hood of an Avanti as well as the C-K models. There has been a lot of discussion of the R3 intake being no good but it is really not a bad manifold. The port size in the manifold is equal to the R3 intake ports. It is not a high rise design since it had to fit under the hood. Now the quality issue as produced by LS is perhaps another issue. You can also modify these intakes to fit on a standard head without too much work. A new two plane manifold could be designed that is 1 inch taller and still fit under most hoods. Beyond that and you get into trouble.

Ok now you can throw the darts. And yes I would be willing to spend at least $2000-3000 for a set of heads.

David L


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