View Full Version : Head porting and polishing

05-18-2007, 08:05 PM
Have any of you had your studebaker head ported and polished? My head has a number 597555 on it and according to the book it has 54.4cc now if anyone out there has had head work done to there 289 head what was the proceedure?

Studebakers forever!

05-18-2007, 08:15 PM
Here's the work done on my R2 heads:



63 GT R2
63 Avanti R1
63 Daytona convert
63 Lark 2 door
62 Lark 2 door
60 Lark HT-60Hawk
59 3E truck
58 Starlight
52 & 53 Starliner
51 Commander

05-18-2007, 08:52 PM
OOOOOOOO puurrty!:D[8D];)

Head work is the one biggest improvement in power you can do with a
Studebaker engine, the overall design is a good one, but factory is
unfinished. Looking at the pictures JDP posted, and your own heads
you can see the difference. They respond well to larger intake valves
yet the exhaust valve is actually good as a factory size. Its worth
every penny you spend if you are trying to get more out. My Hawk was
a fun car to drive, estimated 275-300 hp N/A, and with the TH700R4
trans and a 3:31 axle squeaked out mid 20's MPG on the freeway.:D;)


'63 Avanti, zinc plated drilled & slotted 03 Mustang Cobra 13" front disc/98 GT rear brakes, 03 Cobra 17" wheels, GM alt, 97 Z28 leather seats, soon: 97 Z28 T-56 6-spd, Ported heads w/SST full flow valves, 'R3' 276 cam, Edelbrock AFB Carb, GM HEI distributor, 8.8mm plug wires

05-18-2007, 09:14 PM
I see JDP what you did to the heads however when I am talking to the machine shop guy, when it comes to the size of the porting is there a desired measurment a number or formula. I see the porting of the intake runner and it's enlargement. I have seen that done to my 55 chevy 350 however the valve polish job, if the intake valves are 187 and the exhaust valves are stock when he ports and polishes the chamber it will be the size that will accominadate the valves right? I have to put into words what you are trying to show me in pictures, this is my delima

Studebakers forever!

Mike Van Veghten
05-18-2007, 09:16 PM
Not bad JDP. Should round a few more of those edges around the intake seat though.

Here's a coupla shots of the heads I'm currently working on.
Click on "Stude head porting".


The seats are not completed yet.
Lots'a "redirecting" of flow. No hogging for the sake of just making the hole bigger. All material removal has bee done to change the direction of flow more toward the valve center line.

Studelover -
As noted above, more than to just enlarge...make better.
Better flow isn't very often going to happen thru "just" a bigger port. "Quality" of flow is much more important than "quanitity" of flow. As SBCA notes, the intake valve ONLY enlargement is all that's required. By todays standards...it would be nice to shrink the exhaust valve a little to gain the correct relationship in valve sizes that has been proven with wet flow technology.
Remember..quality over quantity.

In my heads you see in the pictures, per the stock intake gasket, only the roof and common wall have been moved. The push rod and floor edges have not been moved per the gasket.
Much of the hump in the roof is gone and or reshaped, the roof is raised, the opening itself has been redirected toward the valve.
The floor has only been cleaned up.
BUT...a lot of work goes into reshaping the short turn radius...the floor where it bends around to go past the valve seat. There is some strange shapes Stude put in there that need reshaping...but your porter needs to be very carefull NOT to lower that radius, just clean it up and make it one nice clean radius.


05-18-2007, 09:27 PM
Thanks Mike, looking at your pictures I now understand. They were trying to tell me about the eyebrow it's around the outside of the valve. I see it now and understand. That makes it possible for the bigger intake valve and better flow in the chamber, thanks for those pic's and thanks to you JDP. On the other site you tried to explain it to me then only I did not understand. I will meet with the machine shop guy early tomorrow and show him the pic's I think now we can get that motor running, heading down the highway......looking for some thunder![8D]

Studebakers forever!

05-18-2007, 09:51 PM
[B)][V] sigh.


quote:Originally posted by studelover

Thanks Mike .... thanks to you JDP....

05-18-2007, 10:22 PM
sbca96 you gave me some very good advice on the other site(studebaker racing) I paste and copied all of it. I will take it with me to the machinst as well. I thought all that info was lost I guess Sonny retrived it all thank goodness.You guy's have been a real help to me and I won't forget! chin up[V]:D

Studebakers forever!

05-19-2007, 05:26 AM
Its cool, was feeling a little, um, overlooked in the thank yous. Its
been a rough week at work - considering taking up drinking ......[:o)]


quote:Originally posted by studelover

sbca96 you gave me some very good advice on the other site(studebaker racing) chin up[V]:D

05-19-2007, 06:33 PM
Caution: Late heads can have some core shift and it is possible/easy to find the water jacket while working on them.

Tim K.
'64 R2 GT Hawk

Mike Van Veghten
05-19-2007, 07:14 PM
Tim -

That's where the sonic tester comes in very handy!

In two ports...the push rod wall is about twice as thick as the other two walls with the same amount of work done. Both heads are this way.

The heads you see in my pictures are 570 castings. I cut into a cracked 555 head to see what the wall thickness was adjacent to the valve guide with the entire "skijump" removed....I broke into water at a location that's over .110" thick in the 570 heads! It's about .63" upstream of the valve guide.
So...apparently, there's more than just machining different on different casting heads!

Note that I've also removed almost no material from the entire intake port floor. Just enough to smooth out all the lumps and bumps Stude put in there for us.


05-19-2007, 10:17 PM
I took all the info that I got from everyone and had my guy read it. You normally thinks forums are opinun based things that are useless. After reading and looking at the pic's you concluded that the folks here know what they are talking about and that getting 300 horse power from this motor using mid grade gas and not keeping the compression ratio below 10 to 1 was unrealiatic, I concur. I now will shoot for a more realistic goal of 260-275 with the cupped pistons and the slightly larger intake valves and some head work. I will have something that is respectible out there with my street rod buddies. He is ready to get to work, my block was not as bad as thought either as he said we may be able to get away with 030 over pistons. I may need some new springs as tyhe ones in the head looked beat!

Studebakers forever!