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Head work?

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  • Head work?

    Finally got the 232 and transmission pulled out of my 53 this week and am now ready to get started swapping out parts to improve the performance. I'm starting with the heads. I'm going to use later 259 heads and exhaust manifolds. Ted suggested I shave .060 from them for compression but I forgot to question weather this was to return them to the compression the engine started with or to actually increase it? I called up a local automotive machine shop to get some prices and information. Got a price for labor [$280,00] minus parts. I'm hoping the valves check out OK but the main concern are the guides. he guessed they are worn and mentioned sleeving them and said he would not know about compatability of the parts he uses until the heads were torn down. Any recommendations and good sources for cylinder head related parts? Thanks for any input on this so I don't waste alot of time and money,

    Darryl C. Lewallen

  • #2
    PEP or Precision Engine Parts in Las Vegas.


    • #3
      I recommend using the stock Studebaker exhaust valves with ferd 351 1.9 dia. intake valves (TRW #V3220X). The length of the valves is within 1/32 of the length of the stock Stude intake valves and the increased flow will really wake up that 232. For a street driven car, it is great! You must be careful that the intakes do not touch the cylinder edges, if they do, you must relieve the cylinders. I also recommend that you polish the ports and grind out the protruding guide inside the ports. Gasket match the intake and exhaust manifolds. I also suggest you do a lot of the polishing and grinding yourself to cut cost, and get at least two quotes on the machine work. Most of these new shops are not familiar with Studes, so they quote everything high just to cover their butts.


      • #4
        Sorry to "fully" disagree with the Ford/Chevy/ al valve swaps...

        You can get reasonably good valves from Fairborn Studebaker, and a few other places that are the correct length and stock diameters to R2/R3 diameters. In other words, everything will fit "correctly".

        The bad thing is, you won't see the full improvement without a bit of port work. The chambers need a fair amount also.

        As for the work done...most any compatant shop can do the work. It's not a big secret.

        One little tip on the guides...if you do need guides, just buy a set from any of the vendors and change the whole guide.... Buy all exhaust guides, They are shorter and don't plug up the intake port.
        That's a quick little bit of port work for no extra money.


        p.s....I hope you mean .060"....not .60".


        • #5
          I second the advice on the valve guides, they are cheap enough and easy enough to replace. I beg to differ on the valves, however, as we are talking about a 232. The bore is smaller than the bore of the 224, 259, 289 bore. We are talking about 3 5/16 dia. bore compared to a 3 9/16 dia. bore. The R2/R3 valves will interfere just like the ferd and chebby valves will. The chebby valve conversion is much more involved and the gain is not enough to justify it for a street driven application (my opinion). Whatever valves you decide to go with, be sure to check for interference!


          • #6
            One should notice I did mention "stock" sized valves...whatever diameter they may be.

            I do believe most that offer valves have or can get the different diameters.

            For what it's worth...a short (or long) valve plays havoc with the, as designed geometry. You'll loose lift and a small amount of duration with the rocker having to reach farther down to get to a given "as designed" point. Draw out a circle and then put in a rocker arm. ThEn lower that circle straight down and see what happens.



            • #7
              Even with the "stock" valves in a 259 head installed on a 232, there is a good chance of interference. Even if you use the stock 259 valves, you must check for interference, especially if you are milling .060 for compression.