Swapping in Ported Heads

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
Are there any sensors or other connections or components that I need to transfer from my original stock heads to the "new" stock ported heads? I.e. the cpas/crank sensor or any component so as to avoid a CASE re-learn? Or is it just a simple one for one swap? If anyone knows, I'd appreciate some education, thanks.
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
If your donor head matches your engine ie reluctors match (so 02-07, 08-09), then just a simple swap. Make sure you put the cams and CPAS sensors in the new head exactly as you removed them from the existing head. You might need a CASE, dont know for sure.
 

limequat

Member
Dec 8, 2011
520
No CASE relearn necessary. Just swap out heads and reuse all existing sensors. You will have to be carefull to maintain the timing position. Timing chain slips - off with the pan.
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
ScarabEpic22 said:
If your donor head matches your engine ie reluctors match (so 02-07, 08-09), then just a simple swap. Make sure you put the cams and CPAS sensors in the new head exactly as you removed them from the existing head. You might need a CASE, dont know for sure.

Straight match of 08 to 08, just less miles on the donor heads :wootwoot:. If the heads came with cams is there any reason to switch them out with my original cams?

I'm giddy about receiving the heads. A simple bowl blend and a 3 angle valve job. It's already a stump puller in the low end and I'm expecting a real kick in the pants in the mid range.
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
Pittdawg said:
Straight match of 08 to 08, just less miles on the donor heads :wootwoot:. If the heads came with cams is there any reason to switch them out with my original cams?

I'm giddy about receiving the heads. A simple bowl blend and a 3 angle valve job. It's already a stump puller in the low end and I'm expecting a real kick in the pants in the mid range.

I would leave the cams in the heads they came with, that way whatever slight differences there are in the bearing surfaces they will matchup and be fine...
 

gsf1200m

Member
Dec 15, 2011
55
Sorry if I missed it in another thread, but what is the story behind the ported head? Did you find it ported or have someone do it for you? How much?
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
gsf1200m said:
Sorry if I missed it in another thread, but what is the story behind the ported head? Did you find it ported or have someone do it for you? How much?

I have been flirting with the idea ever since being on the OS. I was initially dissuaded by the possibility of failing smog emissions but my need for speed and the mod bog compelled me to take a gamble. I found a used set of 08 heads for a very good price and I am having them ported by a local machine shop. I stressed to my head porter that I did not want a set of race heads that sacrifice low end for top end since that already happened when I went with a 3 inch exhaust which I HATED. In fact, I put a 2.25 inch resonator at my tailpipe to gain back most of my low end.

My heads are having a simple bowl blend and clean up of the exhaust side with a 3 angle valve job. I'm hoping that the mild nature of the port job will do two things: (1) increase power across the board and not just top end and (2) not cause me to fail a smog test. I am concerned it may give up a small amount of low end but I can't imagine it will be to bad, especially with my small resonator at the tailpipe.

As far as price, I'm having the porting done for $500 and my mechanic will likely charge me $700 for installation. Not cheap.
I will keep you all updated. I will have to get a dyno pull sometime, I'm telling you all my 4.2 already feels like quite strong and quick with my current mods so I can't wait to see if and how much the heads improve it.
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
I'm hoping you are only buying one head, unless you are getting 2 to have a spare.

$500 for one head seems steep, but I haven't had any motor work done in a long time.
 

limequat

Member
Dec 8, 2011
520
C-ya said:
I'm hoping you are only buying one head, unless you are getting 2 to have a spare.

$500 for one head seems steep, but I haven't had any motor work done in a long time.

It is a little steep, but it's pretty hard to find MY08 heads. They didn't make very many to start, and most are still on the road.
 

McGMT

Member
Jun 17, 2012
621
C-ya said:
I'm hoping you are only buying one head, unless you are getting 2 to have a spare.

$500 for one head seems steep, but I haven't had any motor work done in a long time.

DOHC VVT Straight six aluminum... Yea, $500 is about right....
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
limequat said:
No CASE relearn necessary. Just swap out heads and reuse all existing sensors. You will have to be carefull to maintain the timing position. Timing chain slips - off with the pan.

Yep, dont want to drop the chain! Means a LOT more work!

Pittdawg said:
Straight match of 08 to 08, just less miles on the donor heads :wootwoot:. If the heads came with cams is there any reason to switch them out with my original cams?

I'm giddy about receiving the heads. A simple bowl blend and a 3 angle valve job. It's already a stump puller in the low end and I'm expecting a real kick in the pants in the mid range.

Straight across, dont worry about it. Hold onto your stock head, I might be interested in buying it off of you if this proves worthwhile...:thumbsup:

Stump puller because of your 4.10s, should have gone with 4.56s like some SS guys have. I still cant imagine an SS with AWD, 4.56s, and sticky tires, has to hook up and go like crazy.

McGMT said:
I would leave the cams in the heads they came with, that way whatever slight differences there are in the bearing surfaces they will matchup and be fine...

I agree, no reason to swap cams unless you're going with a custom set. They're all the same from GM anyway, well within tolerances.
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
The stock 08 heads I found were shipped to my head porter this morning (per ups). I asked him to inspect them upon receipt to make sure they were in good condition. Keeping fingers crossed they are. I really hope this works out, I'm very excited.
 

gsf1200m

Member
Dec 15, 2011
55
I could be down for a ported head if this works out. I had my motorcycle head ported for $500 from a builder on my bike forum and it made a huge difference. I wouldn't know where to get a truck one done though. I would most likely install it myself so that would get rid of the install cost.

I had .04" taken of the head to bump up the compression ratio a little, would that work at all with the trailblazer?
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
gsf1200m said:
I could be down for a ported head if this works out. I had my motorcycle head ported for $500 from a builder on my bike forum and it made a huge difference. I wouldn't know where to get a truck one done though. I would most likely install it myself so that would get rid of the install cost.

I had .04" taken of the head to bump up the compression ratio a little, would that work at all with the trailblazer?

The guy I hired to do my head porting was supposed to give me an update on Tuesday. I've called him a couple times now and emailed him and have received no response. I'm getting worried and frustrated.
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
My head porter finally called me back. Said he was in Vegas and apologized for not letting me know. I don't know him personally but he was recommended by a friend of a friend of friend. Hopefully he does good work. He claims he is starting his work first thing tomorrow morning. Does anyone know if my mechanic needs any GM or LL8 specific tools to do the installation?
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
Pittdawg said:
My head porter finally called me back. Said he was in Vegas and apologized for not letting me know. I don't know him personally but he was recommended by a friend of a friend of friend. Hopefully he does good work. He claims he is starting his work first thing tomorrow morning. Does anyone know if my mechanic needs any GM or LL8 specific tools to do the installation?

I got an update. He is almost finished. He claimed the heads were warped and he had to resurface them to "15 RA" instead of the normal "12 RA". I guess that's what happens when you buy used heads from a salvage yard off the internet. It's costing me an extra $100 bucks. He slightly ported the exhaust ports and bowl blended the exhaust and intake ports and performed a 3 angle valve job with new seals. I should have the heads next week.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Pittdawg said:
I got an update. He is almost finished. He claimed the heads were warped and he had to resurface them to "15 RA" instead of the normal "12 RA".

Ok, I am not sure what RA our heads are supposed to be (looks like 12 as you said). But just so I understand this correctly he is finishing the heads to a worse spec than what GM calls for? Isn't 12 RA better than 15 RA? Maybe you have the numbers turned around?

And.. are you sure our heads can be milled at ALL? Every document/TSB I have read about our heads calls for a cast then machined replacement. The head bolts might bottom out before getting properly torqued if it's milled. Would be a good idea to quage the thread depth IMHO.
 

gmcman

Member
Dec 12, 2011
4,656
CobraMarty said:
Any flow data on the ported head?

I don't know any numbers from porting 06 and newer heads but a ported 06 head on an 02 would be substantial as the 02 up to I believe 05 used much smaller ports and have very little room for machining.

Interesting thread, if my valvetrain ever takes a dive for whatever reason I will definately go for an 06 head that is ported. I'm very curious as to the OP's results.
Chatting it up with some other folks the smaller port head motors can see as much as 50 HP with a set of custom cams and a ported 06+ head. Custom cams are $$$$$$ though.
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
CaptainXL said:
Ok, I am not sure what RA our heads are supposed to be (looks like 12 as you said). But just so I understand this correctly he is finishing the heads to a worse spec than what GM calls for? Isn't 12 RA better than 15 RA? Maybe you have the numbers turned around?

And.. are you sure our heads can be milled at ALL? Every document/TSB I have read about our heads calls for a cast then machined replacement. The head bolts might bottom out before getting properly torqued if it's milled. Would be a good idea to quage the thread depth IMHO.

I may have had it backwards. When I said normal RA I meant as in most other GM Motors. He indicated our motor had a different RA spec than all other GM motors. He also had to outsource the re-surfacing of the head because our cylinder head is so much longer than most and too long for his equipment.

Honestly, head work is like a foreign language to me. He told me he stripped down the head, cleaned everything, measured everything, did some radiusing, bowl work, back cuts, 3 angle valve job and some other work I forget and finally he installed brand new seals. He also confirmed that he focused his porting on the exhaust ports and mostly just a cleanup of the factory castings on the intake ports. I asked him if the head re-surfacing would effect compression ratio and he indicated that the head surface was only reduced by .015 of an inch, and Gm allows for up to 0.06 (or was it .09?) of an inch reduction so we are well within tolerances.

I just hope the install with my mechanic goes smoothly. Can anyone chime in what I need for the install besides a new gasket set? Does the gasket set come with new head bolts or do I have to buy those separately?
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
First pics

- - - Updated - - -

Two more pics...
 

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limequat

Member
Dec 8, 2011
520
CaptainXL said:
Ok, I am not sure what RA our heads are supposed to be (looks like 12 as you said). But just so I understand this correctly he is finishing the heads to a worse spec than what GM calls for? Isn't 12 RA better than 15 RA? Maybe you have the numbers turned around?

And.. are you sure our heads can be milled at ALL? Every document/TSB I have read about our heads calls for a cast then machined replacement. The head bolts might bottom out before getting properly torqued if it's milled. Would be a good idea to quage the thread depth IMHO.

RA = roughness average. Don't remember the units, but think of it as sandpaper. The higher the number the finer the surface.

- - - Updated - - -

CaptainXL said:
Ok, I am not sure what RA our heads are supposed to be (looks like 12 as you said). But just so I understand this correctly he is finishing the heads to a worse spec than what GM calls for? Isn't 12 RA better than 15 RA? Maybe you have the numbers turned around?

And.. are you sure our heads can be milled at ALL? Every document/TSB I have read about our heads calls for a cast then machined replacement. The head bolts might bottom out before getting properly torqued if it's milled. Would be a good idea to quage the thread depth IMHO.

RA = roughness average. Don't remember the units, but think of it as sandpaper. The higher the number the finer the surface.

- - - Updated - - -

Pittdawg said:
First pics

- - - Updated - - -

Two more pics...

Are those the after pics?
Let's see the exhaust side!
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
limequat said:
RA = roughness average. Don't remember the units, but think of it as sandpaper. The higher the number the finer the surface.

- - - Updated - - -



RA = roughness average. Don't remember the units, but think of it as sandpaper. The higher the number the finer the surface.

- - - Updated - - -



Are those the after pics?
Let's see the exhaust side!

Those are the after pics, does it not look like anything was done? :eek:
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
CaptainXL said:
And.. are you sure our heads can be milled at ALL? Every document/TSB I have read about our heads calls for a cast then machined replacement. The head bolts might bottom out before getting properly torqued if it's milled. Would be a good idea to quage the thread depth IMHO.

He said there were tabs showing you how far you could mill before going to far and he was well shy of the tabs.
 

Slow_Sc3

Member
Oct 20, 2012
20
To be honest I see very little porting done.

ported2jzcylinderhead.jpg


That's my 2jz supra head

supra%20intake%20port.jpg

157074_173958742632405_137302632964683_498862_3148071_n.jpg

another ported head off gooogle

and this is a factory port
adad02c2-d275-94b7.jpg


notice how you can see the factory casting marks.
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
I'll try to get pics of the exhaust ports. The intake ports were only supposed to receive minimal work.
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
I'm all paranoid now, u all see any work?
 

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Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
Slow_Sc3 said:
To be honest I see very little porting done.

ported2jzcylinderhead.jpg


That's my 2jz supra head

supra%20intake%20port.jpg

157074_173958742632405_137302632964683_498862_3148071_n.jpg

another ported head off gooogle

and this is a factory port
adad02c2-d275-94b7.jpg


notice how you can see the factory casting marks.

Those heads were polished. Mine were not polished. It's my understanding polishing is actually bad for power.
 

Slow_Sc3

Member
Oct 20, 2012
20
Pittdawg said:
Those heads were polished. Mine were not polished. It's my understanding polishing is actually bad for power.


the first one and the third head arn't polished they are ruffed up from the cutting wheel used. when polished, the aluminum is super smooth which is bad for intake but good for the exhaust side. can you take a better picture of the exhaust port please.
 

limequat

Member
Dec 8, 2011
520
I can see where he worked on the exhaust side. Typically there's about an 1/8" all the way around that can come out. Looks like he did about half that. Safe, but you could go more.

The intake looks stock. If I squint it looks like he may have taken the casting marks down slightly, but I still see casting marks on the floor of the port. It's probably good but it looks -uh- to be very conservative work if you know what I mean.

OK, let's be frank. You have a lots of money into this already. You may want to ask him to go ahead and gasket match the exhaust ports and clean up the intake a little better. No sense leaving HP on the table when you've already gone this far. If it was my head, I'd want more done.
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
limequat said:
I can see where he worked on the exhaust side. Typically there's about an 1/8" all the way around that can come out. Looks like he did about half that. Safe, but you could go more.

The intake looks stock. If I squint it looks like he may have taken the casting marks down slightly, but I still see casting marks on the floor of the port. It's probably good but it looks -uh- to be very conservative work if you know what I mean.

OK, let's be frank. You have a lots of money into this already. You may want to ask him to go ahead and gasket match the exhaust ports and clean up the intake a little better. No sense leaving HP on the table when you've already gone this far. If it was my head, I'd want more done.

That is exactly what I asked him to do. Remember, I have a heavy truck not a light Supra like you :thumbsup:

After he received my head I spoke to him and said at no cost do I want to lose any low end. So he said stick with bowl work only and very mild porting of the exhaust side and a 3 angle valve job. He also threw in a few other knick nacks that are supposed to improve low end. You just confirmed to me he did what he said he was going to do. He also discounted his work because it was less involved than anticipated. I actually have much less money into it than one would think :yes:

Honestly, I'm not trying to make the most horsepower possible, I'd much rather have a fatter low end torque curve.
 

limequat

Member
Dec 8, 2011
520
Pittdawg said:
That is exactly what I asked him to do. Remember, I have a heavy truck not a light Supra like you :thumbsup:

After he received my head I spoke to him and said at no cost do I want to lose any low end. So he said stick with bowl work only and very mild porting of the exhaust side and a 3 angle valve job. He also threw in a few other knick nacks that are supposed to improve low end. You just confirmed to me he did what he said he was going to do. He also discounted his work because it was less involved than anticipated. I actually have much less money into it than one would think :yes:

Honestly, I'm not trying to make the most horsepower possible, I'd much rather have a fatter low end torque curve.

Hopefully, this is just the ticket!
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
limequat said:
Hopefully, this is just the ticket!

I sure hope so!

If the work was too moderate to make a noticeable difference, I will report back candidly.
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
11 of the 14 head bolts broke off. Mechanic had to spend several hours to drill them out. Likely won't finish today but Monday. He agreed to split the extra hours of labor with me down the middle.
 

CaptainXL

Member
Dec 4, 2011
2,445
Pittdawg said:
11 of the 14 head bolts broke off. Mechanic had to spend several hours to drill them out. Likely won't finish today but Monday. He agreed to split the extra hours of labor with me down the middle.

I wouldn't play that game. They are only supposed to charge what the book says. Shame on him for not properly removing the bolts. Its not your fault that you should have to pay extra.
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
CaptainXL said:
I wouldn't play that game. They are only supposed to charge what the book says. Shame on him for not properly removing the bolts. Its not your fault that you should have to pay extra.

That's what we are doing. The book says 9 and he was originally gonna charge me for 7. Now that he has spent an extra 4 hours or so I will pay him for the full 9. Also, its apparently quite prevalent to break the bolts on our heads, not much you can do about it. This guy is very honest and has done good work for me in the past.
 

Pittdawg

Original poster
Member
Dec 5, 2011
538
Picked her up this morning. Only drove about 10 miles from shop to work but so far so good :thumbsup: Definately feels like it has a little more punch :wootwoot: Power curve also feels even flatter and more linear. I'm happy so far but haven't pushed it fully yet.

I have my stock head for sale, in good conidtion and only about 60k miles if anyone is interested in upgrading to post 06 head and/or porting a post 06 head. I'll post pics in the classified section later.
 

ScarabEpic22

Member
Nov 20, 2011
728
Pittdawg said:
Picked her up this morning. Only drove about 10 miles from shop to work but so far so good :thumbsup: Definately feels like it has a little more punch :wootwoot: Power curve also feels even flatter and more linear. I'm happy so far but haven't pushed it fully yet.

I have my stock head for sale, in good conidtion and only about 60k miles if anyone is interested in upgrading to post 06 head and/or porting a post 06 head. I'll post pics in the classified section later.

Pitt, what year is your truck? I need a head off an 06-07, 08-09 wont work for me.

Nevermind, just looked at your profile and you have an 08. :sadcry:
 

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