Improving afr 290s - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 19, 9:39 PM Thread Starter
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Improving afr 290s

To the pros here, some of those heads have a lil room for improvements, some get sketchy.
Mainly mess around wiht sbc stuff, ordered a set of 290s for a friends 31 panel (454 tubbed etc
Got an edelbrock tunnel ram, so making the most of what he has

What is your take? Know the usual areas to go get that next 5-10 but if youve found more please share.

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post #2 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 19, 11:17 AM
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Re: Improving afr 290s

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To the pros here, some of those heads have a lil room for improvements, some get sketchy.
Mainly mess around wiht sbc stuff, ordered a set of 290s for a friends 31 panel (454 tubbed etc
Got an edelbrock tunnel ram, so making the most of what he has

What is your take? Know the usual areas to go get that next 5-10 but if youve found more please share.
Leave them alone. That's about as much air as you want to try and shove through that port architecture. The 300's flow more air but are horribly unstable and turbulent. 360-370cfm is enough for well over 800hp. You will do better to spend the time on getting the intake to fit the openings in the heads and make a nice transition in the intake runner. The "ROval" port opening in the heads has a lot of area and will more more air than most oval port intakes are designed to move. If the Edelbrock TR is a street oval port TR, you should port the entire runner to make it "right".

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post #3 of 50 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 19, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Improving afr 290s

thanks...this guy doesnt listen hes still stuck in "how big can you make them" tried explaining you dont do anything or if so minor detail work or youll poke a hole or lose #s.
He comes from the world of stock GM heads and ft cams..wish I could talk him into a roller he is leaving a lot on the table. That TR will take a ton of work they look almost like peanut ports

Other issue is his pistons...these heads have 112c chambers he insisted. He has domed pistons...this should be interesting. havent messed with a BB for many yrs have a feeling someones going to be upset.

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post #4 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Improving afr 290s

Tore them down last night....they really need to get a handle on the QC guides are all over the place 1 is super tight. 2 on the loose side. Ive seen much better out of them, not happy but will just take care of it

The TR is going to need a TON of time spent on it. Nothing like buddie favors gettin ya in trouble...he has no idea how much time. Anyways it should be fun when all together.


Shame to use a HFT on these. Really makes me want a big block again
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post #5 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 1:17 PM
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Re: Improving afr 290s

It is a damned shame you can't purchase a set of cylinder heads in October 2019 which are supposed to be "bolt on". Those heads aren't cheap heads and someone should have a chat with AFR about their condition and ask them to remedy them at their expense.
To be fair, I purchased a set of ProMaxx 317's for a project and someone was smoking something when they put the seats in them. They need to learn how to use their cutters. You get the port over there and the seats over here. Same deal there too, you gotta pay someone to fix them too. Frustrating.
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post #6 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 1:25 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Improving afr 290s

Going to make a call today, the person who bought these will flip so Im gonna take care of it. Last guy on the planet anyone wants upset with them trust me on this!!

I agree...for over 2k these should be perfect period, qc dept needs an overhaul.

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post #7 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 1:53 PM
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Re: Improving afr 290s

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Originally Posted by cuisinartvette View Post
Tore them down last night....they really need to get a handle on the QC guides are all over the place 1 is super tight. 2 on the loose side. Ive seen much better out of them, not happy but will just take care of it

The TR is going to need a TON of time spent on it. Nothing like buddie favors gettin ya in trouble...he has no idea how much time. Anyways it should be fun when all together.


Shame to use a HFT on these. Really makes me want a big block again
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It is a damned shame you can't purchase a set of cylinder heads in October 2019 which are supposed to be "bolt on". Those heads aren't cheap heads and someone should have a chat with AFR about their condition and ask them to remedy them at their expense.
To be fair, I purchased a set of ProMaxx 317's for a project and someone was smoking something when they put the seats in them. They need to learn how to use their cutters. You get the port over there and the seats over here. Same deal there too, you gotta pay someone to fix them too. Frustrating.
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Going to make a call today, the person who bought these will flip so Im gonna take care of it. Last guy on the planet anyone wants upset with them trust me on this!!

I agree...for over 2k these should be perfect period, qc dept needs an overhaul.
Unfortunately there isn't a production cylinder head made today that I would take out of the box and bolt on an engine. We have to do four thingsa to every cylinder head we ship; Check the surface...usually just give them a skim for GP. Check guide clearances. They always need work. Check valve job depths, and check valve job run-out. Same as the deck surface, we just default to doing our valve job. I know concentricity and valve job depths are all spot on when we're done. It's time consuming and we charge for it, but what are you gonna do? Very frustrating at times how bad some of this stuff is. Brand name or country of origin has nothing to do with it, either.

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post #8 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 2:21 PM
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Re: Improving afr 290s

It applies to all components in the industry too. Life was simple when you could just go to the dealership and the parts all mated. Of course they could be made better after the fact (considerably better) but like I stated earlier, this is October 2019. This sh!t should be correct from the manufacturer at least to the point that it is everything stated in advertising. OR.... There should be a disclaimer stating "We got these heads pretty close to spec's but you may choose to have a professional shop blueprint them if you expect them to work."
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post #9 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 2:50 PM
 
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Re: Improving afr 290s

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It is a damned shame you can't purchase a set of cylinder heads in October 2019 which are supposed to be "bolt on". Those heads aren't cheap heads and someone should have a chat with AFR about their condition and ask them to remedy them at their expense.
To be fair, I purchased a set of ProMaxx 317's for a project and someone was smoking something when they put the seats in them. They need to learn how to use their cutters. You get the port over there and the seats over here. Same deal there too, you gotta pay someone to fix them too. Frustrating.
Don't recommend an assembled set from them. We buy bare only.
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Why is it we never have time or money to do it the right way in the beginning but we always have time and money to do it over again?
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post #10 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 5:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Improving afr 290s

What do you guys tell customers when a new piece needs a bunch $ more work?
Dont know how you all do it, has to be tough. not badmouting them I like their product but never saw this stuff 10 yrs ago from them

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post #11 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 6:38 PM
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Re: Improving afr 290s

This is disheartening. I was just ready to pull the trigger on some AFR heads and now I've got an uneasy feeling about them.
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post #12 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 7:12 PM
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Re: Improving afr 290s

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Don't recommend an assembled set from them. We buy bare only.
Exactly. I bought a pair of assembled heads, the valves are suspect, the springs are suspect and the titanium retainers are suspect. I'm not real confident in them at all. I'm already on the valve job, valve seat correction plan. Yes, they were cheap enough but by the time all is said and done, how cheap will they have been? That said, the castings are damned nice and from what I see, only one head gasket works, (1017-1). I know the Cometic 4.6 gasket didn't work. I thought that was weird.

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post #13 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 7:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Improving afr 290s

Strokerboats whats your opinion of the guides in general in these import heads?

Told 2 guys that started raving about how cheap Xxx brand on ebay was, when you tell them good luck wiht that $6 valve all I hear is "but they are stainless", its less cheap cheap.
1 in particular lost an engine block due to proxx heads. Turns around and wants to do it again. Its like marrying a stripper and hoping they wont screw around. lol

Im certainly no expert, not a machinist, not even employed but at a certain point how can one believe the bottom of the barrel stuff somehow is Ok?

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post #14 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 9:55 PM
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Re: Improving afr 290s

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Strokerboats whats your opinion of the guides in general in these import heads?

Told 2 guys that started raving about how cheap Xxx brand on ebay was, when you tell them good luck wiht that $6 valve all I hear is "but they are stainless", its less cheap cheap.
1 in particular lost an engine block due to proxx heads. Turns around and wants to do it again. Its like marrying a stripper and hoping they wont screw around. lol

Im certainly no expert, not a machinist, not even employed but at a certain point how can one believe the bottom of the barrel stuff somehow is Ok?
I have a guy who does my valve jobs and some port work. I trust him 100%.
He doesn't do it as a full time occupation but he used to. He has about 20 years experience in cylinder head and intake porting. Pat McNeil knows him pretty well. I'm not equipped to do machine work etc. I can do "some" porting but I sure as hell ain't anything close to good at it. I'm a novice at best.
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post #15 of 50 (permalink) Old Oct 4th, 19, 10:26 PM
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Re: Improving afr 290s

I will be buying a pair of these AFR 290 heads.

I've done the math and getting them assembled is a bargain vs. bare heads + all the parts.

I'll be changing the springs to better match the cam maker's recommended spring pressures and checking the valve seats and guides.

I know Heli-coiling the rocker stud bosses make them stronger on older Chevy heads but should I do it to these heads also? AFR says they're not Heli-coiled.

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