Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 19, 4:00 PM Thread Starter
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Scott Scheffer
 
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Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

Hi all,
Putting together my 67 El Camino, and I've got a gen 1 350 short block, ready to start building. Its got flat pistons and I have a set of Vortec heads that I'm getting ready to send to the machine shop. I grew up around backyard mechanics, but never did any modifications. So this is really fun for me but I think I do need some solid advice now that I'm getting down to 'brass tacks.'
My plan was to use LS6 valve springs because I've read online that the stock Vortec springs don't give very much lift and aren't very good in general. Apparently just using those LS6 springs means you don't have to have the seats machined but they have better lift and better spring action. If I use those, what kind of cam should I get? I'm going to spring for a good fuel injection
set up, and have a 4 speed auto trans, but this isn't going to be a racing car. I would just like it to run good and smooth and have a decent amount of power. The people at Crane Cams recommended a cam with a lift of .454, but that was without me using the Beehive springs. Should I go a little more? And what about the different types of cams? Roller cam versus flat tappet cam and all that - I have no idea what the advantages or disadvantages are for them.
And one last question, as long as I'm sending the heads to the machine shop, what about porting and polishing? Is it worth it to consider doing that if I'm not really looking for a great deal of horsepower?

Looking forward to the discussion!
Scott
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 19, 4:06 PM
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Mr Bill
 
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

Scott,
You need to decide which cam you are going to use first, period. Then you can pick a valve spring that will work on your heads with that particular cam.

You have to remember that all of the engines that came with Vortec heads had roller camshafts and can stand a lot more spring pressure than a flat tappet hydraulic cam. So the LS6 springs might be too much spring pressure.

Everything has to work together.

Bill Koustenis
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Waldorf Md


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 19, 5:25 PM Thread Starter
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Scott Scheffer
 
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

Thank you Bill. So, the LS6 springs and not having to machine the valve seats may give me more lift, but also may mean I should consider a more expensive roller cam. But after reading your post I read a couple articles real quick and it sounds like a roller cam is pretty advantageous. Less friction, doesn't wear as fast, a little more horsepower etc.
On the other hand using stock springs and a milder flat tappet cam is an option and may run decent enough for a driver. Adding the Vortec heads alone adds a little bit of horsepower so maybe I don't need more valve lift and a much bigger cam.

I know - I'm musing. I guess what I'm asking is what would yall do?

Thanks,
Scott
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 19, 10:49 PM
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottscheffer55 View Post
Thank you Bill. So, the LS6 springs and not having to machine the valve seats may give me more lift, but also may mean I should consider a more expensive roller cam. But after reading your post I read a couple articles real quick and it sounds like a roller cam is pretty advantageous. Less friction, doesn't wear as fast, a little more horsepower etc.
On the other hand using stock springs and a milder flat tappet cam is an option and may run decent enough for a driver. Adding the Vortec heads alone adds a little bit of horsepower so maybe I don't need more valve lift and a much bigger cam.

I know - I'm musing. I guess what I'm asking is what would yall do?

Thanks,
Scott

I went a little over what you wanted as I ported my Vortec heads and installed 7/16 studs and guideplates, then used a custom grind cam a roller [email protected] .050 and .492" lift on a 110LSA.


But for yours I think the GM LT4 hot cam would do really well if you go roller.
Check clearances on either cam.

If you stay flat tappet I really like the comp 268H cam . I reach for it for a really spunky daily driver that pulls the boat to the lake really well and turns in real good MPG like 18 MPG or a couple better if you can keep your foot out of it.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 19, 7:47 AM
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

Scott,

The other thing you need to consider is that you are going to be close to 10 to 1 compression with the flat top pistons and the Vortec heads. Normally that is too much for a cast iron head on pump gas, at least in my opinion it is. If you dont already have pistons you might want to think about a small dish to get the compression down to 9.5 or so. even at 9.5 you are going to need to run 93 octane.

My opinion for your build would be to just do a small hydraulic roller camshaft and leave it alone otherwise.

I always use the engine in my 99 Tahoe as a perfect example. It is a Vortec 350. Completely stock. The truck weighs about 5000 lbs. Factory specs on the engine are 255 hp and 330 lbft torque. I took it to the track right after I got it back in 99 and it ran in the mid 16's. That is almost as fast as my Chevelle was when it was new in 1971. I bet if you put that engine in a Chevelle it would run mid 14's. All that and it still gets 21 mpg on the highway and it has 250 k miles on it ! And that is all with 87 octane in the tank

So I say for a real nice driver I would stay conservative and you will have a real fun car to drive.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 19, 10:20 AM
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

You are on the right path. This is what I've done to my 350 with flat tops.
Stock Vortec heads with compcam 26918 springs and 774 retainers.
GM LT hot cam https://www.gmperformancemotor.com/parts/24502586.html
and set of self aligning rockers.

The engine ran great on crappy 91 octane we get here in Cali. It sounded little aggressive but ran like a champ.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 11th, 19, 10:27 AM
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Mr Bill
 
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie K View Post

The engine ran great on crappy 91 octane we get here in Cali.

Thats good to know. Maybe the Vortec heads are a lot more resistant to detonation.

Bill Koustenis
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 19, 4:01 AM
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottscheffer55 View Post
So, the LS6 springs and not having to machine the valve seats
The spring you choose has nothing to do with having to machine the valve seat.


I think you mean "not having to machine the SPRING seat..." meaning the valve spring pocket in the head.


You may or may not still need to cut down the valve guide or play games with valve seals depending on valve installed height. The valve spring retainer could crush the valve seal against the top of the valve guide if the lift is high enough.


EVERYTHING HAS TO BE CHECKED.

Did you SEARCH BEFORE POSTING a new thread?
Did you post in the CORRECT FORUM?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 12th, 19, 6:48 AM
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

I found out the retainer to guide seal clearance falls in at .470"-.480"on my stock 906 Vortec heads.
I replace the factory seals with viton 35-305V16 seals which I have on hand I am rewarded with .520" clearance before the retainer hits the top of the seal.

I also have different retainers that add another .040".
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 14th, 19, 12:30 AM
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

I just use my cutter on a drill and cut the guides down then I use the right seal and have over .550 if needed. It also allows me to cut larger spring pockets also as you cannot run very large springs on Vortec heads.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 19, 9:56 PM Thread Starter
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Scott Scheffer
 
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

Hi Eddie,
I can't seem to zero in on the retainers that you mentioned. They are sold by Comp Cams?
Scott
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 19, 4:57 AM
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Geoff
 
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

Try 774-16
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 20th, 19, 7:30 AM
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Beth
 
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Re: Vortec heads on Gen 1 with Beehive valves

Here's a Hotrod article that specs out the beehive springs and parts you need for up to .550" lift :

https://www.hotrod.com/articles/vort...pring-upgrade/

Here's a decent price on the springs :




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