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I was talking to my local machine shop about ordering some new aluminum heads. The AFR 265 to be exact, from jegs. He was telling me that I should plan on adding another $300 to the cost of the heads because they should be "checked" by the shop before putting them on. It doesn't feel/sound right to me. Any input? Am I being taken for a ride or is that sound advise? If that was the case wouldn't stroker kits that come balanced already have to be "checked" to make sure they are balanced? Which in theory means it would have to be rebalanced in order to check them?
 

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Everything aftermarket needs to be checked. Dunno about the quote, you can always shop around. You might check out Lewis Racing engines (aka Mike Lewis), a contributing member here in TC for his opinion. He will give you a straight up answer and perhaps if you bought through him he could quote you on checking them prior to shipping them.
 

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I bought a set of heads that the previous owner never ran, but blindly bolted on a brand new short block. I was so surprised because I thought he would have at the least cleaned the machining chips out of a variety of crevices. Good idea to check everything. Just my .02.
 

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David,

I don't know about $300 worth of checking but you definitely need to take them apart and make sure everything was done properly. Check spring installed hgt and pressures on at least one intake and exhaust spring. Make sure everything is clean and maybe do a quick lap in on the valves with some very fine lapping compound to make sure they are all seated properly. I would figure on 1 1/2 hours or so worth of work. $150 - $200 here.

Its sad that you have to do this but from what I have seen it is absolutely necessary. I just did about $350 worth of work to a pair of brand new "ready to bolt on" Edelbrock heads for an FE Ford engine. Valve stem heights were all over the place and it is a non adjustable valvetrain. Edlebrock was out of them so no replacements were available. :( Customer told me to make them right :)
 

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Buy 'em bare, you're wasting the cost of factory assembly. This lets you get exactly the valves, springs, etc. that fit our application.
And I don't care what factory built 'em, they all need a going-through.
 

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I remember seeing the video Vintage Musclecar posted about a year ago. I was shocked to see how bad the quality control was on these new in the box aftermarket heads!
 

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Buy 'em bare, you're wasting the cost of factory assembly. This lets you get exactly the valves, springs, etc. that fit our application.
And I don't care what factory built 'em, they all need a going-through.
:thumbsup::thumbsup: Good advice I have lots of takeout new parts from new "complete heads " that were not right for build never mind that the valve grind is rarely good on complete heads
 

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I've purchased heads from Dart, AFR & Brodix. All of them required work by my local machine shop prior to being installed. I would rather spend the money ahead of time and ensure the heads are correct than bolt them on out of the box and have a poor performing engine.
 

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So what's the price difference bare heads plus stock type build vs. Pre assembled heads? Jim
 

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Kind of a timely bit of information for me personally. I have a set of new Patriot 185cc heads waiting for installation on the 302. They "look" great right out of the box, for whatever that's worth. I did some research before buying these and it seems that most never had them quality checked by anyone before install. I did squirt some carb cleaner on top of the valve and witnessed 0 leaking on 1 intake and 1 exhaust. Valve felt pretty good in the guide but have no way to measure. So.....as always, it seems nothing's easy these days and I heed the warnings of the clan. I took the set of heads to my machinist who will charge me 2 hours labor to check them out.
I'll post the results when I know.
 

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Looks like on Summit/Jegs the Bare ones run around $1840-2040 and the assembled are around $2158-2360 depending on which version of the head you get
I guess my question is can you buy the parts and have a valve job done for the $300 difference or what would say that $1840 bare head cost to get 16 valves, springs, retainers and a valve job to complete it. Jim
 
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