305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

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305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by Limey SE on Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:29 am

k came across a very reasonable 305 what heads are good to switch over to my 350in the SE to boost compression, I do know they are from 1979 if that makes a difference and he will text me tomorrow to give me casting numbers. My ? is will it make that big of a difference ? Current motor is a 355 with cam and very slight head work done already and has had crank polished, will have a an air gap intake and a 750 QJ ( yea I know but it came off a good runner ) so would like to know if its worth the effort to switch to the 305 heads ?

Most y'all know the build with the cam, and I have the air gap and a 750 QJ now.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by 77mali on Sun Jul 13, 2014 6:20 am

The 305 cylinder head swap topic is prob on every GM car forum on the web, LOL.

My advice- Get a set of 350 heads, even if you have to hunt for a while.  I'd bet that my cracked engine block was a result of 305's being put on. Since you have bigger pistons now & a new cam I would totally stay away from them. I know that people say "Oh these smaller heads really make you gain lower end torque" but I think that's BS.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by dynchel on Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:29 am

The most desirable ones were the H/O ones produced for '80 to '85.  The last three numbers are #416.  I got mine from a '84 Monte Carlo.  Like Mali said Google #416 heads on a 350 and you will get multiple links to forums.  IMHO, I like the setup on mine....it burns the tires very easily.  A lot of people complain it runs out of steam at high rpm's, I don't race mine and have never felt that.  BTW spec's for #416's are 58cc with 188 valves.  Your stock heads are probably 76 cc with 194 valves.


Last edited by dynchel on Sun Jul 13, 2014 8:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added specs)
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by pila on Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:48 am

I'm surely no expert on this, but the smaller valves are likely the reason they run out of steam at higher RPMs. Probably good for a daily driver though...

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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by ant7377 on Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:12 am

Do not put those on your 350. Just get yourself a good set of 64 cc heads from a good shop. Try arrowhead racing heads,the 305 heads from a Monte ss are ok but the 1979 heads are scrap.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by Limey SE on Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:46 am

Yea what i have been finding out gents, thanks for the sound advice just trying to squeeze some extra power
on the cheep ....
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by w451973 on Mon Jul 14, 2014 5:06 pm

Don't waste your time. If you are willing to pull the heads then buy a set of Vortec heads and an intake and get it over with. Nothing wrong with a q-jet as long as it's sset up right.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by dynchel on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:15 pm

Idk why so many people are against this setup.  This is the ultimate low buck upgrade (especially if the engine has dished pistons). When I priced vortecs they came in about $600.00, plus the expense of a new intake,a set of  gaskets , center bolt valve covers  and self aligning rockers.  I spent $400.00 on some machining, and $30.00 for gaskets and reused everything else...(I got the heads for free from a blown up 305 on the way to the scrap yard), best bang for the buck mod I ever did.. Plus this is a tried and true short track setup (where production parts are required). Are vortecs better? Of course, but from a low budget standpoint, the 305's are a viable alternative.


Last edited by dynchel on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:28 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added details)
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by 77mali on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:40 pm

Like I said this is one of the most debated topics out there.  Some swear by it & others won't even consider it.

I did a vortec upgrade & am very happy with it.  If you can find a used pair or even bare heads in good shape that you can build, it's well worth the effort & less expensive than buying new.  New it's definitely not "on the cheap", my RHS heads were expensive affraid They no longer make the cast iron ones & have gone strictly to aluminum, which sucks because they are now almost unaffordable for the avg person.  The only thing I'd change with the vortec's would have been to have used a roller cam & lifter set.  A used Edelbrock vortec intake s/b pretty cheap, even new they're only about $150.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by pila on Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:45 pm

Most cheap horse power, isn't  Very Happy 

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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by ant7377 on Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:30 pm

My friend uses the Monte SS heads on his 72 Camaro and that car has a load of torque and hauls A$$, they work good.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by Limey SE on Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:46 am

Well these are not SS monte heads so wont be going on the 355 in the SE, that already has 882 heads. And by the time i get vortec heAds, manifold, gaskets, valve covers, and everything else needed I am well over 750 bucks so will just keep and eye out. Or maybe just upgrade next spring to alum when taxes come in, JUST REMEMBER ITS ONLY 26 WEEKS TILL CRISTMAS EVE !!!! Just reminding everyone LOL
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by thatfnthing on Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:34 am

Limey wrote: JUST REMEMBER ITS ONLY 26 WEEKS  TILL CRISTMAS  EVE !!!!  Just reminding everyone LOL

Stop it, man. I'm still trying to forget the last winter -- I don't even want to think of the NEXT one. Smile
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:36 am

With the prices of Vortec heads out now I bet you could find the older 64 cc heads cheap in good shape.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by dynchel on Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:51 am

bracketchev1221 wrote:With the prices of Vortec heads out now I bet you could find the older 64 cc heads cheap in good shape.
If you are referring to the old "double humps" they don't have the proper accessory holes to reuse the OE brackets.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by bracketchev1221 on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:18 am

dynchel wrote:
bracketchev1221 wrote:With the prices of Vortec heads out now I bet you could find the older 64 cc heads cheap in good shape.
If you are referring to the old "double humps" they don't have the proper accessory holes to reuse the OE brackets.

That is only partially correct. The early ones did not. But after 68 they did. 041, 186, 292, 492 are all good casting numbers. I have a set of 186 heads off my 70 nova. 64 cc, and all the accessory holes.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by w451973 on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:56 pm

They are'nt that hard to find.

http://detroit.craigslist.org/mcb/pts/4529645558.html

And yes, the 416's are a good way to go but you have to put money into them or it's really not worth it in the end. You'll need to have them machined for the 1.94 intake valves. The valves. Some blending work. A valve job and shaved to make sure they are flat. New valve springs and retainers to match your cam or new cam you plan to use. Cut the guides for positive seals and clearance. And thats not to mention any work on the exhaust side. Now this is the least I would do if I'm gonna go through all the trouble of switching heads. Still a good bang for the buck. You can't really count the price for gaskets and valve covers because you would change that kind of stuff any way. If you look around you will find deals on Vortec heads. 99 % of the time the heads would come with the rocker arms and sometimes they'll throw in the stock valve covers with bolts for free.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by chevellelaguna on Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:01 pm

I ran a set of small valve 642's on a stock bottom end and cammed 350 small block, the torque it made was epic!! I still have them in the garage as a matter if fact. I wouldn't waste my time with anything but high flowing aluminum heads on my motor. It's seriously restricted in the head department right now, but at the time it was all I could afford to build my 882's.
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

Post by dynchel on Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:24 pm

I love my 416's.  Until I can afford to go "big" with my motor I'll just enjoy the burnout pumping torque. (And strong "holeshots" Twisted Evil
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Re: 305 heads worth the effort to switch ?

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