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  #1  
Old 09-05-2010, 08:58 AM
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Default Increasing compression by shaving heads

Any body ever shave the heads to up the compression? Was it worth it?

Our motors hit 9:1 (I believe); a machine shop said they could get me to 10:1 no problem. Port and polish after that and then I'll toss them back on.

What do you guys think? I'd love to have to run 91 but only if its worth it.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:58 AM
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Factory compression is 9.1:1. You can increase the compression but you won't see any huge gains from it. I'd have the heads shaved enough to true them and get the port work done then go with a bigger cam. Slap on a pair of headers and retune the PCM and you'll see quite a bit of difference.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:16 AM
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Remember , once their shaved that far you need to start to worry about valve to piston clearance . Once that materials removed theres no putting it back on other than running a thicker head gasket . If you've gone that far , pulling the heads off , drop the oil pan and remove the rods and piston assemblys and put in a nice forged piston with the compression ratio you desire .
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Old 09-05-2010, 12:24 PM
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Compression makes all the difference in the world.

My dad had a 1978 440 that he built up to replace the 68 440 that was in his Charger (it burned a quart of oil for every mile you drove), had ported 906 heads, Mopar performance cam, Edelbrock torker intake, long tube headers, and just about everything bolt on he could do to the motor. It was lame.

He said that, even after he did all the to it, it would hardly spin tires. The 68 440 actually ran much better...would spin tires through 1st and part of 2nd gear, stock.

So, he looked into it, come to find out, the 78 440 had 7.8:1 compression, whereas the 68 440 had 10.5:1.
So, just a couple points of compression can outweigh headers, a cam, intake, heads, etc.

So, I'd say research how far you can go before having to worry about valve clearance, and go from there. I've heard of people putting pretty high compression flat tops in these motors, so, I'd think you'd have a bit of wiggle room.

But, after my dad's realization, he had the 68 440 freshened up (turned out the valve seals were bad). But, he had the heads from the other motor shaved, and had the block decked, which upped compression to 11.5:1.

So, I'd definitley look into it if I were you. Unless a supercharger is in your future, than I'd actually look at going the opposite way.
Also, keep in mind, you'll have to run higher octane gas with a higher compression ratio.

But, basically, upping the compression makes more use of all your other mods. Your basically adding a couple pounds of boost when you do this. Just, its always there and theres no lag And, on turbo/supercharged cars, adding 2lbs of boost makes a power difference. Well, one point of compression is a couple pounds of boost. Its not a 1:1 ratio. So....as I said, you'll notice it I'm sure.
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Last edited by strang3majik; 09-05-2010 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:21 PM
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I have shaved the heads of multiple cars over the years... you will need to make sure you have valve clearance before you have them shaved, but otherwise you should be relatively safe. just be cautious with the amount you take off.

If your taking the heads off to have them shaved, it would be a good time for a valve job, spring upgrade, porting and polishing... you would be surprised at how much gain you can get from just polishing your heads and getting rid of all the manufacturing flash thats in them.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:34 PM
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I've done many heads over the years too.
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Old 09-10-2010, 02:43 PM
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you should have plenty of room on these engines, though, since the compression is so low stock, the pistons are probably a pretty good bit below the deck, so, I'm sure theres room...do check into it anyway, though.

Also, check into some 2.02 intake valves...they're a common mod on the small blocks, and apparently flow quite a bit better.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:21 PM
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I milled my 383's heads .060 and had the block knocked down .040. for a total of .100! (that particular block had an exceptionally tall deck height) Yes, back then there were variances.
I used 10.5 flat top oem pistons, and still had enough valve clearance. The heads were p and p'd....which of course gained back some clearance. (the floor of the head was 'raised' somewhat) I used the '67 heads with the large valves.
ok ok....clearance was 'right on the line'.... and after one good 'missed' shift, lets just say the pistons are NOW Clearanced. The expensive way. I got by with just a couple slightly bent valves.

Almost forgot!! when that much material is removed, you also have to do the intake side as well. The heads are now closer together. Mill the heads, not the intake itself. That way any manifold will 'fit'.
For your purposes, the amount you are talking about probably would be within the amount allowed by Mopar.

That motor still resides in my '73 cuda. 3 times to the track..... 12.49 @ 107 . Got married that fall.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:25 PM
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Forgot to mention, a good machine shop will know the specs/tolerances.
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