FAQs: Cylinder Heads

1. Why do Brzezinski Racing Products heads seem to cost more than the heads found at the performance warehouses?

The simple answer is the heads are not the same.   

Compare the long term avantages of heads from Brzezinski Racing Products

“Warehouse Heads”
“Brzezinski Heads”
• Not pressure tested • Pressure tested to ensure quality
• Guides not honed • Guides honed for proper clearance
• No performance valve job • Performance Serdi valve job
• Not surfaced & CC’ed • Surfaced and chamber CC’s checked
• Spring seats not machined • Spring seats machined & seals
• Lower quality parts that just   will not last as long • Superior quality parts that will last several seasons
* Not flow tested * Flow tested

Here are a few more details on why Brzezinski Racing Products heads are better

Pressure Testing   

Before we to anything, all of our heads are pressure tested. You might ask, “Why do new heads have to be pressure tested?”. The answer is because 11% of the brand new castings we have tested over the past few years leak right out of the box. This holds true for all the manufactures. So, we pressure test all heads before we work on them.

Valve Guides and Valve Job

Most new cylinder heads come from the factory with improper valve guide clearance.  Some heads, like the Chevy Vortec style, are too tight.  Others have excessive valve guide clearance.  It is common for us to install new guides in brand new heads because the "out of the box" guide clearance is over .003".  

Yes, these are brand new heads that need new guides because of sloppy production machining.  Recently, we did a set of RHS Ford heads that had factory installed bronze guides. Well, the guide had over .005" clearance!  So, we installed and sized a new set of bronze guides.  

We use a variety of valve guides including a custom steel guide, solid bronze and thin wall liners.   The style of cylinder head and its intended use determine which type valve guide we use.  

The valve guides are sized for proper clearance using carbide reamers and a Sunnen diamond honing system.  After the guides are honed to proper size, the heads receive a performance, flow bench developed valve job.  Valve stem heights are set when machining the valve seats.  

Valves:  Our complete heads are assembled with 11/32" stainless steel valves. Typically, we use REV,  Ferrea 6000 series or Manley Race Master valves.  For roller cam applications, the valves are upgraded to the Ferrea Competition Plus or Manley Severe Duty series.  5/16",  hollow stem or titanium valves can be used to reduce the valve train weight.   

A typical stainless 11/32", 1.94" intake valve weights 114 grams.  The same valve in the hollow stem design is 95 grams.  A titanium valve is 79 grams.  Hollow stem and titanium valves are a more popular option than the 5/16" valves for a couple of reasons.  First, some organizations do not allow 5/16" stem valves.  Second, checking the valve stem diameter is rather easy to do.    

For the lightest possible valve train, consider "reconditioned" titanium.

Adding 16 reconditioned titanium valves to a set of complete heads is a $600.00 upgrade. The reconditioned titanium valves are an excellent value when compared to new custom titanium valves ( anything in a 1.94" or 2.02" heads size is a custom titanium valve ) which sell for around $125.00 each.

What kind of valve come in the warehouse heads?  That is a good question.  From our experience many of the warehouser heads have low quality, non-hardened valves.

Accurate Record Keeping

Accurate records are maintained on each set of heads, bare and complete, for future reference.  Your receipt will have the part numbers for the parts we installed or supplied with the heads.  We often receive calls concerning heads that have been in service since the 1980's. With our system the records can be quickly referenced.

For more details on our complete head assemblies click here.

The choice is yours. If you want to own a winning set of heads built specifically for your application that will add 20 to 40 housepower and will last for several years, our heads are the way to go.

2. Will the modifications to my heads such as the “UnderCover Porting” or “Acid Porting” get noticed?

Upon a visual inspection of our modified ports with the valves installed it is not possible to notice the modifications. In order for our alterations to be noticed the inspection procedure must be very tough, perhaps with gauges or volume checks of the ports, and carried out by a person that really knows what their are doing.

We have performed these types of modifications to plenty of classes where the person putting the engine together couldn't even tell if the heads have been modified.

3. Which head is best for my class?

There is not one best head for all the different applications. What will work well on a 3,100 pound street stock with a cast iron intake and 2 barrel will not work well on a 2,400 pound late model with an aluminum intake and 4 barrel?

To accurately recommend a head for your particular application we go through a 15 to 20 question check list to better understand your combination, rules and performance needs. This takes 10 to 15 minutes over the telephone.

With over 1,000 race tracks in the country, with as many sets of ever-changing rules, the need to totally understand your rules is essential. Sure this does take a little time but isn't having the correct combination worth the extra effort?

For your convenience, we have a Cylinder Head Design Form that you can fill out online.

4. Will Brzezinski rework my new or used heads?

Yes, we’ll be happy to modify your heads. About 30% of our cylinder head work is on customer supplied heads. Remember that our CNC programs are designed for new heads that have not been surfaced. For that reason, we are somewhat limited to the amount of CNC work we can perform on heads that have been surfaced. However, we can hand port heads that have been either flat cut or angle milled.

5. Does Brzezinski modify heads other than small-block Chevy?

Yes, we rework and/or port a variety of head types, mostly cast-iron, but we have modified plenty of sets of aluminum heads as well.

The “UnderCover” type of modifications are the most frequently requested modifications for small-block Chevy heads as well as Ford small-block, W-2, Pinto, big-block Chevy and others.

6. Do you do your own CNC machining “In House”?

Yes, currently we have 3 CNC machining centers. Having our own machining centers allows us to control the delivery and quality of the heads. Also, it strengthens program development for other types of heads.


Sign up now for
the Brzezinski
Email Newsletter.

New: