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Old 03-29-2011, 09:52 AM   #1
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Thoughts on holley heads

Just trying to get an idea if the holley heads part#12114 are good for just street use with boost about 10lbs going to upgrade to 12lbs soon are these good heads? I feel like I'm getting a smoking deal one them trading some gt-40 heads and some $$ any feedback will be appreciated thank you!
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:16 AM   #2
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The guides junk in them? I would pass right over a holley cylinder head, wouldnt look twice
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strokeme View Post
The guides junk in them? I would pass right over a holley cylinder head, wouldnt look twice
Even for street use?? I don't run the car hard
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:35 AM   #4
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There is a reason they dont make them anymore, just be aware of there problems when they were made thats all.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strokeme View Post
There is a reason they dont make them anymore, just be aware of there problems when they were made thats all.
Some what helpful but what issues? I googled it never really found a straight answer
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
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valve guides
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strokeme View Post
valve guides
They leak right away?
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Old 03-29-2011, 11:48 AM   #8
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Type this in google

holley heads valve guides
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Old 03-29-2011, 01:17 PM   #9
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So I'm guessing no good at all?
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:43 PM   #10
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yes, they suck pass on them.
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Old 03-29-2011, 03:48 PM   #11
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Here's an article I found on FordMuscle.com:

Holley heads and oil consumption

The Systemax heads we installed back in January (along with an Explorer intake) ran very well out of the box, powering our then AOD '88 LX to a 13.4 @ 102 on puny radials. That was with no other induction changes -stock cam, throttle body and mass air meter. However soon thereafter our motor started consuming oil at the rapid rate. We knew immediately that the problem was with the valve guides in the Systemax heads.

As with Trickflow heads, Holley heads feature valves that are rotated in the chamber to bring them closer to the centerline of the cylinder. (Holley Systemax heads have 17 degree valve angles, stock heads are 20


Poor valve train geometry on the Holley Systemax heads led to the valve guides wearing out in just 10,000 miles. The result was oil consumption at the rate of one quart per 200 miles.
degrees.) The idea behind this is to unshroud the intake valve, and thus increase airflow into the cylinder. While the concept works, the problem is the twisted valve changes the valve train geometry. The result is the rocker arms place an increased side load on the valve guides because of the reduced distance between the centerline of the valve stem and the centerline of the pedestal/stud mounting boss.

We discussed this problem at length with Brian Tooley of Total Engine Airflow (coincidentally he was an engineer at Holley, working on the Systemax project, before he left to start his own company.) Brian told us that the problem is made especially worse when customer mills the Holley head, or installs it on a decked block, or uses non-stock cam and rockers. All of these modifications require properly checking the valve train geometry to select the correct length pushrod. Brian also pointed out that not all rocker arms are equal, even though they may have the same ratio. His comparison of several different brands of 1.6:1 rocker arms showed they all had different overall lengths (between the centerline of the stud and the roller tip.) This does not mean the rocker arm is more or less than 1.6:1, but that the length of the arm changes the sweep of the roller tip across the valve stem as the valve opens and closes. This affects the amount of load places on the valve guide, and thus it is critical to measure using special valve train geometry tools. What is interesting is that Holley does specify a longer than stock pushrod when installing the Systemax heads on a stock 5.0L engine. Unfortunately even this does not truly correct the problem of accelerated guide wear.

Brian indicated that while it is standard practice to check valve train geometry on a highly modified race engine, it is not realistic to expect consumers to check it for what is supposed to be a "bolt on" stock replacement head. The only real fix for this problem is to re-design the head so that the rocker mounting pad is moved in correlation with the revised valve angles. Brian indicated that Trick Flow had the exact same problem when it first released the pedestal mount version of its Twisted Wedge Head. Ultimately TFS discontinued the pedestal mount head and now offers a stud-mount head with much improved geometry.

Needless to say, ten thousand miles after installing the Systemax heads the motor was burning one quart of oil every 200 miles! We had even converted the '88 to a T5 in this time span, in the hopes of knocking on the 12's with our seemingly strong running combination. However the one and only trip to the track with the Holley head and T5 combo resulted in a 15.2 @ 100 - a dramatic example of how much power is lost due to excessive oil consumption.
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:04 PM   #12
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I do, however, have these heads . They've been on the engine since June 2003 and have aprox 10,000 miles on them. So far so good. Here's the info on the build:

Ford Mustang 349 Engine With A Stroker Kit - 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords

I swapped this engine from the coupe to my 92 Vert last year and had it tuned. It made around 340RWHP through BBK shorties, 2 1/2 flowmaster exhaust, and a PA performance AOD. We only made one pull as it blew out a header gasket. The only problem we noticed was that the car smoked a little on deceleration after the dyno run. I suppose it could be the valve guides but I changed the PCV valve and its never done it again.

Would I buy a set of NIB or slightly used Holley Systemax heads today? Sure, for a daily driver, or budget build, I'd buy them if I could steal them.

Are there better heads? Of course!
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:25 PM   #13
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need help(will 94-95 302 headers fit a 1990 gt

i have a set of kooks headers from a 94-5 application and was told they will fit all sbf.guy said they would fit 87-93 also but kooks said there not sure if they will.heard others say they will??? can you pm me so im sure to get the message!thanks
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:55 PM   #14
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from what Ive heard holley sourced out their heads from 3 different manufactuers, hence why you hear different intake volume #s, dif combustion chamber #s, spring rates. Canfield produce some of these, I believe that is what I have. Mine are almost 10 years old and have preformed flawlessly through many bottles of n2o and many cam changes, currently the z303.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strokeme View Post
The guides junk in them? I would pass right over a holley cylinder head, wouldnt look twice
Funny, last year i bought 2 sets of new bare castings from Holley ($350 a set), installed nice set of valves(1.90,1.60) and a good spring package. Put them on a stock 97 explorer bottom end w/ mild cam in a 92 notch(3100lbs) w@ AOD trans and went a best of 11.68 @115. For the amount of money i have in this budget engine combo it performs well. I have driven car about 1,000 street miles but so far so good!!!
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:46 AM   #16
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Wait a minute -

It's even written that the guides wore out because of poor valvetrain geometry? Whose fault is that? Holley?

Must be George W. Bush's fault too.

Going by memory, Holley sourced Brodix for their 17 degree cylinder heads and Canfield and some Edelbrock style castings for the 20 degree heads. Even had a few 20 degree heads that AFR machined for them. Why is it none of these other heads had crazy "guide wear" issues yet the Holley logo sets did? - things that make you go "hmmmmmm" -

Currently sitting here on the shelf, I have a set of ten year old 20 degree Holley heads done up for an old NMRA Real Street project. These "so called" junk heads were just as fast as the TW heads the customer took off. Going to set them up for another heads up racing project. Guess what? NO GUIDE WEAR.

Working on another set for a local street car customer that was just freshening them up with some bowl work, LS valve spring package and a valve job. Guess what? NO GUIDE WEAR.

Geeeee ---- Amazing what happens when people pay close attention to the little things - LIKE VALVETRAIN GEOMETRY!


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Old 03-30-2011, 12:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Curtis View Post
[COLOR="Navy"]

Going by memory, Holley sourced Brodix for their 17 degree cylinder heads and Canfield and some Edelbrock style castings for the 20 degree heads. Even had a few 20 degree heads that AFR machined for them. Why is it none of these other heads had crazy "guide wear" issues yet the Holley logo sets did? [I]- things that make you go "hmmmmmm" :
Hmmmmm, Why would Brodix release a new 17 degree head with all these past issues ????
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:10 PM   #18
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Hmmmmm, Why would Brodix release a new 17 degree head with all these past issues ????
It's not a *new* cylinder head per say, but bringing it out for more review. There's not phucking thing wrong with the Brodix ST5.0 cylinder head, other than a few people who cannot understand you have to check and verify valvetrain geometry.

BTW: The Brodix ST5.0 17* degree head is what Gene Hindman won the 2002 NMRA Pure Street class with, so it's a decade old, at a minimum.

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Old 03-30-2011, 01:24 PM   #19
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Im about to pick up a set of 2.02 holley heads.. The guy bought them new over 10yrs ago and put 5000miles on them and theyve been sitting ever since.
Come with FMS 1.6 rockers that were recommended for this setup and a set of pushrods that were also to go with this setup.

Anything i should look for or check before i buy?
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Curtis View Post
[COLOR="Navy"]Wait a minute -

It's even written that the guides wore out because of poor valvetrain geometry? Whose fault is that? Holley?
any experience with how they respond to porting? also, every flow #'s Ive read about the holley heads (not sure which series) showed max flow at 228cfm .550 lift. seems very low campared to tfs or afr.
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Old 03-30-2011, 04:59 PM   #21
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Invest in an adjustable length pushrod checker (Cheap at summit) and check your valvetrain geometry with the Pushrods you got with the heads.If the geometry isn't correct you may need a longer or shorter pushrod to get it right.Every motor is Different and yours may need a different length to get it right..
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:56 PM   #22
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any experience with how they respond to porting? also, every flow #'s Ive read about the holley heads (not sure which series) showed max flow at 228cfm .550 lift. seems very low campared to tfs or afr.
Mine were ported by Panhandle. Here are the numbers:

VL Intake Exhaust IE Ratio
.100 67 54 80%
.200 142 106 75%
.300 200 152 76%
.400 236 190 80%
.500 273 210 77%
.600 292 225 77%
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Old 03-30-2011, 09:25 PM   #23
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very nice numbers man, basicly exactly what Im looking for, how much was that total, after shipping to and fro?
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:00 AM   #24
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Which Is better the gt-40y303 heads or these Holley heads??? Need to pull the trigger soon, it's a street car 93 cobra with a blower and all bolt ons stock cam blower makes 9lbs of boost
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:31 AM   #25
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very nice numbers man, basicly exactly what Im looking for, how much was that total, after shipping to and fro?
Not sure. It was part of the total engine build mentioned in my previous post in this thread.
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:39 AM   #26
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Which Is better the gt-40y303 heads or these Holley heads??? Need to pull the trigger soon, it's a street car 93 cobra with a blower and all bolt ons stock cam blower makes 9lbs of boost
I've had both and wouldn't buy either again unless they were in excellent condition and under $500 bucks. Google "Ultimate Guide to Cylinder Heads" by MM&FF magazine. They tested several sets of sbf heads including the GT40y's and the Holleys. The GT40y's are pretty low on the list for peak HP and TQ, the Holley's were 24hp and 6tq better than the GT40y's.

If you are on a budget wait for a set of lightly used Edelbrock Performers or Trick Flow 170's. They can be found for around $600-650 and you will be happy with them for a long time. The Holley's are a crap shoot if they are used. The GT40y's are good for 40-45 hp over stock and of course lighter weight than your stock heads but they have a thin deck and can lift under boost.
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Old 03-31-2011, 10:08 AM   #27
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I've had both and wouldn't buy either again unless they were in excellent condition and under $500 bucks. Google "Ultimate Guide to Cylinder Heads" by MM&FF magazine. They tested several sets of sbf heads including the GT40y's and the Holleys. The GT40y's are pretty low on the list for peak HP and TQ, the Holley's were 24hp and 6tq better than the GT40y's.

If you are on a budget wait for a set of lightly used Edelbrock Performers or Trick Flow 170's. They can be found for around $600-650 and you will be happy with them for a long time. The Holley's are a crap shoot if they are used. The GT40y's are good for 40-45 hp over stock and of course lighter weight than your stock heads but they have a thin deck and can lift under boost.
Thanks I think I can get the y heads for a food deal I already have the gt40 iron heads are the y heads a upgrade to these?
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:56 PM   #28
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Thanks I think I can get the y heads for a food deal I already have the gt40 iron heads are the y heads a upgrade to these?
I'm no Ed, Buddy or Woody, but here's my opinion:

If the engine is out of the car or the GT40's are already off the engine and I could get a like new set of GT40y's for $500-600 I'd do it. You will lose 40-45 pounds and pick up 20-30 rwhp at peak.

If the engine is assembled and in the car it's just too much work and money for minimal gains. You also need to consider the other expenses that come with a head swap. Fluids, gaskets, tuning (if you have a custom tune/chip) etc..

Not to mention the pain/suffering from bending over the damn fenders, busted knuckles, broken tools and inevitable dent or scratch that comes along with every in car head swap I've ever done.
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Old 03-31-2011, 12:58 PM   #29
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I forgot to ask the OP the big question:

Why are you considering a head swap?

What do you hope to gain?

What are your goals for the car?

What are the complete details of your combo now?
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:00 PM   #30
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my goal is to be in the 450hp range, the car is just a sunday driver, mods include... msd 6al box, offroad x-pipe sn200 blower 9lbs, 75mm tb,255fp, ron davis radiator,electric fan, its a 93 cobra so it has all the gt-40 stuff and 24lb injectors,subframe connectors, springs,camber plates tokico shocks and struts, thats it
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Old 03-31-2011, 04:48 PM   #31
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how much $$ + the gt40s to get the holley heads? if its like 2-300 Id go for it. if its like +500, Id save up $$, once you have a G, sell gt40s for 2-300 then buy some afr185s or tfs high ports.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:33 PM   #32
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I would do that but i would have to fly cut the pistons for that so im just gonna save pennies and get some afr 165's or trick flow 170's
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:39 AM   #33
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flycut the pistons? nope, I run stock pistons, with a .555 lift cam AND a decked block, AND I still had tons of clearance. I seriusly doubt you'd have to flycut unless you have a huge cam and decked heads and decked block.

but either way, no matter what you do, you still need to check clearance with clay.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:49 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithr482 View Post
i have a set of kooks headers from a 94-5 application and was told they will fit all sbf.guy said they would fit 87-93 also but kooks said there not sure if they will.heard others say they will??? can you pm me so im sure to get the message!thanks
Learn how to use a message forum and you will be sure to get your messages. Asking an off-topic question in the middle of a totally unrelated thread will get you nowhere. Start your own thread for answers.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:02 AM   #35
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Thanks for the feedback, I passed on both heads
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