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7 Best Small Block Chevy Cylinder Head 2021 – Review & Buying Guide

Our Pick
Dart IMCA Approved Bare Cast Iron Small Block Fits Chevy Cylinder Head
Good Choice
Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Head
Don't Miss
DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350 Aluminum Bare Cylinder Head [For Chevy SBC 302/327/350/383/400]
Also Consider
Replacement for Chevy Small Block 302/327/350/383/400 SBC 200cc Intake 68cc Straight Aluminum Bare...
Dart IMCA Approved Bare Cast Iron Small Block Fits Chevy Cylinder Head
Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Head
DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350 Aluminum Bare Cylinder Head [For Chevy SBC 302/327/350/383/400]
Replacement for Chevy Small Block 302/327/350/383/400 SBC 200cc Intake 68cc Straight Aluminum Bare...
Our Pick
Dart IMCA Approved Bare Cast Iron Small Block Fits Chevy Cylinder Head
Dart IMCA Approved Bare Cast Iron Small Block Fits Chevy Cylinder Head
Good Choice
Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Head
Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Head
Don't Miss
DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350 Aluminum Bare Cylinder Head [For Chevy SBC 302/327/350/383/400]
DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350 Aluminum Bare Cylinder Head [For Chevy SBC 302/327/350/383/400]
Also Consider
Replacement for Chevy Small Block 302/327/350/383/400 SBC 200cc Intake 68cc Straight Aluminum Bare...
Replacement for Chevy Small Block 302/327/350/383/400 SBC 200cc Intake 68cc Straight Aluminum Bare...

A good factory-made engine has two main features like efficiency and performance. Some chevy car drivers want to enhance their car performance. There is always a way to improve your engine’s efficiency, which is through installing cylinder heads. There was a time when you were only limited to changing factory castings for enhancement of the engine.

Many brands offer off-the-shelf modified factory cylinder heads that provide your Chevy car with more horsepower and efficiency with the advancement in technology. The small block chevy performance cylinder heads can enhance your car’s engine by increasing its airflow and combustion efficiency. The aftermarket cylinder heads are made with iron heads and aluminum heads.

The Aluminum heads are less expensive and provide better performance and efficiency to the engine. The iron heads, on the other hand, are heavy and are best for fuel economy. Getting a correct chevy cylinder head that completely fits your chevy car engine can be overwhelming. As there are so many market heads options available, each offers unique features. Here is a review that will help you find a perfect small block chevy cylinder head for your car.

Top Small Block Chevy Cylinder Head

1. Flotek Cylinder Head Aluminium Small Block Chevy

Flotek Cylinder Head Aluminium Small Block Chevy

 

The wholly assembled Flotek Small Block Chevy cylinder head is one of the best cylinder heads designed in 2007. This cylinder head is best suited for small block engines due to its high-velocity ports, significant combustion burning chambers, large bore size, and aluminum cast block construction.

This cylinder head offers power, higher airflow, and bolt-on performance to your car’s engine. I found it a significant upgrade to small block chevy cylinder heads because it provides maximum airflow and enhances the horsepower for chevy cars. It is designed with a 4.0-inch bore size and large intake valves of 180cc that enhance the airflow and torque. Its radius is 1.460, which improves the efficiency of the engine.

It provides the highest power to the engine with a volume of 64cc high-speed burning chamber. It has intake valves that are stainless swirl polished and a 62cc exhaust runner, allowing the gases to move out of the engine. These aluminum-made small block cylinder heads are more durable due to their rugged steel spring valves.

Flotek Small Block Chevy Cylinder Heads come with manganese bronze intake guides, phosphor bronze exhaust runner, and straight or engle spark plug. In terms of pricing, I prefer Flotek Aluminum small block chevy cylinder heads because they are cheap and durable. You only have to invest once for more power and quality performance of your chevy car’s engine.

Pros
  • Aluminum cast block
  • 4.0 inch bore size
  • 64cc fast-burning combustion chamber
Cons
  • Not suitable for racing cars

 

A small block chevy cylinder head that provides your car’s engine with powerful performance and affordable price is what a driver considers while purchasing. The Flotek small block chevy cylinder is your best option because it provides your car engine with better airflow, a higher combustion process and enhances its efficiency.

2. Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Head

Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Head

 

The Edelbrock 5089 Small Block Chevy Cylinder Heads are best for easy and reliable street performance. It is made with A356 Aluminum casting and hardened steel. Due to their rugged material construction, they are durable and dependable. They are best suited for the 1955-1986 small block chevy. The American-made high-quality cylinder heads add horsepower and torque to vehicle motors. When the car is idle, its rpm goes up to 5500. Its deck thickness is 0.562 inches.

I prefer Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Heads for pre-pollution-controlled cars only. It is used with hydraulic tappet flat lifters that you can maintain and quickly adjust. It has an OEM Combustion chamber design with a volume of 64cc. The diameter of the intake spring valve is 1.46’’. The intake runner volume is 185cc, and the exhaust runner volume is 60cc. Its intake valve helps maximum airflow to come in, whereas the exhaust runner allows the gases to escape to increase the engine’s efficiency and power. It helps in the reduction of the fuel economy.

It also upgrades the power and performance of the V8 engine with more torque gains. These cylinder heads are made with rugged aluminum, which ensures better heat transfer and is lightweight. I found this cylinder head not much pricey with more outstanding performance and power. It is easy to install and gives longevity to a car’s engine.

Pros
  • OEM combustion chamber
  • Hydraulic tappet flat camshaft
  • Durable
Cons
  • Not suitable for roller hydraulic cams

 

For increasing an engine’s optimal performance and long-lasting efficiency, Edelbrock 5089 is the best option. It can easily fit in the car’s engine. All the holes and valves are made with high-quality material that enhances the performance of the engine. The use of hard steel makes this cylinder durable and long-lasting.

3. Speedmaster PCE281.2010 SBC Cylinder Head

Speedmaster PCE281.2010 SBC Cylinder Head

 

This assembled cylinder head for small block chevy is made with aluminum material best suited for strip and street application. Its flame-hardened valve seats allow you the freedom of using it with all fuels. Its combustion chamber volume is 64cc. Its intake valve volume is 205cc, and its diameter is 2.020 inches, allowing the more excellent airflow inside. The exhaust valve diameter is 1.600 inches which enable the airflow to move outside the engine.

I found it the best replacement for models from 2007 to 2009 small block Chevy. All the products are made with a unique aluminum cast alloy that enhances heat resistivity and reduces absorption. The valve guide comes in bronze material that improves flexibility and provides more excellent air circulation. The head gaskets are made with stainless steel and coated with high temperatures that allow the proper sealing and engine efficiency.

The individual ports of Speedmaster PCE281.2010 are designed with the complete set of O-rings that seal the cylinder head’s intake manifold. It has a CNC porting mechanism, which ensures cost-effectiveness and precision. All the parts like the exhaust runner, intake valve, and combustion chamber work on a CNC mechanism that allows better airflow and better combustion.

Pros
  • CNC porting
  • 64cc combustion chamber
  • Aluminum casting
Cons
  • Poor Head gasket performance

 

A CNC ported and high temperature coated cylinder head that withstands all the pressure and heat and is best suited for small block chevy. It is made with Aluminium Alloy casting that ensures its durability. Its hardened seat, advanced port, and valve design make it a significant update for your chevy cars. Speedmaster is an excellent update for small block chevy cars at a lower price.

4. DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350 Aluminum Bare Cylinder Head

DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350 Aluminum Bare Cylinder Head

 

A low-budget cylinder head that fits in the small block Chevy engines 302, 327, and 400 till 1986 is made with Alumiuim casting. It can tolerate high temperatures and also enhances the efficiency of the engine. DNA is the company that works on customer satisfaction and provides aftermarket cylinder heads with good quality in affordable ranges. The combustion chamber of the DNA Motoring Cylinder Head is 68cc, which boosts the engine performance.

The radius of the intake valve is 2.02 inches, and the exhaust runner is 1.600 inches to ensure better airflow. The bronze material valve guides of these cylinder heads guarantee durability and reliability. The individual cylinder head weight is 10.33kg with a thick deck which helps in the high air circulation.

It comes with pre-drilled accessory bolt holes and can be preferably used for nitrous, turbocharged and supercharged applications. These cylinder heads are imported from the USA, which provides outstanding horsepower and torque gains to small block Chevy cylinder heads. I found DNA motoring cylinder heads a performance enhancer at a very affordable price.

Pros
  • 68cc combustion chamber
  • Budget-friendly
  • Bronze valve guides
Cons
  • Difficult to install

 

DNA Motoring Cylinder Heads come with aluminum casting and a unique port design. It is better for the people who want to upgrade their engine performance within a limited budget. These aluminum casting cylinder heads are lightweight, temperature resistant, and more durable than iron casting heads.

5. Assault Racing Products SBC20064SC-3/8 Small Block Chevy Cylinder Heads

Assault Racing Products SBC20064SC-3/8 Small Block Chevy Cylinder Heads

 

A complete and ready-to-install small block Chevy cylinder heads are constructed with premium quality aluminum alloy, high heat-resistant, and lightweight. Its valve guides are made with bronze which ensures the durability of SBC cylinder heads. It comes with hardened exhaust seats that can be tuned with fuel. Its improved angled port and multi-angled seat design provide increased airflow at high and low lifts.

A 64cc combustion chamber enhances the burn and combustion process that in turn increases the engine performance. Its intake port volume is 200cc, and the valve diameter is 2.02 inches. It comes with an exhaust valve size of 1.60 inches and a port size of 1.4’’ T x1.4’’ W. At the end of cylinder heads, pre-drilled accessory holes are present. You can use this cylinder head with old or new style Vortec intakes.

This small block chevy cylinder head is compatible with all 400s SBC engines. It comes with a dual valve spring of 1.45’’ radius and is compatible with hydraulic flat tappet cams. The individual weight of the head is 20lbs. It is completely assembled with stainless steel polish valves, tough valve locks, steel retainers, and 3 / 8 ‘’ screw-in-studs.

Pros
  • Completely assembled
  • Hydraulic flat tappet cams
  • 64cc combustion chamber
Cons
  • Expensive

 

Assault Racing Small Block Chevy Cylinder Heads are entirely assembled with aluminum casting. It comes with a Maximum lift spring, studs, and flat guide plates. In my experience, these are the best performance racing heads with superb casting quality. It is a bit expensive but looking at the quality and performance it is worth the money.

6. Dart IMCA Approved Bare Cast Iron Small Block Fits Chevy Cylinder Head

Dart IMCA Approved Bare Cast Iron Small Block Fits Chevy Cylinder Head

 

IMCA approves Dart Bare Cast Iron Cylinder Heads for small block Chevy with its logo and serial number inscribed. The intake valve of this cylinder head is 165cc, whereas the exhaust runner volume ranges between 60cc to 69cc. The high velocity of intake and exhaust runner provides high torque gains. It also allows for better airflow through the car’s engine.

It is available in both bare and assembled forms. The assembled design has a stainless steel valve with a length of 1.94’’/1.50’. It also includes a performance spring valve having a diameter of 1.250 that ensures a higher level of performance. It comes with a retainer lock that helps to keep the components in place. 3 / 8’’ shouldered screw-in studs.

The weight of the bare cylinder head is 52lbs, and the assembled cylinder weight is 58lbs. It comes with a combustion chamber of 64cc, which enhances the power of a vehicle. It also has the OEM type head gasket that acts as a barrier between the engine and the cylinder head. It prevents oil and intake-exhaust gases from mixing. It also balances the pressure of the gases.

Pros
  • Available in Bare and Assembled version
  • OEM head gasket
  • 64CC combustion chamber
Cons
  • Heavy

 

Dart Bare Cylinder Heads are made with iron casting that fit entirely in the chevy cars. It is available in both bare and assembled forms. I found it budget-friendly and durable because of its stainless steel valves. It gives the small block Chevy car engine outstanding performance and more horsepower compatible with the rules of IMCA.

7. Replacement For Chevy Small Block Straight Aluminum Bare Cylinder Head

Replacement For Chevy Small Block Straight Aluminum Bare Cylinder Head

 

This Bare Cylinder Head is made with premium quality aluminum casting and bronze valve guides. The aluminum casting ensures the durability of the cylinder head, and the port design is advanced with more excellent airflow. The new and traditional style Vortec is compatible with this cylinder head. This SBC cylinder head is compatible with engines from 302 to 1986.

It comes with a 68cc combustion chamber and a 200cc intake port that allows the air to flow through the engine. The exhaust runner size is 1.600, allowing the more significant outflow of the air from the combustion chamber. The removal of gases is a crucial process because the accumulation of gases will cause an explosion.

It has pre-drilled accessory bolt holes with a 23-degree angle of intake and exhaust valve. This cylinder head is light in weight and easy to install. It is essential to install this cylinder head with professional help. It comes with a thick deck that helps to reduce wrapping and enhance extra milling when necessary. This bare version of the cylinder head does not include valves, studs, retainers, and hardware.

Pros
  • 200cc intake runner
  • 23-degree intake/exhaust valve
  • 68cc combustion chamber
Cons
  • Non-compatible pre-Vortec intake

 

The aftermarket cylinder head is installed to increases the performance and efficiency of the vehicle engine. The straight Aluminium cylinder head adds performance to the small block chevy engine and entirely fits with easy installation. The lightweight and durable feature makes it a preferable option for most chevy car drivers. Its bronze valve guides offer longer life to a cylinder head with a more sleek finish.

Buying Guide

Small block cylinder heads significantly increase your chevy car engine’s horsepower and performance. The first crucial step is to look for material for the aftermarket cylinder head which should be durable, reliable, and possess a high capacity. Depending on the application of an aftermarket cylinder head, there are several features you must look for while purchasing a small block chevy cylinder head.

Aluminum Vs. Iron Heads

The aftermarket cylinder heads come in aluminum and iron casting. It is difficult to choose between one of them because each has some features. You can choose any of them depending on your priority. Cast iron heads are more heavy, expensive hence durable. In terms of price, iron heads are a bit pricey. These cylinder heads offer your car engine more horsepower and are best for fuel economy. The cast iron heads are heat retentive which means they provide your car engine with high combustion efficiency.

On the other hand, aluminum cylinder heads are cheaper than cast iron cylinder heads. They are light in weight and preferred for drag racing and competition. They are made with soft metal and easy to machine and port than cast iron cylinder heads. The aluminum cylinder heads are less air corrosive and are more popular aftermarket small block chevy cylinder heads.

Size Of The Combustion Chamber

It is essential to look for the size of a combustion chamber while purchasing a small block Chevy cylinder head. The greater the size of the combustion chamber, the greater will be the performance. The combustion chamber gives power to your car’s engine. It helps to reduce pressure and stock compression. Wrong size and compression ratio will lead to high temperature, and you will not drive your car on hot summer days.

Intended Use Of Vehicle

img source: onallcylinders.com

Depending on the use of your vehicle, you can opt for a perfect small block chevy cylinder head. Street performance cylinder heads are a preferable option when the purpose is the street application, and vehicle responsiveness and movability are the sole requirements of the customer. A good street performance cylinder head covers the range of 1500 to 5500 rpm. It has a minor intake port and does not have a stiff spring valve.

While purchasing a street/strip cylinder head, you must know that a good cylinder head covers the range of 7500 rpm. The intake ports and valve size increases with the increase of rpm. These cylinder heads have a more stiff spring valve. A good street/strip cylinder head is made with Aluminum, which is why they are light in weight and larger valves for higher airflow.

If you are searching for race competition cylinder heads, you must look for a cylinder head that has an increased range of rpm up to 10,000. These cylinder heads have large ports and valves that give more excellent airflow to racing cars. The competition cylinder heads are rigid and provide strength to the racing car. It has a beefier valve spring and is made with lightweight titanium.

Correct Valve Angle

The widely used valve angle is 9 to 18 degrees. Most of the chevy manufacturers design cylinder heads with 23 angle intake and exhaust valves. By advancing the valve angle, you will feel the more incredible performance of your car’s engine. It will also increase the airflow through the engine.

Spring Valve Diameter

Spring valve provides better performance to the engine. In small block chevy engines, it plays an important role. It is essential to look for this factor while buying a cylinder head for a small block chevy engine. The valve distance should be higher to the point that they do not touch each other during the performance. The popular valve spring diameter is 1.25 inches. but if you want to have a more throttle response, you get a spring valve diameter of up to 1.550inches

CNC Porting

Most aftermarket cylinder heads come with CNC porting. During CNC porting, the intake valve and exhaust runner are altered to increase their volume and shape. They are better than cast heads as CNC porting provides more uniformity, shape, valve location between cylinders. It protects the surface between chambers and control decoloration and faults to ensure a higher level of airflow. More port work provides higher performance and gives maximum power to your chevy’s engine.

Bolt-On Performance Head

While purchasing a small block chevy cylinder head, you must consider the one with high bolt-on performance torque and horsepower. The bolt quality plays a significant role in sealing the cylinder head. Many aftermarket cylinder heads allow 100 percent fitting and tight sealing of the engine.

Intake Manifold For Small Block Chevy

Consider purchasing the flexible intake manifold for a small block chevy racing application. The best intake manifolds are the ones that are made with natural aluminum material. You can buy a single plane manifold that enhances the performance and produce torque ranging from 3500 – 8500 rpm. You can also buy a dual plan manifold that has a torque of 5500 rpm in an idle. It also provides better efficiency to your chevy 350 without putting much stress on its internal parts.

Conclusion

An outstanding cylinder head must possess three characteristics; better combustion, advanced airflow, and accurate chamber volume for better compression. A cylinder head covering all these features will add power to your chevy car engine. The top three recommendations for the best small-block Chevy cylinder head are :

Flotek Cylinder Head Aluminium Small block Chevy for its 64cc high speed burning chamber, Aluminium cast block, and 4.0 inch bore size.

Edelbrock 5089 Cylinder Head for its OEM combustion chamber, Hydraulic tappet flat camshaft, and durability.

Speedmaster PCE281.2010 Small Block Chevy Cylinder Head for its CNC porting, 64cc combustion chamber, and high-quality aluminum construction.

Here is a review about the best small block chevy cylinder heads with buying guide to help you find a correct cylinder head that fits entirely with your car engine and enhance its power and efficiency. The widely available aluminum and iron casting cylinder heads increase the airflow and overall performance of your SBC car engine.