More Horsepower for Your Buck — Swap Meet Cheap Versus New Cylinder Heads

Sometimes a deal seems just too good to pass up. Take for example a set of Chevy 882 cylinder heads I picked up for a measly $50 bucks. Of course, they were grungy, had a unknown history and definitely needed a lot of machine work. But still a good deal, right?

So with the help of Dart I got the chance to test the theory. Dart provided a pair of new Iron Eagle cylinder head castings. They can be had for less than $1200 fully assembled with valves, springs, retainers, locks, guides and rocker studs. With the help of race engine building outfit Automotive Specialists,we machined the Chevy heads to get them back up to spec and tracked the costs. Once they were ready we also compared the performance of the two sets of heads on both the flow bench and on the dyno.

Given the improved casting quality and improved designs of the ports and combustion chambers, we figured the new Iron Eagles would win on power. But there was also a surprise when we added up the cost per horsepower ratio. Check it all out in the video and let us know what you think.

Check out the Dart website for more information on their Iron Eagle heads.

View the Flow Bench Test Sheet as well as the Engine Dyno Test Results.

8 Responses

  1. Otis
    No surprise that the Dart heads made more power, but I never would have thought the chevies would have been so expensive to get up and running.I wonder what teh absolute bare minimum to get im running would be.
    • Jeff
  2. Tom
    Wow, moly pistons! Probably ought to proofread the script. but WTH, still a good article. or video.
    • The pistons are made by a company called Mahle. They aren't made from moly.
  3. [...] Video: Dart Iron Eagle vs Stock Chevy Iron Heads Tweet We found this cool video from that puts the cost of refurbishing a set of old iron heads into perspective. They took a set of [...]
  4. what was the compression ratio
  5. Wes
    is the .248/.252 duration cam at .050"' or total?
    • jeff
      That was at 0.050
  6. Thank you for posting this, very helpful. Do you know exactly which dart heads were used? I know they were the iron Eagles but what size?

Leave a comment