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LS1 heads .... again

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1951-F1-NC
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LS1 heads .... again

Post #1 by 1951-F1-NC » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:07 am

Well, a friend of mine sent this to me this morning. Anyone recognize this?

http://bangshift.com/blog/mad-science-a ... e-six.html

The story on bangshift is new, but it links to an old thread on the 429-460 board.

http://www.429-460.com/t12546-ford-300-ls1-6

I remain hopeful, but somewhat skeptical...

Pete

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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #2 by Asa » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:34 am

I thought it was better to cut the heads into 2-cyls per head, as the hole spacing isn't quite exact, and you get a better spacing by doing that.

I have a saved search for LSx heads on eBay so I can pay attention to prices, they've really come down since I first saw this.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #3 by 80broncoman » Sun Feb 16, 2014 11:31 am

Asa wrote:I thought it was better to cut the heads into 2-cyls per head, as the hole spacing isn't quite exact, and you get a better spacing by doing that.

I have a saved search for LSx heads on eBay so I can pay attention to prices, they've really come down since I first saw this.


X2 on the 2 weld head vs the 1 weld head.


The one in that article didn't even weld them together. He used a "special Epoxy"?
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #4 by Asa » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:09 pm

80broncoman wrote:The one in that article didn't even weld them together. He used a "special Epoxy"?

Depending on the epoxy, depending on the usage of the vehicle, I can see it working. I doubt I would use it for a daily driver, but with the proper engineering it could work.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #5 by 80broncoman » Sun Feb 16, 2014 1:36 pm

Asa wrote:
80broncoman wrote:The one in that article didn't even weld them together. He used a "special Epoxy"?

Depending on the epoxy, depending on the usage of the vehicle, I can see it working. I doubt I would use it for a daily driver, but with the proper engineering it could work.


I read the thread on that site and seems they took that head off because of leaks. I agree there are Very good epoxys out there that might seal it but since aluminum expands 6 time more than iron for the same temp rise, in this case I'm not sure that method is going to work.

I think another option would have been to weld plates to each head then milled flat and use O rings for sealing coolant passages in the end of the heads. this idea might work better if you did the head in 3 pieces.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #6 by BIG 6 farmer » Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:03 pm

Very interesting upgrade :nod: Was thinking... instead of epoxy or welding the 2 milled heads together. How bout using a high grade RTV sealer? :hmmm: Peen or knurl the milled head ends, seal it up... I like the O-ring idea, but fitting them would be more work... 2 separate heads with a flexible seam would solve the thermal expansion issue. My opinion is that it would holdup to Oil drain back, and normal cooling system pressure :hmmm: But of course the heads should be on locating dowels, and Cyl. head ends clean and well prepped... :nod: Any thoughts ?
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #7 by CNC-Dude » Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:00 pm

You may or may not get the head to seal effectively with epoxies or silicon sealers, but one thing that is overlooked is the role the cylinder head plays as an engineering tool to strengthen and stiffen the block when you bolt it on. A head that isn't rigid or in one piece will not keep the block from flexing and distoring like a welded or solid head will. And one can only guess what can of worms that will open.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #8 by Asa » Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:41 pm

Interesting point, CNC.
I can see it being an issue at the upper HP levels, however I wonder how much of an issue it would be with a daily driver.
I'm also reminded of the Cummins inline diesels, all of them are based off of only having two cylinders connected per head (so an inline six Cummins actually has 3 cylinder heads). Of course, that is a diesel, and the engine is built to sustain the loads, but on the same side of that coin our engines wouldn't see the same stresses as a diesel.

I wonder if you could help lessen the twisting displacement of the block with something lower, a girdle for the main caps, maybe even something on the exterior. Wouldn't have the same mass or rigidity of a stock cylinder head, but it could be a fun starting point for some experiments.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #9 by CNC-Dude » Mon Feb 17, 2014 2:10 am

The diesel engines are originally designed with the seperate cylinder heads and the blocks are much beefier then the flimsier gas engines. I think also the higher RPM stability will be where the issues lie in doing a hybrid head that isn't welded, but isn't that the whole premise of doing one to begin with....higher RPM HP.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #10 by J.R. » Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:49 pm

Brain fart! If 3 chambers each of 2 SBC :roll: heads is really the hot free-breathing crossflow solution for the Ford BB6... and the mating of these 2 GM castings seems to be the major negative issue... why not just approach Ryan Falconer http://www.falconerengines.com/ for u]one[/u] of his "SBC V12" heads? Or is there something more to the problem? Obviously he has the manifolding worked out as well. (Admittedly, I'm not an engineer, nor do I play one on TV!) Just wondering.

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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #11 by CNC-Dude » Mon Feb 17, 2014 10:34 pm

Because (6) consecutive cylinders in a SBC bore spacing of 4.400" makes the head too long and the 2 end cylinders at the front and back of the head will start to have valves that hit the blocks deck. With sectioning several SBC heads, you can reduce the amount of bore spacing error between bores to a more acceptable amount by how many sections you create with a hybrid head.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #12 by THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:24 am

I don't often like to come on like a "Negative Nellie" but I think this setup will have major issues. This is based on my relationship with many of the six cylinder racers who have used hybrid crossflow cylinder heads over the years, and some of my own work.

Here are my concerns:

Early in development the 240 / 300 engine was subjected to finite element analysis and also strain gage testing. The block was found to gyrate and "wiggle like a fish" from side to side with a node roughly in the center of the block through its vertical axis. I believe this is probably not uncommon for all inline engine to behave like this. Steps were taken to minimize this effect, but with a hybrid head "seam" located right over where the block assembly bends the most, I can't see an arrangement like a two-piece epoxied head living for very long. As has been pointed out the head goes a long way toward stiffening the block. Even racers who built welded-up crossflow heads found that frequent head cracking and subsequent additional welding repair was necessary. That is why the NHRA Comp team of Ambrose, Argenta, and Huettman worked with Ford Racing to make a one-piece billet head legal in NHRA Competition Eliminator. You can only beat your head against a stone wall for so long before realizing something better must be done.

Which brings me to my second concern: bore spacing.
The Ford 300 six engine architecture is based around a bore centerline spacing of 4.480". That's Four Point Four Hundred and Eighty Thousandths of an Inch. Small block V8 Ford engines are based on bore centerlines of 4.380". When these heads were first built for hybrid sixes two heads with three chambers were used, most commonly by centering combustion chambers cylinders two and five and letting cylinders one and four be offset by .050" to the rear of their respective cylinder bores and cylinders three and six offset by .050" to the front of their cylinder bores. This is not at all a good thing as small changes in the location of the valves above the chambers often mean BIG changes in the power that cylinder produces. Hybrid V8 head racers soon realized this and and moved from two-piece to three-piece, and finally six-piece heads in an effort to get the most power out of every cylinder. All that extra welding and fabricating with its attendant maintenance headaches would not have been done if it did not offer a competitive advantage over heads where the chambers are not centered over the bores.

[SIDEBAR BACK STORY: Early in my career my supervisor was Al Ruminski. Al is a largely unsung hero who did much of the dynamometer development work for Ford Racing on the FE motors including the SOHC 427 V8s for NASCAR racing as well as drag racing. In an S.A.E. paper Al wrote, he stated some of the flow lab testing that was done on these engines showed that by moving a head port wall as little as .040" that flow could be affected by as much as 10%!!]

So now we are looking at a (LS) hybrid head with two chambers on centers, two shoved forwards .070", and two shoved rearwards .070". How's that going to work? Not optimal

OK, Haters, you can start to flame me if you like, but I'm just the Historical Messenger. I don't have a hybrid headed dog in this fight - I just wanted to add some historical perspective. And maybe a caveat or two.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #13 by CNC-Dude » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:15 pm

I share your pain Greg, it seems many pioneers only have a fundamental grasp on the basic skills and knowledge but lack the more complex engineering and data needed for the true dynamics of how things work before they attempt such projects. Sure, many have done things the "wrong" way and it halfway worked and didn't kill anybody so they claim it as a victory or triumph, but it really wasn't compared to things that truly are triumphs and successes. But we'll never convince them otherwise, and we can only continue to be shown that there really is something called "dumb luck" or "blind luck" after all.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #14 by 1986F150six » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:19 pm

And we appreciate your historical perspective, The Frenchtown Flyer. Thank you for your input!

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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #15 by J.R. » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:29 am

FTF & CNC-Dude, thanks for your informed & experienced responses to my naivete.

A few more questions come to mind:
* FTF, is the block-stiffening effect of the head better with a cast iron head, versus an aluminum head?
* Was that why Ford used cast iron for their crossflow developmental prototype heads, rather than aluminum castings?
* Could one expect that using an alloy head (when available) on a street-driven 240/300 will hurt longevity/reliability?
* Could a SOHC head design add even more stiffness to the 300 engine, given the lack of need for pushrod holes?

Just no end to some folks' curiosity? :?

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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #16 by Asa » Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:24 pm

J.R. wrote:FTF & CNC-Dude, thanks for your informed & experienced responses to my naivete.

A few more questions come to mind:
* FTF, is the block-stiffening effect of the head better with a cast iron head, versus an aluminum head?
* Was that why Ford used cast iron for their crossflow developmental prototype heads, rather than aluminum castings?
* Could one expect that using an alloy head (when available) on a street-driven 240/300 will hurt longevity/reliability?
* Could a SOHC head design add even more stiffness to the 300 engine, given the lack of need for pushrod holes?

Just no end to some folks' curiosity? :?

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Iron is a stiffer metal than aluminum. With two heads of the same thickness of metals, same dimensions, etc, the iron head will be stiffer.
Dunno
I doubt you'll get a concrete answer here, there are a lot of variables, and a lot of unknowns. Were you to use a head designed specifically for the big six, there would be no issues, but there are no heads designed specifically for the big six.
Interesting thought. Very possible, but then you'd also have twisting forces from the cam on the head. These won't be near the same frequency or amplitude of the crankshaft, but they'll be there.

But those are just my thoughts.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #17 by CNC-Dude » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:28 am

I'd say the main thing to consider is that a one piece head will be better than one that is epoxied together in sections as far as helping to create a rigid and stiffer head. Aluminum is always going to be the preferred material simply because hotrooders are programmed that way, and a 70 or 80 lb cast iron race head might not be too popular.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #18 by 80broncoman » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:00 pm

THE FRENCHTOWN FLYER wrote:....... Early in development the 240 / 300 engine was subjected to finite element analysis and also strain gage testing. The block was found to gyrate and "wiggle like a fish" from side to side with a node roughly in the center of the block through its vertical axis. I believe this is probably not uncommon for all inline engine to behave like this. ......


I can certainly see that. seeing how the firing order bounces back and forth across the line betwwen holes number 3 and 4.
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #19 by chessterd5 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:18 pm

At what RPM does this vibration realisticly start becoming a problem? how would one "shore up" the block to counter act this vibration? If you did shore up the block, where would this vibration oscillate to, or through? Would it follow the crank through the driveline?
I would wonder what welding longitudinal bars or braces to the sides of the block & one large vertical brace in the center between 3 & 4 would do? Kinda like external ribbing?

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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #20 by Asa » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:12 am

It shouldn't be one RPM, that's not how vibrations work. Depending on a couple factors you'll get that vibration every time the motor hits a RPM with a common factor.

Say that factor is 100RPMs, you'll get vibrations at 100RPMs, 200RPMs, 300RPMs, etc and you'll effectively have a useless engine as by the time you get up to a shift range the engine will be flexing all over the place.

No clue what the RPM range that matches the harmonic frequency of the engine is, but I would bet it's a ways up there.


As for your idea, the center bar between 3&4 probably wouldn't do much, I would be more inclined to try a couple of diagonal bars. That being said, I'm just learning this stuff, so I can't tell you if that's a good idea or not
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #21 by motzingg » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:14 pm

I've been thinking about this again as I recently came upon this 'Alumiweld' stuff which is a alu-zinc-magnesium alloy used for brazing aluminum.

I'm not really too inclined to try it, but from my experience brazing things and doing jewlery work, a well-sectioned head with tight mating surfaces (machined) could be furnace brazed while bolted down to a big steel plate, using this aluminum braze rod, without the distortion and HAZ's caused by TIG welding it.

The 'Alumiweld' from harbor freight worked pretty good for what i was doing with it, it gets watery and flows, would certainly flow into gaps with the right process. Most similar alloys have a tensile strength around 30-40KSI which should be plenty good for holding an aluminum head together, and being that it is slightly harder than the neighboring aluminum, it should flex much better than an epoxy or something like that.


If anyone wants to look into it, there is tons of good info on the internet and in books about aircraft construction about aluminum brazing. Apparently it was standard procedure for many years until heliarc/TIG came along. One of those 'wisdom lost to time' kinda things.


I'm very interested in it to be used in building up port floors and raising ports in motorcycle heads, much 'lower fruit' than a sectioned 6-cyl head...

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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #22 by motzingg » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:23 pm

oh yeah and as an added benefit, it would be a planar contact surface, rather than having to cut down into the block and weld in a fillet or just having a weld bead around the edge, the entire web would evenly distribute the force, more like a native (not cut) casting would.

i'm sure someone has done it back in the day, when these technologies were commonplace

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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #23 by Firepower354 » Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:36 pm

How about sealing the cut ends, making 2 independent heads, for water purposes?
They can butt together for valve cover sealing.

While I agree with FTF on the spacing being a potential source of airflow losses, if the chamber is smaller than the bore, shouldn't the effect be negligible? Of course, when valved to the max, the wall issue comes in play, but for the 99%ers, it should still be a huge gain over what's available?

Interesting, on the flexy block. I wonder if a 1" thick deck plate, holding the re-centered sleeves, and a 417-esque bottom girdle would address any of the shortcomings?
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Re: LS1 heads .... again

Post #24 by 80broncoman » Sat Feb 22, 2014 5:09 pm

Firepower354 wrote:......
Interesting, on the flexy block. I wonder if a 1" thick deck plate, holding the re-centered sleeves, and a 417-esque bottom girdle would address any of the shortcomings?


I wouldn't really call it flexy or say it has shortcomings. I'd just remember that he middle of the block isn't where i would put the seem in a modifeyed head.
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