W Head Basic porting for dummies

LMBRJQ 60

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 4
#1
Hi All,
I am going to be having a go at mild porting on a set of 333 heads for my 348/380 small stroker
I have done basic match porting on intake and exhausts before on SBC heads but was just looking for pictures, wisdom, opinions etc on the process
There were some pics on here from Jason's (yellow wagon) 333 head porting job but cant seem to find them

Things i was looking for was
  1. the order in which to do things i want to put larger valves in as well
  2. areas to be careful
  3. the definite don't do's
  4. Best gaskets to match
  5. Things i need to consider

The cost of better heads aside i would like to do this myself as part of my build

Go for it,

Steve
 

1961BelAir427

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 3
#2
Steve, Very cool that you are going to jump in there and grind your own.

I don't have any W head porting experience, but I can tell you that you need to have the seats cut for the larger valves BEFORE doing the porting and then the final valve job AFTER porting. I'm not sure about your machine shop, but mine will do the preliminary work for you including the top and bottom angles of the 3 angle valve job and then finish the valve job later for the same price as if you had them do it all at once. Hopefully yours will too. The reason for that is so you can blend in the valve bowl area to the without damaging the valve seating surface.

Hey at least you don't have to worry about reshaping or polishing combustion chambers since there isn't much of one in the 333's.

How hard is it to find another 333 head over there in case you grind clear through to a coolant passage? That would be my main concern.....not knowing how much larger the ports can go without breaking through and where the thin spots are.

I'd suspect the most gains will be blending the bowls to match the larger valves, streamlining the valve guide bosses, and slightly opening the pushrod pinch area. The "short turn radius" is a spot with a lot of potential as well, but I don't know enough about W heads to advise on what to do.....just that it's a hot spot for improvement on pretty much all heads.

EDIT: Forgot to say to say to be sure to wear eye protection. Wear clothes you don't care about....preferably some sorta coveralls. Be very careful not to rub your eyes before washing your hands repeatedly and even then it's dangerous. I didn't wear a mask or respirator when I used to do iron heads, but should have. I won't make that mistake again.

Also, although it will be a lot more work you might want to use a drill to do your porting instead of a die grinder. A drill running wide open is slow enough that you aren't as likely to screw anything up whereas on wrong move with a high speed die grinder can at the least be a big set back or even ruin a head. After you have more practice and know where to grind without going too far you can switch to the die grinder and finish a lot quicker.
 
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Clyde Waldo

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 6
#3
Do a search on this site for "Building some 333s". Yellow wagon details his work on his set of 333s but the pictures won't display - don't know why??? Maybe Jason will post them here again for you. Ray had some pictures of his work on 690 heads and I had some pictures of my attempt on large port heads also.

I had fun but gets a little old after a while. Good luck and post some pictures for us.
 

Clyde Waldo

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 6
#6
Steve, I'll show what and how I did my 690s. This was my first so I looked on the internet and I looked at Ray's pictures and just started in to remove material that I thought hindered air flow or directed air flow in the wrong direction. I tried to think where the air flow wants to go and help it. As for tools, some use air tools but I didn't have any so I used electric tools. Carbide cutters for iron (not aluminum) are what I used - they take off a lot of metal quickly so you must have a delicate toutch and a firm grip on the grinder. The cone shape is what I found most useful but the cutters come in various shapes and sizes. Ronnie advised me to not take too much from the exhaust valve guides since that would reduce exhaust valve cooling - I may have taken a little too much off. To get some light on the work area I put a light bulb in a tin can and taped a magnet on the can to hold the light in place. This directed the light on the work and kept it away from my eyes but don't know why the camera saw the light as yellow. As for the ports I just removed bumps & lumps and didn't try to enlarge them. Some places you can't see very well like the short turn but that is a place you can physically feel and needs blended in. On the one center exhaust port on each head I didn't like the idea of that opening going to the intake manifold side so I blocked it off and made it function like the exhaust port next to it. I did this by shaping a hunk of metal to fit the opening at the exhaust valve side and then welded a nut on the hunk of metal that aligned so that I threaded a bolt from the intake manifold side and held it in place by filling the exhaust crossover with furnace cement. You will develope your own ideas and techniques - keep us posted.

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LMBRJQ 60

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 4
#8
Steve, here are a few pics I have of my heads, I didn't get a chance to take any of the bowls before he put them together..


Thanks for that Rick,
That is the sort of thing i have done to SBC heads just to make things smoother for flow
These are on your 380?

Steve
 

LMBRJQ 60

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 4
#9
Steve, Very cool that you are going to jump in there and grind your own.

I don't have any W head porting experience, but I can tell you that you need to have the seats cut for the larger valves BEFORE doing the porting and then the final valve job AFTER porting. I'm not sure about your machine shop, but mine will do the preliminary work for you including the top and bottom angles of the 3 angle valve job and then finish the valve job later for the same price as if you had them do it all at once. Hopefully yours will too. The reason for that is so you can blend in the valve bowl area to the without damaging the valve seating surface.

Hey at least you don't have to worry about reshaping or polishing combustion chambers since there isn't much of one in the 333's.

How hard is it to find another 333 head over there in case you grind clear through to a coolant passage? That would be my main concern.....not knowing how much larger the ports can go without breaking through and where the thin spots are.

I'd suspect the most gains will be blending the bowls to match the larger valves, streamlining the valve guide bosses, and slightly opening the pushrod pinch area. The "short turn radius" is a spot with a lot of potential as well, but I don't know enough about W heads to advise on what to do.....just that it's a hot spot for improvement on pretty much all heads.

EDIT: Forgot to say to say to be sure to wear eye protection. Wear clothes you don't care about....preferably some sorta coveralls. Be very careful not to rub your eyes before washing your hands repeatedly and even then it's dangerous. I didn't wear a mask or respirator when I used to do iron heads, but should have. I won't make that mistake again.

Also, although it will be a lot more work you might want to use a drill to do your porting instead of a die grinder. A drill running wide open is slow enough that you aren't as likely to screw anything up whereas on wrong move with a high speed die grinder can at the least be a big set back or even ruin a head. After you have more practice and know where to grind without going too far you can switch to the die grinder and finish a lot quicker.
Thanks Jason
I have two sets of 333's thanks to Phil and a deal i couldn't refuse as long as i got out of his shop.
Will get the valve seats cut but not finished as mentioned
Will get screw in studs done after i have done my messing around

Steve
 

Ishiftem

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#10
Do not take any material off the floor. Open the area below the seat to about 90% of the valve size on the intake. The area on either side of the guide can be deepened. The guide boss can be narrowed and the boss can be shortened where it extends into the intake port. Do not remove the material behind the guide as it likely just p!ss it off. Make the pinch area next the push rod as wide as possible and blend that back into the port. You can stream line the leading edge of the guide boss, but it really wont do anything. There really isn't much you can do with the short turn radius. Just make sure it is a smooth transition. If you want, you could lay it back a little to gain volume in the bowl area. Use a valve that is "flat" on the backside for the intake. Not much to do on the exhaust but narrow the guide boss, a port match, and blend the valve job. You can also round the edge of the exhaust valve on the face side. A drill press and a fine file will do this nicely. Make sure you still maintain .060 at a minimum on the margin. A little goes a long way and can be worth a surprising amount relative to the size of the change. I'll post pictures of my 690s later.
 

1961BelAir427

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 3
#14
Dan's 690 heads he pictured above flowed numbers comparable to any professionals work. He mentioned valve shape which is very important. A lot of engines want more of a tulip design, but the W ports want a straight stem down to the valve head. Someone recently called it a "penny on a stick" I think.

Ricky's 380 and Clyde's stroker are both known to run very well. Clyde's idea of blocking the heat riser passage is a good one too. I filled a few in using an epoxy that is made by Moroso I think. Stuff sure wasn't cheap I remember that much.

Jason got great power from his build with the 333's. Wasn't that about the most power anyone has made from those? Since that is the casting you are working with I would think pictures of those would help the most.

The thing that I'd be worried about is not knowing how much material you can safely remove. You can err on the cautious side and play it safe, but then you'll have in the back of your mind that you wish you had spent a little more time grinding and not left power on the table.

Another thing to remember that I forgot to mention is the exhaust port's direction. A lot of people tend to look at it from the outside of the port towards the bowl just as you do the intake port and work on it accordingly instead of thinking about how the air is flowing OUT from the valve to the header.

:scratch Small block, big block, and even LSx exhaust ports work well when the roof is raised up into the shape of a "D" laying on it's side. I'm not sure if the W would favor that shape as well, but it would seem that if it works for all those it may help here too. :think
 

LMBRJQ 60

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 4
#15
Dan's 690 heads he pictured above flowed numbers comparable to any professionals work. He mentioned valve shape which is very important. A lot of engines want more of a tulip design, but the W ports want a straight stem down to the valve head. Someone recently called it a "penny on a stick" I think.

Ricky's 380 and Clyde's stroker are both known to run very well. Clyde's idea of blocking the heat riser passage is a good one too. I filled a few in using an epoxy that is made by Moroso I think. Stuff sure wasn't cheap I remember that much.

Jason got great power from his build with the 333's. Wasn't that about the most power anyone has made from those? Since that is the casting you are working with I would think pictures of those would help the most.

The thing that I'd be worried about is not knowing how much material you can safely remove. You can err on the cautious side and play it safe, but then you'll have in the back of your mind that you wish you had spent a little more time grinding and not left power on the table.

Another thing to remember that I forgot to mention is the exhaust port's direction. A lot of people tend to look at it from the outside of the port towards the bowl just as you do the intake port and work on it accordingly instead of thinking about how the air is flowing OUT from the valve to the header.

:scratch Small block, big block, and even LSx exhaust ports work well when the roof is raised up into the shape of a "D" laying on it's side. I'm not sure if the W would favor that shape as well, but it would seem that if it works for all those it may help here too. :think
Man Jason,
Im going to have to get the coloring pencils out and draw pictures of what i think i understand of everyones comments here:D
I think i have it sorted but will keep looking for pics and opinions.
The heads will arrive here in about 9 weeks (in LA at the moment but 4 week wait on the port)

Steve
 

Tom Kochtanek

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 10
#17
I "practised" on a 333 head that was cracked before I attempted to grind on the real thing. You get that hang of it in a few minutes (then you get bored like Clyde mentions :)).

I was lucky to have a set of 333s that Ronnie did up, so I patterned my grinding locations on that effort and tried to clone it. They are now on a running engine and after a year or so seem to be doing fine. I kept the ones Ronnie did :).

Remember the 2004 Convention when a certain someone called these 333s "door stops"? Well I have about 20 hours into a pair of running door stops :).

I also seem to have a lot of cracked heads, I guess those really are door stops...

Cheers!
TomK
 

yellow wagon

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 2
#18
Don't think I forgot about you guys I just haven't been home to post the photos. Been on the road this week for work but am sure I can dig up the photos I took of my head porting.

And my engine might be the most HP made to date with the 333s? As far as I know that should be true. I'm no porting expert but don't overcomplicate the process of cleaning them up. Keep your work simple and they should work great.
 

427John

Well Known Member
#20
Having a hard time locating the photos. But I'm still looking
I know this is an old thread,but I'm in the process of porting my 333's and want to make sure I'm not f-ing these things up,had my head guy put the guides in and rough in the seats and throat for the 2.19 and 1.72 valves and am now porting.The thing I'm worried about is in the intake port wall beneath the throat he cut in on the side closest to the exhaust valve there is quite a bit of material to be removed to blend it with bowl below,almost like an overhang.Am I correct in removing this to blend from the bowl up to the cut in throat?With it still there the air would have to make an S turn to get thru the valve.The other side was relatively quick and easy to get blended but this side required a fair amount of metal to be removed.Once gone it becomes a nice nearly straight shot up to the throat from the radius of the bowl below.Is this normal?Do my heads have some kind of core shift,or am I removing something I shouldn't?To clarify the bowl of the port does extend out underneath that portion of the port wall.Also all of the intake ports on both heads have this to varying degrees.Yellow wagon if you could find and repost those pictures it would be most appreeciated
 
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