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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it looks like its finally time for a head job on my '95 GMC pickup.

I drove about 600 miles yesterday and, when I was 12 miles from my destination I got one hell of a ticking from a dry (empty) hydrolic lifter. I had added a quart before leaving and was completely full - when I pulled over and checked the oil (the moment I heard the lifter), there was barely anything on the stick. Added right away and everything runs fine right now.

I new I was leaking a bit from the back of my intake manifodl but DAMN!
Been waiting for a good reason to put 1996-1999 Vortec heads (or aftermarket performance heads) on since I bought the truck in 2001. A long time (mildly) ticking lifter, manifold oil leak, and yesterday's issues mean MY WIFE CAN'T ARGUE WITH THE MONEY I'LL SPEND!!

Anyone have recommendations for a good set of heads to use on a 1995 5.7L GM?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Almighty Jason said:
so why put new heads on it??

What are you looking to do? If you aren't going to go all out then why put heads on it?

I figure if a lifter ran dry, and one has been ticking since I bought it, I should replace the cam and lifters.
Generally, when you replace a cam, you get the heads checked up and fix anything that might need it (valve seals, etc) since you have so much torn apart anyway.

In the case of a '95 GM small block, it is seriously lacking in power and gas mileage compared to a '96 - that's when they went to the Vortec heads and multiport fuel injection.
Even without the multiport injection, Vortec heads will make a big improvement.

If I'm gonna tare into a motor, I'm gonna make some improvements. My wife refers to this side of me as "Excessive Dave".
 

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hozhead said:
I figure if a lifter ran dry, and one has been ticking since I bought it, I should replace the cam and lifters.
Generally, when you replace a cam, you get the heads checked up and fix anything that might need it (valve seals, etc) since you have so much torn apart anyway.

In the case of a '95 GM small block, it is seriously lacking in power and gas mileage compared to a '96 - that's when they went to the Vortec heads and multiport fuel injection.
Even without the multiport injection, Vortec heads will make a big improvement.
I've never in my life heard of anyone pulling the heads off to put a cam and lifters in a engine....UNLESS they were doing perf. work anyway.

Keep in mind that Vortec heads are NOT a direct bolt on for stock stuff. The intakes are COMPLETELY different. 1 option is go aftermarket for the intake to use with a carb, or the stock TBI stuff. Also, I think there's a company (possibly GM, but unsure) that sells the heads already drilled for early style intake (pre 1987 style....1987 - current are different due to center intake bolts...intake holes can be "wollowed" out to work tho).

If you go carb'd, you need to do something about the electronics for the trans (aftermarker controller is the only way to go), unless you have a manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll be getting an intake from GM Performance parts (order through summit most likely). They make one specifically to put Vortec heads on TBI equiped vehicle. I have no desire to go full on carb - I'll stick with the small gain in fuel atomization provided by TBI.

As for pulling the heads, its my personal choice to do them at the same time as a cam shaft. The truck has 113,000 miles (not that much but still no virgin) and was ABUSED by the previous owner.
I've been working on engines (including full rebuilds) since I was eight years old - most of the people I know who aren't doing just enough to get by will have the heads checked and replace and worn springs, valve guides, etc if for no other reason than to know its all been checked over and you don't have to do a complete tear down again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm looking for something more than the anemic 200 HP that this 350 cubic inch motor came with from the factory.
I've already done a cat back exhaust, performance intake kit, every last compenent that delivers spark, etc.

I haven't done shorty headers yet because if I change heads I'll need to replace them anyway.

Its all kind of a moot point right now anyway. After dumping $1200 into the drivetrain this month (replaced the driveshaft because of a grove from a bent crossmember, had the cross-member straightened, had all of the bearings in the rear end replaced [the pinion bearing was tore to hell], did u-joints in the new shaft, did wheel bearings and seals).

Tonight I pulled "The Black Betrayer" into the garage after degreasing the motor at a car wash. Tomorrow I drain the coolant and start pulling pieces so that I can replace gaskets/seals on the intake manifold and valve covers.
I'm hoping to pull an electric fan on ebay and yank my belt driven fan - that should free up about 5 to 10 HP and help the mileage a bit too.
 
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