Any performance engine whether it is racing, pulling, or a street hot rod needs regular maintenance. The frequency of the maintenance depends on how often and how hard you run the engine. You can usually get a good feel for the condition of your engine by performing a periodic leak down or compression check. You should also remove the valve covers and keep an eye on your valve springs. Make sure nothing is broken i.e. springs, retainers, cups, etc. Also look at the spark plugs for consistency in color. If you have been involved in racing, rodding, or pulling for any length of time, you know when you need this service.
Our maintenance program consists of :
1) Disassembling and cleaning of the heads, valves, springs, retainers, locks, cups, locators, and VSI's.
2) Check valve guides and repair as necessary.
3) Check valve springs, retainers, etc. and replace as necessary.
4) Valve job and blend as necessary. Note: The term "valve job" covers a lot.
5) Resurfacing if necessary.
6) Check chamber volume (CC'ing) if necessary.
You can save us some time and yourself money by removing all studs from the heads before shipping. If you have the ability and the desire to perform any of the aforementioned tasks, that will be fine. To do the job properly we would need to receive at least the heads and valves only, in a clean condition. Please be careful when using power tools to clean your heads. We have seen heads come in where someone took a rotary scotch-brite tool to the Intake manifold surface of the heads. We did the maintenance and them sent back, the manifold leaked water. When he sent them back we had to take .040" off the Intake surface to get it flat.
Again, we cannot price quote this maintenance program. It all depends on what condition we receive the heads and what tasks need to be done. We have to have them in our possession. We cannot tell anything from a description or picture. Even after we have them we cannot tell how much time it will take or what parts are necessary until we get into the job. Proper maintenance isn't always cheap, but it is always PRICELESS.
The reason that you purchased a particular cylinder head is because that is the one you wanted. We get that! So when your heads come here, we are going to freshen them up and return them to the condition they were in when new. We are not going to make changes unless otherwise instructed. We understand how important a particular angle at a particular width is. However, when a valve seat has dropped into the head, even if it is only a few thousandths, the top and bottom angles might have to change slightly. We have literally hundreds of cutting tips, some at 1/2 degree angles, to accommodate this. We also have a quick way to digitize and cut angles and radius' to fit. For example, if you have a basic 30degree top, 45degree seat, and 60degree bottom that fits the port and chamber perfectly but needs to be freshened up, we might have to drop the 45degree (let's say .005") the top angle could want to be 32degree, the bottom 57degree. We do not know until we get there. We can make these changes fast and not encroach on the combustion chamber or port.
It is easy to hand blend the excess metal but not always optimum. It is always better to make the fresh seat angle fit the ports and chambers with a proper top and bottom cuts rather than a hand blend. That is not to say hand blending is not necessary. We just try to keep it to a minimum. The same goes for the valves, keeping the seat widths and back angles the same as received.
We have seen more damage to heads by improper maintenance then by engine explosions. These single point guide and seat machines are wonderful. You still have to take the time to program them properly and be willing to make adjustments seat to seat. You can achieve the same results with the carbide tip tooling machines. It is all about setting them up properly and being willing to make adjustments. At Total Flow Products we understand this importance and have a very wide assortment of tools. It is almost never one size fits all. The damage we see is caused by not using the correct machine or having a wide variety of tools. Taking the time to fit the valve job to the chamber and port is EVERYTHING.