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882 Heads... Are they worth using?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 1946Chrysler, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. 1946Chrysler
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 22

    from Boerne, TX

    I've read a lot about these heads, but My thoughts are inconclusive. I know after '75 Chevy cut costs, emissions, etc. and the 882's from then after were prone to crack, and supposedly offered less performance. On the other hand, my engine builder has a set that are still good i.e. not cracked and are in his words-"simply needing a valve job and new springs". I'm building a '76 400sbc, bored .040", and looking for 300hp at minimum. Am I dreaming with these heads or is my very reputable engine man being truthful with me? You guys rock and know your stuff, I humbly ask your opinions and am very thankful for them..... Please help me make an educated decision... Thanks again!
  2. RacerRick
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,749


    There are two different types of 882's - heavy and lightweight. The lightweight are crack prone, the heavy are not.

    If you want to only make 300hp, these heads will do it with some flat top pistons. The best factory heads are Vortec's that came on the last 350's, but they take a specific intake and centerbolt valve covers.
  3. 1946Chrysler
    Joined: Dec 21, 2008
    Posts: 22

    from Boerne, TX

    Thanks, the original heads off of the 400 were 882's and they were cracked... Bummer. Can the 882's have larger valves i.e. 2.02", 1.94" installed? What about bolt in studs, would I need them for this range of horsepower? My builder says no, but.... Oh, and if you know, what would be a suitable cam duration/lift? Thanks guys. You ROCK!
  4. Jmountainjr
    Joined: Dec 29, 2006
    Posts: 666

    from Maine

    My first comment would be that when putting together an engine the pistons, cam, and heads etc. all need to be in sync. I'm not sure you are there yet. As to heads for a 400, for my money the Dart SS heads have been a better investment than rebuilding most old heads, especially if you want screw in studs and bigger valves. You can get 76cc / 2.02 / screw in studs / guide plates / Z28 springs etc. and on that un-named auction site go for $625-$650 a pair. Compare that to what you might sink into those used 882's.
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  5. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,966

    Shifty Shifterton

    882s could be called the best of the worst.

    The catch with performance engines is you can usually find ready to run, used aftermarket heads for $450-500. Granted, they'll be small, like a performer or dart iron eagle 180, but still offer significant improvement over a stock head.

    So when you're talking about taking an 882 casting, then porting, then screw in studs, and reconditioning.......guess where the price goes. The aftermarket heads already have those features built in, and are generally more crack-resistant due to superior thickness.

    BTW a 400 will be sensitive to head flow. You can choke one of those down pretty easy with a set of heads that are perfectly acceptable on a 350. Ignore common advice and shoot one step bigger. Most advice is 350-centric. After all, you wouldn't use 305 head recommendations on a 350, would ya?

    400 street cam will prolly end up 460-480 lift, duration around 224 @ .050 (mid 290s advertised duration). Split profiles with larger exhaust are street friendly and money well spent. Engine's manners will end up comparable to the generic reference point "300hp 350" but it'll hand a 300hp 350 it's ass.

    good luck
  6. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,821

    from KCMO

    I built a 350 for my first engine, PAW kit and 882 heads. Ran great, but was never anything more than a stock 350. I ran a set of sportsman II's on a 400 block (377 destroked), they certainly made good power, and when you add the time and money in rebuilding old stockers, its a no brainer.
  7. parksquijada
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 316

    from norcal

    im with your builder. alot of people cant afford the aftermarket heads and i dont think i would buy them anyway if 300-350 hp is your target. even with 8.5-9 to one comp. spend your money on nice 3 angle seat ond clean up the pockets yourself ( minimal labor and rewarding ) and and buy a set of 1.94-1.50 stainless valves. hydraulic 260-270 dur 470-480 lift cam with 108-110 lobe sep. is a reasonable price cam. dont run the large valves. the tq you lose isnt worth the hp you wont gain. .500 lift springs are cheap. looke to summit or speedway for these parts or northern auto parts. run a performer with small tube headers. 600 cfm holley or edelbrock (my choice). even a quadrajet will give you your hp figure and mileage to boot. magnum roller tip rockers are a good investment. you dont need screw in studs or guideplates with these spring pressures but if you worried about the studs pin 'em. what you end up with is 300-325 hp easy at 5000 rpm and tons of torque, over 425 under 5000 and a nice flat curve. run good coil etc. in your hei or whatever. i collect 882 heads and build them for people just for this combo your looking for. they are like the vw bug of cyl heads. magnaflux them, drill steam holes and make sure they are not some undesirable troublesome casting and you wont be sorry. good luck with your project.

    also you didnt say what this in , unless i missed it, but pay attention to your gearing and converter. with 3500 pounds a 2000-2500 converter and 3.30-3.50 gears ( or a little higher ) will wake this car/truck up.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  8. flying clutchman
    Joined: Sep 7, 2003
    Posts: 328

    flying clutchman

    For my first engine, I built a 383 stroker and used a pair of 882's. they were cut for bigger valves, ported and polished by the late great Ed Hale. The pistons were 12cc dish Keith Blacks. the compression ratio was 9.1 to 1. I had it chassis dynoed and it made 387 hp and 390 ft/lbs torque. It ran happily on 87 pump gas and got about 18 mpg if I kept my foot out of it.
  9. norby48
    Joined: Dec 21, 2004
    Posts: 742


    Just my 2c. I built a .030 over 400 afew years ago. stock bottom end with hypereutectic pistons, 10.2-1 comp. . Got a new pair of World Sportsman II 200cc heads from a broke rodder for $600. a new Crane Saturday night special cam, lifters, and springs that a woman found in her basement and sold on Ebite for $128. A swap meet RPM intake with a 750 Holley off Craigslist. Swap meet roller-tip magnum rockers. NOS dual points distributor. Did the assembly myself. See a pattern here? I built the whole thing for $1800.
    My '57 Ford (3500#) with a 700R4, 3.70 posi, shorty headers, full exhaust, 9" slicks and slapper bars, went 13.01@101mph. Got 17 mpg all day long and ran @175 degrees. It was pretty much my daily driver for 2 yrs.
    It's got probably 5500 miles on it and seen 6000rpm at least 500 times. It was at the pile-up in October and the new owner says the other guy, (who bought it from me), wants it back again.
    Plan it right and you will be very happy with the torque and power a 400+ sbc can make. I'm building another one with Goodwrench heads and a smaller cam for my next driver now. Pretty much like Shifty said. I'll keep my eyes open for a deal on better flowing aftermarket heads when the budget clears up.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  10. tdoty
    Joined: Jun 21, 2006
    Posts: 821


    300 hp and you're worried about screw in studs and such? Don't bother with the added should be well under .500" lift on that combo.

    The 882s will work just fine at that range with 1.94/1.50 valves.

    For the cam, a 272/282 from Summit ought to get you in the ballpark, if you're on a budget. Personally, I would go with something from Comp Cams in a split pattern design. I think Shifty has been reading the Lunati catalog :p Lunati makes good stuff, but some of their cam suggestions are a bit out there.

    If you can find a set of aftermarket heads in good shape that are about the same price as a rebuild on the 882s, go for it! My last valve job cost me $80 (3 years ago) and springs and such from e... made it simple to just go with stockers. I did the bowl work on them myself though. Ended up pulling about 280 hp from a 305 on "stock" non-Vortec heads and a Summit cam that was a bit wrong for the combination.

    Tim D.
  11. 56rat
    Joined: Jan 9, 2009
    Posts: 5

    from AZ

    I like my 882's. forget the 3 angle valve job go with a 5 angle with hardened seats. port and polish as mush as you can afford, unshroud the valves use 2.02 1.6 stainless steel valves with bronze valve guides and dont scrimp on the valve guide seals its worth the extra 15 bux. also radius the exhaust ports and bowl blend if possible. i did this on mine and put them on the flow bench and was flowing just under what the AFR 210 heads flow. As far as a cam i would go with a comp cams 280 it will be nice and bumpy but still streetable. no need for screw in studs and guide plates. roller rockers or roller tip always helpfull but not necassary. I have 120cc domes but flat tops will be just fine and run on pump gas. I would also make sure the rotating assembly is balanced to within less than a gram and it will live forever. hope this helps I spent alot of time in the machine shop but if you have questions talk to my mentor Timm Jurincie who is Hot boat magazines Top tech editor his number is 623-877-8553 9am to 6pm mountain time- Nick
  12. Jeff Walker
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 482

    Jeff Walker

    The 882's have one of the worst exhaust ports of the SB Chevy heads IMO. They may be an OK head, but there are sure better choices than them.
  13. Spend your money ONCE. Splurge for the Dart heads, you get a lot of technology and reliability for the buck.


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