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Vintage CRANE SBC heads

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by al_inbancroft, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. al_inbancroft
    Joined: Mar 1, 2009
    Posts: 122

    al_inbancroft
    Member

    Hi Everyone,
    Does anyone have any pics or info on theese? A freind of mine used to runs theese onhis roller 302 D/gas 5 chevy back in the day.

    Were they made by Crane?, or someone else for Crane? Any info would be apreciated.
    Regards.
    Al
     
  2. RacerRick
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,753

    RacerRick
    Member

    I have some old ad's for Crane Fireball heads. They were ported 292 'turbo' heads according to the ads.
     
  3. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,665

    Bruce Lancaster
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think there were several generations...they ported whatever head was the current hot choice from Chevy at the time
     
  4. ProEnfo
    Joined: Sep 28, 2005
    Posts: 1,500

    ProEnfo
    Member
    from Motown

    Info from Jim Hill (longtime Crane employee):


    "The "292" heads were also referred to as "Turbo Heads" by many. They were of the angled spark plug design, and used the then-new, "peanut plugs", which were considerably smaller than the old style plugs. These heads came from GM with 2.02" intakes and 1.60" exhausts. I'm stretching my memory here, but I seem to remember they were also equipped with screw-in studs (3/8" diameter) and pushrod guideplates, and had 72cc combustion chambers.

    The Turbo heads were a considerable upgrade from the 461 or 461X head castings and out of the box, untouched, made better power than modestly ported 461 castings.

    Crane Cams sold these with a mild chamber rework, intakes and exhausts opened up to gasket size, 3-angle valve job and a valve spring and retainer upgrade to Crane stuff for roller or flat-tappet cam. They were marketed as "FireBall Heads", and Crane literally sold thousands of sets of these because they were reasonably priced and made really good power when matched with the correct cam, valve train and intake system.

    They could also be ordered with deck surface milling, to reduce chamber size and increase static compression ratio, another guaranteed power-adder, via the head surfacing mill.

    GM did their homework on these castings by increasing the quality as well as the amount of molten cast iron alloy poured to create these. The added material made the heads stronger and more resistant to cracking, a problem that plagues late model, cast iron small-block Chevy heads, especially those of the late 70's and 80's emissions equipped engines."



    -Jim Hill
     
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  5. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,665

    Bruce Lancaster
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    They were neat heads...I found a set in the junkyard once, very noticeable because of the screw in studs, better than stock rim for valve cover, slanted plugs...I think also no heat crossover? The junkyard guys were always interested in what I picke out, and demanded a short lecture on why I had picked out THAT set. Never looked them over closely. They had been worked on considerably...would they be marked if they were Crane ones??
     
  6. jchav62
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,924

    jchav62
    Member

    Very interesting stuff. What years were the "292" heads produced by GM?
     
  7. blownonfuel
    Joined: Feb 17, 2009
    Posts: 21

    blownonfuel
    Member

    Early to late 70s? I think they were fased out in the 80s by the cast iron Bowtie head which you can still buy. If my memory is correct the turbo castings had a problem with cracking.
     
  8. hotrawd
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 193

    hotrawd
    Member
    from lima,ohio

    I ran a pair of Crane heads on my smallblock gasser in the early '70's. They were 461 castings. The ports were opened up quite a bit,they had screw-in studs, and were cut for big valve springs. I don't know if they ever saw a flow bench but they seemed to work pretty well (I won a lot of races). By about 1973 they were obsolete.
     
  9. RacerRick
    Joined: May 16, 2005
    Posts: 2,753

    RacerRick
    Member

    292's have no heat crossover and the last book I have that mentions them as being the hot setup was printed in 1980.

    The ones in the books I have all have CRANE stamped in the ends of the heads.
     
  10. al_inbancroft
    Joined: Mar 1, 2009
    Posts: 122

    al_inbancroft
    Member

    Thanks for the replies gentlemen. I take it now theese are the old angle-plug heads I can remember reading about/etc years ago.
    Keep the history alive.
    Regards.
    Al
     
  11. I gotta go back and look again...

    My boss bought a set new to run on the 327 in his '39 Chevy coupe. During a regular Saturday afternoon street race gathering in front of the shop, his then-employee missed a shift, over-revved, and snapped a valve. Wiped one head. The pair is still in the back room.

    I pulled one out recently, I thought I remembered it being a 462 casting, and straight plug. Like I said, gotta go back and look again. Later on, it's my intention to flowbench and measure the good head, and attempt to match it, to complete the pair.
     
  12. yekoms
    Joined: Jan 21, 2007
    Posts: 1,088

    yekoms
    Member

    Crane did small block Ford heads also. Yes they were stamped with Crane in a semi circle like a frown. The big tell tale sign from the outside of the Crane heads was the perfectly round exhaust ports. The combustion chambers look like they were done on a milling machine because the radius look to consistant to be done by hand.
    Smokey
     
  13. mart3406
    Joined: May 31, 2009
    Posts: 3,055

    mart3406
    Member
    from Canada

    --------------------------
    If the junkyard guy happened to notice the word Crane"
    stamped on the heads and questioned you on that, I
    suppose you could have told him that they were "just
    some old Chevy industrial heads....you know....from an
    industrial engine...used in a crane
    "!!! <LOL> :D
    mart
    =======================================
     
  14. alleyoop392
    Joined: Aug 4, 2005
    Posts: 62

    alleyoop392
    Member

    I have a set if someone "really" needs a set. I think around 1970's
     
  15. mtkawboy
    Joined: Feb 12, 2007
    Posts: 1,208

    mtkawboy
    Member

    Jim Hill is a pretty modest guy & knows of what he speaks, didnt even mention his national record holding and Indy class winning O'Connell, Hill & Busshart F/Gas 57 Chevy {late 60s, early 70s}. If you ran at Miami/Hollywood back then you better have your stuff together at eliminations time, they were a tough crowd
     
    loudbang likes this.
  16. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,431

    Deuces
    Member
    from Michigan

    We gotta see these!!!!! How about posting some pictures please?????
    Thanks a bunch!!!!! :):cool:
     
  17. Black Panther
    Joined: Jan 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,444

    Black Panther
    Member
    from SoCal

    I had a set....they were stamped Crane on the ends. Sold them on Ebay..even as cores they were worth a pretty penny...
     
  18. I ran a pair on my 289 E/Gas Mustang, They were a set of ported Ford HIPO heads with round ports , They had Chev intake valves and good springs. I bought these in about 69 or early 70. I remember the cost was $514 for the pair.
     
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  19. el Scotto
    Joined: Mar 3, 2004
    Posts: 4,094

    el Scotto
    Member
    from Tracy, CA

    I'll second that! I want to see the stamping!
     
  20. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 2,788

    southcross2631
    Member

    We ran a set on our G/Gas car in 1975 on a 302 block with Brooks rods and pistons and all crane valve train. We used to run the tall clear valve covers so we could check for water in the oil between rounds as they were cut so much for big valve springs they would leak around the spring pockets.
    We finally epoxied some shims to the heads to keep the heads from leaking and getting water in the oil.
    They were angle plug heads and allowed our low buck combo to run under the NHRA index in the 1/8 th mile. I still remember going to Owensboro every Friday night. Even won a race there in the tough modified eliminator program.
     
  21. alleyoop392
    Joined: Aug 4, 2005
    Posts: 62

    alleyoop392
    Member

     

    Attached Files:

  22. David Thomas
    Joined: Dec 18, 2017
    Posts: 1

    David Thomas

    Crane fireball head.jpg This is the stamp on my set.
     
    72yenkonova likes this.

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