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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody here attempt porting your own cylinder heads?
I'm thinking about buying a used head, shipping the cam off to get reground, swapping in new springs, valve job, and a rudimentary port and polish. (This is on a 1.9)
Before I venture off to never never land though, I'd like to know if anyone has tried it or has any advice. :?
BTW, there is a cool guide at:
http://www.sa-motorsports.com/diyguide.shtm
I've always wanted to try something like this...

Dan
 

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I have a 1.8 and ported the exhaust side slightly, between 1/16 and 1/8th of an inch, just to better match up with the header and header gasket. Ported on the top side where there's the greater flow. Didn't notice a power increase, but throttle response is improved.

Be careful porting a 1.9. It's easy to bog that motor down. You don't want to remove so much that you reduce airflow velocity. And polishing doesn't really do so much unless you have a really built engine. On a largely standard motor, all a polish is going to do is look pretty.
 

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everybody here already knows what I'm going to say- don't waste your time and money on the 1.9L engine. You're more likely to screw it all up then actually make much more power, and even if you do make more power, your total power still stinks.

I've heard more disaster stories of DIY P&P than success stories from my friends at the auto club. If you do do it, make sure you know your stuff and take your time. The trick is to not overdo it from what I've heard.
 

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:joker: hey hey, some of us like our horsepower under 100 :thumbleft:

Personally, I'd say go for it. There's not enough people out there will to put the work into the 1.9. I think if we had a bit more enthusiasm, we could get a lot more power from the econobox. It's got more potential than people give it credit for.

When (If I ever) get the time I would build up a 1.9 just for kicks.

Good luck, and remember this:

If it screws up, I'm not responsible :toothy10:

Matt 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
fixitmattman said:
:joker: hey hey, some of us like our horsepower under 100 :thumbleft:

Personally, I'd say go for it. There's not enough people out there will to put the work into the 1.9. I think if we had a bit more enthusiasm, we could get a lot more power from the econobox. It's got more potential than people give it credit for.
Matt 8)
Matt, that's kind of where I'm at. I have this, I don't want a turbo or Nitrous or a different motor. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just want to tinker with what I have.
I can't see that matching the intake ports to the intake manifold would be a bad thing. I wouldn't touch the exhaust. The stuff I've read - I'm not an expert - says to leave the exhaust alone. I wouldn't think a polish would hurt anything.
As part of the whole ordeal I'm planning on sending the cam out for a regrind (mild), doing the valves and putting new springs in. Putting it all back together with a new timing belt and water pump.
Then I might do the larger TB and MAF. All that should make better use of a larger TB and MAF.
My two cents worth... 8)
 

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Sleepers are as sleepers do. I say do what you want with your motor. after all it's your motor. don't listen to siragan, he's just a schmuck. :p

I'd like to have my heads/intake/etc ported and polished at some point. how much would it cost to have it done professionally, anyone know?
 

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A side note on porting any head

Anyone can crudely port a head. They will say, " My head is ported" and act like its special. They have no way of knowing if they improved or hampered thier flow. Most run a sandingball attached to a drill through thier ports and call them ported.

To properly port a head, you need a flow bench. The bench allows you to achieve the same amount of flow on each valve passageway. This is the key to improving the flow in the head. Without it, you are operating in the dark. A flowbench can be made at home and will do the job. A new bench can easily excede $2,000

However, i do agree with the article posted in the first post in this thread on one point. Removing casting flaws (Flash) from inside the intake and exhaust runners in the head will slightly improve flow and can easily be done by he backyard mechanic.
 

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If I were you I wouldn't bother with a P&P on the 1.9L SEFI from the 2nd gens. The valves are tiny and there's next-to-no lift. Grab a 1.9L HO head to do your work on.. at least you'll be starting with something that has a little potential.
 

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Yeah, the 1.9 HO. You can have the 2nd gen 1.9L (SEFI) head milled for the larger valves, grind away all that material that shrouds the valves and get a Crane cam, but that's a lot of work and $$ when there are 2.0 SPI and 1.9 HO alternatives which already have better flow stock than you're probably going to get out of the SEFI head after all the work. As it is, good luck getting any decent power out of the 1.9 SEFI.

I mean, if you're going to build up a chevy 350 into a powerhouse, you don't put all your effort into building up single valve heads from the truck motors... you use the dual valve HO heads on a reenforced truck's block. I mean, the parts are everywhere, might as well pick them up and use them.

Don't think of your car as having the 1.9 SEFI, think of it as having a CVH motor.. You could spend the $$ and pick up some DOHC Cosworth heads from BAT and fit them onto your motor. It's the same basic engine design that's been manifested into high output, racing and economy versions. By all means, don't waste your time with the economy version unless economy is what you're trying to improve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Beaverboy said:
Yeah, the 1.9 HO. You can have the 2nd gen 1.9L (SEFI) head milled for the larger valves, grind away all that material that shrouds the valves and get a Crane cam, but that's a lot of work and $$ when there are 2.0 SPI and 1.9 HO alternatives which already have better flow stock than you're probably going to get out of the SEFI head after all the work.
What are my alternatives head-wise? Will the 1.9 HO head fit? I know about the extra water jacket thing but I could just use the intake manifold and TB while I was at it.
Seems like when everyone talks about swapping heads someone else says you can't do it. I've seen those posts... They go on forever arguing back and forth. :cry:
I'm guessing the 1.9 HO cam is better as well? Or would the right regrind improve that as well? What about the seats and guides - better too?
I mean if that's the case I'll look for a 1.9 HO head, intake, TB and do it that way. :?
 

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pballer98c said:
i also feel the 1.9 has potential. first gen head, port/polish, 1st gen cam, high compression pistons.... you could probally be pushing 120hp with that plus u could have installed forged stuff and go turbo or NOS.
my 2 cents...
after all that you could just buy a GT and push more hp to start with. then spend 425 bucks on cams, intake and an exhaust and you'll be better off than a 1.9. 8O

Of course the letters GT will get your insurance rates...slightly higher and all. :wink:
 

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I dissagree! Don't I always? :) he would spend a heck of a lot more swapping in all the GT parts and/or purchasing a new vehicle than he would spending $500 on engine work. Then there is always the fact that you have no clue of the history on a new vehicle.
 

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I disagree with your disagreement. say he spent 500 on his LX to start with, and then spends another 500 to get it to push 120 hp. When he could buy a GT for 500 dollars and already have 127 hp. Then he can use that extra 500 he was gonna use anyway and make the GT push 170-200 hp. I'm sure if he bought the LX used he didn't know the history of it either. That's my reasoning. The GT and LX both weigh roughly the same, so you might as well start with the platform that can handle the power output. (but I do understand if he can't afford to go out and get another car on a whim because I know I can't.)

On a side note...
I know my cars history pretty well. It was assembled in wayne michigan, and shipped to hicksville ohio (i know it's been to cincinnati once before I got it) and it was sold in west fort wayne to a lady that lived off of reed road in ft wayne, and then it was sold again at Indiana Auto Auction (they're a customer, i saw the file on it :D ) to a car dealership here in my city, where i found it in November of 2001. 8O

Despite knowing all this, I've still had problems with it.
 

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Back to our power improvements.

Just going off of the top of my head, from what I hear the two easiest and noticeable improvements on the 1.9 are filter and an under drive pulley.

If you want a real easy filter swap, get a K&N for a 99 caravan. Drops right in to the stock 1.9 box. It gives you small improvements in top end power, throttle response, and for those of us who care, fuel economy.

Black Diamond Racing has UDP's for the 2.0 spi that will also fit the 1.9 sefi. I would like to install one on my car, but I would also like to get an overdrive pulley for the alt. to keep the power output relatively the same as stock. I still need to take the one of my alt off to measure it so I can compare it to the one Black Diamond has for the Ztec alt. I would assume that it would fit, but I want to be sure before I order. It'll be a while before I do this though.

Happy Hunting :D

Matt 8)
 

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Code:
<shamelesssalespitch>
I can get the K&N that is listed as stock replacement for the 1.9 for about $60 shipped to you. If you order it with something else you can take $10 since it wont cost me the extra custom order fee
Code:
</shamelesssalespitch>
 
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