First Test- KBR Super Wildcat Billet heads

Discussion in 'Race 400/430/455' started by Jim Weise, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. GS Kubisch

    GS Kubisch THE "CUT-UP" BUICK

    Post #39 in this thread...Under $5k for bare heads which has led me to my speculation of over $20k to complete the changeover.

    And now as stated by KB, you can only have JW build the engine. So you have to consider the cost and time frame of that stipulation.
  2. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    Gary guess I missed that post in that thread, I never priced any billet head stuff b4, way beyond my pocket or needs, so never looked into even other makes.

    I'm sure with all the special parts your 20k guess is probably close, I would imagine the cast heads would be alot cheaper than the billet. and i dont see then being under what is already out there for us or other makes.

    i dont remember reading anywhere b4 today that only to get these heads would be to buy a motor through JW, wonder if that for just 1 of 3 sets out now, or if thats going to be standing thing.
  3. Bluzilla

    Bluzilla a.k.a. "THE DOCTOR"

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  4. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise EFI/DIS 482

    You have to be careful in pricing, and compare apples to apples..

    For fully ported cast heads, with Titanium valves, your investment is going to be right around 5K... (titanium valves are $2k, plus castings oversized seats and cnc port). I can't imagine that anyone is going to build an 8000 rpm motor with steel valves.. remember let's talk about the same parts here, when discussing prices.

    That's about 2K less than the billet heads will cost you.

    Another price increases over cast heads is that currently the only rockers available are Jesel Pro series, and as with all the Pro series rockers, they are 3K.. that's about 1k or so more than you can have the T&D Sportsman stuff installed on the cast heads. Again, apples and oranges.. not saying the less expensive ones won't work, but they are not the same. Ken is working on getting that price down, with his own rockers for these heads, which will help a bunch.

    And the Billet valve covers will cost you 1K... vs $ 150 for the TA's... Again, this is based on what Ken paid to have the original sets done, he is working on getting that price down too.

    Sheetmetal intakes, carbs and linkages don't care about what is under them, they are the same price.

    So there is a 3K or so difference here.. Now lets look at performance.. at .800 Ken's billet heads are 70-80 cfm better than what I have seen from a cast head, of any flavor. And at .900 which is a reasonable number to consider, they are 100 cfm better.

    With a dedicated all out build, 600 inches and no expense spared, Ken's heads will support 1200+HP NA.

    You won't get there with even the best cast head with the current configurations, the math simply doesn't work. Now, when Ken gets the Cast version of the billet heads done, and his own rockers and valve covers, there may be very little difference.

    Speed costs, how fast do you want to go?.. and if you think putting a blower or turbos on it is any cheaper, I can tell you that the EFI/DIS Supercharged Tomahawk with 400 cfm cast heads in my engine room now, is a bigger investment overall than the carbed billet head motor sitting next to me here. Now certainly there is considerably more power potential in that engine, but again, speed costs, how fast do you want to go?

    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
    Mike B in SC, Julian and dan zepnick like this.
  5. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise EFI/DIS 482

    That's just the first three sets here, because of the development time I have invested in them.. and those three sets may very well be spoken for.

    In the future Billet and then the cast versions of these heads, will be available to the general public.

  6. GS Kubisch

    GS Kubisch THE "CUT-UP" BUICK

    Gotta' throw the math out at this level... I would've never built my engine if math was a consideration. Dollars or "sense" LOL

    The template for my engine used a head that barely exceeded 400 cfm yet held on to peak to 8500 rpm all the while showing 1220hp on the dyno and the track.

    It's all about the package and willing to try things "That'll never work"...

    That's why I say (hope) 2hp/CI with a cylinder head of this expense is conservative speculation
    Julian likes this.
  7. Bens99gtp

    Bens99gtp Well-Known Member

    I'm just excited to see there is a next level up that the ppl that can afford it can step up too......

    as for me personally these are no where in my future so far as I can see. I have been racing the same Buick since I was 15, almost 25 years now.......last year I was finally able to get my TE2 heads done that I have been wanting to do for more than 10 years. it took selling off almost all my extra stuff not just for racing but in other areas of life.

    so unless the billet head fairy happens to stop by, I will just be reading with all the excitement of a teenager looking at his first car!
  8. ken betts

    ken betts Well-Known Member

    Thanks JW for all that input. Selling price for bare Billet heads were under 5000.00 a set. Cast price is just not available yet but will be this winter. The reason the first 3 billet sets are not available unless JW builds the engine is very simply. These are prototypes and we want to check and test everything we possible can. We simply need to control the testing atmosphere. We want to give you the end racer the best quality parts available and you would expect no less. Everyone knows we have only scratched the surface. If you want a billet set we will make them. If you want a cast set, we will make them also. Thank the hard core 455 racers that pushed us over the top!!! "YOUR DEMAND IS OUR INSPIRATION" (just ask Jeff Strube) lol
    Wishing all of the fold a Merry Christmas and a Great 2019! kenny betts and family
  9. Steve Reynolds

    Steve Reynolds SRE Inc

    Thanks for the explanations!! Jim, like I stated...……… I know you're further along with the oil pressure issue, especially when it's only relative on the dyno. I just thought I'd throw the windage screen types out there...……

    The louvered windage screen for the Tomahawk starts at $250. A standard block version is a little cheaper, but can be a lot of work to make them fit properly. Most of the time the engine builder needs to finish "adjusting/installing" the screen to allow for proper clearance. Unlike a lot of other "brands" our engine /chassis combo's (GM A-body and 455) don't allow a lot of extra space between the rotating assembly and the cross member. Add to that.....each car (Chassis/engine combo) can vary up to 1/2" or more for various reasons. For this reason I build the front sump area no more than 4.188" deep. On some cars this comes very close to the cross member and on some it'll have a lot of clearance. This makes it near impossible to create a "universal" windage screen that will fit all applications without some "adjustments" or slight "modifications" at the time of engine assembly. Just thought I'd add this info so everyone can understand the need for "custom" when talking about most windage screens on factory Buick 400-455 engine/chassis combos.
    Julian likes this.
  10. racenu

    racenu Well-Known Member

    Merry Christmas Jim, is that the engine you built for my wildcat? Looks like I’m going to have to cut a hole in my hood then. Gordon
  11. Tom Righter

    Tom Righter Well-Known Member

    Thanks Steve, i’ll be placing a order soon.
  12. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise EFI/DIS 482

    Funny Gord... your would need a whole lot more than a hole in the hood for this one..

  13. Brian Pryes

    Brian Pryes Well-Known Member

    Fantastic work,Im just thinking of the possibilities of a turbo engine and the raw Buick power. Finally...
    Julian likes this.
  14. HotRodRivi

    HotRodRivi Tomahawks sighted overseas

    January, Frbruary, almost March. Im dying for an update. Even if its just a pic of the heads on a shelf.
    Philip66 likes this.
  15. Philip66

    Philip66 Well-Known Member


    Anson I've been anxiously waiting updates too.
    Look for an update almost every day...
    but I'm sure when there's news to print, we'll hear about it here.

    Philip T.
  16. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise EFI/DIS 482

    Yup, have not gotten back to it yet, Cam core availability is nil, and the new intake is in progress, but not finished yet.

    Doing some oil/windage work on another Tomahawk now..

    When, and if, we dyno this before it goes in the car, I won't keep it a secret..

  17. Tom Righter

    Tom Righter Well-Known Member

    Do you know when cores will be available?
  18. Jim Weise

    Jim Weise EFI/DIS 482

    No, when I last spoke with Mike, I mentioned that another guy had asked me if I had an extra 54mm cam core I could sell.. I did not, and asked him why not just get one from TA, and he said they didn't have one. That was the first I had heard of any possible shortage.

    When I relayed that information to Mike, he mentioned that he had a few, but had to figure out how many were spoken for, for engines he is building.

    You might want to call TA and see what the bottom line is here, but I took the info I had to mean they were very low, or out of them.

    I was not in a pressing need for it right then, the intake project on this motor is a much bigger deal than grinding up another cam. My customer had expressed that he did not want to have to regularly spin the motor that high, and that was the only reason we were talking about a bigger cam... we knew that it was very possible that cam would be use only for a dyno test, and it would be delivered with the cam in has in it now.

  19. Tom Righter

    Tom Righter Well-Known Member

    So the deal with comp cams having Cores available is not in the immediate future?Tom
    Julian likes this.
  20. 1972 Stage 1

    1972 Stage 1 Well-Known Member

    Jim Byers motor? I hope so! I've been waiting and waiting to go drag racing with him.
    gd2227 likes this.

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