What is Cylinder Head Porting?

Categories: Cylinder Head Tips

When you are looking to improve your car’s performance, there are many things you can consider doing to upgrade the engine. Cylinder head porting is a popular option for anyone hoping to increase the power of their car. Today, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about cylinder head porting and help you decide if this is an option that’s suitable for your needs.


Why Do People Port Heads?

The first thing people ask us about cylinder head porting is why they should consider doing it to their vehicle. Cylinder head porting is the process of modifying the intake and the exhaust ports of your cylinder head to improve the airflow. When you first purchase a vehicle and use its engine, you may find that the cylinder heads are suboptimal for power, as they are mainly designed with durability in mind. This default design is why people opt to port their cylinder heads, so they can increase power to the maximum while minimizing fuel consumption simultaneously.


How Much Horsepower Can You Gain From Ported Heads?

The results you get from ported cylinder heads will vary from vehicle to vehicle. A port and polish procedure will typically give you an increase of 10 to 50 horsepower, but there are many reported cases where this increase is even higher. The percentage of power gain is usually in the region of 5% to 15%. It’s always recommended that you work with a professional mechanic for this job, as they will be able to maximize the increase in horsepower without causing damage to your cylinder heads.


Is It Worth Porting Heads?

The question of whether it’s worth porting heads will be based on your personal needs when it comes to improving the power of your vehicle. We recommend this option for anyone looking to increase power or reduce fuel consumption. This process will help to improve the engine power of your car and enlarges the intake to help create a smoother and easier airflow for your vehicle.


How Much Does It Typically Cost To Port Cylinder Heads?

The cost of porting your cylinder heads will vary depending on the vehicle and the mechanic you work with. The lowest price you can expect to pay is around $200, but typically, you’ll find that most mechanics charge $500 or more for this work. It’s worth assessing the performance and power increase based on the price you are quoted to see if this option is worth it for you.


Can You Port Your Own Head (DIY)?

DIYing your cylinder head porting process is usually not recommended to the average car driver. That being said, if you are a competent mechanic, then you’ll find the process is simpler than you may expect. It requires you to remove small bits of metal that stop the airflow. You’ll need a light touch and a lot of patience for this work, but with the proper preparation and tools, you may consider taking on the challenge alone.


What Tools Are Required To Port A Cylinder Head?

The first tool you’ll need for this job is a Dremel tool, which you can purchase as part of a kit that offers you all the tools you need to port a cylinder head. While sandpaper bits are often included in these kits, you’ll also want to think about getting carbide bits or stone bits instead, which will make this work much easier for you. Shanks and whip extensions are also needed for this process, as well as eye protection to keep yourself safe.


Do Ported Heads Change The Sound Of Your Vehicle?

Many drivers note that vehicles sound louder after they port their cylinder heads. This sound change results from the higher compression ratio and the lower volume combustion chambers, changing the intensity and frequency of the noise and making the sound louder.


Can You Refurbish Ported Cylinder Heads?

Cylinder head refurbishment is another concern that drivers may have when debating whether or not to port their cylinder head. It’s entirely possible to refurbish the cylinder heads in the future, but you may find that they are less likely to be resold or reused by other drivers due to the work that was completed with your needs in mind. However, buying new cylinder heads is very expensive, so many people use refurbished ported cylinder heads. Many people opt to work with a professional mechanic for this work to give the cylinder heads the best chance of lasting as long as possible.


Should You Buy A Used Car With Ported Cylinder Heads?

When looking at purchasing a used car, you want to check the condition of the car very carefully and ensure that you choose a vehicle that has been well cared for over the years. Ported cylinder heads can be a great addition to any used car, helping to increase fuel efficiency and engine power. You’ll want to take the time to ask about who completed the work and how long ago the job was carried out. If it was a DIY job, then try to get a professional to inspect the car engine before you purchase the car to ensure there won’t be any issues in the future as a result of a ported cylinder head.

As you can see, cylinder head porting offers many benefits to vehicle owners. No matter the age of your car, you could consider this work at any time to increase the power and fuel efficiency. You’ll want to check the overall condition of your engine ahead of time so that you aren’t spending money on this work on a damaged engine. It’s a process that is best left to a professional, but with patience and experience, you could learn to port cylinder heads yourself if you are up to the challenge. YouTube can be your best friend during this process.


Cylinder Head Experts

Since porting cylinder heads and refurbishing previously ported cylinder heads is not a typical DIY project, we advise you to consult with a professional company. Clearwater Cylinder Head provides warranty-backed rebuilt cylinder heads for cars, trucks, boats, and heavy machinery. With a large selection of cylinder heads, we most likely have the cylinder heads for your repair needs. Please contact Clearwater Cylinder Head at 1-800-572-1963.