Vortec Engine History and Cylinder Heads

Vortec Engine and Cylinder Heads are the most common components of GMC automobile engines. The Vortec heads are based on the same basic design as the original GM 2-valve, pushrod 350 V8 (Vortec engine) cylinder head but with an improved internal valvetrain.

Vortec is a name that originates from small engines powering GM trucks. General Motors invented the Vortec engine line, which included I4, I5, I6, V6, and three V8 variants, in the mid-1990s. When talking about Vortec engines, you're mostly talking about the 5.0L/5.7L machines based on the earliest 1955 Small-Block Chevy V8.

The name's first appearance was in a 4.3 L V6 using a "vortex technology" advertisement in 1984. The technology allowed the production of a swirl inside the combustion chamber, allowing better air and fuel flow.

The technology is now popular in a wide range of engines. Though highly-priced, a Vortec engine is the best budget option for vans and trucks. Engineers and engine specialists rank the Vortec engine as one of the most powerful and reliable engines in each segment. It’s not surprising since Vortec engine and cylinder heads offer advanced technological solutions that meet the maximum demands of modern drivers.

Vortec engines' design is ideal for high performance, durability, fuel efficiency, and low maintenance. GM engineers used Vortex technology in their engines to improve the air-to-fuel combination during fuel combustion.

According to Autobytel, Vortec engines' development resulted from this research, which sought to increase horsepower without sacrificing efficiency.

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The History

L-31 Vortec cylinder heads' installation in GM trucks and vans' 350 engines was between 1996 and 2000. These giant heads, made of iron, increased the power and torque of these motors by orders of magnitude. The increase was primarily due to the high port flows in the.300 "-.500" cylinder pressure area, and it was also because of the wide bowl, back-cut ingestion, and exhaust valves.

Some enthusiasts believe that the Vortec L-31's tiny vent port is easier to handle than the intake port. The easy handling makes it an amazing choice for split-duration cylinder heads. Assembled in a 'double-quench' fashion, the combustion chamber is the most significant design change from previous iron GM heads.

Such one-of-a-kind cylinder head architecture has grown popular among fans interested in building low-cost small-block engines. Both the #906 and #062 casts are interchangeable and can produce the same amount of horsepower.

The L31 was an impressive debut for General Motors. Many heads developed before the early 1990s required a significant amount of time to ignite. The head burns were uncontrollable and random, resulting in inefficient combustion. In such markets, the GM Vortec engine was groundbreaking.

The GM Vortec motors reduced the engine's pressure needed to fight by only involving 30-32 degrees of lead. This resulted in more power while using less fuel.

Efficient flow principle at all tiers; shallow lift flow guided the advancement of the Vortec engine. The turbulence created low-pressure pockets, making it hard for air to move through a port. In the meantime the, laminar flow kept the air clear of pockets, resulting in a smooth flow. Handful heads can stay competitive with this super velocity laminar flow, monitored high swirl compartment, and flat top pistons.

Vortec Heads

They were first used in GM trucks and vans starting in 1966. The L31 GM Vortec heads just weren't simply upgrades to existing heads, and these were a total reinvention based on the 1996 Caprice/Impala SS LT1 cast-iron head castings.

The most significant change in the redesign was a revision to the water jacket, effectively allowing the Vortec heads' use on customarily cooled small blocks. The 1996 LT1 cast iron head became the starting place for a newly designed performance stock head because it was the strongest flowing LT head in use by GM.

Types of Vortec Cylinder Heads

Because the L31 Vortec heads have significantly bigger ports than the aged Gen I cast steel heads, they outflow them, and Vortec heads are considerably lighter than older ones. Vortec heads also have a "kidney" or "heart" molded combustion chamber, which is more effective than a double hump chamber.

The L31 Vortec was available in two casting numbers: 10239906 (#906) and 12558062 (#062). Initially, there were two versions of the #906 casting head. One variant, available on one-ton lorries, had an Inconel exhaust seat with a single-angle valve grind, and the standard three-angle valve grind was the only other option. Aside from that, the #906 head is identical to the #062 head.

Below are types of Vortec heads:

  • GMPP' Fast Burn'
  • GM L-31 Vortec
  • Edelbrock E-Tec 170
  • GMPP' small port' Vortec Bowtie
  • Dart IE Vortec
  • RHS Vortec
  • Edelbrock E-Tec 200
  • GMPP' large port' Vortec Bowtie
  • EQ "Lightning" Vortec Style

Chevy Vortec engine heads offerings are in "small port" (#25534351). This port has 185cc intake ports/65cc exhaust ports, and the larger port (#25534445) features 225cc input ports/77cc exhaust ports.

When it comes to the question of the Best Vortec heads, many people consider the #906 to be better than the #062. However, you can use the same amount of horsepower interchangeably.

To update earlier SBC engines, you can use Vortec (generation I) cylinder heads. It is a common upgrade among petrolheads and custom car architects. There are, nevertheless, a few things to remember:

  • Vortec LS-series heads cannot fit on the classic SBC-style engine.
  • The Vortec heads will enhance low/mid-rpm performance, but they are not suited for large rpm performance (above 4000 rpm).

First-Year of Chevy Vortec 350

The very first generation of Vortec was General Motors' first endeavor at a low-cost port injector. The two injection systems on the Vortec sprayed fuel into a transmission block. Eight plastic tubings connect to this block to carry fuel to the end of every intake runner.

 A spring-loaded check valve called the pop-it valve's location is at the end of every plastic hose. The pop-it valves opened when the injectors pressurized the fuel block and hoses. The Vortec 350 engine had a limited lifetime. Its introduction was in 1996, but GM's new-generation engine later supplanted it in 1999.

Chevrolet makes use of small block chevy Vortec heads, entirely assembled using 1.940"/1.500" valves.

Check our collections of Vortec Cylinder Heads:

https://www.alliedmotorparts.com/products/96-05-chevy-4-3l-v6-262ci-140-772-vortec-cylinder-head

https://www.alliedmotorparts.com/products/cylinder-head-chevy-350-5-7l-v8-sbc-062-906-new-vortec-96-02-pair

https://www.alliedmotorparts.com/products/94-97-honda-2-2l-2156cc-l4-16-valve-sohc-vtec-f22b1-poa-cylinder-head

https://www.alliedmotorparts.com/products/chevy-5-0l-305-v8-vortec-059-520-cylinder-head

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