Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

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KnightEngines
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Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by KnightEngines » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:12 am

Stumbled on what I imagine is a very rare piece of history.

Got a set of GT350 289 heads in for a genuine Shelby car that we're building a Paxton blown 289 for (reproduction Paxton kit based on the factory option Paxton kit from 65-66).
These heads are not the originals off the car, they came with the purchase of another GT350 as part of the deal - nothing was known about them, but they were already ported etc so the owner decided to use these instead of the originals off the car.

I got them all cleaned up & was busy K-lining the guides when I noticed 'porting by valley head service' engraved on a rocker cover rail.

Did a google, found some pics, damn near sh|t myself.

They are original GT350 R heads done for Shelby by valley head service in 65-66 - for one of 36 Shelby race cars.

I've stopped all work on them for the immediate time being - unfortunately I've already K-line the guides & cut fresh seats in 1 of them.

I'll get some pics up later.

Anyone have any idea what these things would be worth? - if they are worth stupid $ we'll use the originals off the car instead, if they are only worth quite a lot methinks I'll rework them a little with lots of pics & they'll go on the car.

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by KnightEngines » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:26 am

ImageDSC00880 by tony knight, on Flickr

ImageDSC00883 by tony knight, on Flickr

ImageDSC00884 by tony knight, on Flickr

ImageDSC00891 by tony knight, on Flickr

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by Krooser » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:29 am

Haven't heard Valley's name is ages...
Last place in the B-main is better than anyplace in the grandstands...

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by KnightEngines » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:45 am

Going ahead with work.

Almost feeling like I'm desecrating them, but not my call!

Gonna be a little nervous grinding on them :shock:

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by cgarb » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:38 am

You can desecrate a set of my heads anytime...I'm sure they will turn out just fine. Just think about how happy Valley Head service will be with your improvements. Those heads do look well loved in the pictures anyway...as in well raced. I see what looks like some weld crack repair on the deck maybe? and the guides need sleeved so I'm sure they were ran hard back in the day. Neat history though.

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by 289nate » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:00 am

In the mid 90's I had Valley Head Service rebuild a 289 engine for my '66 fastback. Decided to opt for some bowl work and a good valve job. The original guy who did the Shelby cylinder heads apparently confused my heads with another set and went to town on them with a full port job (intake and exhaust port along with the combustion chamber) and larger valves. All that is just to say they DID NOT have the engraving on the valve cover rail like yours have. So I'm confident in your claim about them being early and likely for the GT 350 R program. Not something done later down the road even when the same "he's old and gets confused" guy did them.

My personal opinion is that you will not be destroying the value due to the fact they eventually belong on an original GT 350 R that finds it's way to certain track events. Pull the valve cover and show the people. Don't have to pull the heads. Great pieces of Ford Racing history!

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by KnightEngines » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:10 am

They were rusted badly when they came in, had to hammer the valves out.
I've fitted 1.9" intake valves in place of the original 1.84" valves & just recut the exhaust seats to a modern profile.
Porting work will be limited to blending in the valve job on the exhaust & chambers & reworking the turns & bowls on the intake - just the minimum to make them suitable for the paxton blown 289.

I don't think they done a bunch of work over the years, valve job was not sunken & did not appear to have been recut, no seat inserts required.
Guides were worn, but not badly - needed K-lines for rust as much as wear.

They're getting new manley valves & updated valve train - all the old parts will be returned to the customer with the heads.


The welding on the faces is to close up the water jacket slot & prevent blown head gaskets through there, something done for the GT350 R engines.

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by KnightEngines » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:41 am

http://hotrodenginetech.com/fifty-years ... d-service/

Part way down the page there is a pic of a pair of heads virtually identical to these ones.

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by mag2555 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:16 am

Back in the early 80s or late 70s Valley did a full porting job set of 400 cid head off of a relatives 69 Firebird in who lived in CA.
Anyway long story short I came into possession of the car and in the 90s when rebuilding the motor I flow tested the heads.
The Exh side was great, in fact too great which explains why the motor was a dog!
At least back then Valley did not know how to port the Intake side of a 14 degree head for big flow gains as the main choke point was still in place!

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by Carnut1 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:55 am

Tony! As usual I would like to add to your work load. Before and after flow sheets on those 289 heads would be great info on what could be done with them. I had a long phone conversation with the owner of VHS a few years ago. I can't remember his name but we had a great talk. Some ex talk show host with a big chin has him busy full time restoring all kinds of priceless hot rods. Thanks, Charlie
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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by mag2555 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:31 am

A big Chin and a shrinking neck it seems, lol!

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by tenxal » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:53 am

Neat history, for sure. Thanks for posting this. :)

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by n2xlr8n » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:08 am

tenxal wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:53 am
Neat history, for sure. Thanks for posting this. :)
X2.

Makes those of us from the era wish we had kept all those "beaters" :lol:
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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by HDBD » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:08 am

Owner is Larry Ofria, or was back in the 70s when I frequented the shop. Right up there with Mondello back in the day

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Re: Shelby GT350 R heads done by Valley head service

Post by KnightEngines » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:11 am

Charlie - I went and cut seats before I flowed them, but I'll flow them when they're done.
They're not gonna be anything special, only have to support a 293 cube engine to 6000rpm, we don't need or want a big port!
I've done much bigger 289 heads than these will be.

Mag2555 - funnily enough the ex ports on these were over cooked & over valved, had a 1.84/1.6 valve combo and hogged ex ports but with what I'd consider moderate intake ports. The work was very neat and consistant tho, probably top notch back then.
That's why I stepped up the intake valve to 1.9" - trying to balance out that big exhaust a bit so I don't have to do stupid shit with the cam. Being blown will mitigate that ex port a little as well, but l suspect I'll still be using a cam with minimal or no split.

Little paxton blower will only be good for around 6psi boost, aiming for around 420hp to make the car a bit more fun (yes, despite being a real GT350 it does & will continue to be driven regularly - I love it when guys use this stuff rather than just keep it locked up & polish it).

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