How to Grind V8 OHV Engine Cylinder Heads - Engine Builder Magazine

How to Grind V8 OHV Engine Cylinder Heads

If the cylinder head is machined and over .010? is removed, the holes in the intake manifold and the cylinder head will not line up when reassembled. To correct this condition, it is necessary to machine surface "B". The amount that must be removed varies with the degree at which the head is machined. The chart below shows the amount which must be removed from the intake side of the cylinder head so that the holes will line up.

For example: Let’s assume.015? was removed from surface "A" on a Ford OHV cylinder head. Surface "B" (Figure 1) as shown below is at 10° angle to surface "A". Using the formula listed below we proceed as machine the intake manifold side of the follows:

Multiply the .015? removed by the 10° multiplier which is 1.2 and we arrive at the proper amount to remove from the intake manifold side of the cylinder head.

Example: .015

             X 1.2



             .0180 Amount to
be removed on intake side "B"

The same amount must be removed from both cylinder heads or the holes in the intake manifold will not line up properly.









Head angle in degrees:

5° Amount Removed at "A" X 1.1 = Amount to be removed at "B"

10° Amount Removed at "A" X 1.2 = Amount to be removed at "B"

15° Amount Removed at "A"X l.4 = Amount to be removed at "B"

20° Amount Removed at "A" X 1.7 =Amount to be removed at "B"

25° Amount Removed at "A"X 2.0 = Amount to be removed at "B"

30° Amount Removed at "A" X 3.0= Amount to be removed at "B"

35° Amount Removed at "A"X4.0 =Amount to be removed at "B"

40° Amount Removed at "A" X 8.0= Amount to be removed at "B"

Tech Tip courtesy of Hastings

You May Also Like

Shop Solutions January 2023

Next time you have set of large journal small block Chevy connecting rods to resize, consider honing the big ends of them for a +.002” outside diameter bearing that the LS engines with fracture cap rods use.

Engine and Machine Shop Tips and Tricks


For proper block cleaning, the oil bypass valves in Gen 5 and 6 big block Chevys need to be removed. We made a couple different sized “hook” tools for a slide hammer. This tool will easily pull the valves out of the block and sometimes without damaging them.

Shop Solutions December 2022

Everyone misses occasionally, and this helps avoid dents and damage.

Jesel Certified Performance Rebuilds

Engine components are serious investments for any racer and maintaining that investment could be the difference between winning a championship and losing it.

Going the Extra Mile with Cylinder Head Porting

It’s not just the port work alone that creates spectacular cylinder head performance. The most critical areas of a cylinder head are those which pass the most air at the highest speed and for the longest duration. Your bowl area, the valve job, the throat diameter, and combustion chamber are all crucial parts. 

Tight Tolerances and Building Power

As you ascend Mt. Everest, you reach an area called the death zone. Once you climb high enough, the margin of error becomes perilously thin. That death zone also applies to engines. As the horsepower per cubic inch and rpm increase, the margin of error decreases. 

Other Posts

CNC Update: Features and Automation

Precision is key when it comes to automotive parts; the complex designs of connecting rods, pistons and rings, blocks, cylinder heads, and other parts require super tight tolerances that are getting more and more difficult to be met by hand or with other machining processes outside of CNC.

All Things Media Blasting

Engine building is a segment of the automotive industry that has always been ahead of the curve in media blasting, and no matter the engine shop, cleaning equipment is a common bond.

Engine & Hub Dynos: Necessary Tools and Additional Revenue

Being able to see the horsepower and the direct correlation to what is lost in the driveline is invaluable – dynos offer a myriad of benefits for the modern engine shop.

November 2022 Shop Solutions

November tricks and tips for the shop!