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Old 05-12-2019, 06:35 AM   #1
GOSFAST
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Default Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

Just received a pair of new Navarro castings for a member's build up here (Joe V.)

Gave us a chance to evaluate the Navarro's over the others. We've generally preferred either the Edelbrocks or the Offy's for our own builds here, this is based on all our past experiences.

Not even sure where to really begin but here's where we're at presently. Joe has also been apprised of our findings so far!

Initially when we unpacked the heads we noticed some small "dings" on some of the surfaces from shipping, one specifically where the "fire-ring" on the head gasket would be resting!

The castings themselves are "decent", minimal porosity, nothing substantial or noticeable. From this point on it's mostly downhill though??

The machining is downright horrible, especially considering it's ALL CNC'd, including the chambers. First item we found is the "finish" on the registers for the head bolt/stud washers. Each head also has varying measurements for the heights from the head surface to the register tops. Entirely unacceptible here, but is easily repairable. The only "good" machined surfaces are the thermostat hsg areas!

The bottom surfaces on both heads needs to be addressed. One was machined with a "blade" the other appears to have been done on a belt-sander?

Next are the camber volumes, they are advertised as 75/76 cc's (they are referred to as "blower-heads") when they're actually closer to 81. This is a fairly easy fix simply by milling! The valve pocket sections are machined deep enough to make .500" lift at the valve, way too much, they should have left more material (about .100") making the chambers thicker/stronger?

The photo's below show some of what I posted here. They show many of the "dimensions" we don't feel too comfortable about! One specifically in the valve chamber area where it is only about .250" thick, the Offy's are over .650" in the same section.

There are 5 or so water holes in each head not lining up correctly with their respective holes in the head gaskets. These will have to be modified.

Many of these "issues" we will address here, however, some we have no control over and will end up being used "as-is" if Joe decides to use them at all.

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. All-in-all we would not choose these heads for any builds here where we were calling the shots, if a customer still chooses to go with them he will have been forewarned of our take on them! We'll stay with either the Offy's or the Edelbrock's for now! (Heard S.) If you're reading along here no word as of last week on the Edelbrocks yet?? Thank God you didn't choose these Navarros? In the bottom photo here we machined the bolt registers towards the bottom of the photo, all 6 (5 short and the 1 long) of the top ones pictured were as we rec'd them.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Flathead Navarro Heads-Gasket Fit B.JPG (85.6 KB, 285 views)
File Type: jpg Flathead Navarro Heads-Gasket Fit C.JPG (74.5 KB, 281 views)
File Type: jpg Flathead Navarro Heads-Offy Heads B.JPG (78.1 KB, 300 views)
File Type: jpg Flathead Navarro Heads-Machining A.JPG (111.9 KB, 274 views)

Last edited by GOSFAST; 05-12-2019 at 11:27 AM. Reason: C
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:18 AM   #2
oldskool
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

thanks for the info, im running offys on mine no problem
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:45 AM   #3
Ol' Ron
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

I wonder who's making them now??
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:53 AM   #4
19Fordy
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

THANK YOU GOSFAST for doing that homework. Maybe they are hoping to sell their heads to folks who really just open the box and bolt them on expecting that they are
up to specs. and very high quality. Pretty sad considering the cost of heads these days.
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Old 05-12-2019, 08:54 AM   #5
Charlie ny
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

Yikes......Barney is NOT happy
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:34 AM   #6
mfirth
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

Like oldschool, Offys on my 8ba are GR8. Only 2 years on them, so far so good.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

Barney cast both finished and unfinished heads so that they could be modified per customer request. After Barney's passing, his product is no longer under his guidance, He will truely be missed in the flathead community.
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

Makes you wonder what is going through the heads of whoever is making them and selling them. What happened to pride in one's work?
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:54 AM   #9
Russ/40
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

VERY disappointed with the findings. Did you depend on a single head gasket choice or were others used to confirm your findings?
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

Before I joined the "Barn", I was one of those that had confidence in the head manufacturers and thought you could just "bolt 'em on and go". I have learned a lot since then and carefully check just about everything before using a set. This applies equally to new heads as well as used. Both sets of Edmunds I bought used had to be milled to bring them down to .045-.050" squish. All four heads required a different amount to be removed and a couple of hours work with a die grinder afterwards. Special thanks to "Ol' Ron" for putting me on to this.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

Quote:
Originally Posted by GOSFAST View Post
Just received a pair of new Navarro castings for a member's build up here (Joe V.)

Gave us a chance to evaluate the Navarro's over the others. We've generally preferred either the Edelbrocks or the Offy's for our own builds here, this is based on all our past experiences.

Not even sure where to really begin but here's where we're at presently. Joe has also been apprised of our findings so far!

Initially when we unpacked the heads we noticed some small "dings" on some of the surfaces from shipping, one specifically where the "fire-ring" on the head gasket would be resting!

The castings themselves are "decent", minimal porosity, nothing substantial or noticeable. From this point on it's mostly downhill though??

The machining is downright horrible, especially considering it's ALL CNC'd, including the chambers. First item we found is the "finish" on the registers for the head bolt/stud washers. Each head also has varying measurements for the heights from the head surface to the register tops. Entirely unacceptible here, but is easily repairable. The only "good" machined surfaces are the thermostat hsg areas!

The bottom surfaces on both heads needs to be addressed. One was machined with a "blade" the other appears to have been done on a belt-sander?

Next are the camber volumes, they are advertised as 75/76 cc's (they are referred to as "blower-heads") when they're actually closer to 81. This is a fairly easy fix simply by milling! The valve pocket sections are machined deep enough to make .500" lift at the valve, way too much, they should have left more material (about .100") making the chambers thicker/stronger?

The photo's below show some of what I posted here. They show many of the "dimensions" we don't feel too comfortable about! One specifically in the valve chamber area where it is only about .250" thick, the Offy's are over .650" in the same section.

There are 5 or so water holes in each head not lining up correctly with their respective holes in the head gaskets. These will have to be modified.

Many of these "issues" we will address here, however, some we have no control over and will end up being used "as-is" if Joe decides to use them at all.

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. All-in-all we would not choose these heads for any builds here where we were calling the shots, if a customer still chooses to go with them he will have been forewarned of our take on them!We'll stay with either the Offy's or the Edelbrock's for now! (Heard S.) If you're reading along here no word as of last week on the Edelbrocks yet?? Thank God you didn't choose these Navarros? In the bottom photo here we machined the bolt registers towards the bottom of the photo, all 6 (5 short and the 1 long) of the top ones pictured were as we rec'd them.
I contacted the people I purchased them from (whom I'd rather not say) this morning. He told me they were mis-packaged and that one was a blower head and the other was standard. He also told me he would call Gary tomorrow to discuss his findings. I'm sure that has nothing to do with the misaligned holes, etc. I laid out a lot of money for these heads expecting the best. I definitely DO NOT want them on the blower motor that Gary's building for me! I will take Gary's word about the Offy's or Edelbrocks and let him do his thing. Thank you Gary for digging in and checking things out, it's much appreciated and will save me hours spent on the side of the road!!
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ/40 View Post
VERY disappointed with the findings. Did you depend on a single head gasket choice or were others used to confirm your findings?
Hi Russ, I put shot below of the same gasket on the Offy casting, no problem whatsoever!

Just to add and be fair, the water hole misalignment is of little consequence to us using the heads, as I stated above, the 1/4" nominal "thickness" in the valve pocket area is a major concern!

I say this because over the years I have had 2 Edelbrock's (different builds) experience cracks in the chambers and these are much thicker in this area! It's kind of ironic because one happened to be on a "blown" Flattie also, had a Magnuson-144 (B&M) blower on it!

(Add) The quality (or lack of it) was first apparent when I saw how they wrapped/shipped these heads, we would never even consider shipping used old heads like they did these new ones!

Thanks, Gary in N.Y.

P.S. Haven't spoke with Joe since he spoke with the vendor but I'm not buying into their explanation to him, sounds like pure BS to me! First off they don't even list an 80 cc head??
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Flathead Offenhauser Heads-Gasket Fit.JPG (67.6 KB, 123 views)

Last edited by GOSFAST; 05-12-2019 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Add
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Old 05-12-2019, 01:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

It would be interesting to see how those heads are machined after casting.
Quality control seems lacking.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:57 PM   #14
JWL
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

When I was testing heads for my book a friend, with ties to the new Navarro owners, had a set shipped to me. They were as near perfect as any could be. Only one problem---they were both for the same bank of an 8BA. So, I eventually got 2 heads for the other side and, again, both sets are perfect. The only objectionable area was in the dome not matching either a stock Ford piston contour nor the racing pistons I was using.

I am now wondering if the heads I received were from the original machine shop?
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:30 PM   #15
Tim Ayers
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

John:

It's possible. Do you recall what time frame that was? I got my set directly from Barney in the early '00's. He was still in business, I think, until sometime around 2008's?? I don't know exactly when the present owner's took over.

Last edited by Tim Ayers; 05-13-2019 at 07:58 AM.
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Old 05-12-2019, 05:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

In 1961 I bought a set a Sharp heads from Al,s speed shop in Aurora Il. I Never used them yet I Hope they are OK now after reading this. They are for the 59A motor.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:36 PM   #17
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

I really appreciate hearing this information as I thought the Navarro heads would be a nice addition. Thanks for your time on this.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

I have a set of those heads that the casting for hoses were so bad that we had to machine them so when you clamp the hoses they would not slide off.
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:17 PM   #19
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

H and H Flathead is selling them now. I got a set for a AB build for a customer. I had to machine the water outlets to keep the hoses on. As casted the hoses would have come off. Had to spot face the seats for the head nuts . The chambers were close but the machining was not great.
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Old 05-13-2019, 07:20 AM   #20
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Default Re: Cyl Heads-Navarro vs Edelbrock or Offenhauser

Thank goodness I got the "Nostalgia" heads for the 59L block from Barney and Donna on a visit to his shop several years before he passed away. The entire process from casting to machining is impeccable, and that's with a former machinist's eye for perfection.
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