PRI 2013: Edelbrock Raises the Bar for SBC and LS Heads

Back in the day, when Chevy introduced the original Vortec small block V8, it started a revolution. All of a sudden there was an off-the-shelf factory head that put down flow numbers comparable to the best the aftermarket could do with as-cast 23 degree SBC heads. The inevitable horsepower arms race gave companies like Edelbrock little choice but to step up their own game and build new cylinder heads that did the best the factory could come up with one better.


When the LS series of small block Chevy engines subsequently debuted, the same cycle began again, and the entire world of Chevy V8 performance ratcheted up a few more notches – we learned to expect flow numbers and horsepower from factory castings that would have been considered nothing less than witchcraft from a Gen II SBC.

But here’s tIMG_5160GRhe thing – the “traditional” small block Chevy is far from dead, and to prove it, Edelbrock has brought out three new E-CNC heads that incorporate every bit of design knowledge and testing acquired all the way up through the present. It’s a family of cylinder heads that are designed for the good old SBC, but flow like a stout LS. The 240 and 260cc E-CNC heads are designed to take standard rocker studs and guideplates, while the 275’s nudge that pushrod a bit to the side to gain even more intake port volume and better flow. The results are heads that can hang with those “new-fangled” LS castings and bring new life to that stalwart small block Chevy in your garage.

Of course, when you give the wizards at Edelbrock the LS architecture to start with, the results are nothing short of astounding. Their new LS3 head actually has 10% smaller ports, and relatively small valves, while maintaining the same flow characteristics. The result is unparalleled port velocity that improves engine responsiveness and broadens the power band.

With the introduction of the direct-injection LT1 platform, we’re poised on the brink of another surge of innovation – we can’t wait to see what Edelbrock will come up with next!

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About the author

Paul Huizenga

After some close calls on the street in his late teens and early twenties, Paul Huizenga discovered organized drag racing and never looked back, becoming a SFI-Certified tech inspector and avid bracket racer. Formerly the editor of OverRev and Race Pages magazines, Huizenga set out on his own in 2009 to become a freelance writer and editor.
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