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January 15, 2009

Cheap Horsepower with Porting and Polishing
Money's too tight to buy horsepower right now, but you may be able to squeeze some out of parts you already have if you use your head.

If you've changed the air intake, cam, or exhaust, porting and polishing the cylinder heads can help the volumetric efficiency by smoothing out the rough edges in the intake and exhaust ports, increasing the flow capability of your ports.

Porting and polishing (P&P) can be a science mastered by racers and machinists, but don't let that scare you off. If you're feeling ambitious and don't want to send your heads to a professional, there are kits available with the tools needed to practice over the winter while your decapitated street machine sits headless in the garage.

Practice makes perfect. Buy some heads at the junk yard and wreck those while learning.

Grind the right stuff. Accidentally altering the holes that move water and oil instead of air and fuel will destroy your heads.

Less is more. Grinding too much can enlarge the port or chamber too much, actually creating a stall in airflow.

P&P is definitely more complex than we can get into here, so research the whole process at the Standard Abrasives website.

Nothing Left But Nuggets

Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey

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