Ever Wonder What An Aluminum K Head Weighs Vs Regular K Head?

The Aluminum H Head

Come on, you know you want to know. I mean all ya gotta do is click on the read more link and all will be revealed. So how did we do it? Why is a better question. Well Stinky’s Aluminum head was causing all sorts of oil milky issues. So thanks to Dave VanNess who had a pre war K head that was an exact match on the shelf.


Now, removing the head was fun. Okay Jimmy did it, and I took photos. That seems to be the pattern. Hey! You dont want to see Jimmys photos. So, everyone wins.

Stinky out in the fresh air

Jimmy getting started

We are getting good at this now, as in Jimmy, I just know where to shoot the photo



Okay, all cleaned up and ready for the new gasket

Looks cool in a photo though?

Except when you go to get the new head gasket and realize that when you threw it in the back seat of the car, me, I  messed it up. So, what to do? Get out the Jenny Craig scale! Laugh all you want. That sucker reads out some fractions. And BTW, when you are trying to loose weight. .1 of any lb is a win.

Jenny Craig to the rescue.

So, have I stalled enough here? I could show you more dead mice? Or shots of WECATCHEM out on the water. Like we never show those. So today, here we are. Aluminum vs Cast Iron. Drum Roll please.

12.6 lbs! Aluminum Head!

32.2 Cast Iron.

So, 20 ish lbs. Would that really make a difference? now according to the catalog for 1937, it did say more compression. But with exaust blowing out the sides not sure how much that helped. Seems to me loosing 20lbs of cheeseburgers and funnel cakes is a better bet!

26 replies
  1. Dan T
    Dan T says:

    An aluminum head on a raw water/salt water cooled engine? Bad idea. She’ll be much happier worth the iron. I like to clean up the nuts with a tap and run a dye down the threads to clean em up. Correct size of course. Makes assembly easier. Looks Good! Torque carefully.

  2. m-fine
    m-fine says:

    Aluminum head on aluminum block with aluminum manifolds would make a significant weight difference, but just the head? Seems like a lot of head-aches (ha ha) for 20 lbs.

  3. Capt. Cranky
    Capt. Cranky says:

    Jenny Craig scale? Hmmmmm…..that program uses behavior modification! Are you being subconsciously taken control of? Is Jenny causing this? Are there bots involved? The Russians? The Manchurian Boater?

  4. Jim Staib
    Jim Staib says:

    Here is a project that I have been working for years. Aluminum M series exhaust manifolds. 39lbs before machining. Iron was 72. Unfortunately none have passed the bathtub test. Getting close tho.

    • floyd r turbo
      floyd r turbo says:

      I saw where you were handling these when presented at the ACBS seminar at Tavares. Are you testing for casting flaws in the bathtub?

        • Matt
          Matt says:

          making manafolds is a brutal expensive process, and each engine has a different one, K,M, W ugh. Aluminum is a cool idea.

  5. Bill
    Bill says:

    jimmys hands on the cyl. head look like the same hands taking out the gas tank in yesterdays story. let me know if the house on the other side of him goes up for sale. I always wanted a fleet of boats but all the labor involved held me back. has he got time for a few more jobs or have you got him all booked up.

  6. Chad
    Chad says:

    Stick with the cast iron. A cooler full of beer weighs more than 20lbs.

    Did your rebuild come with new, hardened valve seats?

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    Like Jim V, first thing I noticed was the location of the spark plug holes is different???
    Jim Staib casting attempt is neat! Keep at it!
    John in Va

    • Matt
      Matt says:

      So I looked into the spark plug thing and its okay. I had lined up the cylinders and it all worked. This of couse will be a story and might have something to do with changing around the location of the sparkplugs for a performance reason? Just whan you think you are out of stories, this happens.

  8. Mike Green
    Mike Green says:

    Matt, whats the cast date on the cast iron head? It looks like 1952 which would be a post war head on a pre-war block.

  9. Matt
    Matt says:

    11 28 40 is the larger number and the smaller one is 19?2 The reason for this head is that it isnt a thick one and we can use the exsisiting studs.

  10. Matt
    Matt says:

    OKAY! the CASTING PART number 1962 is the part number, the “casting date” is 11-28-40 this head is prewar and not as thick as the later heads Thats a different part number.

  11. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U.P.)
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U.P.) says:

    Be careful. Like Dan J said “salt water/raw water and aluminum do not mix well”. Im not sure on a CC engine, but aluminum heads on a flat head Ford V8 could be very hard to get off. Aluminum intake on a 427 Ford lightened it a lot ( I’m not sure exactly how much). Make sure you get Dave’s blessing before installing.

  12. Matt
    Matt says:

    The aluminum head is bound for the wall of fame. Gonna have it cleaned up and mounted. That’s all it’s good for

    • Sashay39
      Sashay39 says:

      Just replaced an original aluminum head on 1939 22′ Custom (MAS) Casting date 2-17-38. Hull number 22116 shipped 8-24-38. Ran into same problem with corrosion around water ports leaking water down a cylinder. Bearings looked iffy and cylinder showed some rust. so did a complete rebuild. The last original MAS that I’m aware of.

  13. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    I hope for your sake Jimmy does not get tired of such a needy friend and hit the road on you someday. What a friend he is. They are hard to come by.

  14. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    I know next to nothing about these particular engines but that deal with the plug holes being in different locations in the head as it relates to the cylinders has me just wondering how that might affect operation? The 2 cylinders in the “extreme” positions have the plugs firing right in the center of the bore…while the ones on the inside (the means if you will) will be firing near the edge of the bore holes….and thus in different relation to the valves…I don’t see how that matters much as stated by Matt in his followup…but…just askin!!
    John in Va.

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