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6 Best SBC Heads for Torque

Every time you think that you’ve bid farewell to the small block Chevy, it comes back with another one of its good ideas. And you welcome it back with open arms because there are not many configs as good as this one. If you want to tweak your engine’s performance, whether horsepower or torque, SBC heads should be your go-to move!

Building a high-performance engine with enough torque is more than just getting a powerful motor. You have to supply it with ample airflow. That's where the cylinder heads come in.

Engine heads play a significant part in determining your engine's high-end and low-end power. To that end, you need to decide only on the best cylinder heads for your SBC if you want high-end performance from your engine.

However, since the small block Chevy has been in the market for so long, there is a wide variety of SBC heads for the engine. So, it's tough to decide upon one option amongst so many. That's why we've brought you our list of the best SBC heads for torque. So, go through our inventory and decide which option is the best for you.

Best SBC Heads for Torque Product Review

We put hundreds of cylinder heads through our rigorous selection process, and the following came out with flying colors. If you choose any of these to turn up the torque in your SBC, you won't be disappointed.

1.Flotek Cylinder Head

One of our most significant constraints towards building our dream engine is our budget. Most of us can't afford the high-end parts due to their premium price. Fortunately, there's a solution. And it comes in the form of Speedway Motors' FloTek aluminum cylinder head.

The FloTek 180cc cylinder head is where it all started. This unit acted as the foundation for the 2007 FloTek performance heads. High-velocity ports, fast-burn combustion chambers, sturdy build- it's got it all.

FloTek 180cc SBC heads pack a whole loadout of features that have outstanding value. The top-of-the-line aluminum alloy casting weighs twenty pounds as an excellent base for any torque-based SBC build. The SBC head features high nickel valve seats and bronze valve guides to offer any kind of high-load application.

Three things matter the most regarding SBC heads - quality, price, and performance. The FloTek 180cc aluminum alloy casting cylinder heads are the answer. Featuring 180 cc ports with a unique design made for versatility, the FloTek SBC head is one of the best SBC heads for low-end torque.

Specialized Department

FloTek cylinder heads offer performance paired with optimal airflow on SBC engines that feature a four-inch bore. These cylinder heads can perfectly match with flat tappet camshafts. You can also fit them with solid flat or hydraulic tappet cams with the highest lift capacity of 0.550 inches.

What Sets This Apart

  • High-velocity ports offer enhanced performance
  • 180cc intake ports designed for versatility
  • Aluminum build offers enhanced heat dissipating capabilities
  • High nickel alloy seats offer high load applications


  • Offers enhanced power output
  • Offers optimal airflow for a better performance
  • Plug n play system eliminates any need for professional help
  • Economically priced


  • Some reports of not-so-helpful customer service

Our Experience With It

We were impressed with the heads as they came out of the box. Not only did they look good, but also we could feel an increase in our engine's power output and torque.


If you're looking to find an upgrade over your stock heads and you have a budget, this is one of the best SBC heads for torque.

2.Speedmaster PCE281.2010

Wouldn't it be best if you could just strap a part on your engine, and it got super powerful, just like that? Well, you're in luck! The Speedmaster PCE281.2010 will offer more horsepower to your engine. Moreover, you'll see an increase over your entire RPM range, making it one of the best budget SBC performance heads.

Speedmaster has given the PCE281.2010 a 64cc combustion chamber, a significant improvement over its predecessor, the 76cc chamber. Due to the new and improved combustion chamber, the set of SBC heads will offer your engine the optimal compression ratio for higher efficiency.

But that's not where it stops! Speedmaster has fully CNC-machined the exhaust and intake ports along with the combustion chamber to offer an even better flow.

The manufacturing company has used unique materials to make a design with minimum porosity. That way, the set of heads provides a level of thermal efficiency that you've never seen before!

With so many premium features, you'd expect the PCE281.2010 to carry a premium price. Here's where it gets better. It has unbelievably economic pricing that makes it worth so much more!

Specialized Department

Since the Speedmaster aluminum head offers a wide variety of features to the entire power output over the whole range, it's fitted chiefly for racing applications. You can also use it for strip and street usage. In fact, it’s one of the best SBC heads for circle track.

What Sets This Apart

  • 64cc combustion chamber to offer the optimal compression ratio
  • Aluminum body provides higher performance and superior heat dissipation
  • 205cc intake runner ensures optimal airflow
  • Bronze valve guides for enhanced airflow


  • Easy to set up
  • Upgraded features offer versatility
  • Noticeable increase in power output
  • Economic pricing


  • Some reports of vacuum leaks

Our Experience With It

We liked how the package came and how they looked from the get-go. The increase in power and performance was something we expected. Even then, we were surprised to see such an increase over the entire RPM range.


If you're aiming for a higher power output but have to watch the wallet, the Speedmaster PCE281.2010 is the perfect choice for you.

3.Auto Dynasty Cylinder Head

It's been over a decade since the Auto Dynasty came into the automotive parts industry. With their experience in the market, they've used that experience to fulfill one mission and one mission only.

They aim to provide automotive performance solutions to car enthusiasts. With that thought in mind, they've brought out the Auto Dynasty Straight Aluminum cylinder head.

The manufacturers know what the community wants and needs as car enthusiasts themselves. Because of that knowledge, the company has thrived for so long in this competitive market.

This Straight Aluminum SBC head features a 200cc intake runner along with a 68cc combustion chamber. If you're looking to improve your automotive's performance while retaining the stock compression, this is the cylinder head you should get. Remember that this feature isn't only available in the 1970 series and earlier.

The Auto Dynasty Straight Aluminum cylinder head is a perfect mixture of efficiency and durability. It features an aluminum build coupled with bronze valve guides and hardened seats. So, if you're looking to up your performance, this set is one of the best SBC heads for 500 HP.

Specialized Department

The cylinder head is for those looking to improve performance but wants to keep their stock compression ratio.

What Sets This Apart

  • Unique port design to offer greater airflow
  • Intake runner and combustion chamber provides enhanced performance while retaining stock compression
  • Straight plugs to provide a more efficient combustion
  • High-grade aluminum construction offers better heat dissipation


  • Faster gas elimination process
  • Aesthetically pleasing machined looks
  • High-grade materials for greater lifespan
  • Compatible with several models


  • Incompatible with Vortec style intake manifold

Our Experience With It

The Auto Dynasty heads were terrific. We got a nice bump in our engine's performance. While the durability is yet to be decided upon, we got a good feeling about it.


Auto Dynasty has done it again. They've thrived in the auto parts industry, and it shows. This SBC head is a prime example of their exceptional craftsmanship.

4.DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350

You need to consider several factors when buying a cylinder head, and it has to be a combination of great material, fantastic features, and superb design. One such great product is the DNA Motoring CYLH-SBC-350, and it has the makings of an excellent cylinder head.

If you look at its design, DNA Motoring manufactured this SBC head with high-grade aluminum. As a result, it's lighter than its cast-iron counterparts. And because of aluminum's superior heat dissipating capabilities, the CYLH-SBC-350 offers more efficiency in your engine's system.

The bare cylinder features a 200cc intake runner. This addition allows the head to increase the power output significantly. In addition, the SBC head comes equipped with a 68cc combustion chamber. This is a very appealing feature, especially to car enthusiasts such as yourself.

Another fine addition to the features list is the retention of the stock compression ratio while increasing power output on the 1970 and older models. But that doesn't mean it won't fit with engines built after that year. According to DNA Motoring, you can use the CYLH-SBC-350 with all SBC until 1986.

Specialized Department

The DNA Motoring SBC head is perfect for upgrading your stock cylinder heads. If you’re looking for a performance boost within a budget, the set of Chevy 350 performance heads is the ideal choice for you.

What Sets This Apart

  • Lighter material helps control airflow better
  • 68cc combustion chamber retains stock compression while increasing performance
  • Bronze valve guides offer high-load applications
  • Straight plugs ensure greater efficiency in the combustion chamber


  • Easy to set up
  • Boasts of greater longevity
  • Increases power output and torque
  • Provides airflow and combustion efficiency


  • Misplaced pushrods (not in the center) in some cases

Our Experience With It

At first glance, the head gave off a premium vibe. We were pretty surprised to get such a product for that price. There was a smooth increase in our engine's performance, both in speed and torque.


It's a must-have for anyone looking for a performance enhancement without getting set back too much.

5.JEGS SBC Vortec

This cylinder head from JEGS is an obvious choice for your cylinder head needs. Efficiency, features, design-it's got it all.

Let's first take a look at the features this cylinder head provides. This SBC Vortec head uses fast-burn combustion chambers. Thanks to this feature, your engine will use less fuel yet burn clearer.

The SBC head uses a 64cc combustion chamber for a higher compression ratio. In addition, it's got high-velocity intake and exhaust ports, which allows your engine to get better airflow. However, you'll need a Vortec-style intake manifold to fully set up the cylinder head.

We would recommend that you go for an aluminum build in most cases. But if your sole reason for changing your stock cylinder head is to get more torque, there's no better SBC head to go for.

In fact, among all the SBC heads here, the JEGS Vortec head showed the most robust results in terms of torque gain!

Specialized Department

This SBC head works great in the street. And if you want to, don't be afraid to engage in a tight race now and then. They just might win you the race!

What Sets This Apart

  • Fast-burn combustion chamber offers more power
  • Cast iron frame provides a lightweight yet sturdy build
  • High-velocity ports provide better airflow
  • Straight plugs ensure efficient combustion


  • Provides increased horsepower
  • Easy to set up
  • Can be ported for performance tuning
  • Economic pricing


  • Can't work without a Vortec intake manifold

Our Experience With It

The JEGS heads took us by quite the surprise. While other products showed a tremendous increase in power output, JEGS finished first in peak torque. Suffice to say; it was a pleasant surprise to us.


If you're looking to turn up the torque of your engine, there's no better product than this one.

6.Speedmaster PCE281.1136 Cylinder Head

Speedmaster is one of the leaders in the field of automotive parts. They've been a specialist in the area for a long time.

The company has persisted on its journey through the industry due to its innovative techniques in producing and selling the product. And it's all been made possible thanks to the quality of their products — for example, the Speedmaster PCE281.1136.

Speedmaster has used high-grade aluminum to build the SBC head. As a result of the material's enhanced heat-dissipating ability, the cylinder head can provide you with a more efficient system. Moreover, it's also lightweight compared to its iron head counterparts.

Speedmaster PCE281.1936 has a CNC-machined combustion chamber exhaust and intake ports. That way, the set of heads can offer a better airflow for more power in the entire RPM range. Moreover, the CNC-ported heads leave no chances of any human error.

As a result, all the ports are in the same section. This makes it possible to make every cylinder reach higher true RPM potential. This work of art is truly one of the best SBC aluminum heads for the money.

Specialized Department

The Speedmaster PCE281.1136 is best for entry-level street/strip applications. So, you can use the SBC head if you want to on the road. Or, if you're looking to enter the racing arena, these cylinder heads are a perfect fit for a beginner.

What Sets This Apart

  • CNC machined chamber and ports for better flow
  • Bronze valve guides offer high-load applications
  • Aluminum body for enhanced efficiency
  • Each port carries the same cross-section to reach greater RPM


  • Improved power throughout the entire RPM range
  • Enhanced throttle response
  • Comes with both straight and angled plugs
  • CNC-ported to eliminate human errors


  • The die-grinding job may not be up to the mark

Our Experience With It

Coupled with the aluminum build and natural finish, the PCE281.1136 is a stunner right out of the box. It was quite an upgrade over our stock heads. The spike in our power output and the peak torque was not subtle at all. Instead, we could clearly feel the jump in the horsepower from the get-go!


If you're looking to increase your horsepower and torque, this product from the reputed manufacturer Speedmaster offers a pretty good deal.

Things to Consider Before Buying A SBC Head for Torque

Choosing the suitable SBC heads for your engine is quite the enigma. But it becomes a lot more plausible when you know which features to look out for. When buying an SBC head for torque, you should consider the following factors.


When it comes to materials, you have two options: iron and aluminum. While many consumers go for the iron construct due to its lower price, it's better to look for an aluminum head.

The head's material will affect your engine's performance. Aluminum has a more efficient heat conduction system. So, compared to their iron counterparts, aluminum heads can get more power from the combustion chamber.

It also mitigates the possibility of motor detonation during the highest compression. Unfortunately, that's not a feature widely available in iron builds.

Volume Intake

The cubic centimeter, or the CC, of your engine, refers to the combustion chamber's port flow, size, and overall volume.

A common misconception about ports is that the more, the merrier. That means that a higher number of essential ports translates to a more beneficial flow conductor. But that's not the point at all!

You need to choose the head that fits your size. That way, you can upgrade your torque thumbers coupled with improved throttle response.

Port Configuration

Cylinder heads vary from one manufacturer to the other, and each manufacturer has its own style of craftsmanship. The cylinder head may have different shapes depending on the producer, such as round, rectangular, oval, and other shapes.

So, when you're buying your own set of cylinder heads, you must know what kind will fit your intake manifold.

Port Flow

Your cylinder head's port flow determines how much air can flow through it. As you may be already aware, your engine's performance depends on the amount of CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) of flow your heads can handle.

Valve Lift Capacity

You need to consider the maximum lift capacity of your valves since you're going for performance. While you can adjust the flow to the maximum lift, make sure to leave a minimum of 0.050 inches between the top guide valve seal and the valve spring retainer.

By doing so, your valves won't crash into one another and harm your engine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are aluminum heads the best choice?

Yes, in most cases, you're better off with aluminum heads. They're lightweight, easy to transport, and simple to mend. And due to aluminum's superior heat-conducting ability, it can dissipate heat more quickly.

Because of the quicker heat dissipation capability, aluminum heads can deliver a cooler air/fuel mixture to the combustion chamber. This cooler mixture and the heat help gain a better economy and a more efficient system.

How to choose a cylinder head for my SBC?

You need to consider many factors when choosing a cylinder head for your SBC. Significant factors are the head's material, your engine's volume intake, port flow, port configuration, and maximum valve lift capacity.

Are open chamber heads better than closed chamber heads?

There's a distinct difference between open and closed heads regarding combustion chamber capacity.

While open chamber cylinders provide a more manageable flow, closed chamber cylinder heads offer enhanced performance. Closed chamber cylinder heads provide added combustion in the head to generate power in the machine.

Can my cylinder head crack?

Yes, your cylinder head can crack. If your cylinder head suffers from coolant loss, restricted coolant flow, or head gasket failure, it can cause the cylinder to overheat and, in the final stage, crack.

In the worst case, your cracked cylinder head can cause terminal damage to your engine.

What does CC in cylinder heads mean?

The term CC stands for cubic centimeter, and it refers to the overall volume of your combustion chamber. If you're familiar with the saying, 'Bigger is better,' forget that when talking about cylinder heads.

The higher the CC, the lower the ratio. To get a more efficient system, you need a smaller chamber. But using too small a chamber will cost you efficiency as well.

Final Words

It only makes sense to collect the best components to build the best engine. To that end, you need to get the best SBC heads for torque. With so many choices out there, it's tough to make a decision.

You need to consider many factors, such as material, port flow, and many other things. If you're not sure what you should look for, you can use our guide as a reference. But if you're unsure what to get even after going through our directory, you can pick any of the products we mentioned in our list. You won't be disappointed!

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