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Cylinder Head Porting and Polishing for Enhancing Engine Performance

Updated on January 19, 2012

Friends, this time I am covering one of the most important tips for enhancing engine performance which comes under section of car care and maintenance. This is by doing engine cylinder head porting and polishing. It is also an important factor responsible in changing overall engine performance characteristics of automobiles. In an internal combustion engine, head porting and polishing is one aspect that turns a race engine into further improved and better performing engines whereas it changes a normal production engine into almost a racing engine with much better performance. Cylinder head porting and polishing is actually modifying the intake and exhaust ports to improve airflow quality and quantity. Cylinders, produced by automobile manufacturers, are suboptimal in nature due to manufacturing and design constraints in front of the automotive company, thus the consumer never receives an engine which performs up to its real potential. Head porting is one such thing which greatly helps an automobile’s engine to attain or achieve its optimum performance capability. Air, though light in nature, can prove to be a big hurdle for any automobile engine to perform if not controlled and directed properly into it. Moreover, at high speeds, characteristics of air tend to get heavy and thick which can be taken care of by head porting.

Cylinder Head porting includes full race porting and valve job.
Cylinder Head porting includes full race porting and valve job. | Source

How to Build, Modify & Power Tune Cylinder Heads

Areas to Take Care of While Cylinder Head Porting

While considering cylinder head porting as an important step for enhancing engine performance, you should keep in mind that this process is a highly complex job and has to be performed very carefully. Cylinder head porting contains lots of technical points to keep in mind.

For instance, considering the airflow via the intake port, greatest destruction remains the downstream valve due to destruction of air pressure recovery. Due to the design nature of company manufactured engines, this air pressure destruction recovery is almost unattainable in the intake valve.

In exhaust ports on the other hand, opposite condition exists and you are able to control geometry downstream of namely the valve seat which is the highest speed section. This allows good air pressure recovery making an exhaust port have better airflow than an equal sized intake port.

Now as the expanding of loss of air pressure into the cylinder is for sure, the rest of the port plays an important role. Here are some of those critical areas which pass maximum air at top speed for longer duration:

  • Configuration of valve seat on port
  • Cylinder swirl
  • Cylinder tumble
  • Surface finish
  • Shape of cylinders
  • Cross section
  • Volume

So we must always remember that well shaped cylinder ports will always have fewer dead spots and will help in achieving better engine performance for a car or any other automobile.


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    • profile image

      Revo Remapping 

      7 years ago

      Another enjoyable hub, I am very impressed with your knowledge.

      You have highlighted and clearly explained a very important tip which when following your advice can dramatically improve your engines performance.


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