dove vs d3s for street engines - 460 Ford Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Talking dove vs d3s for street engines

I know its been discussed a lot and it seems most claim the dove heads or c9 c8 heads will out perform the d3. My question is why? I would think the d3 ported would be better especially with 460+ cubic inches simply because of the bigger combustion chamber and a higher exhaust floor which i was told actually out flowed the dove heads by 20 cfm and the benefit of not having to get hardened exhaust seats installed. I've read the doves have around 10-15 cc bigger intake runner but if you ported the d3 out you got the best of both worlds in my book because you can run a flat top piston for better quench and keep a nice 9.5 or so compression with better exhaust flow for street vs using a dished piston with less quench area.. I know the dove has screw in studs which still need machining for guide plates to be correct. I just think the d3 is a better way to go and a lot cheaper at the end and there way more plentiful than early heads. Just figured it would be a good topic for the day.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 02:12 PM
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I think you have your "exhaust flow" claims reversed. Regardless, the difference in flow numbers between the two (after port work) is so negligible that it's virtually irrelevant in the application you are specifying. Either head works fine and in street combos with camshafts of about 0.560/230@0.050" or less, it's more cost effective (meaning about $800 less) to build such an engine with the D3 heads than the D0VE heads. The "smogger head" reputation of the D3 died almost 15 years ago.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 02:45 PM
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If you look on Scott Johnston's web site, Re In Car Nation High Performance you'll see that he has devoted some special attention to the D3VE head which due to the height of the short side is slightly different than the other regular performance heads. From what I've seen a stock D3 exhaust port will flow a little less than 130cfm where a DO will flow about 20 or so more at around .500 lift.

As Paul said, either style of head can be made to work well in a performance build with the right preparation.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 03:46 PM
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The earlier heads will have some more intake airflow in the low to middle range due to the seat being farther away from the short side radius peak.
The exhaust side, not so much but a little.

If taking full advantage of this you are probably talking 5 or so lb/ft of torque and even less horsepower difference; (IF the compression ratios are adjusted to be the same).

The earlier heads have other advantages like an adjustable valve train; (which is not necessarily an advantage in all cases and sometimes can even be a detriment).

The later D3's have induction hardened exhaust valve seats and the earlier heads don't.

It all depends upon your priorities as to which is the better head to use.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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That's exactly what Im saying. I like hearing and asking why. I prefer the flat top piston over a dish or dome anyday. Most of the dish pistons I've seen don't take full advantage of the quench area of the head. I don't mind to shim or just have the heads cut for studs and guide plates.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 04:25 PM
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The two intake ports are very similar with the D3 intake's short turn radius crest being .100" taller relative to the deck and port floor at the entry. I have found that this helps higher lift stability.

In both budget ported small valve and large valve versions the intake flow curves are very similar.

The cross sectional area of the as cast exhaust ports favor the early castings.

We drop the short turn radius of the D3's and completely reshape it from bowl, over crest and out to the exit. This adds needed cross sectional area. In the end both exhaust ports when properly ported will flow with in 5 cfm of one another.

Seat width, bowl shape, short turn shape and width are everything on these exhaust ports.

I have a 1.8" exhaust valve D3 R&D piece that flows 200 cfm @ .500" lift gaining a bit at 6 7 and 8.

Long story short:

In your application I concur with Paul, Randy and Dave

We have done countless 380 to 550 HP small valve budget ported deals with both castings and the differences in output are with in the margin of error of the dyno we test on. All things such as c/r being equal.

We did a simple Budget ported D3 small valve (305/180 @ .600") stock rocker arm 460 with TRW domes, 219/227 voodoo, RPM intake, curved duraspark with 38 degrees total timing. 750 DP etc

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Last edited by The Mad Porter; 01-24-2014 at 11:40 AM.
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