Dodge Challenger Forum banner

1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For an aftermarket set of valve covers, which is the preferred type, those that are CNC cut out of a billet of aluminum, or those that are cast in aluminum by a foundry? Is one better than the other? Why?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Billet without question!

Billet is the only way to go, have you seen a billet vs cast? Night and Day!
Of course the price is also "Night and Day"
Billet is like jewlery compared to cast.
 

·
Registered
2015 Scat Pack
Joined
·
2,321 Posts
I seriously doubt there would be any functional difference ... like David said. The billet is prettier vs. a raw cast part.



...but cast parts can be machined, and then they will look no different than a billet milled part. Think of the machined surfaces on an engine block, transmission housing, transfer case, chop saw, table saw ... etc.



Cast parts with machined surfaces are everywhere, and for a reason. Much cheaper to create and honestly a better use of the material. Not nearly as much waste. Billet can be stronger when forces on a part come into play...but what forces are on a valve cover?? None I can think of. They just keep the oil from splashing out of your heads and protect the valvetrain from egress of foreign materials.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Like I said "night/day"

The quality of the aluminum is totally different, I received a strut brace by Drake and it just looked so beautiful that I hesitated to powder coat it but, I did it anyway. It looked like a piece of art, really!

David
 

·
Registered
2015 Scat Pack
Joined
·
2,321 Posts
It is not, if it is a quality casting.

Are there cheap castings out there, full of voids ... yes. But that is not a representation of all castings.

Part of my job involves specing out things like this. There are many castings that you would never know the difference. Start up costs for casting a product is high though ... that is often why you see small quantity items being made and advertised as billet.

Much like people charging a high cost for a welded joint exhaust system vs investing in a mandrel bender.

Billet doesn't mean anything except made from one piece of material...you can get low quality billet as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
Don't want to argue about this........

It is not, if it is a quality casting.

Are there cheap castings out there, full of voids ... yes. But that is not a representation of all castings.

Part of my job involves specing out things like this. There are many castings that you would never know the difference. Start up costs for casting a product is high though ... that is often why you see small quantity items being made and advertised as billet.

Much like people charging a high cost for a welded joint exhaust system vs investing in a mandrel bender.

Billet doesn't mean anything except made from one piece of material...you can get low quality billet as well.
All I can say is if you look at the same item side by side and you can not see the difference then, I don't know what I can tell you......................

Not trying to be offensive!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Next question is are the valve covers for these 5.7L VVT motors interchangeable or do I have to make a left and right?
 

·
Registered
2015 Scat Pack
Joined
·
2,321 Posts
No offense taken! I just hate when people think something is much better just because it says billet. There are many cast parts stronger than a billet part. It all depends on the material spec of each.

I think the point is fairly moot here anyway...I haven't seen any vedors advertising cast valve covers anyway.

Ed ... are you making these? (based on your last response)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I have all the tooling required for making them out of billet ( a cnc mill, some high-powered CADCAM software, the knowledge to use it ) or making molds for casting. I also have a laser scanner so I can scan in an original part and make a duplicate or use it as a starting point. I was thinking I could make some with some custom artwork on top as long as the detail wasn't too small. I tried making some billet grill badges but the bits I needed to use for the inside corners on the lettering proved to be too fragile. Also thinking of doing coilpack covers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
If and when you do............

I have all the tooling required for making them out of billet ( a cnc mill, some high-powered CADCAM software, the knowledge to use it ) or making molds for casting. I also have a laser scanner so I can scan in an original part and make a duplicate or use it as a starting point. I was thinking I could make some with some custom artwork on top as long as the detail wasn't too small. I tried making some billet grill badges but the bits I needed to use for the inside corners on the lettering proved to be too fragile. Also thinking of doing coilpack covers.
I'm sure that if you do these alot of people will want to have them so, let the Challenger community in on it, I for one would be very interested in them!
I've been thinking about taking them off and painting them I will hold off on that thought for now!
I actually live about 2 miles from MSD and I do all of their powder coating for their displays for SEMA and I was told that once they have a coil pack for the 14 SRT I'll be the donor car for testing (we tried what they now have and it cause a miss so they were going to work on what it would take to do an update for the 2014 392)
I also have heard that the Z06 guys that they are taking them off and re installing the stock ones, so I'm on the fence about using them.

David
 

·
Registered
2015 Scat Pack
Joined
·
2,321 Posts
My personal vote would be for a cast one with a wrinkle black finish. (make a bunch of them for low cost. But have the top surface thicker so those wanting a fancier cover can have that surface milled and shiny and something engraved into it. Or at an additional premium, instead of engraving into it - cut out material for a raised lettering/emblem effect.
 

·
Registered
2015 Scat Pack
Joined
·
2,321 Posts
That is true, maybe that is why most people don't bother with fancy valve covers and coil pack covers on our cars.

I looked at a friends Camaro the other day where he relocated all of the coil packs and used those covers I posted in the previous post. His car also had a lot of work done to it - twin turbos, different cam and heads and lots of relocation of electronics to make the engine bay look cleaner.

I like the 392 half covers - that is what I will stick with.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
528 Posts
I bought the Billet Valve Covers and Coil Pack Covers the same ones are used for both sides but you have to reverse them from side to side when installing them. I had them Power Coated in HEMI Orange and lettered with "426 Aluminum HEMI" as I had Arrington replace the Cast Iron block with a 426 Gem III Aluminum block & Heads. The billet Valve covers are more "Square" and have space for Roller Rockers which the OEM ones do not. Because of their size they were a beast to install but I just love them and they shire look good
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,677 Posts
I suspect you already know the answer to your question, based on the answers that have been posted. "Most" people are not going to pay big bucks for what they see as "just and appearance" item. There are a few of us on the fringe that will buy expensive billet, "because that is what I want" (sound familiar?:rofl:); and, because we want something that really sets our car apart from the others. If you are planning to make a profit off of such a product, I think you're barking up the wrong tree. As with most things, alot of people are looking for something for nothing and will balk when it comes to the costs of something special.
You'd make more profit in cast covers that are cheaper to make; and, even then you'd have to compete with the really inexpensive 392 style covers that are available on ebay and through the Dodge parts houses. JMHO. :cheers:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,009 Posts
Not to worry, I'm sure some Medieval sweat shop in China will steal an existing design and market cheap Chinese crap reproductions.

Now comes the sad part.

EVERYONE will buy one!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
434 Posts
A set of billet valve covers is on my dream list. They are a thing of beauty!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Not to worry, I'm sure some Medieval sweat shop in China will steal an existing design and market cheap Chinese crap reproductions.

Now comes the sad part.

EVERYONE will buy one!
True, but that can't/won't ever change - the smart entrepreneur does the important parts locally (design/prototyping/marketing) and the takes advantage of globalization for the production.

Then the consumer benefits by getting a well designed part at a reasonable price, the company benefits by having some US staff & not needing to worry about being undercut by China.

The globalization genie will never be put back in the bottle - the best anyone can do is figure out how to make it work for them.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top