Valve Guides: Cast Iron vs. Bronze
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Valve Guides: Cast Iron vs. Bronze

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    Sit N' Spin Jetaholic's Avatar
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    Default Valve Guides: Cast Iron vs. Bronze

    Which is better? My machinist for some reason favors cast iron guides yet every performance build I read about is using bronze.

    Can someone please post pros/cons of both?



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    Bostick Racing Engines six-oh-nine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetaholic View Post
    Which is better? My machinist for some reason favors cast iron guides yet every performance build I read about is using bronze.

    Can someone please post pros/cons of both?
    Why would someone prefer iron over bronze... iron is much cheaper... like cents per guide as opposed to dollars per guide... iron is easier to work with... most shops just ream to size and call it good... were as to do a proper job on bronze you have to hone to size (imo) which takes time and tools most shops don't want to invest (1200 for sunnen guide bore gauge and about 600 for sunnen guide hone set) and iron tends to have a better wear life on most applications.

    You're going to build for a boat or performance (or both) then bronze is the way to go in my opinion... your working with a material that is intended to decrease friction rather than iron which is abrasive by nature. Bronze is going to be less apt to gall in situations where iron would. I rarely use iron anymore... except for stock streetcar type builds or if it's what the customer wishes to use.

    But I'd ask why he favors iron over bronze... he may have a logical reason for your application. (who knows???)
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    Senior Member GT Jets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetaholic View Post
    Which is better? My machinist for some reason favors cast iron guides yet every performance build I read about is using bronze.

    Can someone please post pros/cons of both?

    I always hated the word "better", you could use iron or bronze, it depends on several things, like application, life expentancy, RPM, type of oil used, valve type (stainless vs. steel), camshaft etc.

    Any time I hear the word "better" I always think the same thing, they are forcing their opinion down your throat... Do a little research and find out for yourself. For the everyday rebuild that wont see 6000 RPM blasts, Iron will last longer than everything else in the engine, providing they're done right...Just my .02c

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    Ditto on the above guys.
    Cast iron is cheap, easier to work with, galls easier, does not self lubricate, works great on stock pieces.
    Bronze liners are easy, and can be easaily honed with stones, Bad ass bronze guides need diamond stones to hone, 80 bucks each, last half of forever, are self lubricating, etc.
    Race or perfomrance=bronze.
    Street/stock=cast.
    Wags
    BTW, how many aftermarket head manufacturers do you see putting cast guides in their high dollar heads? There is a reason.

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    steelcomp was here
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    I was told a long time ago don't run bronze guides unless you have chromed valve stems. (or a moly coated Ti valve) There are plenty of "professionals" that don't hone bronze guides. I would venture a guess that more production aluminum heads out there are ball broached or reamed to size and assembled, maybe...maybe not after cleaning. Many never put a mic to a stem, or a bore gauge in the hole.
    Buyer be ware.
    Last edited by scott foxwell; 12-30-2008 at 06:43 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcomp View Post
    Many never put a mic to a stem, or a bore gauge in the hole.
    Buyer be ware.
    I am going to let this one go, this time. But the next one becomes my signature quote for A YEAR



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    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    I am going to let this one go, this time. But the next one becomes my signature quote for A YEAR
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelcomp View Post
    Geez...you're as bad as Tony.
    Not THAT could be a signature quote.....
    Quote Originally Posted by gn7 View Post
    ....... David 519 is 100% correct........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetaholic View Post
    Which is better? My machinist for some reason favors cast iron guides yet every performance build I read about is using bronze.

    Can someone please post pros/cons of both?
    Denny & I decided to put Bronze in mine when the replacement was done.

    Don't recall the text of our discussion about them tho.
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