3 Best Cylinder Heads For Pontiac 350 [Explained]

As someone who has worked on countless Pontiac 350 engines, I know firsthand how important it is to choose the right cylinder head to achieve maximum performance. The cylinder head is a vital component that controls the flow of air and fuel into and out of the engine, which ultimately affects the engine’s power, torque, and overall efficiency.

In this article, I’ll share my personal experience and technical knowledge to highlight the three best cylinder heads for Pontiac 350 engines.

Edelbrock Performer RPM Cylinder Heads

Edelbrock Performer RPM Cylinder Heads are high-performance cylinder heads designed for street performance, daily drivers, street rods, and muscle cars where seat-of-the-pants performance is needed.

These heads deliver great throttle response and power from 1,500 to 6,500 RPM. They are designed to fit emissions-controlled engines and are 50-state emissions legal.

The Performer RPM Cylinder Heads feature highly efficient port designs and state-of-the-art combustion chamber shapes, offering improved performance throughout the RPM range for great throttle response and top-end horsepower. These heads are perfect for non-emissions 302, 327, 350, and 400 c.i.d. engines up to 1986.

The Edelbrock Performer RPM Aluminum Cylinder Heads feature threaded inserts in the rocker studs and exhaust manifold bolt holes for superior strength and durability. They are made in the USA, offering the best in quality and performance. These heads feature the highest quality intake and exhaust valves.

When using stock rockers on SB-Chevy Performer & Performer RPM heads, .100” longer than stock pushrods are required. Due to valve-to-cylinder bore interference, SB-Chevy heads may not be used on engines with less than 4” bore (262, 265, 283, 305, 307 c.i.d.) except with camshafts having less than .450” valve lift

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To gain more spark plug clearance, Edelbrock recommends using Champion RC Series plugs such as the RC12YC.

Edelbrock Performer RPM Pontiac Cylinder Heads When it comes to high-performance cylinder heads for Pontiac 350 engines, the Edelbrock Performer RPM is an excellent choice.

One of the things that sets the Edelbrock Performer RPM apart is the hardened exhaust seats, which provide improved durability and resistance to heat. The modern valve angles also improve combustion efficiency and enhance power delivery. The combustion chamber design is optimized to maximize the flow of air and fuel, making it an excellent choice for high-performance Pontiac 350 engines.

AFR Pontiac 195cc Street Cylinder Heads

The AFR Pontiac 195cc Street cylinder head is a product of Airflow Research (AFR). It is designed for small block Chevy engines with displacements up to 400 cubic inches and operating up to 6500 RPM.

The cylinder head is made of A356 aluminum castings and features 100% CNC ported intake, exhaust, and chambers. It is recommended for street use and is street legal in 50 states for 1994 and older emissions-controlled vehicles under CARB EO #D-250-2.

AFR also offers a version of the 195cc cylinder head for LT1/LT4 small block Chevy engines These heads are available only in an angle plug version and feature a 55cc to 65cc combustion chamber with a 64cc exhaust port and a 3/4″ thick head deck.

They are designed specifically for 1996 Corvettes or LT4 manifold users and can be used with both LT1 or LT4 intakes. No special parts are required, except for the LT4 intake manifold.

The AFR Pontiac 195cc Street cylinder head is also available in a version for nitrous or blower applications. These heads feature a 65cc or 75cc combustion chamber with a 64cc exhaust port and a 3/4” thick head deck.

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AFR cylinder heads are machined for both center and perimeter bolt valve covers. The company recommends keeping the bar code and paperwork shipped with the head, as they contain all the specs for the head when calling AFR.

If using a high volume or high-pressure oil pump, it can submerge the valve seals in oil causing smoking or oil consumption.

Trick Flow PowerPort Cylinder Heads

Trick Flow PowerPort Cylinder Heads are high-performance cylinder heads designed for various engines. Trick Flow offers PowerPort 320 Cylinder Heads for Big Block Chevrolet, GenX 220 Cylinder Heads for GM 5.7L LS1 engines, PowerPort 325 Cylinder Heads for Ford 429/460 street and street/strip applications, and PowerPort 290 Cylinder Heads for Ford 429/460 street and street/strip applications.

The PowerPort 320 Cylinder Heads are perfect for high-performance street/strip, racing, and marine applications. The GenX 220 Cylinder Heads are the best value in GM LS performance and are designed for cathedral port heads.

The PowerPort 325 Cylinder Heads are designed for high-performance Ford 429/460 street and street/strip applications, providing significant horsepower and torque gains over similar-style cylinder heads.

The PowerPort 290 Cylinder Heads are also designed for high-performance Ford 429/460 street and street/strip applications, providing significant horsepower and torque gains over similar-style cylinder heads.

All Trick Flow PowerPort Cylinder Heads have an efficient chamber design for more complete combustion, raised exhaust ports for increased airflow, and Fast As Cast runners that duplicate the port shape and profile of CNC-ported heads for near-CNC-ported power and performance for about the same price as regular cast cylinder heads.

The PowerPort 325 Cylinder Heads come standard with fully CNC-profiled combustion chambers and Trick Flow’s highly regarded CNC Competition Ported runners.

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The premium, high-resolution surface finish helps engines build maximum, all-out performance.

The cylinder heads are available fully assembled or as bare castings and are sold individually with a warranty.

Conclusion

In my experience, choosing the right cylinder head is crucial to maximizing performance on a Pontiac 350 engine. The Edelbrock Performer RPM, AFR Pontiac 195cc Street, and Trick Flow PowerPort Pontiac cylinder heads are all excellent choices that deliver significant performance gains.