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I Got A W53 Head!


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Well like the title says, just found out i got a w53 head. i took my car for a long drive around town to test my "hot" issue (other post) and while checking the engine bay to make sure everything was good, i decided to check and see what type of head it has. when i seen the # i sort of remember it been a bit special. is it?


well now that you guys know what it is also, what should i do, change or expect from it? its currently on an L16 block, 32/36 weber, electronic ignition with a 4speed.





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They are listed as closed chamber with some exceptions so chances favor it being closed. Besides an L16 with a regular open chamber head would have a compression of 7.72. Even the closed chamber head drops the compression to 8.21.


You would need one of those dental mirrors, (at least small enough to fit the plug hole) and some light.

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might have access to a borescope or is the small mirror a better choice? you do mean in thru the spark plug correct?


if it turns out to be closed chamber, what do i need to do different? pump 91 octane or something like that?

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Stock compression on an L16 is around 8.4 to one. A closed chamber head has a slightly larger combustion chamber than the stock 210 head, so your compression will drop very slightly but be well within running limits.


Stock compession on an L20B motor is about 8.5 to one. A closed chamber head will have a smaller combustion chamber than the stock L20B head so it will increase compression to about 8.9 to one. Yes you could run the W- head on an L20B but it does have smaller intake ports as it was intended for a smaller L16 motor.

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I personally would recommend leaving the L16 complete, as a "back up engine" if you decide to install an L20B. I don't think you'd really see any improvement by putting the W53 head on the L20B. You should see a decent performance improvement simply by swapping out the engines. Plus it never hurts to have a spare motor, just in case something happens to the L20B. Good luck with the swap, it's pretty easy and strait forward, the only thing you may have to do is slot the holes in the motor mounts (where the bolt to the block) a little to lower the L20B in your crossmember a little bit, as the L20 is slightly taller.

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