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Are aluminum heads better?
Even so, lighter is usually considered better for performance. Aluminum heads are easier to machine than cast iron because the metal is softer, and the heads are easier to repair because aluminum can be TIG welded to fix cracks and other damage.
Are aluminum heads worth the money?
Yes they are worth it. Pretty much every aftermarket head is worth a good power increase over any stock head. I like the aluminum heads since they are easier to port, repairable, and give a nice weight reduction. They usually are only a few hundred more than the iron heads.
Can you put aluminum heads on a cast iron block?
If you are installing aluminum heads on a cast-iron block, the difference in expansion rates can cause sealing problems. Because of this, composite gaskets seem to work best. There are different designs available. Just make sure whatever you use is applicable in an aluminum-head/iron-block situation.
Do aluminum heads run cooler?
Aluminum is like a little heat sponge. It sucks it up from the combustions chamber and gets it QUICKLY to the coolant. Effectively, it does run hotter. Assuming your cooling system is adequate, however, your operating temp should always be within a few degrees of your thermostat temp, regardless of what heads you run.