Drag Racing Online: The Magazine

Volume VIII, Issue 2, Page

Reher-Morrison Racing Engines' David Reher answers your questions about cylinder heads or anything else concerning your racing engine building problems. Remember who your are dealing with so no soft-ball questions.


DRCE Pro Stock heads have intake ports that are canted. With the ability to cast ports in virtually any position as well as intake manifolds, why would these designs not be incorporated in the newer heads such as the Raptor?

Clint Favre


There seems to be a 10 to15 year lag time between the time a new Pro Stock head comes out to the time it’s released to the general public. The reasons for this are many, none of which have anything to do with Pro Stock teams wanting to hold onto their “secret” cylinder head designs. The symmetrical, high profile port layout of the DRCE cylinder head has been around for over 20 years. Anyone could have made a knock off of this head long ago so why didn’t they? Better yet, why didn’t I? When I designed the Raptor heads I could have just taken our current Pro Stock heads and scaled down the valve sizes and other related futures to fit the current Chevy bolt pattern and 4.840 bore spacing blocks. I could have made it an “As cast” ported head and had a powerful design capable of very high performance levels. So it begs the question… why didn’t I?

The main reason that has prevented me and continues to prevent others from making a cylinder head like the Symmetrical port DRCE head for the general public is one we can all relate to - Money. When I designed the Raptor heads I had to look not only at the cost of production but the end cost to the consumer and the marketing profile for the product. The product has to be marketable from the standpoint of cost effectiveness and affordability. Cost effective for Reher-Morrison to produce yet affordable for the average racer. The person who said, “build a better mouse trap and they will beat a path to your door”, never had to race on a budget! The cost of racing is on the rise and continues to rise year after year. One of the main topics of conversation among racers is how much it costs to go fast and have fun. Of course having fun doesn’t cost that much but we all know how much it costs to go fast!

When designing a head for racers I have to keep that in mind. I have to design a cylinder head that is better than anything else on the market, able to produce more power, yet have the ability to utilize components that are generally available such as valve train components, valves, intake manifolds, valve covers, cam cores and headers. If I design a head in this way, the end cost is far less to both the racer and Reher-Morrison. If I design a scaled down DRCE head I then have to design cast intake manifolds to go with it along with valve covers, rocker gear, cam cores and other related components, all of which will be more costly to the consumer.

In other words, I would sell very few and the ones I did sell would go to the few with the means to acquire them. I would rather design a head that a great many could afford. It really boils down to simple economics. Raptor heads utilize existing valve train, valve covers, intake manifolds and even off the shelf valve lengths found in most manufacturers' catalogs. Now the consumer can purchase a cylinder head and gain anywhere between 60 to 100 horsepower costing no more than any other cylinder head in its class and utilize all or some of the components from his previous engine combination. That just cut his cost down by as much as 50%.

David Reher asked Darin Morgan to answer this question because it is his area of expertise.

Reher-Morrison Racing Engines
1120 Enterprise Place
Arlington Texas 76001
Visit our web site at http://www.rehermorrison.com

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