Car geeks are always looking for a good DIY project for the weekend, and most of us will do just about anything to free up additional ponies. Case inpoint: Gasket-match-porting your manifold is one of those things that anyone can do. Think about it; we know the engine is simply a large air pump. The more air that enters, the more fuel you can add, and ultimately, the more power you can generate. The beauty of this project is how cheaply it can be accomplished.
Most of us don't have access to a professional porting booth, let alone any serious porting and polishing hardware and accessories. Luckily, it doesn't take much to get a professionally ported and polished manifold--in fact, all it takes is some basic grinding hardware, your garage, and a little patience. And--bonus!--you can take pride in the money you saved by doing it yourself, as some performance shops may charge upwards of $175 for the same work.
We pulled the single-plane Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake manifold from our project Elco's big-block and decided to hog out its innards for extra flow. The tools required: an electric die grinder and an aluminum deburring bit along with a complete porting kit from Standard Abrasives Motor Sports Division. The rest involved some metal dye (Dykem) and a metal scribe.
Admittedly, the process of porting and polishing a manifold is time-consuming, but it's also simple--and definitely worth your effort. Keep track, put on your safety goggles, and tag along as we show you how to get the most flow out of your intake manifold.
A basic gasket-match port and polish job on a Victor Jr. BBC manifold
Added flow for minimal cash outlay, and you can do it yourself.