From digest.v6.n198 Mon Feb 10 16:18:16 1997
From: "Steve D'Gerolamo" <>
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 1997 11:57:26 -0500
Subject: Aftermarket M20 Cylinder Heads

I sell a fair number of cylinder heads (especially the ones for the "i" motors) because of timing belt failures. I recently decided to take a look at one of the aftermarket heads, partially assembled with valves and springs. These come in ATK/Vege boxes and are sold as "Made in Holland" assemblies. The one I received from a local major warehouse distributor was unacceptable by myself and 2 local machine shops that have been long time customers. The casting is assumed to be Spanish (there is no "Made in Germany" tag and the studs were packaged in a separate bag labelled in Spanish, not Dutch or German). The casting itself was very poor with pock marks throughout making one suspect that the metal was very porous and soft. There were no hardened exhaust studs supplied, only the softer yellow chromate ones used on the intake side. The cylinder head is being returned to the supplier today. {Ken Inn: This would be a good sample for you to take to Gateway Tech this year for your annual talk on aftermarket parts.} Not all of the ATK/Vege assemblies are bad. I've been purchasing the completely assembled heads from another supplier for 2 years (these come ready to bolt on with valves, springs, cam, rockers & shafts) and the castings are German and nearly perfect. If you're considering purchasing a bare or partially assembled cylinder heads in the future through a mail order house (sight unseen), ask your salesman if the head is German or Spanish and what the quality/finish is like. Unfortunately, the standard response from most salesman (including the one that sold me the subject head) is "we've been selling these for years and never had any problems". If you have any doubts after receiving one of these heads, ask your local machine shop for his advice. Don't take chances with suspect components, especially costly and labor intensive ones like these. SD

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