Vortec cylinder head castings first hit the high performance scene in 1996 and provided GM owners a healthy, budget-friendly option for boosting horsepower. According to Summit Racing, Vortec heads still remain a popular choice among GM enthusiasts today.

But are they right for your application?

While it’s true that Vortec cylinder heads will deliver seat-of-the-pants horsepower gains, they also require a few complementary upgrades to fit and perform properly. We’ll help you understand how Vortec heads work, tell you why they’re still a great way to add substantial horsepower, and provide you with an overview of everything you need to make big-time GM power with Vortec heads.

Watch and learn–and while you’re at it, check out the first three installments of Summit Racing Quick Flicks’ Head Games video series here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Author: David Fuller

David Fuller is OnAllCylinders' managing editor. During his 20-year career in the auto industry, he has covered a variety of races, shows, and industry events and has authored articles for multiple magazines. He has also partnered with mainstream and trade publications on a wide range of editorial projects. In 2012, he helped establish OnAllCylinders, where he enjoys covering all facets of hot rodding and racing.