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Cutting daytona head

Started by BCRD, January 13, 2023, 04:55:13 PM

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I've got a daytona head I would like to get cut in half at a local machine shop. The plan is to send it to John ritter to get turned on his lathe but he can't cut it in house. I've seen them cut 2 ways. Offset on the middle fin with a hole drilled in the center and chucks way which is dead straight down the center splitting the middle fin. Does anyone know which way is better? I like the offset way better but chuck must do his centered for a good reason. Any input?

m in sc

i don't think it functionally matters. Just depends what you want to see when you look at the head visually. Chuck was a stickler for symmetry so? not sure if ones'better' than the other. Me personally, 2 half fins would drive me nuts so i'd probably go to one side of a fin and have at it.

as a side note, years ago I turned my lc head, obviously cutting isn't an option, so i made a counter balance and swing each dome centered in the plug hole, but you need a pretty big swing lathe to do this.


I have cut multiple Daytona heads, 250 and 400,  I cut them so the full fin remains on one side.  Then I cut a fin profile and weld it into the other side for matching heat dissipation. I made a cardboard template of the fin profile to get the shape correct. Daytona combustion chambers have way to much squish gap, once they are cut down they work well. 


Any welding should be completed before any machine work.  I don't think polishing would be an issue.

John Ritter

Makr at Speed of Cheeze cut one and did a beautiful job on it. Couple years ago I traded my 16" lathe in because I wanted a larger rpm selection for a 14" lathe and the Daytona head will not clear the ways so I can only do cut heads.

m in sc

yeah, mark as soc is def an option, and a damn good one. his work is beautiful.


" I traded my 16" lathe in because I wanted a larger rpm selection for a 14" lathe"

If anyone else has this problem, I have a solution:
put a 3 phase motor on it.
Same HP, they are cheap cause no one wants them.( $50 )

Get a HUANYANG VFD off of Ebay, and wire it up to your house 240 VAC. ( $150 )
Infinite speed adjustment

I can help with any wiring.

I currently have a large Delta Drill press, Powermatic Lathe, Delta cabinet saw, Delta shaper wired this way.



Thanks Mark and John!

I am happy to split Daytona heads, but keep in mind that it is not how I make money. I have five CNC machines cranking out parts all day.

I do it to support the RD community.


Here's my Daytona head that just came back to me today from John. Mark did a beautiful job splitting it for me a couple months back (for a price I'm sure he can't offer again). John Ritter did the dome work (and much more!). I'm very happy with both  :whoop:
1977 RD400