7 Best Valve Covers for Small Block Chevy: Reviews in 2021


Best Valve Covers for Small Block Chevy

There is no point in telling you the importance of the valve covers. But choosing a bad or cheap product can damage the Chevrolet engine more than you can think of.

So, I have decided to research and find the best valve covers for small block Chevy engines. Among lots of faulty and cheap aftermarket parts, I have selected some expensive ones so that your investment doesn’t go in vain.

A leaky cover won’t do any good because it would overheat the engine. So, follow the best valve covers for small block chevy reviews and guidelines to ensure a smooth-running Chevy. Let’s get started.

Have a glance at my top picked valve covers for small block chevy:

1. Speedway SBC Small Block Chevy V8 Bow Tie Aluminum Valve Covers – Best Overall Valve Covers For SBC

Polished aluminum valve covers fit ’60-’86 SBC and are made to GM specs, offers OEM style baffles and dippers, strong built, easy fitting, no leakage

2. Proform 141-899 Fabricated Valve Cover with Baffle – Runner Up Valve Cover For SBC

Made of heavy-gauge steel, 20% thicker than typical aftermarket valve covers, reduce leakage possibility around the valve cover flange area caused by fasteners being over-torqued, chrome plating ensures stock quality specifications, includes Air Breather and Pcv Grommets

3. Spectre Performance 5258 Valve Cover for Small Block Chevy – Best Budget Model For Small Block Chevy

Triple chrome-plated steel construction, compatible with 1958-1986 Chevrolet small block 265-400 engines, baffled for breather system compatibility, easy bolt on installation, quite affordable 

4. Proform 141-750 Heavy-Gauge Stamped Steel Short Stamped Valve Cover – Best Steel Valve Covers For Small Block Chevy

Made of heavy gauge steel, claimed to be 20% thicker than typical aftermarket covers, reduces the likelihood of leakage, grommets are included to use with an air breather and pcv valve.

5. Assault Racing Products A6186 Small Block Chevy Finned Polished Aluminum Short Style Valve Covers – Best Polished Aluminum Valve Covers For Small Block Chevy

Finned style polished aluminum valve cover, includes Baffles, Stainless bolts, Grommets, fits fine and no oil leakage

6. 1958-86 Compatible/Replacement for CHEVY SMALL BLOCK – Best Chrome Valve Covers For Small Block Chevy

Chrome plated, One hole each, Two Oil Baffles, Tall style, 3-11/16″ high

7. Billet Specialties 95223 Script Tall Valve Cover – Best Tall Valve Cover for SBC

Weighs 7.5 pounds, breather hole, Chevrolet logo, polished, tall cover

Best Valve Covers For Small Block Chevy: The Review

Short or tall, steel or aluminum, 2-hole or 3-hole, no matter what your requirements are, you would find everything on my list. Set the budget, read the product reviews, and order accordingly. 

1. Speedway SBC Small Block Chevy V8 Bow Tie Aluminum Valve Covers – Best Overall Valve Covers For SBC

Your Chevy’s stock valve cover has 3 holes; please don’t think I have mistakenly chosen a product without any breather hole. The latest oil fill caps have built-in breather holes. Check out other amazing specs of this cover that made me place it on top of all models.

Going through several forums and discussion groups, I have also learned that other Chevy users think the same. A big advantage of buying this one from Speedway Motors is that the package includes two grommets, one for the stock PCV valve and one for the breather cap.

For SBC engines built between 1960 and 1986, this one would fit perfectly. Due to its nice polished finish with a bow tie Chevrolet logo, the interior under the hood doesn’t lose its OEM-look. 

I also like the fact that it is a polished aluminum cover, which is lightweight and strong. It has a depth of 3-9/16″ with a 1-¼” push-in hole. So, it is recommended to use 1-¼” screws to install it. 

? Pros:
  • Strong build quality
  • Durable
  • Prevents oil spills
  • Built-in breather holes 
? Cons:
  • Expensive 

2. Proform 141-899 Fabricated Valve Cover with Baffle – Runner Up Valve Cover For SBC

Less costly, 20% thicker steel than its competitors, chrome plating, boldly striking Bowtie, and CHEVROLET Emblems should have earned it the first position. 

But I had to choose it as the second-best for some complaints. Users are not satisfied with its baffle that increases the time for oil-changing longer than usual.

On the other hand, I’m not too fond of it as the cover is small, supporting fewer engine models than the top pick. Steel as the build-material lasts almost the same as aluminum but weighs more.

For the useful features and price, you can choose this one if it fits the engine model built between 1958 and 1986. One thing I have to admit is that it sure looks good under the hood. The colors are applied in such a way that would prevent corrosion.

? Pros:
  • Perfect fit for specific models
  • Durable
  • Easy to install
  • Chrome finish
? Cons:
  • Adding oil takes a long time. 

3. Spectre Performance 5258 Valve Cover for Small Block Chevy – Best Budget Model For Small Block Chevy

Spectre Performance 5258 has more to offer than just a low price tag. It is an old-school valve cover with a three-hole design. So, you won’t be facing the issue with the previous one. A dedicated oil fill hole makes the oil-changing job easier and quicker.

Moreover, it comes with stock height and triple chrome-plated steel. Either fitting or durability are no issues for this cover. But what I don’t like is the absence of the Chevrolet Emblems and bow tie logo. It doesn’t add a premium vibe under the hood like the other two. 

Comparing the price and build quality, those small issues don’t bother me at all. If you don’t have a budget of over 30 bucks, you won’t find a better option than Spectre Performance 5258. I consider it a vintage small block Chevy valve covers.

? Pros:
  • 3-hole design
  • Quick and easy oil filling 
  • Matches stock dimension
  • Durable steel build
? Cons:
  • No logo 

4. Proform 141-750 Heavy-Gauge Stamped Steel Short Stamped Valve Cover – Best Steel Valve Covers For Small Block Chevy

I have another Proform Valve Cover to recommend, which doesn’t have the complaints like the previous one. Though this also has a 2-hole design, you can use the PCV opening for worry-free oil filling. 

If you don’t like the shiny finish of the budget model or can’t accept the logo’s absence, you will love this matte-finish steel cover. The price is more than double the previous one, but it is worth the investment. 

However, one shortcoming of this one is the small height, limiting to a few specific engine models. Other than that, you will love its build-quality and fitting. 

Proform doesn’t compromise with the material-quality, and the legacy continues by ensuring 20% thicker heavy-gauge steel. As a result, you won’t have to find a replacement for this aftermarket part for many years. Furthermore, you can contact the manufacturer for a custom valve cover Chevy 350.

? Pros:
  • Attractive bow tie emblem
  • Thicker steel
  • Durable
  • Easy oil filling
? Cons:
  • Small height

5. Assault Racing Products A6186 Small Block Chevy Finned Polished Aluminum Short Style Valve Covers – Best Polished Aluminum Valve Covers For Small Block Chevy

Are you looking for an aluminum valve cover that doesn’t cost as much as the top pick? Assault Racing Products A6186 has everything that meets such specific requirements. The retro-style polished aluminum body adds a different vibe under the hood. 

It is a short-style valve cover, but you can go to the link and select the tall-style. So, all engine models from ’58 to ’86 support the dimension of A6186. 

What I like more about this product is the list of things that come with the package. It includes baffles, stainless steel bolts, and grommets so that you don’t have to find matches and order them separately. 

The price includes a pair, and both of them have 1-¼” breather holes. The covers lack the Chevrolet and bow tie emblem, which might be an issue. 

? Pros:
  • Lightweight aluminum
  • Retro-style
  • Easy to install
? Cons:
  • No logo 

6. 1958-86 Compatible/Replacement for CHEVY SMALL BLOCK – Best Chrome Valve Covers For Small Block Chevy

A chrome-plated 3-11/16″ tall valve cover for a small block Chevy can be the one you are looking for. If you are looking for a reliable product like the top-rated one like the one in the beginning but costs less, you can check out this one from CFR Performance. Those who are looking for valve covers for 350 Chevy should check this one out.

Cast aluminum construction ensures its lightweight feature without compromising the strength. There are no questions about the durability of the covers, but the finishing doesn’t look premium. For that price, I expected something better. I guess that is the price we pay for affordable pricing.

? Pros:
  • Cast aluminum
  • Tall cover
  • Strong and durable protection
? Cons:
  • Bad-quality finishing

7. Billet Specialties 95223 Script Tall Valve Cover – Best Tall Valve Cover for SBC

Lastly, I have one of the most premium valve-covers for a small block Chevrolet engine. The billet aluminum keeps it lightweight yet strong and durable that wouldn’t give you trouble for many years. 

It costs even less than the top-rated ones on the list. But I couldn’t pick it as the champion because of the logo design. Go to the link and see for yourself. It is my personal opinion. If you like it the way it is, it will be wise to go for this one from Billet Specialties.

Moreover, the pieces are made with extreme care. You will love the manufacturer’s attention to detail and the use of CNC machining. So, installing it won’t be an issue. 

? Pros:
  • Billet aluminum
  • Perfect fit
  • Easy installation
  • Shiny finish
? Cons:
  • Different logo design

What To Consider Before Buying The Best Valve Covers For Small Block Chevy

While preparing the list, I developed a checklist that helped me find the best products. Here, let me explain those so that you don’t have to rely on other people’s decisions. 

Fitting

Among all valve covers, there are short or tall fitting ones. So, check your vehicle, see its specs, and choose accordingly.

Material

In this category, the products are also divided into two categories. The aluminum ones are lightweight and expensive. The steel ones are heavy and economical. Both are strong and durable. So, choose as per your budget range.

Number of holes

The older design covers have a total of 3 holes. One is for breathing, one is for filling oil, and one is for PCV. the newer ones have only 2 holes where the breathable holes are integrated into the oil caps.

Finishing

Some products are polished or have chrome plating and shiny, where the others come with a matte finish. Depending on your personal preference, you can make a selection.

Logo

As we are talking about specific products for Chevy, you can get something that has the logo and emblem on top of it. However, there are other versions without those which are preferred by some owners. 

 

How To Install The Best Valve Cover For Small Block Chevy

In two steps, let me explain the easiest way to install both covers on an SBC.

  1. First of all, put the studs and gaskets on. Also, make sure that they are lined up properly.
  2. Now, put the covers on, and tighten up with the screws. It would help if you used a ratchet to do that.

This way, there won’t be any leak, which is a common complaint by lots of users.

 

FAQs

How do you stop an SBC valve cover from leaking?

You can use a rubber valve cover gasket to stop the SBC from leaking ever again. If you don’t know the right accessory, you can check out Fel-Pro 1628 Valve Cover Gasket Set from Amazon. It is one of the best valve cover gaskets for small block Chevy.

Do the valve covers make a difference?

These covers have one simple task, and it is to protect the internal components. So, buying a premium or low-budget one will only affect the durability and not the engine’s performance.

Are 305 and 350 valve covers the same?

According to the mechanics, as long as the 305 and 350 have the same style, they use the same covers.

Conclusion 

We have come to an end, and it is time to take a decision. According to my research and popular opinion, Speedway manufactures the best valve covers for small block Chevy. 

However, your opinion can be different based on the car engine model and personal preference. So, do you think that some other product on the list deserves the title? Let us know. And don’t forget to buy a pair of gaskets when ordering one from the list.

More to explore

Thomas Anderson

Thomas Anderson, the author of Autotroop website. He has been working on the mechanical industry for a long period of time. He is skilled and dependable with hands-on experience and excellent training to perform service and repairs on domestic cars and trucks.

Recent Posts