489 Build - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old Jun 10th, 13, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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Mike
 
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489 Build

Awhile ago I had posted this https://www.camaros.net/forums/showthread.php?t=217714
after yanking the 396 and finally tearing it down, I found a nasty spun bearing and heavily scored crank journal. I also found 2 cylinder bores that would need bore and honing. In the end, I decided to abandon the NOM 396 and build something bigger.

After some searching for a block, I found the perfect candidate. A 454 that was prepped, cleaned and machined by the book. Poorboys Performance in Sacramento hooked me up with a block that was baked at 650 degrees, tanked, magged, shot-peened, bored .030" with torque plate, align bore/hone, decked and ready to go. Well, the assembly is still far out as I haven't decided on a combination yet. I have a set of 781s that I will use with my build and have been in contact with Mike Lewis for a stroker assembly. I'll have my heads cleaned, surfaced and will look at putting bigger valves in. Once I cc them, I can pick out my pistons and cam set up. I can't go to aggressive as I have a M20 and 3.42s in back.

So, after pulling the motor, I accidentally pulled the steering column which led to me tearing and tearing that down. Well, now that I have the block out, the engine bay is going to need some cleaning and a mild restore.

After pulling the motor, I found chevy orange overspray on the subframe and tranny tunnel. The PO was a hack, confirmed.

I don't have the patience, funds or space to do a complete frame off, maybe sometime in the future. For now, I'll have to settle for a BBC swap and a nice engine bay clean up and detailing. I will however rebuild the front end and suspension as I have been parts gathering for awhile.

This is my first engine build and tear down, wish me luck.
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 13, 10:44 AM
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Randy
 
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Re: 489 Build

Mike, your car looks great. When you finish the engine bay and get that big block in there I think you are going to be quite satisfied with your work. I can tell it's going to look good.

My 69 Camaro build thread:
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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old Jun 11th, 13, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Mike
 
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Re: 489 Build

Thanks Randy - I bought it as a driver so it's a bit prettier in pics. While mechanically inclined, it will be my first engine assembly/build. Looking forward to making mistakes, learning and taking pride in my own built motor. With that said, I hope to get it on the road by 2014. Optimistic: yes!
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 13, 05:19 AM
jno
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Jim
 
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Re: 489 Build

I agree with randy, that is a beautiful car.
You say this is your first engine build. Do you know someone that can help, or have you read up on engine building? A friend of mine that builds engines has helped me build a 403 for my TA, and is currently helping me build a .060" over stroked 454 for my camaro. I am a machinist by trade, but I have to say I was surprised by how much engineering/science there is to engine building. (sizes, gaps, clearances, flows, etc) Just ordering the right parts, so they all play nice together was an eye opener.
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 13, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Mike
 
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Re: 489 Build

Thank you. I realize there is alot to learn, and that along with the gratification of building your own mill, has been my motivation. I'm going to take my time and quadruple check my gaps, tolerances etc. I've been reading Tom Wilson's book on Rebuilding the Big_Block Chevy, and that has been a good book. All recommendations welcomed. My brother is co-building with me, mostly Mopar experience, but together we've been doing a lot of research. As far as the combo we're building, I've been speaking to George down at Clay Smith Cams and some other builders for insight on the build. It has been difficult because there are many different opinions. 'Don't run those heads, run these... no FT cams on BBCs, go solid, lose the M20, etc.. it goes on. Its actually overwhelming. I've laid out the build plan as follows:

1. Obtain block. - check
2. Measure main bores to determine bearing sizes
3. Have heads checked, cc'd. to pick out pistons and determine compression for pump gas. I'm thinking 9:1 ? No fancy bowl blending or porting here. I just want to install larger valves 2.19/1.88, surface, 3 angle valve job. Trying to keep costs down.
4. Choose rotating assembly - most likely internally Scat internally balanced so i can run neutral flywheel/balancer. Specify bearing sizes.
5. Select cam kit. Pretty certain I will go with Clay Smith. He has a nice hyd roller set up for 781 heads. Not sure if this is appropriate for 489. Most likely see if he recommends this cam profile or something a bit more custom for my 4speed and 3.42s.

...okay, Im getting anxiety now. This brings me to a question:

Is an internally balanced rotating kit from Scat ready to drop in? The tech at Scat says they are ready to assemble. I've heard conflicting reports. Would love to hear from others.

Would love to hear about your current build and any insights you may have. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jno View Post
I agree with randy, that is a beautiful car.
You say this is your first engine build. Do you know someone that can help, or have you read up on engine building? A friend of mine that builds engines has helped me build a 403 for my TA, and is currently helping me build a .060" over stroked 454 for my camaro. I am a machinist by trade, but I have to say I was surprised by how much engineering/science there is to engine building. (sizes, gaps, clearances, flows, etc) Just ordering the right parts, so they all play nice together was an eye opener.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 13, 07:59 PM
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Morgan
 
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Re: 489 Build

Go to 10:1, you will have no problem running pump gas, that point makes A bigl difference in performance. Give it alot of lift like .600 and low duration, 232/242 with a hydraulic roller and wit will have great street manners and wake up when you hit the go pedal. Do not let anyone tell you to go to the close ratio m21, the wide is .3ths and 2-3 mph faster, I proved it to myself at the track when the wide broke.
What intake and carb are you using? Timing is everything!

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old Jun 12th, 13, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Mike
 
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Re: 489 Build

Your cam specs are exact to what George @Clay recommended.
232/242 .600 lift and I think LSA 109 but not certain. Any idea what kind of vacuum I'll get here?

As for intake and carb, I was thinking of Eddy performer Air Gap and a Holley ultra DP 850, I had the same set up on my 396 but with a 650cfm and it was real crisp throttle and responsive. I'm not much of a carb slayer so the Holley was not too much trouble to tune. I use to have 3.73s with a Holley vac secondary and the car ran terrible when I went to 3.42s.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971ls6 View Post
Go to 10:1, you will have no problem running pump gas, that point makes A bigl difference in performance. Give it alot of lift like .600 and low duration, 232/242 with a hydraulic roller and wit will have great street manners and wake up when you hit the go pedal. Do not let anyone tell you to go to the close ratio m21, the wide is .3ths and 2-3 mph faster, I proved it to myself at the track when the wide broke.
What intake and carb are you using? Timing is everything!
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 13, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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Mike
 
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Re: 489 Build

Today I removed my old tired leaf springs and Kyb shocks. I thought I'd try to do it without removing the gas tank, but there really is no way. I work slow so it took me a few hours to remove shocks, springs and... No broken bolts from the front chassis mount although there was only 2 bolts on left side. The old bushings were definitely tired, no sign of replacement here, probably original? Also spotted two drain holes in the trunk pan that had no plugs. I'm assuming those are plugs missing.

I'll install my hotchkis springs and koni classics tomorrow.
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 13, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Mike
 
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Re: 489 Build

So after looking at my beat up 12 bolt; I'm considering repainting it, when else will I do all this disassembly? Ugh. It has a new posi unit and 3.42 gears so I'd rather not disassemble it and have to replace bearings. I'm wondering if it's worth just the old fashion way, sand, tape and paint. Would be so much easier to blast it but I'm running out of parts room on in my garage!

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old Jul 5th, 13, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Mike
 
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Re: 489 Build

I just got back my 12 bolt from the blaster. He used glass and it looks brand new, amazing. Off to prime and paint.Click image for larger version

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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 13, 11:59 AM
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Eric
 
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Re: 489 Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal_68 View Post
3. Have heads checked, cc'd. to pick out pistons and determine compression for pump gas. I'm thinking 9:1 ? No fancy bowl blending or porting here. I just want to install larger valves 2.19/1.88, surface, 3 angle valve job. Trying to keep costs down.
5. Select cam kit. Pretty certain I will go with Clay Smith. He has a nice hyd roller set up for 781 heads. Not sure if this is appropriate for 489. Most likely see if he recommends this cam profile or something a bit more custom for my 4speed and 3.42s.

...okay, Im getting anxiety now. This brings me to a question:

Is an internally balanced rotating kit from Scat ready to drop in? The tech at Scat says they are ready to assemble. I've heard conflicting reports. Would love to hear from others.

Would love to hear about your current build and any insights you may have. Thanks.


For your valves, I think you're exactly on the right track. You should have good results off-idle up to 5500-6000 RPM, with the cubes you're running. Stick with that plan.

Camshaft and compression ratios are a very complicated issue, NOT easily quantified with a glib answer.

If you're running iron heads, than you're more prone to detonation issues. That being said, the camshaft, static and dynamic compression ratios are inter-related. The longer the duration camshaft typically requires high amounts of valve overlap- the time when both the intake and exhaust valves are open. This built-in characteristic allows more air at high RPM (when air-flow velocity is high), but at low RPM, the air/fuel charge can bleed out the exhaust. With a shorter duration cam, there is much less valve overlap, therefore boosting cylinder pressures at lower RPMs, but this hinders high-RPM air flow. The main factor to keep in mind, is that your actual compression ratio will never be as high as the static (advertised) compression ratio, but somewhat lower. This "real" compression ratio is the key, and commonly referred to as the "dynamic compression ratio." You can find an online calculator for this at http://www.wallaceracing.com/dynamic-cr.php.

For iron heads and pump-gas, your dynamic compression ratio should be 7.5-8.5:1. The closer you get to 8.5, the more sensitive your engine will be to detonation. Add .5 to the above band, if you're running aluminum heads.

I know this is a long-winded question, but it seems EVERYONE is an "expert" on engines, cams, and the like... But as you can see, the answer is not so easy. If you choose the wrong cam, you're not going to be happy. And God knows, I listened to a lot of so-called experts, before I finally got sick of wasting money, and started learning for myself. It sounds like you're working on a budget (like I am- I'm married!), and you want the best of results, but for a good price. ALL of this is what makes it fun- the learning, the decision-making (including the compromising), and then enjoying the results, yeah?

So while there are a bunch of books to tell you the "secrets" to building an engine, and plenty of shops that will be quite happy to take your money, you can learn 90% of the stuff you need to know by reading the information for yourself, and taking notes... I'd recommend doing a google search on "dynamic compression ratio" explanations, and how others have built their engines (with dyno results). You'll learn a LOT this way, it won't cost you anything, and will probably save you a bundle!

To this end- saving money- I don't like roller cams for my toys. The reason is, I'm already making more power than I can put to the ground, so an extra 50 HP (going from- in my case- 525HP to 575HP) doesn't matter. It lightens the wallet, is a bragging-point... and won't matter. You can put together a good valve-train using a hydraulic flat-tappet for a few hundred bucks. Going to a hydraulic roller will add... honestly, somewhere around $1000 more... everything associated with a roller setup is FAR more expensive. And, to top it all off, hydraulic roller lifters are very heavy, and tend to float the valves at ~5500RPM, unless you run insanely stiff valve springs (which are pricey, and put ungodly amounts of stress on the heads, the valve studs and roller lifters). They sound very sexy, but unless you’re running a “set on kill” race engine, they’re a black-hole for cash.

I stick with hydraulic flat-tappets, because I want extremely reliable service, where the parts are less stressed, and as simple as possible. I want to stab the camshaft in, and never see it or the valve-train again, for years!

Now, going back to your questions, the really big question is, what are you looking to get out of this engine, and what do you plan to do with the car? It's important to be honest with yourself, here... Is it going to be a street cruiser, with maybe a couple of trips to the drags each year? If that's the case, I'd look for a powerband from 2000-5000 RPM. Go with a hydraulic flat-tappet cam, and you'll have a reliable, fun cruiser that still has insane torque, and will roast your tires all day long.

If you're looking for the street-beast, more aggressive in nature, than I'd suggest a cam with an RPM range of 2500-6000. It'll have that old-school lope, but not so radical that you can't live with it, it'll pull harder in mid-range, and be an absolute ball to drive. This, BTW, is what I did with my engine. My .060" over 454 is running 9.25:1 hypereutectic pistons, 990 heads (yeah, I know, too big... but eventually it'll be a monster 496), and I'm running... the $60 camshaft SUM-1302 from Summit racing (http://www.summitracing.com/parts/su...make/chevrolet). Plugging the cam specs into the DCR calculator linked above, the dynamic compression ratio is 8.47:1, which is about as good as I can safely get.

All told, I’m into my engine for about $3000, including machine-work. Nice rectangle-port heads, forged crank, new 7/16” 4130 rods, hyper pistons, moly rings, H-bearings, externally balanced (Fluidampr). I’m guessing 525HP/500 lbs-ft, all on pump-gas. No, it’s not set up with forged pistons, but then I’m not going with a blower or nitrous, and my cam is done by 6K, so I don’t need all that high-dollar stuff…
Last piece of advice, and then I’ll shut up… it’s not high-horsepower that kills engines and breaks parts, it’s high RPM. If you limit your RPM to 5500 or 6000, you don’t need all the “sexy” parts, because it’s centrifugal force which tears components apart. Stress goes as a square of the RPM, not linear… If you double the RPM from say 3000 to 6000, the stress goes up by a factor of four. (Hope that makes sense!)
Ok, I’ll shut up now...
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old Jul 19th, 13, 04:51 PM
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Re: 489 Build

My vacuum is 11 at idle with 237/245 cam, true 10.3:1 CR

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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 13, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Mike
 
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Re: 489 Build

@Eric,

Thanks for all the information. It's of great value, I am still on the fence with the roller cam vs HFT cam myself. You are absolutely right, lots of $$$ to put out for hydraulic roller. I suppose part of the allure was the ease of drop in, no break-in, etc. Like you said, there are so many differing opinions out there as to what to use. Lots of guys saying go HFT cam, lots of guys saying, 'I don't like HFT cams in BBCs..'' Lots of stories about wiped out lobes on break in, etc. It can be overwhelming.

My car will never see the strip, it's purely for cruising, putting nasty black stripes on neighborhood streets and making babies cry. I think somewhere between your street cruisers and street beast that is an absolute ball to drive is accurate. I will never take the engine to 6000.

There is a scat assembly I'm considering, cast crank, forged rods and a choice of either KB hyper pistons or a forged piston. My question is... If I get the internally balanced assembly from Scat, does this mean I can run a neutral flywheel and neutral balancer? Scat says it's ready to drop in, and of course other engine builders say the opposite.

Off to Wallace racing for some reading on DCR... Thanks for all the help.
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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 13, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Mike
 
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Re: 489 Build

Are you running this in your elky 454 w/3.42s? I'm curious as to how this performs with those gears. What's your LSA? Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kettbo View Post
My vacuum is 11 at idle with 237/245 cam, true 10.3:1 CR
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old Jul 22nd, 13, 04:34 PM
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Re: 489 Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by norcal_68 View Post
@Eric,

Thanks for all the information. It's of great value, I am still on the fence with the roller cam vs HFT cam myself. You are absolutely right, lots of $$$ to put out for hydraulic roller. I suppose part of the allure was the ease of drop in, no break-in, etc. Like you said, there are so many differing opinions out there as to what to use. Lots of guys saying go HFT cam, lots of guys saying, 'I don't like HFT cams in BBCs..'' Lots of stories about wiped out lobes on break in, etc. It can be overwhelming.

My car will never see the strip, it's purely for cruising, putting nasty black stripes on neighborhood streets and making babies cry. I think somewhere between your street cruisers and street beast that is an absolute ball to drive is accurate. I will never take the engine to 6000.

There is a scat assembly I'm considering, cast crank, forged rods and a choice of either KB hyper pistons or a forged piston. My question is... If I get the internally balanced assembly from Scat, does this mean I can run a neutral flywheel and neutral balancer? Scat says it's ready to drop in, and of course other engine builders say the opposite.

Off to Wallace racing for some reading on DCR... Thanks for all the help.
It's my pleasure to help.

About losing a cam lobe, yes, it *does* happen... Only once for me, about 12 years ago. Nowadays, when I change the oil, I throw a bottle of the cam break-in additive in with the new oil; the main ingredient is the zinc additive they used to have in standard oil formulas. It's worked well for me (knockin' on wood, here!).

With regard to your rotating assembly, this (again) isn't quite as simple as some might make it out to be... As I'd mentioned before, RPMs increase the stress as a square of the function, rather than a direct linear correlation. This also comes into play on your rotating assembly; as the stroke increases, the distance that the piston must travel per revolution logically requires the piston to have a higher rate of acceleration. So an engine with a 3" stroke will actually move up and down more slowly than a similar engine with a 4" stroke. It's referred to as "critical piston speed,' and it relates to the entire bottom end assembly. From http://www.strokerengine.com/RodStroke.html, the calculation for mean piston speed is as follows:

Piston Speed in Feet per Minute = (stroke x 2 x rpm)/12. With a 4.25" stroke, if we assume 5500RPM, this works out to 3896 fpm.

From the same website, they list the aftermarket cast crankshaft limit as 3750 fpm, but a forged one at 4500 fpm. Reverse-engineering the RPM limit (using your crankshaft as the limitation (3750 fpm), the red-line becomes ~5300RPM.

Doing some snooping around along this vein, I've not found any manufacturer say "my hypereutectic pistons will live to xxxx feet per minute." Most statements are rather vague, though they indicate between 3500 and 4000 feet per minute... which puts you right back at the same range. I'd simply run with your current plan, and call 5500RPM as "the redline."

Now... it sounds like that's all in line with your expectation for an engine that'll be "making babies cry." Going back to the camshaft selection, I'd suggest looking at the "Thumpr" by Comp Cams, at http://www.speedwaymotors.com/COMP-C...FZF7Qgod_WgAgg.

Hydraulic flat-tappet, and the RPM range matches up to the rest of the package (off-idle to 5600 RPM). If you want to get a good idea of what it sounds like, do a youtube search of thumpr cam and 454, and you'll hear what it sounds like... The good news about the cam is that it sounds racy and should pull hard, and the lobe separation is narrow, so you get that loping idle. Other good news that actual valve lift and duration numbers for the intake side are very mild, so no "sexy" work needs to be done on the valve-train.

The price has come down a lot... when I was building my latest 454 (2 years ago) I went with the Summit cam because I was trying my damnedest to hide the costs... from my wife!

Anyway, glad I could help... I think sitting around, trying to crunch the numbers is just one of those fun things about building engines... and when you've put together the perfect recipe, getting in and DRIVING it... Ain't NUTHIN' better!
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