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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 7th, 03, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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Well, progress has been much slower than expected with the issues with the daily driver. Finally got to do the final assembly and detail work on the engine yesterday, and have a few questions.

1) I had this faint glimmer of hope that a set of stock or near stock length pushrods would work on this engine (see details below). But, when I whipped out my Manley pushrod length checker, and dropped in a new stock replacement pushrod, there is roughly 1/2" clearance between the checker and the pushrod. I expected a little difference, but does this sound anywhere close to normal?

2) These heads did come with 7/16" screw in studs...I have 3 sets of roller tip rockers ( ) for 3/8" studs, so I snagged the ARP 3/8" studs from another set of heads I have for another project and will use them. Is there any benefit from the bigger studs? I will probably put the bigger studs in later when I get some full roller rockers.

3) What spark plugs should I use with the pro-topline heads? Does anybody make a shorter than standard plug for header clearance (like the accel plugs)?

4) What kind of spring compressor can I use to add the inner springs to the heads after the cam is broken in? The spring compressor I use "on the motor" doesn't work with dual springs. I used a C-style compressor to remove the springs before installing the heads, just need something to put them back on without removing the heads again.


And some assembly notes...

1) That crap that comp cams calls cam lube is a joke. It looks like spaghetti sause, only runnier. Cranes cam lube is much, much better...much like the stuff comp USED to provide with their cams

2) Pro-topline users beware. I had to do some cleanup port work on every single port on these heads, to clean up the casting flash. Every port had what looked like veins in your arm...most about 1/8" wide and several inches long. Some was over 1/4" tall...think of the damage that could cause if a piece broke loose

3) The port to seat area on some of the ports left something to be desired. Its like some of the ports was cast about 1/16" off to one side. Nothing a die grinder can't fix though.

4) These heads came with some awesome, mega beefy hardware. Huge, thick valve locks, beefy screw in studs, beautiful swirl polished, undercut head stainless valves, and what appears to be bronze valve guides. Other than the casting flash issue, the ports on these things look like they will flow some serious air [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img] Plus, the heads are already machined for 1.55" springs and have a tall installed height. With the 2 factory shims under the springs, the installed heights are 1.80-1.82". Remove the shims and they are close to 1.90". Gets me thinking about solid roller cams...

5) The build quality and fit of the Moroso oil pan I got is excellent [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

6) Can't say the same thing for the Weiand 7530 intake though. Not bad, just rough and unfinished in a few places.

7) This 2 piece timing cover, although it looks great, looks like a leak waiting to happen. Oh, and when your tired, its real easy to install them backwards [img]graemlins/clonk.gif[/img]

8) If you buy a rod bolt stretch guage, do NOT get one from Proform

I also found that whoever shot the undercoating stuff under the hood of this nova must have been stoned out of his head when this car was built. I spent 1 whole day cleaning up under the hood...I bet I scraped off 20 pounds of that stuff. Looks like it was meant for the seam in the firewall...the just managed to hit everything else. Got the last coat of paint on the inner fenders and firewall yesterday, got the rest of the engine buttoned up (except for the intake...waiting until I get the pushrod situation taken care of), and now I am going to go install this shifter before I stab the whole mess in there. It's getting close [img]graemlins/hurray.gif[/img]

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 7th, 03, 06:31 AM
 
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Sounds like you are having fun!! Keep at it, you will get there...

Good luck... pdq67



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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 7th, 03, 08:18 AM
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I bought ARP rocker bolts because the ones Pro-Topline supplied weren't even straight.

I bought the assembled 180cc aluminum heads. There's so much shavings that I'm leery of using them without diassembly. The combustion chamber side of the spark plug holes have flashing that needs to be cleaned up. Although I returned the first set of heads because they looked like cra on the outside - lots of pin prick thype markings. The second set is better. Having said that, the design looks nice and I'm looking forward to getting them installed.

Rick Dorion
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 03, 02:30 AM
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Thanks for the tips! Could it be you have a small-base circle camshaft requiring longer pushrods? Seven-sixteenths studs are sturdier, less bending, than 3/8 studs. Usually 7/16ths studs used for very high lift cams.

I would put some Machinist's Bluing on the valve stem tip and adjust the rocker for minimial clearance and check the roll pattern on the valve tip to make sure the roller path was in the middle range of the valve tip.

I use GM's EOS (Engine Oil Supplement) for new engines and cam break-in. This is what it is made to do.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 03, 10:27 PM
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wow, you guys are making me glad i bought my pro action heads bare. my castings looked bitchin' too, no flash or anything, so good i left them untouched, till later when i take them off again. i can tell you they perform killer on my 406, and flowed well on a flow bench too. as for plugs, i use ngk V-power plugs, they are pretty darn short, and they are good plugs. if you want the number i use let me know, i'll go out to the shop and retrieve the info. good luck with your motor.

Sean

1968 rs with an old school 354" SB2.2 pump gas motor.

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 8th, 03, 10:54 PM
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68rs406,
What NGK short plugs are you using?
Thanks, Kiko
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 9th, 03, 09:57 PM
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Kiko, the plugs are NGK R5671A-7. they are pretty darn short, maybe not as short as the accel "header" plugs, but much shorter than normal.
i use them on my pro action angle plug heads, with 1 3/4 headers, and clearance is very good, with the exception of #3, which is tight to get in, but once its in the wire boot has plenty of clearance, no burned boots yet. they are not the cheapest plugs, but are excellent. i think they are around 1.50 each.
the heat range i use (7, as denoted by the -7 in the number) works good for me too, it's a 11.7:1 NA 406. i ran 8's too, and they worked good, but slightly cold for street driving. hope that helps [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Sean

1968 rs with an old school 354" SB2.2 pump gas motor.

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 03, 02:37 PM
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Geez, I looked hard at the Pro bare castings we got and they were the cleanest of any that I had worked on . . . cleaner than my Trick Flows (which were pretty nice BTW), much nicer than some Dart Pro 1's we looked at and cleaner than some Dart Iron Eagles I rebuilt. No seams at all on the inside . . . I'd be tempted to get another set of I were you.

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68 Camaro, E85 powered 427" small block. 9.96 @ 133 MPH, 1.319 sixty foot on motor. 5.92 eighth @ 116 with a 1.42 sixty breaking beams with back tire on the bottle
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 03, 10:15 PM
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yep, my findings were the same as eric's, kind of makes you go hmmm.

Sean

1968 rs with an old school 354" SB2.2 pump gas motor.

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 10th, 03, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Eric and 68RS, I have heard both sides...either the ports were super clean and smooth, or way nasty. I guess I got the nasty version. The area around the spark plug threads in each chamber was also pretty jagged, and even several chambers had jagged edges around where the valve seats was cut. I cleaned them all up...just wasn't too impressed with the casting/finish quality. Not real pleased with their tech support either...they don't answer the phone and they don't respond to e-mails.

This deal with the pushrods struck me as odd too. Just waiting on a different style pushrod length checker to arrive to confirm my findings, but it looks like I will need a +.500 pushrod.

All I can say is this thing better make brutal power, or I ain't going to be happy.
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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 03, 02:39 AM
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I agree with Travis. The things we go through in the search for wretched excess!

Rick Dorion
69 RS Conv therapy program, Autogear M22, 8-pt cage, with a new 410! SOLD
New therapy program - 68 Coupe. Will be survivor exterior, modern underpinnings! SOLD
67 Belair with perfect floors, pinchwelds and firewall. Hmmm!
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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 03, 03:51 AM
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I'm not so sure about that + .500" pushrod thing. If the valves are +.100" longer then it seems to me you would need +.100" pushrods. We used standard length valve stems in the 200cc set we built and standard length pushrods checked out perfect.

I personally never use a pushrod checker - only a standard length pushrod. I just mark the top of the valve tip and turn the engine over a few times. Remember, you just want the rocker arm tip generally centered throughout the cycle and off the edges of the valve stem tip. Roller tip rockers are the best for checking geometry IMO.

ps. a small base circle cam might add to the req'd pushrod length too.

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68 Camaro, E85 powered 427" small block. 9.96 @ 133 MPH, 1.319 sixty foot on motor. 5.92 eighth @ 116 with a 1.42 sixty breaking beams with back tire on the bottle
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 03, 12:31 PM
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hope your satisfied with the results when your done travis, i know i am with mine. i run a small base circle cam, zero decked block and .100 longer valves, and i ended up with a 8.00 pushrod, or .200 longer than factory. what type of checking p-rod are you using? didn't you have your first one take a crap on you, so you ordered another? you are using light checking springs with the length checker aren't you. i could see a checker failing or bowing excessively under a fairly heavy spring, giving odd readings possibly. at any rate good luck with it, i'm sure you'll be happy with it when its done [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

Sean

1968 rs with an old school 354" SB2.2 pump gas motor.

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.

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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 03, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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68, I was using a manley pushrod length checker, the one that looks like a plastic rocker arm that just drops down over your studs, then you measure the clearance between either the checker and valve tip, or checker and pushrod tip. The .500 clearance was an eyeball measurement between the checker and stock length pushrod. That is why I ordered a length checker that looks like a pushrod but is threaded so you can adjust it to fit right. FWIW, supposedly these heads use a +.100 valve but I am using a standard base circle comp 294s cam. The block was decked to a 9.005 deck height per the machinist (I have no way to check that). I don't know what the base circle size of the 294s cam is, I assume it is smaller than a stock cam so even theoretically I would need a +.075 to +.100 pushrod. I need to recheck the pushrod part number too...maybe they sent ones for a factory roller cam motor? I need to go dig around in the storage building and find a factory pushrod to compare.

I've been on a roll with the screwups too When I installed the 2 piece timing cover, I used the wrong gasket between the block and inner piece. I thought it was strange that I had to cut off the bottom part of the gasket [img]graemlins/clonk.gif[/img] I had no idea it would be such a PITA to find the outer gasket. I ended up ordering a couple of them from summit, because nobody with 100 miles of here has them or even knows what I am talking about. I also forgot to clay the pistons and check p/v clearance, so now I have to do it the hard way unless I want to remove the heads (which I don't). I also forgot to order a new oil filter adapter for the block and fuel pump pushrod until the last minute. I couldn't reuse the originals off the engine because when I had all the engine bolts stored in a plastic bucket with a lid, apparently the few aluminum pieces in there caused everything to corrode badly. The fuel pump pr is trashed, the oil filter adapter is trashed, and nearly every bolt was so ate up I just threw it all away. Oh well, its just money

2 quick questions. What valve spring compressor do you use for dual springs without removing the heads? My compressor doesn't work on the dual springs. Also, does anybody know if flowmaster sells the individual pieces to their kits (force II kit, specifically)? I need the 1st 2 pieces after the collectors to match up the new headers with the rest of the exhaust system. Nobody around here can mandrel bend pipe.

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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old Sep 11th, 03, 10:12 PM
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travis, isn't building your own motor fun [img]graemlins/angry.gif[/img] . actually i do love doing it, always have, but issues always come up, anytime you deviate from factory or go to hi performance parts.
the pushrod checker you are getting sounds like the one i use, its a comp, and looks like a regular pushrod but unscrews and is marked in .100 per turn. very nice to use, works well. however, it sounds like you are using it with the springs your running in the head, and they are likely fairly heavy. be careful about tweeking the checking rod, as i believe they are really meant to be used with a light "checking" spring. i think your right about the 294s, it's base circle is probably smaller than most, i'll bet your pushrods end up being around 8.00, since your motors specs are not far from mine. as for spring compressors, i used a big mechanical C clamp type, that sort of works with a ratchet action. it's sketchy at best with heavy springs, but will work. when i got my new pro action heads, i had my machinist buddy assemble them, he has a pnuematic compressor, and when you are dealing with 200# seat pressure solid roller springs (which mine are), this is the only way to go. good luck, remember, it'll be worth it when your done [img]graemlins/beers.gif[/img]

Sean

1968 rs with an old school 354" SB2.2 pump gas motor.

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.

Franklin D. Roosevelt
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