Engine Advice - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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Larry
 
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Engine Advice

Quick History. 1968 Camaro. 327 w/ double hump heads. I rebuilt the engine/heads when I was 18 and has about 5k miles. Has been in conditioned storage for 22 years. Recently brought to my house - rebuilt suspension, brakes, and steering. Got running but not well - valve springs/seals shot. I eventually want to do an LS swap (in probably next 2 years), but for now would like to be able to drive around while working on replacing quarters and repaint.

So the questions:
1) Do you think I can just replace springs and seals and make engine serviceable?
2) Worth having heads completely rebuilt? Or buy aluminum heads?
3) Should I do a lower end overhaul as well?

I don't want to invest a lot of money in current setup due to plans to replace with LS motor down the road.

Thanks for your recommendations.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 06:28 AM
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Re: Engine Advice

You could have it rebuilt or get one someone else rebuilt that is also going ls. I am seeing small and big blocks for under 3 grand on CL. It only has to last two years and then you can jump in on the bandwagon with the LS. I am thrilled with the LS guys they are selling off perfectly running big and small blocks for peanuts, makes me not afraid to beat the crap out of mine blow it up and by another one on the cheap. There is nothing wrong with a good running small block and nothing like the torque and sound of a big block.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 07:55 AM
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Re: Engine Advice

Change the spring and seal and give it a shot. Should be good to go.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigblockragtop View Post
You could have it rebuilt or get one someone else rebuilt that is also going ls. I am seeing small and big blocks for under 3 grand on CL. It only has to last two years and then you can jump in on the bandwagon with the LS. I am thrilled with the LS guys they are selling off perfectly running big and small blocks for peanuts, makes me not afraid to beat the crap out of mine blow it up and by another one on the cheap. There is nothing wrong with a good running small block and nothing like the torque and sound of a big block.
Thanks for the reply - looking to do something low cost to get by until I am able to put in my long term solution, which used to be a sbc 383 with 700R. But really like the idea of fuel injection/power/non-leaking power train. I have read a lot of debate on conventional small/big block vs the LS craze. I have some time before I make my final decision. I will also know more after putting 5.3 in a 57 GMC truck. Would like to address my quarters/paint and be able to just drive for now. Again - appreciate the feedback.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega$69 View Post
Change the spring and seal and give it a shot. Should be good to go.
Awesome - thanks for the input. I'm going to give it a whirl.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 01:46 PM
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Re: Engine Advice

LS-x will not make more power due to just it having electronic fuel injection. A carb will do the same (mix fuel and air) for much less cost and make more peak power while doing so.

Where you can not beat an LS-x EFI engine with a stick is with the computer controlled ignition, fuel enrichment (of greatest importance with a power adder) and the single most important power contribution is it's variable cam timing that this engine family has on their higher horsepower variants. The computer control allows the engine to run on kerosene if need be by adding or pulling ignition lead, and by enrichment of or the leaning out of the fuel air mixture. The variable cam timing allows the little 5.3L V8 in my Silverado to run as if it had a 7.4L BBC under the hood. It is variable cam timing (and dual overhead cams) that allows a little 5L liter Ford Coyote engine to make 500 rear wheel horse power (though the 6 psi boost from the intercooled blower helps some I am sure).

Any SBC will interchange with what you have now (except for the reverse cooled heads off of an LT-1 or LT-4 engine with an Opti Spark distributor sticking out of the timing cover). The newer the better so far as increased breathing for added power goes. But a set of heads pulled off of a running rebuildable core engine from a junk yards will be the fastest way to getting back on the road.

So far as bang for the buck goes the SBC still is your best buy, then a BBC will be your best second choice despite it's added girth and weight it can still pump out nearly one horse per cube for less money than the LS-x swap will run you. If you do go LS-x look for the largest displacement you can afford that has variable cam timing (not all 5.3 liter engines had it, and even fewer 6.2 liter engines where so equipped. I think all 7.0 liter engines had it but they are drawing a premium price as every one wants one. I also recommending reading up on not only swapping over to an Ls-x engine by buying a reading a book on the subject but learn about the various generation of LS-x engines and it the engine you want has the best head as they are not all interchangeable, and horsepower is made in the head.

Big Dave
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 02:06 PM
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Re: Engine Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by oramac1968 View Post
Awesome - thanks for the input. I'm going to give it a whirl.
If you're using an o-ring type and not positive-stop, the o-ring is fitted after the spring is compressed.

You may already know that, lots don't though
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 02:44 PM
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Re: Engine Advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by rodent4 View Post
If you're using an o-ring type and not positive-stop, the o-ring is fitted after the spring is compressed.

You may already know that, lots don't though
I hate the O-ring type as they will get hard and brittle with heat and then just fall off the valve stem.

Instead I recommend using the Studebaker style umbrella seals for a stocker. They used to be included in all Victor and FelPro full gasket sets.

For a track driven car I recommend cutting the heads to accept Perfect Circle spring held nylon plastic valve stem seals. But they will remove almost all oil from the stem and some oil is needed to prevent valve stem wear on a street driven car.

Big Dave
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 04:08 PM
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Re: Engine Advice

LS engines are really good. My issue is what happens when Chevy come out with the next new best engine. Now your LS is just an old engine implant. Your 327 should do just fine. All to often I see guys build cars with way too much engine and after the first year stop driving it because it runs hot and guzzle a ton of gas. Just be realistic with what you want
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 04:29 PM
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Re: Engine Advice

As Vegas (John) suggested, change the springs and seals with heads on engine.
Get Cadillac umbrella seals, 11/32" stem, and a spring tool bolting the to stud, a length of clothesline, to shove into the selected cylinder.
Remove all spark plugs for easy engine rotation.
Piston part at down, shove rope, turn engine pressing rope against valves, remove rocker arms, attach spring compressor tool onto stud.
Press down spring, remove keepers, release spring and remove all items.
Replace with new parts and reinstall and rotate engine and remove rope.
Repeat seven times. Should be good for more than two years.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 04:46 PM
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Re: Engine Advice

Or you can use a hose and compressed air fitting in the spark plug hole instead of rope
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Advice

Never used the umbrella seals. Do i use the o-ring seal with it? Or instead?

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 06:14 PM
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Re: Engine Advice

Instead of.

They are dirt cheap to buy in bulk if you are in the habit of building a lot of motors.

100 Umbrella Valve Stem Seals Chevy sb Ford GM sbc Small Block 11/32" Valves | eBay

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 3rd, 16, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Advice

Thanks!

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 16, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Engine Advice

I have found some 906 Vortec heads on Craigslist for a good price with an Edelbrock 2116 intake.
Questions:
1) Will this be a direct bolt in for my 327 with .447 lift cam and Q-jet carb? I find some resources that say lift is good until .460 and others saying require modifications?
2) Regular head gaskets and lower intake gaskets from 96-99 chevy 350 truck?
3) Header recommendation for this setup?

Appreciate everyone's help. Funny how something simple with these cars turns into more.
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