Originally Posted by 64nailhead
Cobalt & F-Bird,
Being a novice to engine building, Barry mentioned something that I've never heard of: polishing the head chamber in an effort to get a better/cleaner burn to eliminate detonation. I'm asking how effective this is and if there is a benefit for lower compression, say 9.5 - 10.5 compression when making tuning adjustments for a novice like myself. I ask because I'm going to be changing my head gaskets to get a more desirable quench distance and I could polish the chamber at the same time.
If you have covered all the other bases, and your time is available, sure- go ahead and polish away. Percentage-wise I believe it's a waste of time/effort on a street engine, but there are others who would have you believe it's a "must-do". Beyond knocking down any irregularities that could cause preignition (glowing hot spots), I just do not agree.
If you want to make a difference, do the things that will give a significant, measurable improvement- like keeping the quench tight, maintaining good ring seal by torque plate honing the cylinders, maintaining a good valve stem oil clearance which will also keep the seat concentric, a good valve job and cleaning the bowl up, etc.
Edit- Another avenue you might want to explore is the various coatings applied to the piston crowns and combustion chambers that are said to aid heat retention, etc. Not a cheap process, but there might be something to them that goes beyond polishing the chambers.