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Old 05-10-2011, 05:31 PM
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350 machine shop questions

Hi, im sending my engine to the local builder here in about a week and have a few questions. First off, this is all on a budget. In trying to save money, id like to dissassemble the short block so i dont get charged for that. My question is, does the shortblock need to be assembled for the machinist to know how far the piston is "in the hole" or is their a set height that is known to where piston depth isnt neccesary in order to have the block zerodecked? The main bearings had some grooves in them but the crank looked and felt alright but i will have that machined. So how much should i expect to pay to have the block zerodecked, mains align honed, crank possibly reground? Anything i left out for the bottom end if the crank needs to be reground? Thanks

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Old 05-10-2011, 05:40 PM
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I just had a 454 block decked for flatness, line honed for ARP studs in stalled, freeze plugs, acid dipped, coated cam bearings installed for roller cam an cylinders honed.

$ 454.00

If you are wanting to zero deck they will need to mock assembly for assurance.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:44 PM
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Okay, thats kinda what i figured for the decking part. thanks. Anyone else have any input for the other q's?
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:14 PM
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Depending on the shop, the deck height can be accurately measured off of the crank c/l- the block need not be assembled for this, but the actual rod length (can change a smidgen when resized), crank stroke (can be manufacturing variations or errors from previous machining) and the compression height of the pistons (be sure to use 1.56" compression height pistons- not rebuilder 1.54" pistons) need to be known to get the block square to the deck and to "absolute zero" deck height.

You can also do this yourself to get a close estimate of how much needs to be removed to reach zero deck height and to see whether the decks are square or not- Decking a 350 In most builds, absolute accuracy isn't needed, you have some leeway when it comes to the quench distance, but shoot for as close to 0.040" as you can comfortably get.

Be sure to have the rods inspected and have ARP bolts installed along w/resizing them. In this day and age, the shop should be using deck plates to hone the block with.

Pull the freeze plugs and the oil galley plugs so the block can be completely cleaned. The threaded plugs can be VERY difficult to remove, heat is usually required because they're installed while the block is hot. Be sure to remember to replace the oil plug under the rear main bearing and the one up on the driver side deck, towards the rear.

Depending on the type of cleaner is used, the cam bearings may be reusable- but that leaves the chance of dirt being up behind the cam bearings- so the choice is yours as to removing them before cleaning or not. They will need to be replaced by the machine shop if you opt to remove them, and that's an added cost of the parts and labor, but the block will be clean behind the bearings where the annular oil passage can hold debris.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:36 PM
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Unless you have good reason to believe the mains are out, or you're going to use studs, have the mains checked before telling them to hone it.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:23 PM
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thanks for the reply cobalt. well in that case, i think i'll be disassembling it all. I really dont need it to be zerodecked but id like it to be real close so that shouldnt be a problem. I plan on reusing the pistons that are in it unless my builder says otherwise because they look real good, prolly a rering though. How would i know if they are 1.54 vs 1.56, model #? Also, if my rod bearings looked flawless (no grooves, scratches, etc) is that good enough? I know the builder somewhat so hes gonna help me out a little on price but i just wanna know approximately how much im gonna be spending. oh and heres the exact same build im doing that i stumbled upon today.
http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles...ock/index.html
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:36 PM
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and no i dont think the mains need align honed, i dont know why i put that in there haha
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowtie man
I just had a 454 block decked for flatness, line honed for ARP studs in stalled, freeze plugs, acid dipped, coated cam bearings installed for roller cam an cylinders honed.

$ 454.00

If you are wanting to zero deck they will need to mock assembly for assurance.
WOW!!! That's cheap! I live outside of Philly and the shops around here wanted $800 for the same work and I still needed it preped for the 383 stroke. I ended ud buying a summit block already done for $700.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksrt
WOW!!! That's cheap! I live outside of Philly and the shops around here wanted $800 for the same work and I still needed it preped for the 383 stroke. I ended ud buying a summit block already done for $700.
I already had the studs too.


http://www.rebelrebuilders.com/index.html
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1986c10
thanks for the reply cobalt. well in that case, i think i'll be disassembling it all. I really dont need it to be zerodecked but id like it to be real close so that shouldnt be a problem.
You are right- it won't be a problem. If you get within 0.005" piston down the hole, you're golden.

Quote:
I plan on reusing the pistons that are in it unless my builder says otherwise because they look real good, prolly a rering though. How would i know if they are 1.54 vs 1.56, model #? Also, if my rod bearings looked flawless (no grooves, scratches, etc) is that good enough?
Without seeing the block, I can only guess- but you'll definitely want to put fresh rings in it and lightly hone the cylinders to break any glaze and give a crosshatch pattern to them so the rings will seat. In this case (reusing pistons and no rebore), I would suggest you use moly inlay rings. Not chrome rings- moly rings as in molybdenum- a hard, slippery metallic compound that holds lubrication well, seats quickly, and resists scuffing. Moly rings don't need an aggressive bore finish, which works in your favor when trying to run the same pistons because you do not want to enlarge the bore any more than absolutely necessary. Get with your guy on these rings to get his take on using them.

For the compression height, use the part number or you can measure from the top of the pin bore to the crown w/calipers, then add 1/2 of the pin diameter (0.4635"-0.46375"). This will be close enough to determine a 0.020" difference.

As for the crank, looks can be deceiving- but at least it's not torn up. Still needs to be checked for taper, straightness and oil clearance. It's definitely a good sign if the crank spins easily, w/absolutely no 'tight' spots. If this is the case, the surface is smooth and the oil clearances are good, I'd go w/it as-is if I was on a tight budget.

Quote:
and no i dont think the mains need align honed, i dont know why i put that in there haha
I didn't know if you were going to request the line hone be done for a reason, or if the machinist was insisting on it regardless if it was needed or not, or what.

Some shops are going to do what THEY want to do, regardless of what YOU want or don't want. To my way of thinking (and this has held me in good stead for ~40 years) is I will be the one who makes the decisions on what I want or don't want done, and to hell w/anyone pushing unwanted or unneeded services or procedures off on me. If I ever felt this were the case, I'd walk away and never look back. If something comes up unexpected at my machine shop that goes against my instructions, the shop actually has the brains to pick up the phone and talk to me! What a concept!! That's why it is a good thing you have a working relationship w/the machinist you're using- as do I w/the two shops I use.

The other side of this is, you are responsible for the results when you are the one calling the shots. If you neglect to specify something that was needed and it wasn't done, it's all on YOU. If you do this, it's important that you are knowledgeable enough and capable of determining just what IS needed, and what can be left as-is. But it sure ain't rocket science, I can assure you. It is within the ability of anyone w/access to and the ability to read basic measurement tools. Between that and discussing the build w/the machinist, the chances of problems are greatly reduced, and the side benefit is you won't be paying for things that aren't needed. Like if you take a block in and tell the shop to "do whatever it takes to make it perfect", you can't blame them if you get back a block that has $1500-plus tied up in it- when $500 tops would have gotten the job done. And if you are working w/a plain Jane production block, line boring and honing costs more than a replacement block- so don't invest money into salvaging a block that isn't worth half of what you have in it. Same thing for a 0.060" over SBC block. Before I would take a block to 0.060" over- sonic checked or not, doesn't matter to me- I'd just a soon sell it for a few bucks and get a standard block to begin with.

On a side note, the vast majority of engines built by guys are not destined to me max effort pieces that need to be fully blueprinted. And if blueprinting IS needed, using an OEM production block isn't a good choice in the first place unless this is a requirement of some racing class to use production parts. The difference in strength between an aftermarket block and an OEM block is HUGE! A Dart Little M block can weigh 20-25 lbs more than a production block- and that weight isn't wasted, it's to make the decks and bulkheads thicker/stiffer, etc.


2-BOLT OEM BLOCK


4-BOLT OEM BLOCK


4-BOLT SPLAYED CAP OEM BLOCK Using Milodon Caps


4-BOLT SPLAYED CAP FULL WIDTH REGISTER BOW TIE BLOCK


4-BOLT SPLAYED CAP DART BLOCK
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Old 05-11-2011, 04:42 AM
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Thank you so much for the advice, it was dead on. I will be doing the hone and rering now that you mention it. My builder is a very straightforward and knowledgable guy (been building standard to very crazy motors 25+ years) and he is real cool because he wont do a thing i havent asked unless he lets me know first. He also will suggest things i havent said that he feels are neccesary so this deal should work out pretty well. The only problem is hes very reputable around here and i believe he has a pretty long waiting list but it will be worth it for good results. If i can find my 9/16 for my torque wrench i'll measure the clearances but i lost it somehow checking the mains which all were about .004 and looked nasty. Thank you very much for the in depth advice, i have a pretty dang clear understanding of what i need done now.
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Old 05-11-2011, 09:06 PM
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Im already gonna take the stuff and have it all gone through but i figured i post some pics to show you the mains crank bores etc

even the motor looks sad haha

mains

rod journal

pistons

bore, will a hone clean up the vertical scratches?
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Old 05-12-2011, 12:38 PM
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I did mine on a budget too. I've got married, bought a new house and had a child within the three years I've been building my "budget build".

For decking to 9.020 (used .015 shim head gasket), hot tanking, magnafluxing, connecting rods resized, ARP 383 studs press in, pistons hung, a light hone to establish crosshatch marks, and rotating assembly balanced, ran me about $550.

I installed the free plugs, cam bearings, and block plugs myself. Easy peasy. I bought the cam tool from Summit for $25. I had to modify there's to get it to work like I wanted it too. I would just have the shop install those since they'll have a better quality tool that's easier on the cam ring surface.

I'm not a machinist, but I'd say run your fingernail across those scratches. If you can't catch your fingernail, you're okay. If you can, it'll need to be oversized to clean up the marks.

That one main cap bearing looks pretty worn. I would at least get the crank polished if everything checks out okay. Shouldn't cost too much. It cost me $75 to have my polished to smooth out a nasty scratch in my crankshaft.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:49 PM
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Pictures can be deceiving, but it looks like this engine has been recently rebuilt. The crank looks turned or polished, there looks to be little or no ridge at the top of the cylinder, new pistons, and yes- those rod bearings have had dirt or whatever groove them pretty good.

Do the pistons have an oversize stamped into the top- it would be something like 030 or 060. Or a part number?

Look at the back side of the rod and main bearings, often there will be a size marked on them that will tell you if the crank has been turned.
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Old 05-13-2011, 08:37 AM
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thanks v8superbeatle for the input, i definitely wouldnt be able to catch anything with a fingernail so i think a hone might work. also very sweet build on the beatle, it looks fantastic.

cobalt, i was told it had 500 miles on a new rebuild which i doubt but it does look pretty fresh. pistons are 40 over and thats the only marking i could find on them. rods are 10 under but i forgot to look at the mains. i'll check them out when im out of work. thanks again
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