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Old 08-17-2005, 12:37 AM
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Beginner with new cam,heads,intake install

I'm intimitated , worried ,nervous. Have a 55 chevy with LS6 454 BBC, just purchased brodix race rite oval port heads, an isky solid lifter cam, rpm air gap intake, pro systems 950hp carb. Would like to attempt the teardown to short block and installation of these parts myself. I have no prior build experience, but I am a millwright so I can use most tools/ guages/indicators. I have two of the books that grumpy recommended the BBC IV and V, VI how to. Not sure if this learning experience is worth the sum of these parts and my LS6 being destroyed, know what I mean? What do you think guys , need some words of wisdom. Thanks

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Old 08-17-2005, 12:54 AM
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Like learning anything you need to be taught. Reading it from a book can work. I would personaly find someone who knows what they are doing to show you first time. Cam break in procedure is very important, as well as head torque, and valve setting. Any mistakes in these areas will cause you time and expense.

Things can go wrong with the most experienced builders. A friend who has built hundreds of motors and myself who has built my fair share, just built a motor for one of my cars. This motor has 1700 dollars in machining, new pistons, rods, cam, bearings, rings, heads, intake, distributor, carb, and tin. After 20 miles it started losing power and overheating. I disassembled it and everything is chewed up. We are now going through the process of figuring out what went first. Everything is starting to point to the new Edelbrock head on the passenger side. Only the cam lobes on the passenger side are wiped out. We will disassemble it tomorrow and check the specs.
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Old 08-17-2005, 05:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fast times
I'm intimitated , worried ,nervous. Have a 55 chevy with LS6 454 BBC, just purchased brodix race rite oval port heads, an isky solid lifter cam, rpm air gap intake, pro systems 950hp carb. Would like to attempt the teardown to short block and installation of these parts myself. I have no prior build experience, but I am a millwright so I can use most tools/ guages/indicators. I have two of the books that grumpy recommended the BBC IV and V, VI how to. Not sure if this learning experience is worth the sum of these parts and my LS6 being destroyed, know what I mean? What do you think guys , need some words of wisdom. Thanks
I say go for it, take your time, ask as many questions as possible untill you feel comfortable with any decisions reguarding this project. I'd rather take the time and learn to do it myself rather than trust someone else to do it- a bit anal I guess The old saying if you want something done right ya better do it yourself is very true IMO.
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Old 08-17-2005, 08:45 AM
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man am i jealous. a 55 with 454LS6 for your first build. stuff that dreams are made of. have you ever taken a v8 apart?

i believe they are easy to rebuild for the common man with common tools. do you have any freinds who have built and started their engines ? maybe they could help you drink the beer it will take to get the job done.

you can do it. keep the work area very clean.
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Old 08-17-2005, 12:05 PM
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This is my first attempt, I dont have any friends available because of shift work, ( I work 4 wks aft's 2wks days). I think the best option might be that I disassemble everything and have the car towed to a mech's shop, sad but safe
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Old 08-18-2005, 12:55 AM
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I admire anyone who's willing to take on such a project, as it is quite intimidating to the inexperienced. However, you have to start from somewhere and remember that engines on assembly lines are generally assembled by people who don't know how engines operate! You are one step ahead already by at least knowing the 4 stroke principles and what's needed to make an engine produce more HP! Now if you're just doing a straight forward rebuild then you need to mainly concentrate on cleanliness and basic clearances such as on the bearings (use of plastigage for this is perfectly acceptable), ring end gaps etc. Where I see amateurs falling down is in the cam and distributor basic phasing operations. If you go over and over the procedures in your head then you should'nt have a problem. Some people don't even know that a cam and crank need to be timed together! Then you need to know the principles for setting the lash on the rockers. Again, some people might make the mistake on setting them even when the valves are in the opening phases. Read various articles on what's required to get it right and then take on board the consistent methods.
Now, in your case with have a different scenario where you're modifying as well as rebuilding an engine. Going by books can make your head really numb and maybe put you off the task totally. If you were to assist an experienced engine builder you'd probably be shocked at the various short cuts he can make as the experience has given him the confidence to know what he can and can't get away with. If you were to ask him why he did'nt do such and such he might either laugh or give you a totally logical answer. That's the difference between an experienced engine builder and you in that you can't afford to take short cuts unless you've got someone in the know to guide you. Don't get me wrong, short cuts are not acceptable in highly stressed racing engines.........but when doing routine builds you'd be shocked at how many engines are literally thrown together and then run good! As I said, concentrate on the basics first before you look at the big picture, take one step at a time, ask questions when in doubt (you have us), give yourself a realistic time frame to do it, and never ever continue to work on an engine if you feel yourself getting tired as that is when care, logic and thoroughness goes out the window! Rob
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