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Old 11-05-2009, 05:20 PM
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Crack detection in SBC block

I'm on the verge of purchasing a cheap SBC Vortec truck engine locally. It's partially stripped (intake and 1 head off) and was removed from the Suburban it was in because one of the heads lost an exhaust seat which ended-up putting a few dings in the piston and the chamber. Also, the same head has a MONUMENTAL crack in it going from one of the bolt holes across the sealing surface of the head. Anyway, the guy has a pair of good L98 iron heads which he's supplying with the engine. My question is this... if the head lost that valve seat due to a severe overheat, it's possible that the block cracked at the same time. Does that sound reasonable? If so, is it essential to magnaflux or pressure-test the block at a machine shop, or are cracks usually visible to the naked eye and a good flash light? I'm taking a bit of a gamble on the engine given what happened to it, but the cylinder bores look good and, being a Vortec, it's a factory roller block.

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I would get the deck surface magged. Also the inner valley above the lifter bores on each side.. Somebody cooked this motor so beware! Most deck cracks are visible IF you know where to look.
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