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Old 03-07-2010, 09:42 PM
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Edelbrock RPM Air Gap BBC / Felpro Gskts

Hi Guys.

I bought one of these (PN#7561) a while ago to fit my 454 with 781 oval port heads.

I haven't run the engine much (maybe 3 hours total) and I've had this intake on and off several times ... one of which was due to a wiped cam.

Right from the initial installation, I've had a little trouble with the alignment of the hole at the RH front ... the stud that mounts the alternator bracket.

There was absolutely no way that I could get things lined up when I tried to install said bracket. So I trimmed the (brand new, chromed) bracket to what I felt was the bare minimum, and STILL had a heckuva time. I just refused to start trimming the outside of the manifold runner!

I found that if I left ALL of the bolts really loose, I could get that bolt in and started. After getting that bolt shouldered (but not tight) I could still get all the other bolts in, and they all went in using fingers only if you wiggled things around a bit.

Herein lies the problem. I noticed that as soon as you torqued all those bolts up, the rear rubber seal at the rear of the intake would slip out. I'd back off the bolts, push it back in, and tighten again, watching carefully.

I thought I had success until after I fired the engine up some time later. Sure enough the seal has slid out the back, and it's slobbering oil all over, again. (Arrrrrggggh)

I like Felpro. So does almost every technician I know, including my buddy Steve. He had a look at it, and thought that perhaps it was a design problem. The Felpro seal are flat on the edge, and have a raised ridge in the center with 3 little teets that press into holes in the block. Yes, I have probed and cleaned them out, and the seal appears to lay quite flat with just a gob of red silicone in the corners.

Steve says that many (Ford?) intake gasket sets utilize a "channel" type rear seal that protrudes downward on both sides of the rear of the block, and suggests either trying a different brand (i.e. Victor) OR ... just throwing away the seal and using a healthy bead of black silicone. (Ugh!)

So what do you think? Edelbrock problem (hole not drilled in the right location)? Felpro problem?

Anybody else seen this before, or have any suggestions?
To top it all off ... I'm a bit worried that I have stripped the threads in the intake where the t-stat housing bolts on. It's starting to piss me off. Maybe it would look good on the end of a chain ... when I throw it overboard.

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Last edited by 66GMC; 03-07-2010 at 09:46 PM. Reason: "teets" - original word rhymed with "bits"
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66GMC
brand new, chromed bracket
I think I see your problem. Every time I have purchased a chromed piece, it has been junk, crapola, no goodski, dead player.

Take that worthless piece of garbage off the motor and sling it over the fence. Get a stock piece and rattle can it the engine color and be done with it.

Run a fat bead of silicone across the china walls and be done with that too. Sling those worthless rubber seals over the fence.
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:37 AM
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GM quit using the end rubbers a long time ago. No one I know of still uses them- like the OEM's, a silicone-type sealant is used.

As far as the "ugh" factor, the sealant can be smoother w/a finger while uncured- just do it once, if you try to go back over it too much, it will get ugly.

If a bit gets smeared onto the intake, use an acetone or lacquer thinner dampened rag and carefully wipe it off before it cures. If it gets on the painted block, unless it's real bad, just leave it- but there should be very little smeared around in any event.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:03 AM
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You should also be using the Fel-Pro Performance Print-o-Seal Fiber based gaskets with the silkscreened silicone bead around each port on them, they come with a cork end strip with pre-applied glue on them. Glued to a clean surface they never move. Or you can use the silicone sealer bead.

The gasket you are using now that comes with the rubber end seals is the Perma-Torque Blue gasket, it is not meant for aluminum installations, it is for cast iron head to cast iron intake. It's expansion and rebound(sealing) characteristics are not correct for the greater expansion due to heat that aluminum has.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:12 AM
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Thanks for the input, guys.

Sounds like I just need to stop being anal about the silicone.
Sealing up that oil leak IS the priority, and honestly ... once I get that cab back on the frame ... you'd probably have to stand on your head and use a mirror to boot, just in order to even SEE that area.

Maybe I'll try a set of those Print-o-seal gaskets, too.

Next on the shopping list: One pail of ambition.
(Gosh I'm getting tired of having to do "repeat work".)

TechInspector is probably right about that cheapie chrome stuff as well. Those "tall valve covers" were a flimsy joke, too. The rest of the brackets and pulleys SEEM to be OK, though.

I still think that some of the problem lies in the intake design. I would rather that Edelbrock should be the ones to broach out a little more clearance around that bolt/runner than me doing it.

Last edited by 66GMC; 03-08-2010 at 05:19 AM.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66GMC
I'm a bit worried that I have stripped the threads in the intake where the t-stat housing bolts on.
Easy enough to do.

There's always a thread repair insert like Heli-CoilŪ.

Or- if the threads are there, but getting iffy- use a stud in the hole w/a dab of Loctite. Then a nut to secure the water neck. This reduces the wear and tear on the threaded hole.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
...
There's always a thread repair insert like Heli-CoilŪ.

Or- if the threads are there, but getting iffy- use a stud in the hole w/a dab of Loctite. Then a nut to secure the water neck. This reduces the wear and tear on the threaded hole.
Again, I think that some of these threaded areas on intakes should be sleeved with something like stainless steel during the manufacturing process.
("Made with pride on the American side.")
How many times have you seen stripped threads or worse ... cracked by-pass hose connections? I know ... a lot of that is "meat-heads" overtightening stuff, or trying to disassemble while the intake is still hot.
I guess everyone believes that it won't happen to them ... until it does.

So yeah, I will install a helicoil, and may even use your stud suggestion.

Contemplating converting it to velcro, too.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66GMC
Contemplating converting it to velcro, too.
LOL!!
~~~

You got the intake on the run, now. By the time you're done, it will be BETTER than it started.

I remember a set of SBC Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads I had, way back when they first came out (IIRC, cost like $720 from Summit- to my door. TF an address that had to be right next door to Summit, something like 6 numbers different was all between them).

Anyway, these castings were not helicoiled anywhere. Not even the exhaust side. I got them on OK, but thought at the time, they should come already done. But for the price, I wasn't kicking too much.

AFA that bracket- I would tend to agree that chromed brackets are pretty much crap, compared to an OEM bracket. A can of black goes a long way towards making the brackets, pulleys, etc. presentable.

Just no GLOSS black, especially on the engine compartment (rad. support, wheel wells, firewall, etc.), IMHO. Gloss might be OK on the brackets.

EDIT- I agree "redo's" are the absolute PITS. At least it wasn't the oil pump pickup that was left off...

Last edited by cobalt327; 03-08-2010 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
~~~

EDIT- I agree "redo's" are the absolute PITS. At least it wasn't the oil pump pickup that was left off...
Nope, not mine! That sucker got a spot-weld job, right out of the gate.
And believe me, there was no mistake knowing that the oil pump was sucking up cold (50° F) 15w40 Rotella T. A 3/8" air drill and a 18.5 CFM compressor was barely sufficient for the job!

The 8-qt pan and matching pickup were also ordered from the same chrome vendor as all of the other trinkets.
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