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Old 11-30-2008, 05:58 PM
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How many of you

had your block cylinders sonic thickness checked? Seems as though some of our local shops don't do it, unless it's a race engine. Wanted to see how many of you all had it done.

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Old 11-30-2008, 08:08 PM
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I've never had it done. I stay conservative with overbores usually going 30, then 60. By then, I figure it has 300k on it and its due for retirement
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:25 PM
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I used to use an Ultrasonic thickness tool at an old job and checked a few engines with it when I could borrow it on weekends.

What I found was that core shifting wasn't as big a deal as I thought it might be, what was more interesting was the many porous spots in the castings I located about 0.060-0.080" below the surface.

From using that tool I learned that castings are like a baked bread, the farther you get under the skin the more holes your going to find. In other words less overbore is always better, you never know what your going to find going another 0.020".
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Old 12-01-2008, 12:29 AM
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As Curtis said, never had the reason to do it and I don't think most "neighborhood" shops have the equipment. Now if I was going to build a .060 400 sbc or a .125 over 283 ....or something like that then yes, I would have it sonic tested.
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:57 AM
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On any engine where the main reason to the rebuilding is to increase the power it is a very good idea to have the thrust side of the block checked.

The older the block the better the idea. The blocks rust away from inside and some of the cylinder walls become to thin to bore at all.

Might run 75-125 to assure you that it is worth paying to machine/use an old block. Look for min .180 to use it, AFTER the boring is done..

Then pressure check the block after the boring and BEFORE any further machine work and you will be good to go.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:45 AM

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I think Sonic Testing is a valid option for many engine builds, BUT the thing to remember is you have to look at the Use, Power, RPM and a host of other criteria.
For the normal engine rebuild, it's not usually needed, and probably seen by most as over-kill. Then again, there are some engines that had legitimate block issues. Many older engines used sand castings, and in fact the original Flathead had 56 individual Sand Castings that had to be hand positioned into place, before the mold was filled with molten cast Iron. This made every engine a uniquely separate and individual engine block. Not a good thing when block integrity, strength and reliability issues are expected. This is why Sonic testing has to be weighed on a case by case basis. If in doubt, then Test it out.
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