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Old 04-05-2011, 07:45 PM
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looking for updates on Singh grooves ?

I started to put together a 383/385 sbc package for my truck engine build.
Seems the rage about the grooved heads and higher compression was something to get a handle on. The power will be sufficient anyway, but the prospect of more with a higher compression and lower octane fuel is quite intriguing. What is most concerning however is the move away from the tight quench clearance I had planned on. It's not as easy to rectify as simply changing heads. So my question is with Summit vortec style heads, chamber polish.71.2 cc. Mild port rework, 3 angle valve job , 1.94/1.500 , Cam is Comp-cams 12-411-8 roller,210/214 @ .050, 260/264 adv. dur. 474/474.
What does it look like I can safely shoot for, compression/87 octane?
And has anyone come up with the quench that will work with the grooves.

Any advice I can get at this stage would be most helpful.
Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-06-2011, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumbles
I started to put together a 383/385 sbc package for my truck engine build.
Seems the rage about the grooved heads and higher compression was something to get a handle on. The power will be sufficient anyway, but the prospect of more with a higher compression and lower octane fuel is quite intriguing. What is most concerning however is the move away from the tight quench clearance I had planned on. It's not as easy to rectify as simply changing heads. So my question is with Summit vortec style heads, chamber polish.71.2 cc. Mild port rework, 3 angle valve job , 1.94/1.500 , Cam is Comp-cams 12-411-8 roller,210/214 @ .050, 260/264 adv. dur. 474/474.
What does it look like I can safely shoot for, compression/87 octane?
And has anyone come up with the quench that will work with the grooves.

Any advice I can get at this stage would be most helpful.
Thanks in advance.
The world of Singh grooves has become very quiet, I think that storm has blown through leaving little impact behind it. From what I've read and been able to test, they seem to work well when fresh; that is idle is smoother, higher compression is tolerated against a chosen octane fuel, power up a small amount. However, in the longer term as seen on the street within a few thousand miles as carbon builds in the chambers the advantages are wiped away and in fact the engine becomes even more detonation sensitive than it would be at the same compression ratio without the grooves. I suspect this is due to either the carbon depth in the grooves providing enough mass for a hot spot to form that preignites the mixture or provides an insulation that slows the heat loss to the cooling system resulting in combustion temps and pressure high enough to cause spontaneous combustion ahead of the flame front. To research this further would take university or industry level test facilities.

Experience says that designing for 87 octane versus 91 is going to have a difference of about 30 horses for an otherwise identical engine. 87 will require less compression or if the same as 91 then less ignition advance, there just isn't any tricky way around this. If you're surrendering squish/quench to increased clearance then the effectiveness of those functions is going down which means the power you can get will have to go down or the octane you use will have to go up.

Bogie
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Old 04-06-2011, 03:34 PM
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Have you actually seen any evidence of the carbon fouling or do you just suspect it? I've seen a few engines disassembled with them and never saw any signs of excessive carbon build up in the grooves.

The odd thing about them, which doesn't appear to be well tested, is that most of the results appear to be that of increasing combustion speed/efficiency, except that going to a more efficient chamber design with a faster burn rate tends to decrease the amount of total timing you can run to make best power, where engines with grooved chambers tend to like more timing...
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:05 PM
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I haven't heard of this idea till recently. Some really believe it works well.
Then there is the people who tear motors apart regularly and those that just want overall efficiency. Which includes under hood time.

Myself...I think I fall somewhere in between, with limited funds and a desire to say I came up with the best possible combination the first time.

The engine that I'm running now was one of those fill the whole for now type deals that turned out to be quite a little torquer.

Old 350 block and dished pistons from drivers side dipstick days. 98 / 305, 1.84/1.50vortec heads bore matched, ported bowls and polished. Lots of hours spent on the heads. Came out to 62cc. Stock truck cam in 4 deg. adv. 9.94/1 ,.025 deck, .015 head gasket . The only real changes where the heads and cam timing.
Ran surprisingly strong without detonation as long as you kept the timing back. Just ran right out of breath at 4500 though.
Only cost 421 bucks to put together , and as long as you shifted at the right time you could impress most everyone that could enjoy a little thrill.
LITTLE THRILL !!
Pretty fuel efficient too. Gained about 2 mpg over stock. on 87.
Put 94 in it, crank up the timing a bit, and you could have a bit more fun.
The guy that's buying that motor from me says it'l do everything his little M-Carlo needs.

It almost leads me to believe that with my current heads and d-dish pistons with a .037 quench on a steel rod 5500 rpm truck motor. I could do almost everything the grooves could, without finding later on that they were a net loss and became more detonation prone.

I'm sure though because time has passed and gas prices have gone to the
87 expensive, 91 too much and 94 W T H !!
That this topic needs a fresh look and input from people who have had first hand experience.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverback
Have you actually seen any evidence of the carbon fouling or do you just suspect it? I've seen a few engines disassembled with them and never saw any signs of excessive carbon build up in the grooves.

The odd thing about them, which doesn't appear to be well tested, is that most of the results appear to be that of increasing combustion speed/efficiency, except that going to a more efficient chamber design with a faster burn rate tends to decrease the amount of total timing you can run to make best power, where engines with grooved chambers tend to like more timing...
That's interesting Silverback,

Sounds like you have found that these grooves do work. What type of configurations have you seen?
Results ?
Can you elaborate?
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:44 AM
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HERE is a long thread on the Singh grooves.

THIS is a thread from Speed Talk.

A FEW SINGH GROOVE LINKS

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005...ch_and_st.html
http://www.popsci.com/cars/article/2...rch-holy-grail
Dyno charts- not much better w/grooves- http://www.revsearch.com/grooves/grooves.html

Speedtalk forum thread- http://speedtalk.com/forum/viewtopic...r=asc&start=15

Hotrodders Forum thread-
Singh Grooves and chamber advice

Below are a couple images, some that may have been presented here by a member 'automotive breath' who is a staunch supporter of the grooves. FWIW, his work looked good.

The piston is a 508 BBC w/grooves.
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Old 04-07-2011, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverback
Have you actually seen any evidence of the carbon fouling or do you just suspect it? I've seen a few engines disassembled with them and never saw any signs of excessive carbon build up in the grooves.

The odd thing about them, which doesn't appear to be well tested, is that most of the results appear to be that of increasing combustion speed/efficiency, except that going to a more efficient chamber design with a faster burn rate tends to decrease the amount of total timing you can run to make best power, where engines with grooved chambers tend to like more timing...
Tried them a few years ago and did some back to back tests against same engine build on a couple engines. One went to the street and one to a circle track racer. The dyno tests should no change in torque or power, the numbers between modified and unmodified weaved back and forth over a hand full of runs and never varied more than what I consider the accuracy range.

The real world tests didn't show anything on the race engine. However, on the street motor there was a definite short term improvement in detonation resistance in part throttle cruise situations over un-grooved heads. But that went away over several months of use and in fact the engine became more ping prone everywhere and it was not sensitive to octane changes. Disassembly showed the combustion chambers had carboned including the grooves, this where I supposed that this carbon presented a hot spot the ignited the unburnt mix ahead of the flame front causing the pinging.

One has to recognize that an engine would like a different amount of squish/quench depending on operating circumstance at any moment of its use. Singh grooves offer two things that are:

- Upon squish there will be an ejection from the groove (s) in addition to the more general fan ejection from the width of the step. This probably tells a story that groove placement and size play an important function and that any configuration may not be as good as some specific config.

- Upon quench the grooves offer a path for the flame front to penetrate the deck. On the surface this would appear to reduce the heat sinking capabilities of the closed surfaces, but the existence of the grooves would at the same time offer more area to sink temperature so without very descrete measurmenat who knows what's really going on here. The effectiveness of this is probably one of those things that is also variable with the operating condition of the engine at any given moment.

A third variable we've never addressed is the composition of the fuel where factors of how free it is of impurities ranging from sulfur compounds to varnishes to the exact component mix will be different between fuel in the US and those found in other parts of the world. The exact mix of things like acetone, toluene and the other chemical make ups of the fuel must have a bearing upon the effectiveness of these grooves. This is where I came out with the thought that this will take more disciplined study using the kind of observational tools available in major university or industrial labs.

I've not seen anything, including my own efforts, that show anything that reaches beyond the band width of conjecture. That doesn't mean a definitive study isn't out there, it just means I haven't stumbled into it. The efforts to get combustion chambers cleaner over a long period of time that we see happening as a result of better structural components that also fit together better, improved lubricants and detergent fuels that there may be future opportunities to improve combustion. But to keep things optimal inside an engine for what is a typical consumer vehicle life-span is no mean feat. Although we've seen marked improvement since the mid 1980's. when I was in high school in the late 1950's getting a car to 100,000 miles was an amazing event sure to bring all the men in the neighbor hood over to look in awe and comment with their stories. But even getting the car that far would have involved an oil and filter change every couple thousand mile, a touch up to the tune up every 3 to 5 thousand miles and a heavy tune up every 10 thousand miles, probably a valve job around 60,000 miles. I remember growing up on San Diego TV with the ads for Engine Eddy's $39.95 ring and valve special and business was good. The times, they are a changin'.

Bogie
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:36 PM
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It looks as though the key to clean combustion would be to run as lean a mixture as possible from the beginning of the study of any given configuration, using standard known ig. tim. for the heads chosen ie. vortec 32 total, and to be safe vacuum to manifold. or non at all. If a rich condition or restricted air intake causing a rich condition occurs then a chamber cleaning is in order. Depending on the severity of the fouling , a spray cleaner might be something to try.
Then I think timing is where I would start. Until detonation occurs.
The dimensions of this mixture ejection platform, formerly known as squish / quench, area, both terms which don't seem to describe this area in this system, is in need of close consideration. Fear of leaving "tight squish" behind is probably the worst thing that could happen. The gasses trapped in this smallest of areas is probably so close to an inert state that it's combustion is almost non existent, or at least delayed stale. And it would most likely foul in the groove. So the large .056 - .070 then enhances cleaner burn.
Looking at the idea of matching grooves in the piston tops seems even more heat dispersing. At the same time reducing the cut depth into the head, and thereby a lesser chance of fouling or cracking.
Interesting for d-dish, or stepped pistons.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:41 AM
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Thanks Guys, for your input. The subject has had allot of going over. Only a couple of people have tried them, and none with any long term results have posted anything here. I must admit it looks tempting to try my own build with the grooves. But I need more parameters to build from. And like Bogie says , " study facilities " Which is what this place is, hotrod university.

So if there is anyone out there with personal experience that wants to share their actual build dimensions and resulting improvements or failures, please join in.

The most interesting build in my eyes would be an engine with 100,000 miles on it already. So if you just carved up an old set of heads and tried them and it didn't work out , that counts too. It's like what to expect without actually putting the miles on. Cause let's face it, are we going to be here reading this in six more years from now ?
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Old 04-22-2011, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumbles

Myself...I think I fall somewhere in between, with limited funds and a desire to say I came up with the best possible combination the first time.
I'm with you... I have dropped my engine building frequency considerably since I had a 60-hour a week job. Now that I'm unemployed I have no money to build anything My latest build was going to include grooves but it had stock Vortec heads and (although I don't subscribe to the "easily cracking" theory) I didn't want to remove any material from the decks that could increase those chances. That same engine will soon be getting aftermarket Vortec heads and I plan on grooving them so I can have some personal experience with it. Maybe pull them off in a couple years and see how much carbon has built up in them.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis73
My latest build was going to include grooves but it had stock Vortec heads and (although I don't subscribe to the "easily cracking" theory) I didn't want to remove any material from the decks that could increase those chances. That same engine will soon be getting aftermarket Vortec heads and I plan on grooving them so I can have some personal experience with it. Maybe pull them off in a couple years and see how much carbon has built up in them.
Same here. I decided to groove the FT pistons instead of the head deck- if I did anything, that is. I cannot see any big "downside" to it, I mean even if it does little or nothing there's no harm I can see coming from some small grooves in a piston top, other than it possibly causing the exhaust to be a little 'dirtier' w/CO.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtis73
I'm with you... I have dropped my engine building frequency considerably since I had a 60-hour a week job. Now that I'm unemployed I have no money to build anything My latest build was going to include grooves but it had stock Vortec heads and (although I don't subscribe to the "easily cracking" theory) I didn't want to remove any material from the decks that could increase those chances. That same engine will soon be getting aftermarket Vortec heads and I plan on grooving them so I can have some personal experience with it. Maybe pull them off in a couple years and see how much carbon has built up in them.
Just wondering which after market heads ? The ones I bought from summit are different, they have seemed to change the chamber size from when I bought them. From 67cc to 64cc. And they used to offer them with 2.02s. I hope the castings are still as thick.
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:32 AM
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Well for what its worth, I'm going to try the grooves with a conventional
squish of 0.039"(gasket thickness and zero deck), home ported/polished Edelbrock RPM heads with approx. 72cc chambers, Mahle flat tops w/5cc vr, 10.3-4:1 CR, and approx. 270-274 degree advertised duration roller cam in a .040 over 350 sbc with a Scat 3.75 crank with 6" rods. Street Car.
I know the squish is too tight to really test the groove theory, but I'm one of the dumb ***** that won't lower the compression to run on the street, and I don't want to sacrifice the low end either. I was going to put it in a SS Monte Carlo but its taken so long for me to get all the parts and work done,
the car has about rusted away, so I'm looking for something else, but with gas prices and home projects, I'm in no hurry. Just for the record.
ssmonty
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumbles
Just wondering which after market heads ? The ones I bought from summit are different, they have seemed to change the chamber size from when I bought them. From 67cc to 64cc. And they used to offer them with 2.02s. I hope the castings are still as thick.
Haven't decided yet. Patriots are cheap but not that spectacular. The rest I'm having trouble getting good specs on.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:32 AM
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Did you read Bogies thread about his experience with the grooves ? I'm being cautious about the squish dimension. If it's too tight wouldn't it carbon up? I haven't heard back from him about his dimensions. So I have no idea what might have gone wrong. But it sounds like everything has to be up to par. Another thing is lining up the groove on your piston. They may look cool on the head but when they don't line right up with the peak between your valve reliefs , how effective can they be? I've got just about everything figured out for my build. But I'm kinda stuck with two piston choices 12cc which makes more compression than what I feel safe with and 18cc which leaves me barely enough. 9.55:1 / 9.05/1 I want to run efficiently on e87 if I can. I have vortec aftermarkets which are pretty nice. I'd have to mill them .013" to get 9.2/1. Isn't 9.55/1 pushing it with a 7.91/1 dcr ? on e87 ?
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