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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-26-2004 12:40 PM
Thom Laybourne
Rotating Mass

Hey Zartan.

Balancing is one of those things that is good but cost money. I would say your guy knows you and the engine well enough to inform you properly. I personally balance. What they balance is the rotating mass. Crank / Pistons (assembled with rods) / flywheel / Front pulley. I think I pay about $30. The front of an engine has a harmonic balancer and lot of people rely on that to manage any balancing. When you start building more motors and feeling the responses, you will be like most of us and start balancing. Right now, I would build a relationship with your machine shop. Go with his recommendations.

01-26-2004 12:06 PM
Zartan how much is it to balance these parts or do you balance the whole engine?

my guy says my engine dowsnt need it. i should say he said this based on seeing my block, cleaning it, doing the cam bearings and the crank, as well as the piston. he says hois 40 yrs experience trumps my 10 minutes of experience. he says he'll do it for me, but ,... who am i to argue w/ him/...
01-26-2004 11:35 AM
Re: Willy

Originally posted by Thom Laybourne
If Zartan gets his 375 hp engine going, what kind of hp loss can he expect threw the drive system? Say a Nova or Chevy II system? Not sure what happened with S10 and Tom on this thread.

Side bars....they happen. 15 percent loss is fairly typical. Sometimes more like 20.
01-26-2004 10:29 AM Like I said, I always balance my engines and none are racers. Cheap insurance and just seems like the right thing to do. But there are millions of rebuilds out there that aren't balanced and have no problems.
01-26-2004 10:09 AM
machine shop tom Hmmmmmmmm. I don't recommend balancing for any certain horsepower level. An engine built for 300 horses can be far more out of balance than an engine built for 450 horses. In other words, it's the components that dictate the need for balancing. I 've seen many stock or near stock engines that were way out to lunch, balance-wise. I recommend balancing any engine that the cutomer wants the best performance and longevity from. You may find a problem that you wouldn't find otherwise.
01-26-2004 09:51 AM Sounds like you are in good hands. Go with his advice.
01-26-2004 09:29 AM
Zartan i am lucky in that my machinist has been doing it for 40 yrs!
he's good and he knows his stuff...and he likes explaining things to me.
he told me i didnt have to balance them because i was only going for 325 hp and i'm not gonna drive it crazy all the time.
i magnafluxed the engine.
he said he could tell by the wear patterns, or lack of , that the pistons and rods were fine.
i talked to him about using plastigauge and he said it's a good product
01-26-2004 09:06 AM
Thom Laybourne

If Zartan gets his 375 hp engine going, what kind of hp loss can he expect threw the drive system? Say a Nova or Chevy II system? Not sure what happened with S10 and Tom on this thread.

01-26-2004 07:56 AM Have the old pistons checked with penetrating dye for cracks. Have the weight checked on the new piston and adjusted if necessary to match the others. In fact, I always invest in a balancing job on my engines. Not that expensive and a pretty important blue-printing spec for long life. Otherwise, it sounds like you are doing things ok. Just be sure your machinist is the best available - you are depending on him for the specialized measurements.
01-26-2004 07:46 AM
Zartan confused? who me?
i marked the rods(still connected to the pistons) so i knew which cylinder they came out of. i intended to put them back in the same way. am i missing some steps? i am cleaning all the carbon buildup off the top of the pistons(stock-standard w/ 4 half-circle reliefs cut out of them) and cleaning out the ring grooves. i've had the crank turned .010 under and got matching bearings.
i broke one piston rabbit ear on # 1 cylinder when it flew out of the bore and hit the floor. my machinist/engine guy is replacing that for me and is micing the rod. the only wear on the crank was on the journal corresponding to # 1 cylinder, which is the piston i broke, so all my issues were related to the same place.

after that piston is replaced and the rest are cleaned, etc, i plan in putting them back in.

am i missing steps? ami confusing how to put them back in?
i believe the piston all have a notch on them, indicating which way they should face...which i think is the notch faces thefront of the engine.

but after reading all those posts, i'm slightly doubting my plan..simply because the discussion has confused me into not understanding, and that causes me to pause before i go and screw something up.
anyone care to set me straight?
01-24-2004 08:40 PM
TurboS10 Interesting. I never noticed. Like I said earlier the last set I installed were SRP and did not have any orientation markings. Other than that the shop has always installed the pistons on the rods and marked them for me so I never paid much attention. Good to know.

01-24-2004 08:34 PM
machine shop tom Most stock or mild performance pistons incorporate a small pin offset to minimize piston slap. If these pistons are installed backwards, guess what happens!
01-24-2004 08:23 PM
TurboS10 I am not saying it is not so, but are you sure SBC pistons have an offset. I would have sworn the offset was only on the big end of the rod, but I cant say I have ever measured. Perhaps some do and some dont, but that would not make much sense either. Just out of curiousity what is the offset?

01-24-2004 06:24 PM
camaroman7d LOL, Good point Tom, I am not sure what I was thinking.

(I stand by my original post)

01-24-2004 01:04 PM
machine shop tom
Originally posted by camaroman7d

You are correct that with 4 valve reliefs, it really doesn't matter which way they are mounted on the rod, but it still matters which way they (the rods) are put on the crank.

Royce [/B]
That makes no sense. Of course it matters how they are put on the rod. If they are not correctly put on the rod, the piston will be in backwards, putting the offset the wrong way. Can you say piston slap and cracked skirts? That's why they are marked FRONT.
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