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Old 04-15-2009, 12:49 AM
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Oil on spark plug, New engine, chevy 355

I have a bored Chevy 350 (355) that was built by a mechanic. The motor was used for only a few 1/4 mile runs, then it sat for 2 years in my garage (my dad had it build, but was unable to get much use out of it). I recently put it in my 1989 Camaro. It has a crazy racing cam, solid lifters, 2.02 heads, headers, the works. I really haven't driven it much because i really have no time. I have done a lot of tuning and other sort of work.

So the motor really only has about 200 miles on it. (only because i drove 2 hours on the highway and occasional test drives)

I changed to spark plugs after it had been run for a total of about 5 hours (over the course of days) and noticed there was oil on the plug as well as the plug hole. After running the engine with the new plugs in for a bit, i had to pull them out to change to header gasket. all the plugs had oil on them!

Also, i seem to run out of oil even though the valve covers don't leak, and the oil pan doesn't leak.

I figure it is the piston rings, what tools, and how much $ is required to change and/or fix the piston rings.

I know ill need intake manifold/header gaskets.

I also know that it will require taking the motor completely apart.

What parts will need to be replace once they are taken out? (if there are any)

I am 18 years old living at home, but have the know-how and patience to do things right. I have plenty of space and tools. What advice can someone give me?

Are there manuals that will list the proper procedure for doing something like this?

I want this motor to last, but i keep having problem after problem.

To anyones best knowledge, how many miles should a properly built 355 motor last? It was mainly made for high performance, but i got "stuck" with it when the engine in my camaro died. It revs nicely to 7000rpm, and still make really good power.

I appreciate any help that someone can give me.

Thanks, Josh

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Old 04-15-2009, 01:42 AM
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Josh, I was two yrs younger than you when I built my first engine. Yep I got my first car (57 Bel Air) at 15 when saving my lawn mower & yard maint money. By the time I was 16 I had rebuilt the 283 and installed it. That engine lasted 5 years and three cars before selling it.

So you are at the right age to learn. I had the book 'how to hot rod a small-block chevy.' It would be interesting to know if it's still in print! I learned things like block prep: Use a round file to deburr the block. File off any sharp edges because they are stress points (make 'em at 45* angle instead). Be absolutely certain to run a set of thread chasers down EACH AND EVERY BOLT HOLE and also clean up the threads on any bolt before you reinstall it. That way you get proper torque on the bolts.

So what do you need? A thread chaser kit (Sears 45.00) a good, accurate torque wrench (allow a 100.00) and a compressor. Get a 3/8 air drill to deburr the block and hone it with. Read every single drop of info you can about engine building. Keep it clean. CLEAN! Hospital clean may seem like too much but it's not.

Most of all, learn from what you're doing and have fun.
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