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Old 11-26-2007, 12:57 PM
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SBC 400 advice

Well, I tore into my recent purchase of a 400 sbc. I'm looking for answers or ideas to a few things I found.

Apperently it's been running a tad rich for a while due to the amount of carbon in the exh runners. Also, one heat crossover is completly plugged and the other isn't much better (with carbon).

Also, all the balls and rockers where they ride against the pivot balls are severly gouged but nothing else (so far) is scratched. Any ideas what would cause that?

The cylinders look to be nice, not a very large ridge, you can see the "ring circles" tward the top of the bores, but also there are a whole bunch of them all the way down the cylinders. Iv'e never seen that before. Twards the top, yes, but not 1/4" (or about) apart all the way down. Any ideas on that?

As it looks, I'm going to have to rebuild the whole thing. I was hoping for just cleaning things up and see what she does but oh well.

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Old 11-26-2007, 01:23 PM
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Check the rod and main bearing journals with a dial caliper (Inexpensive and useful tool, try NAPA $40 or so). Mains are 2.65" and rods are 2.1" Look closely for gouges in the journals. If you can feel it with a fingernail, it needs turned. Anything more than .003 thousandths out and it needs turned. You can buy .001 oversize bearings. Run a Melling M55HV oil pump if clearances are on the loose side.

As for cylinder walls, if you can feel a ridge, to repair it properly the block should be bored. You can get by with a ridge reamer and a glaze breaker hone but expect some oil consumption.

Have the heads magnafluxed, especially on a 400. Its cheap, $16 per at the local Carquest. Inspect the steam holes. Cracks the extend into the cylinder wall = bad.

Carefully inspect the camshaft and lifters for wear. If theres any question, throw it away. If everything looks okay, be sure to put the lifters back in the order they came out.

You can get by with rings and bearings if youre on a tight budget. Cast rings work best on a re-ring job. If you arent able to spend the money to go through the engine completely, often times a re-ring kit will work fine.
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